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Subject Rankings 2016-2017 – QS Vs Times Higher Education

Subject Rankings 2016-2017 – QS Vs Times Higher Education main image

The Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2016-2017 by subject, launched today, includes two new rankings dedicated to computer science and business and economics. This brings the total number of subjects covered to eight, with the new additions joining existing rankings of the top 100 universities for arts and humanities; clinical, pre-clinical and health; engineering and technology; life sciences; physical sciences; and social sciences.

As this list illustrates, some of the subject areas covered are relatively specialized, while others are very broad. This means that while some tables can be compared with the QS World University Rankings by Subject, others are more comparable to the QS World University Rankings by Faculty*.

Below is an overview of how this year’s Times Higher Education Subject Rankings compare with the latest QS World University Rankings by Subject, or by Faculty. For a comparison of the overall QS and Times Higher Education World University Rankings overall, click here.

Computer science

A new addition to the Times Higher Education Subject Rankings this year, computer science is also covered in the QS World University Rankings by Subject. THE lists the top 100 universities in this field, and QS the top 500. The Times Higher Education lists sees ETH Zurich take the top spot, while fellow Swiss institution EPFL is also in the top 10. Georgia Tech, Imperial College London and the Technical University of Munich (TUM), all in THE’s top 10, are all within the QS top 25 with the exception of TUM (36th), in accord with a wider tendency for the Times Higher Education rankings to result in higher positions for German institutions.

Top 10 Universities for Computer Science

QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016

Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject 2016-2017

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

1. ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology

2. Stanford University

2. California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

3. University of Oxford

3. University of Oxford

4. Harvard University

4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

5. Carnegie Mellon University

5. Georgia Institute of Technology

6. University of Cambridge

6. Carnegie Mellon University

7. University of California, Berkeley

7. Imperial College London

8. ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology

8. École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

9. National University of Singapore (NUS)

9. Technical University of Munich

10. Princeton University

10. National University of Singapore

 

Business & economics

Business and economics is another new addition to the Times Higher Education Subject Rankings this year, with the top 100 universities ranked. The QS World University Rankings by Subject breaks down these two fields into two separate rankings – one profiling the top 200 universities for business and management, and one listing the top 300 for economics and econometrics. Both are shown in the table below, with the Times Higher Education top 10 generally corresponding more closely to QS’s economics table. Surprisingly, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), which features prominently in the QS tables, is not included anywhere within THE's top 100 for this subject area.

Top 10 Universities for Business & Economics

QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016 – Business & Management

QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016 – Economics & Econometrics

Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject 2016-2017 – Business & Economics

1. Harvard University

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

2. London Business School

2. Harvard University

2. Stanford University

3. INSEAD

3. Stanford University

3. University of Oxford

4. Stanford University

=4. Princeton University

4. University of Chicago

5. University of Pennsylvania

=4. University of California, Berkeley

5. Harvard University

6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

=4. University of Chicago

6. Northwestern University

7. University of Cambridge

7. London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

7. University of Cambridge

8. University of Oxford

8. University of Oxford

8. University of California, Berkeley

9. London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

9. Yale University

9. University of Pennsylvania

10. Bocconi University

10. University of Cambridge

10. University of Colombia

 

Engineering & technology

While the QS World University Rankings by Subject features specialized rankings for five distinct fields of engineering, here it is more relevant to compare the Times Higher Education ranking with the more general QS World University Rankings by Faculty. THE again lists the top 100 universities in this field, while QS’s engineering and technology ranking extends to 400. The comparison reflects general tendencies in which Caltech typically performs better in the Times Higher Education rankings, while Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University comes out higher in the QS rankings. In general, however, the two lists present a very similar picture of the global top 10 in this field.

Top 10 Universities for Engineering & Technology

QS World University Rankings by Faculty 2015-2016 – Engineering & Technology

Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject 2016-2017

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

1. California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

2. Stanford University

2. Stanford University

3. University of Cambridge

3. University of Oxford

4. National University of Singapore (NUS)

4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

5. ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology

5. University of Cambridge

6. Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU)

6. Princeton University

7. Imperial College London

=7. Imperial College London

8. University of California, Berkeley

=7. National University of Singapore (NUS)

9. University of Oxford

9. ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology

10. Harvard University

10. University of California, Berkeley

 

Social sciences

This broad field is again covered in the QS World University Rankings by Faculty, while the QS World University Rankings by Subject features tables dedicated to specific strands of social sciences – including anthropology, sociology, law and development studies, amongst others. The broader-reaching social sciences and management table from the QS World University Rankings by Faculty is shown below alongside the Times Higher Education results. Again, the specialized London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)  second in the QS list  is not featured in THE's top 10, though this time it is only five places outside.

