QS SUBJECT Rankings... They're out!

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Blue_Cow
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Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) released their latest set of SUBJECT rankings yesterday.

Some argue that subject-specific rankings should be used by applicants rather than general rankings to avoid institutions being 'carried' by a particular department/school.

According to The Guardian:

"More broadly, UK universities take 34% of all top three positions across the tables, while at least one British institution can be found in the top three of 32 of the 48 rankings."

Some might say this proves Brexit is having little to no impact on British academia, but one needs to examine the methodology employed by QS to determine if this is the case:

"Crucially, the subject rankings use a different methodology to that of the overall QS World University Rankings. The subject tables place greater emphasis on research indicators, do not take staff to student ratios into account, and exclude measures of internationalisation. This means some trends in the sector – a decline in international representation, for example – do not affect performance here."

You can view the subject rankings here

-

At the request of (and I'm sure many others would find this useful), here are a few subjects and how UK institutions fared with a short summary at the end:

-

English Literature

Spoiler:
Show








01. University of Oxford (=)
02. University of Cambridge (=)
03. The University of Edinburgh (+8)
14. UCL (=)
20. The University of Warwick (-4)
25. King's College, London (=)
27. University of York (-3)
29. The University of Manchester (-3)
32. Queen Mary, University of London (=)
34. Durham University (+1)

No real drastic changes here, apart from Edinburgh jumping up eight places.







Biological Sciences

Spoiler:
Show







03. University of Cambridge (=)
04. University of Oxford (=)
14. UCL (+11)
19. Imperial College, London (=)
24. The University of Edinburgh (+2)
47. King's College, London (+2)
50. The University of Manchester (-2)

...

Universities ranked below 50 were given 'ranges'. Not very useful.

UCL is strong in the Biological Sciences department, clearly, by jumping up 11 places.








Computer Science

Spoiler:
Show







05. University of Cambridge (=)
07. University of Oxford (=)
12. Imperial College, London (=)
28. The University of Edinburgh (-7)
32. UCL (+5)

...

Universities ranked below 50 were given 'ranges'. Not very useful.

Not many UK universities rank highly for Computer Science. The universities that have a specific numerical rank in the UK are typical universities associated with quality research in CS/AI. The only notable change was Edinburgh dropping 7 places despite Informatics being a flagship school.








Life Sciences & Medicine

Spoiler:
Show







02. University of Cambridge (=)
02. University of Oxford (+1)
08. UCL (+3)
11. Imperial College, London (+1)
16. The University of Edinburgh (+5)
17. King's College, London (+1)
35. LSHTM (+3)
35. The University of Manchester (+15)
45. University of Glasgow (+3)
48. University of Bristol (+14)

Oxford and Cambridge are both joint second place for Medicine this year. Perhaps the most drastic changes are here lie with Manchester (Wired_1800 :woo:) and the University of Bristol.








Law

Spoiler:
Show







02. University of Cambridge (+1)
03. University of Oxford (-)
09. LSE (-2)
12. UCL (=)
20. King's College, London (-2)
25. The University of Edinburgh (-1)
34. Queen Mary, University of London (+3)
47. Durham University (-7)


...

Universities ranked below 50 were given 'ranges'. Not very useful.

Not many drastic changes in the Law tables here.









Chemistry

Spoiler:
Show







02. University of Cambridge (+1)
06. University of Oxford (=)
13. Imperial College, London (+1)
27. The University of Manchester (+11)
41. UCL (+2)

...

Universities ranked below 50 were given 'ranges'. Not very useful.

Not many UK universities rank highly for Chemistry it seems. There hasn't been much movement apart from Manchester making large gains, similar to Life Sciences & Medicine.









Physics

Spoiler:
Show







04. University of Cambridge (=)
06. University of Oxford (=)
11. Imperial College, London (=)
30. The University of Manchester (+10)
33. UCL (+11)
45. The University of Edinburgh (Up from 51-100)

...

Universities ranked below 50 were given 'ranges'. Not very useful.

Seems like Physics in the UK is getting stronger, with Manchester, UCL and Edinburgh all making fairly large gains this year.








