General information on ranking

Name of the ranking THE World University Rankings by Subject
Geographical scope Global
Name of person in charge of ranking Phil Baty
E-mail of person in charge of ranking
Website of the ranking
Publication frequency annual
First year of publication 2011
Most recent year of publication 2020
Date of last update 2021-08-26
Ranking organization Times Higher Education
Website of the methodology

THE World University Rankings by Subject employs the same range of 13 performance indicators used in the overall World University Rankings brought together with scores provided under five categories. It covers 35 subjects grouped into 11 broad subject areas: Arts & Humanities, Business & Economics, Clinical, Pre-cilinical & Health, Computer Science, Education, Engineering & Technology, Law, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Psychology, Social Sciences. Depending on the broad subject, the number of universities ranked ranged from a low of 224 in Law to a high of 1,149 Physical Sciences.

Two criteria determine eligibility for the THE subject rankings: a publication threshold and an academic staff threshold. They are set differently for each of the 11 broad ranking subjects. The publication thresholds to be included in the ranking pool were established from 100 to 500 papers published in the discipline over the past five years (depending on the broad subject). With regards to staff eligibility criterion, an institution needs to have either a minimum proportion of its staff or a minimum number of staff in the discipline to be included in the subject ranking. The threshold depends on the broad subject – it varies between at least 1 to 5 per cent of academic staff in the discipline or at least 20 to 50 academic staff in the discipline, depending on the broad subject.

The overall methodology is carefully recalibrated for each broad subject, with the weightings changed to suit the individual fields. The performance indicators and weightings are:

TEACHING (the learning environment), including: Reputation survey, Staff-to-student ratio, Doctorate-to-bachelor’s ratio, Doctorates-awarded-to-academic-staff ratio, Institutional income

Weighting:  27.5%-37.4%

RESEARCH (volume, income and reputation), including: Reputation survey, Research income, Research productivity

Weighting:  27.5%-37.6%

CITATIONS (research influence)

Weighting: 15.0%-35.0%

INTERNATIONAL OUTLOOK (staff, students and research), including: International-to-domestic-student ratio, International-to-domestic-staff ratio, International collaboration

Weighting: 7.5%-9.0%

INDUSTRY INCOME (innovation)

Weighting: 2.5%-5.0%

Additional information

  • Type of publication: internet, print - magazine, newspaper
  • Internet users access to ranking: open access
  • Language of publication: English
  • Main target groups: higher education institutions, policymakers, governments and funding agencies, students and parents
  • Level of comparison: fields or subject
  • Major dimensions covered: internationalization, knowledge transfer, reputation, research, teaching
  • Structure of presentation: ordinary presentation (league tables)
  • Data sources: data collected from HEIs by ranking organization, survey conducted exclusively by ranking organization, third-party database (data not provided by HEI)
  • Quality assurance of ranking: certification (e.g. IREG Audit)
  • Website of the ranking organization:
  • Types of the ranking organization: commercial/for-profit (incl. media)
  • Types of rankings: global-subjects