Drone shot of the University of Sydney quadrangle

QS rankings show global excellence for a broad range of subjects

4 March 2021
30 subjects ranked in the top 50 globally
Sports-related subjects were the standout in latest QS subject rankings result.

Sports-related subjects, encompassing physical therapy, sports therapy and rehabilitation, was our strongest performer ranked third in the world, up from fourth place last year. Our strong research in this subject includes developing WHO guidelines on physical activity and improving health on long haul-flights.

Pharmacy and pharmacology (which are ranked as a single subject) experienced the biggest improvement. Rising 11 places compared to last year, it is now ranked 13th globally. Linguistics and history also saw separate notable improvements from last year.

Other subjects that performed well include: nursing (13th), law (14th), civil and structural engineering (14th), veterinary science (16th), English language and literature (18th) and medicine (19th).

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Duncan Ivison said the rankings reflected the breadth and depth of our research and its importance in shaping our world.

“Our researchers play a critical role in helping us understand our world and improve lives. Over the last year many of them have been at the forefront of shaping our response to the COVID pandemic, including chairing a WHO working group to understand and improve vaccination take-up, as well as helping to prevent the emergence of new pandemics in the future.

“At Sydney, we have global leaders in their field who are passionate about working on the key challenges of our time: including improving sustainability through plastics recycling technology and developing a new drug to treat alcohol and opioid addiction. We are also working with industry partners such as GE on the future of advanced manufacturing and Microsoft in the development of quantum computers.” 

The QS Subject Rankings score universities around the world on their reputation with academics and employers. It also measures their H-index as an institution (the H-index is a metric that attempts to measure both the productivity and citation impact of a publication) and citations per research paper. 

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