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Top Universities in Australia by Subject

Top Universities in Australia by Subject main image

34 different universities from Australia are included in this year’s QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019. Covering 48 different subjects, this year’s subject rankings are the easiest way to see which top Australian universities are considered to be the best for your chosen area of study.

Need inspiration to help you choose where to study in Australia? Here’s a breakdown of which university is the best in Australia for each of the 48 subjects in this year’s rankings.

Accounting & Finance

The University of New South Wales (UNSW) is Australia’s highest-ranked university for accounting and finance this year, down slightly at 15th. 18 other top Australian universities are featured in this ranking.

Agriculture & Forestry

21 Australian universities feature in this year’s agriculture ranking and the University of Queensland (UQ) has overtaken the Australian National University (ANU) to be number one in Australia, up eight places to rank 17th

Anatomy & Physiology

Ranked ninth in the world, the University of Melbourne continues to be the best university in Australia for studying anatomy & physiology. Six other Australian institutions are included this year.

Anthropology

ANU

The Australian National University (ANU) maintains its position of seventh in this year’s anthropology ranking, with five more Australian universities featured among the world’s best for this subject.

Archaeology

The Australian National University (ANU) is the best place to study archaeology in Australia again this year, despite falling three places globally to 17th this year. ANU is one of nine Australian universities to be included in this year’s ranking, with the University of Sydney also featuring in the world’s top 50.

Architecture

The University of Sydney is one of four Australian universities to be ranked among the top 50 in the world for architecture this year, in 15th place. 15 Australian institutions are included in total.

Art & Design

RMIT University continues to be the highest ranked Australian institution for art and design, ranked 12th this year, with 14 more universities joining it in this year’s ranking.

Biological Sciences

The University of Melbourne is ranked ahead of 23 other Australian universities in this year’s biological sciences ranking, down slightly at joint 29th. Also in the top 50 are the University of Queensland and the Australian National University.

Business & Management Studies

The University of Melbourne is the best university in Australia for studying business & management studies. Ranked 20th in the world, it comes ahead of 23 other Australian universities.

Chemical Engineering

Monash University claims the top spot for Australia in the chemical engineering ranking at joint 29th place, with nine other Australian institutions featured.

Chemistry

Of the 22 Australian universities ranked for chemistry this year, Monash University is top of the pile this year, overtaking the University of Melbourne and ranking joint 35th

Civil & Structural Engineering

Up three places to rank 12th in the world, the University of New South Wales (UNSW) is the best university in Australia for civil engineering. 13 other Australian institutions are also ranked.

Classics & Ancient History

No Australian universities were ranked this year for classics & ancient history. View the full table here.

Communication & Media Studies

Queensland University of Technology (QUT) has climbed an impressive 15 places and overtaken two other institutions to be the top Australian university for communication & media studies. Now ranked joint 16th in the world, QUT is one of 17 universities to be included in this year’s ranking.

Computer Science & Information Systems

architecture schools

23 Australian institutions are ranked in the world’s top 500 universities for computer science this year. The University of Melbourne can proudly boast of being the best of the bunch, although it went down 18 places to rank 32nd.

Dentistry

Only two Australian universities are ranked for dentistry this year: the University of Melbourne in 30th place, and the University of Adelaide at 31st.

Development Studies

Down three places to rank 12th this year, the Australian National University (ANU) remains the best place in Australia for studying development studies. Eight Australian universities are ranked in total.

Earth & Marine Sciences

The Australian National University (ANU) is the best university in Australia for earth & marine sciences, and is also the ninth best university in the world for this subject. 12 other Australian universities are ranked this year, including another six in the top 50.

Economics & Econometrics

Of the 22 Australian universities ranked for economics, the University of Melbourne is the best. Ranked 24th globally this year, Melbourne is one place ahead of the Australian National University (ANU).

Education & Training

architecture ranking

Four Australian universities are within the world’s top 20 universities for education, meaning you’re spoilt for choice. 29 institutions are ranked in total, but the University of Sydney is the pick of the bunch, ranked 12th in the world.

Electrical & Electronic Engineering

Although there are 21 Australian universities in this year’s electrical & electronic engineering ranking, only two of these are included in the world’s top 50: the University of Melbourne at 34th, and the University of Sydney at 35th.

English Language & Literature

As you’d expect from an English-speaking location, there are plenty of Australian universities included in this year’s English language & literature ranking. The University of Melbourne is the highest-ranked of these in 17th place, up two places from last year.

Environmental Sciences

Two Australian universities are in the top 20 in the world for environmental sciences, with the University of Queensland (UQ) ranked joint 11th, ahead of 21 other top universities in Australia.

Geography

The Australian National University (ANU) climbed two places to rank 10th in this year’s geography ranking. 15 more top universities in Australia are featured, including four more in the top 50.

History

The Australian National University (ANU) retains its title as the best place in Australia to study history, continuing to rank 12th this year. It’s one of eight universities from Australia in this year’s ranking, four of which are in the world’s top 50.

Hospitality & Leisure Management

Only four Australian universities are ranked this year for hospitality & leisure management. New entrant Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School (BMIHMS), ranked 18th, replaces Griffith University as the highest ranked Australian institution for this subject.

