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A group of students with the Durham landscape in the background

Our status as a globally outstanding centre of teaching and research excellence has been affirmed once again in the QS World University Rankings 2024, being ranked 78th in the world.

The 2024 rankings, which assessed 2,963 universities, see us move up 14 places on last year, with notable successes in the new indicators of Sustainability and International Research Network.  

 A top performance for sustainability

 Our top performance came in the new Sustainability category, being ranked joint 30th in the world. This area evaluates the social and environmental impact of Durham as a leading centre of education and research and is taken from the analysis of the QS Sustainability Rankings.  

 We’re always developing new ways of thinking to shape a better future for people and our planet. We signed the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals (SDG) Accord, where we pledged our commitment to one another to do more and create a better world by ending poverty, fighting inequality and addressing the urgency of climate change.

In 2022, we launched a new MSc in Plant Biotechnology and Enterprise. This was designed to provide the fundamental knowledge and skills to produce future scientists specialising in plant biotechnology. This Masters proudly sits alongside our MSc in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics, New and Renewable Energy, and Sustainability, Energy and Development, which also contribute to the SDGs.

We also have a dedicated Energy and Sustainability Team, which coordinates environmental initiatives across our University with the help of environmental champions and student representatives. 

Recognising the impacts of our research

The richness and diversity of our international research partnerships has also been acknowledged, being ranked 108th in the world for the impacts of our International Research Network.  

Research, scholarship and ideas are at the core of Durham. We are home to some of the most talented researchers and academics from around the world, tackling global issues, and making a difference to people's lives. Research directly informs our undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and, in partnership with policy-makers, industry, the public sector, and communities around the world, shapes local, national and international agendas.

A reputation for excellence

We also enhanced our already-strong performances in the areas of Employer Reputation and Academic Reputation, being ranked 50th and 124th respectively and both up on the prior year. Together, these cement our global reputation with employers and for our excellence in research. 

 The 2024 publication is the 20th edition of the QS rankings, which are based on academic and employer reputation, research citations, the productivity and impact of the work published by academics, as well as three new indicators this year. The addition of Sustainability, Employer Outcomes and International Research Network reflect the increasing expectations of modern students and institutions alike. 

Durham is consistently ranked as one of the world’s leading universities, with 12 subjects in the World Top 50 QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023.