Top 10 Universities for Social Sciences

QS World University Rankings by Faculty 2015-2016 – Social Sciences & Management

Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject 2016-2017

1. Harvard University

1. Stanford University

2. London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

2. University of Oxford

3. University of Oxford

3. Yale University

4. University of Cambridge

4. University of Chicago

5. Stanford University

5. Harvard University

6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

7. National University of Singapore (NUS)

7. University of Michigan

8. University of Chicago

8. Princeton University

9. University of California, Berkeley

9. University of California, Los Angeles

10. Yale University

10. University of California, Berkeley

 

Clinical, pre-clinical & health

Several tables featured in the QS World University Rankings by Subject could be compared with the Times Higher Education ranking for ‘clinical, pre-clinical and health’. The QS ranking for medicine is shown below, and there is a high level of correspondence between the two sets of top 10 universities in this field. QS’s rankings for nursing, dentistry and pharmacy may also be of interest to students and academics in this area.

Top 10 Universities for Clinical, Pre-clinical & Health

QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016 – Medicine

Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject 2016-2017

1. Harvard University

1. University of Oxford

2. University of Oxford

2. Harvard University

3. University of Cambridge

3. University of Cambridge

4. Stanford University

4. Imperial College London

5. Johns Hopkins University

5. University of California, Berkeley

6. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

6. UCL (University College London)

7. University of California, San Francisco

7. Stanford University

8. Yale University

8. Johns Hopkins University

9. UCL (University College London)

9. Columbia University

10. Karolinska Institute

10. Karolinska Institute

 

Physical sciences

The Times Higher Education physical sciences top 10 is shown alongside QS’s natural sciences ranking, part of the QS World University Rankings by Faculty. More specialized tables are available in the QS World University Rankings by Subject, covering mathematics, physics and astronomy, chemistry, materials sciences and several more natural science specializations. In general, the QS rankings tend to feature leading Asian universities more prominently, and this trend can be seen here, with the leading universities of Singapore and Japan both featuring in the QS top 10, while not appearing until 18th and 35th respectively in the Times Higher Education list.

Top 10 Universities for Physical Sciences

QS World University Rankings by Faculty 2015-2016 – Natural sciences

Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject 2016-2017

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

1. Harvard University

=2. Harvard University

2. Stanford University

=2. University of Cambridge

3. Princeton University

4. Stanford University

4. University of Cambridge

5. University of Oxford

5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

6. ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology

6. University of Oxford

7. University of California, Berkeley

7. California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

8. California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

8. ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology

=9. National University of Singapore (NUS)

9. University of California, Berkeley

=9. University of Tokyo

10. Yale University

 

Arts & humanities

Again, the Times Higher Education ranking for arts and humanities is best compared with the same table from the latest QS World University Rankings by Faculty. More specialized rankings are available in the QS World University Rankings by Subject, including tables dedicated to art and design, English language and literature, history and performing arts, amongst others. Interesting, UCL comes out much higher in Times Higher Education’s ranking for this subject area, while generally much higher-placed in QS’s overall world rankings. Likewise, MIT is higher-placed in THE’s arts and humanities list, though it ranks higher in QS’s overall table.

Top 10 Universities for Arts & Humanities

QS World University Rankings by Faculty 2015-2016 – Arts & Humanities

Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject 2016-2017

1. University of Oxford

=1. Harvard University

=2. Harvard University

=1. Stanford University

=2. University of Cambridge

3. University of Oxford

4. University of California, Berkeley

4. UCL (University College London)

5. Stanford University

5. University of Cambridge

6. Yale University

=6. Columbia University

7. Princeton University

=6. Princeton University

8. Columbia University

8. Yale University

9. New York University

9. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

10. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

10. University of Chicago

 

Life sciences

The eighth field covered by the Times Higher Education Subject Rankings is life sciences, which can be compared to the life sciences and medicine ranking in the latest QS World University Rankings by Faculty. Other relevant rankings include QS’s dedicated tables for biological sciences, agriculture and forestry, and veterinary science. These two rankings start off in complete synergy, though the correlation does not hold for long.

Top 10 Universities for Life Sciences

QS World University Rankings by Faculty 2015-2016 – Life Sciences & Medicine

Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject 2016-2017

1. Harvard University

1. Harvard University

2. University of Cambridge

2. University of Cambridge

3. University of Oxford

3. University of Oxford

4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

4. Stanford University

=5. Johns Hopkins University

5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

=5. Stanford University

6. California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

7. University of California, San Francisco

7. Yale University

8. Yale University

8. Princeton University

9. Karolinska Institute

9. Imperial College London

10. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

10. University of California, Berkeley

 

*The 2015-2016 results for the QS World University Rankings by Faculty are shown here, as the 2016-2017 edition has not yet been released.

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Written by Laura Bridgestock
The former editor of TopUniversities.com, Laura oversaw the site's editorial content and student forums. She also edited the QS Top Grad School Guide and contributed to market research reports, including 'How Do Students Use Rankings?'

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