Economics

Spoiler:
Show







07. LSE (-2)
08. University of Oxford (=)
11. University of Cambridge (=)
17. UCL (=)
26. London Business School (-1)
30. The University of Warwick (-5)

...

Universities ranked below 50 were given 'ranges'. Not very useful.

Not many drastic changes here. LSE is at the top which is no surprise given it's name.









Unfortunately, I don't have time to put up any more tables w/ their changes (sorry!)

It seems like the vast majority of universities in the UK have stayed in the 'top' 50 for their respective subjects.

The biggest gains can be seen in Life Sciences and Medicine (judging on the tables I've seen).

P.S. I found a helpful table ranking WORLDWIDE universities with the most number of Top 10s here
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Blue_Cow
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I thought I'd add my personal opinion here rather than on the OP

I don't think rankings matter much. People know which universities are 'good' without the need for rankings. By 'good' I mean the university might offer the course you want, examined in the way you want amongst other factors.

Subject rankings will have little to no impact on an undergraduate's academic (or workplace career). It might be useful to take a look at if you want to take on an integrated Master's as part of your undergraduate degree to see if subject XYZ produces cutting-edge research at the University of ABC, but rankings still shouldn't be relied on for this purpose.

tl;dr: Don't read too much into it. Don't be upset if your university has fallen by a few places - it's reputation doesn't suddenly go down the drain just because it's moved a few places on a worldwide ranking.


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I know @Doonesbury made a thread re: OVERALL rankings yesterday, but it'll be nice to have a dedicated thread to talk about the subject rankings.
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Blue_Cow
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I'll see what I can do, and I'll tag you in once I'm finished with that
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Blue_Cow
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Done! I hope it's somewhat helpful.
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Blue_Cow
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You're welcome :borat:

Indeed. I can't see Oxbridge or Harvard dropping down these rankings anytime soon. Quality institutions.
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Doones
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(Original post by Blue_Cow)
P.S. I found a helpful table ranking WORLDWIDE universities with the most number of Top 10s here
Indeed, and here's that table in full:

QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018:
Institutions achieving most Top-10 Ranks

1. University of Cambridge UK 37
2. University of Oxford UK 35
3. University of California, Berkeley USA 34
4. Harvard University USA 34
5. Stanford University USA 32
6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology USA 24
7. University of California, Los Angeles USA 14
8. London School of Economics UK 13
9. National University of Singapore Singapore 11
10. Yale University USA 11

Camford takes the top 2 spots, :poke: Fullofsurprises
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Wired_1800
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(Original post by Blue_Cow)
Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) released their latest set of SUBJECT rankings yesterday.

Some argue that subject-specific rankings should be used by applicants rather than general rankings to avoid institutions being 'carried' by a particular department/school.

According to The Guardian:

"More broadly, UK universities take 34% of all top three positions across the tables, while at least one British institution can be found in the top three of 32 of the 48 rankings."

However, some might say this proves Brexit is having little to no impact on British academia, but one needs to examine the methodology employed by QS to determine if this is the case:

"Crucially, the subject rankings use a different methodology to that of the overall QS World University Rankings. The subject tables place greater emphasis on research indicators, do not take staff to student ratios into account, and exclude measures of internationalisation. This means some trends in the sector – a decline in international representation, for example – do not affect performance here."

You can view the subject rankings here

-

At the request of JohanGRK (and I'm sure many others would find this useful), here are a few subjects and how UK institutions fared with a short summary at the end:

-

English Literature

Spoiler:
Show








01. University of Oxford (=)
02. University of Cambridge (=)
03. The University of Edinburgh (+8)
14. UCL (=)
20. The University of Warwick (-4)
25. King's College, London (=)
27. University of York (-3)
29. The University of Manchester (-3)
32. Queen Mary, University of London (=)
34. Durham University (+1)

No real drastic changes here, apart from Edinburgh jumping up eight places.







Biological Sciences

Spoiler:
Show







03. University of Cambridge (=)
04. University of Oxford (=)
14. UCL (+11)
19. Imperial College, London (=)
24. The University of Edinburgh (+2)
47. King's College, London (+2)
50. The University of Manchester (-2)

...

