Subject rankings feature Sydney in world's top 100 universities

6 October 2016

The University of Sydney has been ranked in the world’s top 100 across six disciplines in the Times Higher Education 2016-17 World University Rankings by subject.

Two disciplines - clinical, pre-clinical and health; and arts and humanities - made the world top 50, ranking 35 and 49 respectively.

We also made the top 100 in business and economics (51), engineering and technology (83), life sciences (60) and social sciences (56).

“We are delighted with yet another strong showing for the University of Sydney in these subject rankings,” said University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor and Principal Dr Michael Spence.

“Our health disciplines continue to be ranked among the world’s best, making us a leader in this area in Australia and the region,” Dr Spence said, “and the performance of the arts and humanities disciplines was also very impressive.

“These results rank all six disciplines in the world’s top one percent, which is a remarkable result.”

The subject tables employ 13 performance indicators under five categories.

Our strongest indicator across disciplines was citations, evidence of the influence the University’s academics have in spreading knowledge and ideas.

“Our ambition is to be the leading research and education institution in Australia and among the best in the world. These results suggest we’re on track to achieve this vision, which is at the heart of our new strategic plan.

“We believe that ground-breaking discoveries and transformative inventions depend on bringing the right people together in an environment that gives them room and support to discover and innovate,” Dr Spence said.

“Every day, across the University, our outstanding teachers and researchers work together, and with our industry and other partners, to harness our collective expertise to address some of the biggest challenges facing our society today.

“It is their work that drives our success, and rankings such as these are deserved recognition of the many extraordinary people that make up our community.”

How the Times World University Rankings by subject work

The methodology behind the Times Higher Education World University Rankings by subject includes a wide range of narrower subject areas under each discipline. For example, the business and economics ranking includes business and management, accounting and finance, and economics and econometrics, while life sciences includes agriculture and forestry, biological sciences, vet science and sport science.

The subject tables employ the same range of 13 performance indicators used in the overall World University Rankings 2016-2017, brought together with scores provided under five categories:

  • Teaching: the learning environment
  • Research: volume, income and reputation
  • Citations: research influence
  • International outlook: staff, students and research
  • Industry income: innovation

However, the overall methodology is recalibrated for each subject, with the weightings changed to suit the individual fields.

Making the most of subject rankings

The University of Sydney’s External Benchmarks Manager Dr Richard Cook said subject rankings could be a useful reference point for prospective students who have an idea about what area they want to study in when choosing a university.

“If you have a good idea of the subject you’d like to study, then subject rankings can be a good starting point,” Dr Cook said.

“If you’re unsure of what to study, or you want flexibility or exposure to the latest multidisciplinary research, it can help to look for universities with a large number of top ranked subjects.”

View a full list of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings by subject.

Find out more about how rankings work and when they’re important.