Law

Of the 19 universities ranked for law in Australia this year, the University of Melbourne is the only one in the global top 10. Ranked sixth, Melbourne has climbed two places this year.

Library & Information Management

RMIT University

Only three universities from Australia are ranked for library & information management, with RMIT University coming out on top, having been ranked 25th in the world.

Linguistics

The Australian National University (ANU) is ranked the best in Australia for studying linguistics, overtaking the University of Melbourne and climbing 14 places to rank 13th. 13 more Australian universities are in this year’s ranking.

Materials Science

The University of New South Wales (UNSW) and Monash University both feature in the top 50 of the materials science ranking, ranked 35th and 42nd respectively. Eight other Australian universities are also ranked.

Mathematics

Of the 17 Australian universities ranked for mathematics this year, the Australian National University (ANU) comes out on top again this year in 31st place, with two more institutions in the global top 50.

Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering

Of the 18 top universities in Australia in the mechanical engineering ranking, four are ranked 51-100, making them joint first in Australia for this subject: Monash University, the University of Melbourne, the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and the University of Sydney.

Medicine

Aspiring doctors have 20 Australian universities to choose between from in this year’s ranking of top medical schools, with the University of Melbourne leading the way in 17th place globally. One place lower is the University of Sydney.

Mineral & Mining Engineering

Curtin University

Curtin University is the best university in Australia for mineral & mining engineering and is also the second-best university in the world for this subject. Three more Australian institutions are included in the world’s top 10 and a further four are within the top 30.

Modern Languages

This year’s modern languages ranking sees the University of Melbourne climb nine places to rank joint 23rd for this subject and number one in Australia, overtaking last year’s leader the University of Sydney, which is three places behind. Seven other Australian universities are also ranked.

Nursing

Despite falling three places this year, the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) remains in the world’s top 10 for nursing and is also the best university in Australia for this subject. 15 other Australian universities are included in this year’s ranking, including the University of Wollongong, which is a new entrant this year.

Performing Arts

The University of Melbourne has climbed nine places in this year’s performing arts ranking, making it the top university in Australia for this subject at 15th. Monash University also improved its position and is just one place behind Melbourne at 16th, and 10 Australian universities are featured in total.

Pharmacy & Pharmacology

Ranked third in the world this year, it’s no surprise Monash University is also the best university in Australia for pharmacy & pharmacology. 14 other Australian universities are ranked too, three of which are also in the world’s top 50.

Philosophy

The Australian National University (ANU) made an impressive leap in this year’s philosophy ranking, climbing 15 places to now rank fifth in the world for this subject. Also improving its position this year is the University of Sydney, up 24 places to rank joint 25th. Nine more top universities in Australia are featured among the world’s best for this subject.

Physics & Astronomy

Ranked 42nd for physics & astronomy this year, the Australian National University (ANU) continues to be the highest ranked Australian university for this subject. 18 top universities in Australia are ranked in total this year, including several new entries.

Politics & International Studies

Despite falling two places to 10th in the world this year, the Australian National University (ANU) remains the best place in Australia to study politics. 12 universities from Australia are included in this year’s ranking, including two new entrants: La Trobe University and Murdoch University.

Psychology

Down three places to rank joint 18th in the world, the University of Melbourne is the best place to study psychology in Australia this year. 19 other Australian universities are ranked beneath Melbourne, six of which are also in the top 50 in the world.

Social Policy & Administration

One of six Australian universities to be ranked for social policy & administration this year, the Australian National University (ANU) climbed seven places to rank 10th in the world for this subject.

Sociology

Ranked joint 10th in the world, the Australian National University (ANU) has climbed three places in this year’s sociology ranking and retains its title as the best university in Australia for studying sociology. 22 Australian institutions are ranked in total.

Sports-related Subjects

University of Queensland

Two top universities in Australia feature within the global top five for this subject: the University of Queensland (UQ) and the University of Sydney, ranked second and fourth respectively, with 11 other Australian institutions ranked beneath those two.

Statistics & Operational Research

Of the 10 Australian universities ranked for statistics in this year’s subject ranking, four are within the top 50 in the world. The best of these is the University of Melbourne, which climbed one place to rank 24th.

Theology, Divinity & Religious Studies

Only four Australian universities are included in this year’s theology ranking, with Monash University the highest-ranked of these at 43rd.

Veterinary Science

Four Australian universities are included in this year’s veterinary science ranking, with the University of Sydney retaining the honor of being the best, climbing two places to rank joint ninth in the world.

At a glance: top Australian universities

University

Amount of number one ranks for Australia in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019

University of Melbourne

14*

Australian National University (ANU)

13

Monash University

5*

University of Sydney

4*

University of New South Wales (UNSW)

3*

University of Queensland

4

RMIT University

3

Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School (BMIHMS)

1

Curtin University

1

University of Technology Sydney

1

*indicates one number-one ranking has been shared with another university

This article was originally published in March 2018. It was updated in March 2019 with the latest subject ranking results.

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Frederick M, Siddharth B & 45 others saved this
Written by Craig OCallaghan
As editor of TopUniversities.com, Craig oversees the site's editorial content and network of student contributors. He also plays a key editorial role in the publication of several guides and reports, including the QS Top Grad School Guide.

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