Universities ranked below 50 were given 'ranges'. Not very useful.

UCL is strong in the Biological Sciences department, clearly, by jumping up 11 places.








Computer Science

Spoiler:
Show







05. University of Cambridge (=)
07. University of Oxford (=)
12. Imperial College, London (=)
28. The University of Edinburgh (-7)
32. UCL (+5)

...

Universities ranked below 50 were given 'ranges'. Not very useful.

Not many UK universities rank highly for Computer Science. The universities that have a specific numerical rank in the UK are typical universities associated with quality research in CS/AI. The only notable change was Edinburgh dropping 7 places despite Informatics being a flagship school.








Life Sciences & Medicine

Spoiler:
Show







02. University of Cambridge (=)
02. University of Oxford (+1)
08. UCL (+3)
11. Imperial College, London (+1)
16. The University of Edinburgh (+5)
17. King's College, London (+1)
35. LSHTM (+3)
35. The University of Manchester (+15)
45. University of Glasgow (+3)
48. University of Bristol (+14)

Oxford and Cambridge are both joint second place for Medicine this year. Perhaps the most drastic changes are here lie with Manchester (Wired_1800 :woo:) and the University of Bristol.








Law

Spoiler:
Show







02. University of Cambridge (+1)
03. University of Oxford (-)
09. LSE (-2)
12. UCL (=)
20. King's College, London (-2)
25. The University of Edinburgh (-1)
34. Queen Mary, University of London (+3)
47. Durham University (-7)


...

Universities ranked below 50 were given 'ranges'. Not very useful.

Not many drastic changes in the Law tables here.









Chemistry

Spoiler:
Show







02. University of Cambridge (+1)
06. University of Oxford (=)
13. Imperial College, London (+1)
27. The University of Manchester (+11)
41. UCL (+2)

...

Universities ranked below 50 were given 'ranges'. Not very useful.

Not many UK universities rank highly for Chemistry it seems. There hasn't been much movement apart from Manchester making large gains, similar to Life Sciences & Medicine.









Physics

Spoiler:
Show







04. University of Cambridge (=)
06. University of Oxford (=)
11. Imperial College, London (=)
30. The University of Manchester (+10)
33. UCL (+11)
45. The University of Edinburgh (Up from 51-100)

...

Universities ranked below 50 were given 'ranges'. Not very useful.

Seems like Physics in the UK is getting stronger, with Manchester, UCL and Edinburgh all making fairly large gains this year.








Economics

Spoiler:
Show







07. LSE (-2)
08. University of Oxford (=)
11. University of Cambridge (=)
17. UCL (=)
26. London Business School (-1)
30. The University of Warwick (-5)

...

Universities ranked below 50 were given 'ranges'. Not very useful.

Not many drastic changes here. LSE is at the top which is no surprise given it's name.









Unfortunately, I don't have time to put up any more tables w/ their changes (sorry!)

It seems like the vast majority of universities in the UK have stayed in the 'top' 50 for their respective subjects.

The biggest gains can be seen in Life Sciences and Medicine (judging on the tables I've seen).

P.S. I found a helpful table ranking WORLDWIDE universities with the most number of Top 10s here
Thanks for this.

Some things to note:

1. The overall “Big 8” Universities still show to be Oxford, Cambridge, LSE, Imperial, Edinburgh, Manchester, UCL and Kings College London.
2. The subject-specific gains like at manchester do show consistent indicators with university investments in those subjects.

I agree that subject rankings at an international level would be a better evidence of performance than Uk tables, which to me are biased towards insignificant elements like student satisfaction.
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Fullofsurprises
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(Original post by Doonesbury)

1. University of Cambridge UK 37
2. University of Oxford UK 35


Camford takes the top 2 spots, :poke: Fullofsurprises
You're just lucky they don't measure true quality. The Tab has always been good at appearances. :yep:
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Doones
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(Original post by Wired_1800)
1. My “Bigly 8” Universities still show to be Oxford, Cambridge, LSE, Imperial, Edinburgh, Manchester, UCL and Kings College London.
FIFY

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Wired_1800
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(Original post by Doonesbury)
FIFY

Posted from TSR Mobile
Fair, but it does not change the point that those 8 dominate international tables as British delegates.

