QS World University Rankings By Subject 2022

QS World University Rankings By Subject 2022

Dear colleagues,

The QS World University Rankings by Subject were published yesterday. This ranking, providing details of performance by individual subject areas, is based on Scopus data (2015 to 2020) and QS reputational survey results (2017 to 2021) as published in the QS World University Rankings in June 2021.

In terms of University performance in leagues tables we have made good progress in the past few years, rising strongly to be ranked 20th in the UK in both the Guardian Good University Guide and the Times and Sunday Times. In the most recent Times Higher Education World University Ranking we rose 20 places to 158th in the world (and 22nd in the UK).

We arrested a persistent decline in our global ranking in the QS World University Ranking last year, rising two places to 205th in the world (and remaining 28th in the UK for the third year in a row). The QS World University Ranking is based on six measures: Academic reputation, Employer reputation, Citations per faculty, Faculty Student Ratio, International Faculty Ratio, and International Student Ratio. By contrast, the QS Subject Rankings (at broad and individual subject level) are based on a smaller set of indicators comprising: Academic reputation, Employer reputation, Citations per paper, H-Index (most cited papers), and International research network (collaborative working with international partners). These indicators have different weightings for different academic subjects.

The QS Subject Ranking considers five broad subject areas and I am pleased to report that the University has improved its global rank in all areas. Life Sciences & Medicine is the only subject area that scores better than the overall University ranking of 205th in the world, with the other four broad subject areas all ranking lower than the University. The divergence between the University’s global rank and the broad subject area ranks arises because of different performance indicators and weightings.

QS World University Rankings and UoA Movement by Broad Subject Area 2022

Broad Subject Area2022 global rankMovement
Arts & Humanities=274th↑4
Engineering & Technology=366th↑23
Life Science & Medicine=154th↑11
Natural Sciences=351st↑4
Social Sciences & Management=338th↑50

 

The number of Aberdeen subjects ranking top 100 in the world has increased from five to six. As seen in the table below, three of those subjects: Theology, Divinity and Religious Studies, Archaeology, and Agriculture, have all improved their rank and also rank in the top quartile of institutions included in the QS, while Petroleum Engineering ranks 51-100th and falls in the second quartile. Additionally, Medicine has ranked in the top quartile in the world although it falls outwith the top 100, with a ranking of =138th in the world. It is worth noting that QS ranks only a subset of top universities in the world in each subject so as to focus on excellence, and there will therefore be a large number of universities nationally and globally that will deliver these subjects but will not be ranked. 

QS World University Rankings – UoA Global Top 100 by Subject Area 2022 compared to 2021

Subject

Rank 2022 and quartile position

Rank 2021

Movement

Number of universities ranked

Theology, Divinity & Religious Studies

31

38

130

Archaeology

39

101-150

230

Agriculture

78

96

410

Engineering - Petroleum

51-100*

51-100

160

Medicine

=138

149

670

*where subjects have fallen within a ranking band (e.g. 51-100) their quartile position has been calculated assuming a midpoint position.

 

Quartile 1

 

Quartile 3

 

Quartile 2

 

Quartile 4

In a UK context, there has been a particularly positive improvement in the last three years with a steady increase in the number of Aberdeen subjects ranked in the top 20 in the UK, and in 2022 more than half of our subjects feature in the top 20 list.

Number of UoA subjects ranked in the UK within Ranking Bands (QS World University Rankings 2022)

Table of Number of UoA subjects ranked in the UK within Ranking Bands (QS World University Rankings 2022)

The number of subjects ranked top ten in the UK has increased from three to six, with an improvement in rank for all.

QS World University Rankings – UoA Top 10 in the UK by Subject Area 2022 compared to 2021

Subject

UK rank 2022

Rank 2021

Movement

Engineering - Mineral & Mining

2

  

new

Agriculture

3

5

Theology, Divinity & Religious Studies

6

8

Engineering - Petroleum

7

10

Archaeology

8

15

Anthropology

10

12

 

Of the five metrics used by QS to rank academic subjects, the reputational metrics have the largest impact, with up to 80% of the overall score resting on academic and employer reputation as measured by the QS Survey. We have therefore focused our efforts in recent years on building our database of external academic collaborators, in liaison with our staff community. The QS Subject Rankings 2022 show that we are starting to see this work bear fruit and we are therefore hopeful that the QS World University Rankings 2023, due to be published in June 2022, will also show some progress.

A full report on the QS Subject Rankings, where you can see details of each of the 30 subjects in which the University has been ranked, are available via the Planning webpages.

Best wishes,

Karl

Karl Leydecker

Senior Vice-Principal

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