Two faculties top global subject rankings table

QS rankings

Two Humanities faculties have come top of the world in the QS World University Rankings by Subject, which were released today.

The Faculties of English and Medieval and Modern Languages were two of five departments at Oxford University to lead the rankings for their subject, and two of only 13 table-topping departments in universities across the UK. Both retain their places at the top of the ranking from last year.

Oxford University also came top for Arts and Humanities as a whole, followed by Harvard and Cambridge.

Professor Almut Suerbaum, Chair of the Board of the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages, said: "It is wonderful to see the range and diversity of Modern Languages in Oxford recognised by the QS ranking, placing the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages first in the world for another year. This underlines the outstanding support which tutors have given to students during the pandemic, whether in Oxford or during their period abroad. I would like to congratulate colleagues and students on their successes in research, teaching, and learning."

Professor Ros Ballaster, Chair of the Board of the Faculty of English, said: "The Faculty of English at Oxford has, like so many others, given its all over the past year to maintaining and advancing the highest standards in our subject. I am delighted that we have retained our place as the top-ranked Faculty in the world by QS for another year and want to pay tribute to the talent, dedication and creativity of all our tutors and students."

The rankings consider a truly global field of candidates, analysing 13,883 individual programmes across 51 academic disciplines at 1,440 universities. They are decided by a weighting of four categories:

  • The subject's reputation among academics 
  • The subject's reputation among employers
  • The number of citations per paper by a researcher in a given subject
  • The 'impact' of each published research in a subject

The full criteria can be found here and the 2021 subject rankings can be found here.