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Nineteen subjects in the world top 100 for third consecutive year

Global Durham Highlights      
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We've performed very strongly in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2024, achieving 19 top 100 subjects in the prestigious rankings.

This is the third consecutive year that we have recorded 19 global top 100 subjects in the prestigious rankings.

Three of our subjects are ranked top ten in the world; Archaeology at joint 5th, Classics and Ancient History at 6th and Theology and Religion at 7th.

Placing in the top 50 are Geography 16th, Anthropology 28th, English Studies 29th, Philosophy 29th, History 42nd, Law 48th and Earth Sciences joint 48th.

Our top 100 subjects include: Modern Languages, Education, Physics, Psychology, Accounting and Finance, Politics and International Studies and Sport and Exercise Sciences.

Students in our Classics and Ancient History Department
Students in our Classics and Ancient History Department

We’re also ranked 42nd globally at QS Faculty level for Arts and Humanities, with Social Sciences and Management and Natural Sciences in the world top 100.

Our Vice-Chancellor, Professor Karen O’Brien said: “These prestigious global rankings demonstrate how Durham University is world-leading across a broad range of academic subjects, from Science to Business and Social Sciences to Arts and Humanities.

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.


Our Department of Archaeology is consistently ranked among the best in the world and has jumped five places up the 2024 QS subject rankings from tenth position last year. 

Student working in our Archaeology Department
Student working in our Archaeology Department

With over 70 research active staff and increasing numbers of projects, publications and postgraduates, the department has developed pathways for research and engagement with more diverse audiences than ever before. 

It has leading academic experts in isotope analysis, expertise that recently helped establish that a male born in the Roman period made an extraordinary journey spanning thousands of miles from Sarmatia to Britain as a child. 

Classics and Ancient History

Classics and Ancient History is up two places from eighth last year to sixth in 2024. 

University researchers are at the forefront of renewed interest in the study of Classics subjects in state-maintained primary and secondary schools.   

We’re currently leading a ‘Shy bairns get nowt’ project involving Classics, Education, English and Psychology professors combining their expertise to support the teaching of oracy in primary and secondary schools across North East England.

Theology and Religion

Meanwhile, Theology and Religion have consistently been strongly performing subjects at Durham and have maintained their top ten status in the QS rankings for the eighth year in a row. 

Our Department of Theology and Religion is one of the largest in the UK and features a diverse intellectual community of 50 academics, over 150 postgraduate students, and more than 70 undergraduates in each year. 

As part of its pioneering Equipping Christian Leadership in an Age of Science (ECLAS) project, the department is establishing a global community of partners to explore the different national and cultural contexts that church leaders work in. 

Its mission is to foster science-engaged theology, bringing science and faith together to change the Church’s engagement with science from fear to joy.



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