Do you now accept the separation and recognition of the elite “Big 8” Universities to compete against the elites of other countries?
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Doones
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(Original post by Wired_1800)
Fair, but it does not change the point that those 8 dominate international tables as British delegates.

Do you now accept the separation and recognition of the elite “Big 8” Universities to compete against the elites of other countries?
Nope, because there is no "bigly eight". It's not a thing.

If anything there's the "Fantastic Four" in the QS top 10 (Cambridge, Oxford, UCL, Imperial), and then the "Tenacious Twelve" holding on to their (mostly sliding) top 100 spots, but all of them now outside the top 20.
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Wired_1800
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(Original post by Doonesbury)
Nope, because there is no "bigly eight". It's not a thing.

If anything there's the "Fantastic Four" in the QS top 10 (Cambridge, Oxford, UCL, Imperial), and then the "Tenacious Twelve" holding on to their (mostly sliding) top 100 spots, but all of them now outside the top 20.
There is no formal group of “Big 8”, but I think there will be a push towards a new elite self-selected group of Universities along the lines of the Big 8.

If you look deep into the group, you would probably notice that these 8 unis (Oxford, Manchester, Edinburgh, Cambridge, LSE, Imperial, UCL and KCL) are head and shoulders above many universities in several indicators.

With Brexit and a demand for funds, Universities and Government will be forced to introduce a new Education Strategy that may see the emergence of the academic titans.
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HateOCR
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Might need to take up that UCL biological sciences offer 🤔
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username2752874
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(Original post by Blue_Cow)
Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) released their latest set of SUBJECT rankings yesterday.

Some argue that subject-specific rankings should be used by applicants rather than general rankings to avoid institutions being 'carried' by a particular department/school.

According to The Guardian:

"More broadly, UK universities take 34% of all top three positions across the tables, while at least one British institution can be found in the top three of 32 of the 48 rankings."

Some might say this proves Brexit is having little to no impact on British academia, but one needs to examine the methodology employed by QS to determine if this is the case:

"Crucially, the subject rankings use a different methodology to that of the overall QS World University Rankings. The subject tables place greater emphasis on research indicators, do not take staff to student ratios into account, and exclude measures of internationalisation. This means some trends in the sector – a decline in international representation, for example – do not affect performance here."

You can view the subject rankings here

-

At the request of JohanGRK (and I'm sure many others would find this useful), here are a few subjects and how UK institutions fared with a short summary at the end:

-

English Literature

Spoiler:
Show









01. University of Oxford (=)
02. University of Cambridge (=)
03. The University of Edinburgh (+8)
14. UCL (=)
20. The University of Warwick (-4)
25. King's College, London (=)
27. University of York (-3)
29. The University of Manchester (-3)
32. Queen Mary, University of London (=)
34. Durham University (+1)

No real drastic changes here, apart from Edinburgh jumping up eight places.








Biological Sciences

Spoiler:
Show








03. University of Cambridge (=)
04. University of Oxford (=)
14. UCL (+11)
19. Imperial College, London (=)
24. The University of Edinburgh (+2)
47. King's College, London (+2)
50. The University of Manchester (-2)

...

Universities ranked below 50 were given 'ranges'. Not very useful.

UCL is strong in the Biological Sciences department, clearly, by jumping up 11 places.









Computer Science

Spoiler:
Show








05. University of Cambridge (=)
07. University of Oxford (=)
12. Imperial College, London (=)
28. The University of Edinburgh (-7)
32. UCL (+5)

...

Universities ranked below 50 were given 'ranges'. Not very useful.

Not many UK universities rank highly for Computer Science. The universities that have a specific numerical rank in the UK are typical universities associated with quality research in CS/AI. The only notable change was Edinburgh dropping 7 places despite Informatics being a flagship school.









