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Rated among the world's best

We have performed strongly in the prestigious QS World University Rankings by Subject 2024, rating among the world's top universities.

Three of our subjects rated in the global top ten: Archaeology (=5), Classics and Ancient History (6) and Theology and Religion (7).

A further seven of our subjects rank highly in the World Top 50: Geography (16), Anthropology (28), English Studies (29), Philosophy (29), History (42), Earth Sciences (=48) and Law (48).

Ten of our subjects have also improved their QS ranking on last year which is testimony to our commitment to academic excellence.

Join us for the next chapter of your academic journey and experience a research-led, challenging and transformative education.

University student
Our research is innovative and impactful, informing the high-quality education we deliver to all our students, as well as transforming lives and making a difference, globally and locally.

Professor Karen O’Brien
Vice-Chancellor and Warden
Highlights by Subject Area
42nd Arts & Humanities
92nd Natural Sciences
Joint 90th Social Sciences and Management

About the QS World University Rankings by Subject

The QS World University Rankings by Subject are compiled annually to help prospective students identify the leading universities in a particular subject.

In 2024, the QS team analysed the reputation and research output of almost 5,000 institutions globally. From this group, 1,559 were ranked across 55 narrow subjects and five broad subject areas, creating over 19,100 entries. The rankings cover 55 disciplines across thousands of global institutions.

10 Subjects in the global top 50
19 subjects in the global top 100

Explore our world top 100 departments

Browse through our top subject departments

In addition, three subject areas are in the world top 100: Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences and Management, and Natural Sciences

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

From our student blog: Studying in the UK and why I chose Durham

International student Apinya explains her process for choosing to study in the UK and what she thinks makes Durham so special.

Read Apinya's story
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Research: solving global challenges

The work of staff and students across the University, as well as our international alumni community, continues to have a significant impact on a global level.

Explore recent research

Latest News

Find out more about how we're leading on revolutionary research, offering inspiration and reaching new heights.