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Twelve of our subjects ranked in world top 50 

We have performed very strongly in the prestigious QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023, with 12 of our subjects ranked in the world top 50. 

The rankings assessed over 18,300 subjects from 1,597 institutions across the world, based on academic and employer reputation, citations per academic paper, impact and quality of research and international research collaboration factors.  

12 of our subjects have been ranked in the world top 50: Theology & Religion (6th), Classics & Ancient History (8th), Archaeology (10th), Geography (14th), Anthropology (23rd), Philosophy (32nd), History (38th), English Literature (38th), Geology (46th), Earth Sciences (46th), Law (46th) and Geophysics (47th). 

Nine of our subjects have enhanced their world top 100 ranking. 

In addition, two subject areas are in the world top 100 – Arts and Humanities is placed 32nd, up from 41st last year, and Natural Sciences ranks 74th, up from 99th in 2022. 

Aerial view of Durham Peninsula and cathedral

University student
Every year our subjects are highly rated in the global league table rankings, and it is a true credit to the outstanding teaching and research carried out at our University.

Professor Karen O’Brien
Vice-Chancellor and Warden
Eunice Wu

From our student blog: The top 10 things I’ve loved about studying at Durham

For international student Eunice Wu, choosing a university is essentially choosing a place to call home for the next three years.

Read Eunice's story

Explore Our Departments

12 of our subjects have been ranked in the world top 50.

6th (Global) Theology and Religion
8th (Global) Classics and Ancient History


Browse through our top subject departments

In some cases how QS categorises subject areas is different to the titles of Durham University Departments.

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Highlights by Subject Area
32nd Arts & Humanities
74th Natural Sciences
Joint 102nd Social Sciences and Management

Featured News Stories

A stained glass window with an image of the cosmos
Theology and Religion (6th QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023)

The extinction and survival of religious belief in a science dominated world
Understanding moral injury
The new spirit of capitalism: how neoliberalism has changed the way we do religion
ECLAS science-faith project secures £6m grant

Read all Theology and Religion News

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A graphic illustration of ancient times with land and sky and man crawling on the ground
Classics and Ancient History (8th QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023)

Phillip Horky: Something sublime about the cosmos
The underworld and Halloween

Read all Classics and Ancient History News


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Neanderthal Cave Art
(10th QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023)

New study reveals evidence of early Ice Age writing and what it meant
Evidence suggests Vikings brought animals to Britain
Neanderthals: the oldest art in the world wasn’t made by Homo sapiens

Read all Archaeology News

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Two scientists with a ship and icebergs in the background
Geography (14th QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023)

Durham climate expert chosen for prestigious panel
Geography academics receive awards
Durham records highest temperature
New study indicates worrying ice loss in West Antarctica

Read all Geography News

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The colourful head of a lizard species
Anthropology (23rd QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023)

Research inspires podcast drama about tobacco addiction
Traded species have distinctive life histories with extended reproductive lifecycles
How do people care for themselves and others in the face of chronic illness? A study of care relationships among diabetes patients in India
Three surprising reasons human actions threaten endangered primates

Read all Anthropology News 

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