Life Sciences & Medicine

Spoiler:
Show








02. University of Cambridge (=)
02. University of Oxford (+1)
08. UCL (+3)
11. Imperial College, London (+1)
16. The University of Edinburgh (+5)
17. King's College, London (+1)
35. LSHTM (+3)
35. The University of Manchester (+15)
45. University of Glasgow (+3)
48. University of Bristol (+14)

Oxford and Cambridge are both joint second place for Medicine this year. Perhaps the most drastic changes are here lie with Manchester (Wired_1800 :woo:) and the University of Bristol.









Law

Spoiler:
Show








02. University of Cambridge (+1)
03. University of Oxford (-)
09. LSE (-2)
12. UCL (=)
20. King's College, London (-2)
25. The University of Edinburgh (-1)
34. Queen Mary, University of London (+3)
47. Durham University (-7)


...

Universities ranked below 50 were given 'ranges'. Not very useful.

Not many drastic changes in the Law tables here.










Chemistry

Spoiler:
Show








02. University of Cambridge (+1)
06. University of Oxford (=)
13. Imperial College, London (+1)
27. The University of Manchester (+11)
41. UCL (+2)

...

Universities ranked below 50 were given 'ranges'. Not very useful.

Not many UK universities rank highly for Chemistry it seems. There hasn't been much movement apart from Manchester making large gains, similar to Life Sciences & Medicine.










Physics

Spoiler:
Show








04. University of Cambridge (=)
06. University of Oxford (=)
11. Imperial College, London (=)
30. The University of Manchester (+10)
33. UCL (+11)
45. The University of Edinburgh (Up from 51-100)

...

Universities ranked below 50 were given 'ranges'. Not very useful.

Seems like Physics in the UK is getting stronger, with Manchester, UCL and Edinburgh all making fairly large gains this year.









Economics

Spoiler:
Show








07. LSE (-2)
08. University of Oxford (=)
11. University of Cambridge (=)
17. UCL (=)
26. London Business School (-1)
30. The University of Warwick (-5)

...

Universities ranked below 50 were given 'ranges'. Not very useful.

Not many drastic changes here. LSE is at the top which is no surprise given it's name.










Unfortunately, I don't have time to put up any more tables w/ their changes (sorry!)

It seems like the vast majority of universities in the UK have stayed in the 'top' 50 for their respective subjects.

The biggest gains can be seen in Life Sciences and Medicine (judging on the tables I've seen).

P.S. I found a helpful table ranking WORLDWIDE universities with the most number of Top 10s here
Student and staff ratios are considered for the overall rankings?

https://www.topuniversities.com/qs-w...gs/methodology
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Blue_Cow
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(Original post by Kyber Ninja)
Student and staff ratios are considered for the overall rankings?

https://www.topuniversities.com/qs-w...gs/methodology
AFAIK not for subject rankings? The Guardian could be wrong
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username2752874
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Big point here.


The academic reputation which plays such a huge weighting is the opinion of academics who have knowledge of the region the uni is situated in.

EU/UK Academics value the "fab 4" more than NA academics value the Ivy League and other top schools collectively.

EU/UK academics had little say in the rankings of american unis and vice versa.

It's one of the factors why LSE isn't higher having 90 in academics, though it still has 100 employer rep, with an equal weighting between Domestic and International employers.

Imperial has 100 too, so why are people saying that these unis are unknown worldwide?
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Doones
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(Original post by Blue_Cow)
AFAIK not for subject rankings? The Guardian could be wrong
The Guardian article was written by Jack Moran "closely involved in the auditing and analysis of the QS World University Rankings alongside the QS Intelligence Unit" So he probably has it right
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Wired_1800
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Congrats . Are you actually going to be a member of University College? Well done!!!
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Wired_1800
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Well done. Enjoy Durham.
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username2094811
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Are the QS rankings even taken seriously by anyone? They look a bit dodgy to me, frankly I've seen domestic league tables that look more genuine and I'm not a fan of them. QS looks like the 'joke' global ranking in the same way the Guardian is the 'joke' domestic league table.

I thought the only rankings anyone takes seriously anymore are the ARWU and the New York Times rankings.
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