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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 2018. Now 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

Two universities share the honor of being the best in Australia for accounting & finance. The University of Melbourne and the University of New South Wales (UNSW) have both climbed up this year’s ranking to share 10th place. 15 other Australian universities are ranked beneath these two.

Agriculture & Forestry

21 Australian universities feature in this year’s agriculture ranking and the Australian National University (ANU) has overtaken the University of Queensland (UQ) to be number one.

Anatomy & Physiology

Up three places globally to joint eighth, the University of Melbourne is now the best university in Australia for studying anatomy & physiology. Last year’s number one the University of Sydney has dropped to 10th in the world. Six other Australian institutions are included this year.

Anthropology

The Australian National University (ANU) has made great strides in this year’s anthropology ranking, climbing six places into the top 10. Now ranked seventh, ANU is the highest-ranked of the six Australian universities in this year’s ranking.

Archaeology

The Australian National University (ANU) is the best place to study archaeology in Australia again this year, despite falling one place globally to 14th this year. ANU is one of eight 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 five Australian universities to be ranked among the top 50 in the world for architecture this year. 15 Australian institutions are included in total.

Art & Design

RMIT University narrowly missed out on a place in the top 10 universities for art & design, having climbed six places this year into 11th place. One of 16 Australian institutions to be included in this year’s ranking, RMIT University comes ahead of the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), which is ranked 28th globally.

Biological Sciences

The University of Melbourne is ranked ahead of 22 other Australian universities in this year’s biological sciences ranking. In 23rd place again this year, Melbourne is ranked ahead of the University of Queensland (UQ) which is joint 34th.

Business & Management Studies

The University of Melbourne is the best university in Australia for studying business & management studies. Ranked 14th in the world, it comes ahead of 18 other Australian universities.

Chemical Engineering

Two institutions share the honors of being the best in Australia for chemical engineering. Both Monash University and the University of Queensland (UQ) are ranked joint 24th in the world, with nine other Australian universities ranked below them.

Chemistry

Of the 20 Australian universities ranked for chemistry this year, the University of Melbourne is top of the pile this year. Ranked joint 33rd, Melbourne has climbed 12 places this year and is one of three Australian universities in the top 50 to have improved on last year’s ranking.

Civil & Structural Engineering

Up one place to 15th 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

The University of Melbourne has overtaken two other institutions to be the top Australian university for communication & media studies. Now ranked 28th in the world, Melbourne is one of 16 universities to be included in this year’s ranking.

Computer Science & Information Systems

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, ranked joint 14th.

Dentistry

Only three Australian universities are ranked for dentistry this year. Of these, the highest-ranked is the University of Melbourne in joint 24th place.

Development Studies

Up two places to ninth in the world this year, the Australian National University (ANU) remains the best place in Australia for studying development studies. 10 Australian universities are ranked in total.

Earth & Marine Sciences

The Australian National University (ANU) can proudly boast of being the best university in Australia for earth & marine sciences, and it’s 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 21 Australian universities ranked for education, the University of Melbourne is the best in the country. Up two places to 23rd globally this year, Melbourne is one place ahead of the Australian National University (ANU).

Education & Training

Four Australian universities are within the world’s top 20 universities for education, meaning you’re spoilt for choice. 30 institutions are ranked in total, but the University of Melbourne are the pick of the bunch, ranked sixth 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. Of these two, the highest-ranked is the University of Melbourne in 34th place.

English Language & Literature

As you’d expect from an English-speaking country, there are plenty of Australian universities included in this year’s English language & literature ranking. The University of Sydney is the highest-ranked of these in 18th place globally, the same position it achieved 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 12th, ahead of the University of New South Wales (UNSW). 22 top universities from Australia are ranked in total this year.

Geography

The Australian National University (ANU) may have fallen out of the global top 10 for geography this year, but it remains the best place to study the subject in Australia. 15 universities from Australia are included in this year’s geography ranking, with ANU and four others all within the global top 50.

History

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

Hospitality & Leisure Management

Only six Australian universities are ranked this year for hospitality & leisure management. New entrants James Cook University (JCU) replace La Trobe University in this year’s ranking, while the best institution in the country for this subject is Griffith University, which is ranked 11th in the world.

Law

Of the 20 universities ranked for law in Australia this year, the University of Melbourne is the only one in the top 10 globally this year. Ranked eighth, Melbourne has climbed three places this year.

Library & Information Management

Only two universities from Australia are ranked for library & information management. RMIT University comes out on top, having been ranked 20th in the world. The other university to be included is Monash University.

Linguistics

The University of Melbourne is ranked the best in Australia for studying linguistics, having been ranked 24th in the world. 15 Australian universities are in this year’s ranking, including two new entrants: Curtin University and University of South Australia (UniSA).

Materials Science

The University of New South Wales (UNSW) was the only Australian university to be ranked in the top 50 in the world for materials science, but two others join it this year. Monash University and the University of Queensland (UQ) share 48th place, 10 places below UNSW. Six other Australian universities are also ranked.

Mathematics

Of the 16 Australian universities ranked for mathematics this year, the Australian National University (ANU) comes out on top again this year. There’s one new entrant from Australia this year, La Trobe University, which is ranked 301-350.

Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering

The University of Sydney is the only Australian university in the top 50 in the world for mechanical, aeronautical & manufacturing engineering. 17 other universities from Australia are ranked between 51 and 350.

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

Modern Languages

The University of Sydney has risen up this year’s modern languages ranking to be the best university in Australia for the subject. Now ranked joint 26th in the world, it’s three places ahead of the previous best university in Australia, the Australian National University (ANU). Nine 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. 14 other Australian universities are included in this year’s ranking, including the Australian Catholic University which is a new entrant this year.

Performing Arts

Monash University has overtaken three other Australian universities to be ranked the best university in the country for performing arts. Up to 22nd globally, Monash has bested the University of Melbourne (ranked 24th this year), Griffith University (joint 42nd) and the University of Western Australia (joint 50th). Nine Australian universities are included in total.

Pharmacy & Pharmacology

 

Ranked second in the world again this year, it’s no surprise Monash University is also the best university in Australia for pharmacy & pharmacology. 11 other Australian universities are ranked too, three of which are also in the world’s top 50.

Philosophy

The Australian National University (ANU) is one of two Australian institutions to feature in the top 50 in the world for philosophy. Ranked 20th, it’s 29 places higher than the University of Sydney. Eight other Australian universities are ranked between 51 and 200.

Physics & Astronomy

Breaking into the top 50 universities for physics & astronomy this year, the Australian National University (ANU) has overtaken the University of Melbourne to be the best university for physics in Australia this year. 14 Australian universities are ranked in total this year.

Politics & International Studies

Despite falling two places to eighth in the world this year, the Australian National University (ANU) remains the best place in Australia to study politics. 11 universities from Australia are included in this year’s ranking, including two new entrants: Deakin University and the University of Canberra.

Psychology

Up four places to 15th in the world, the University of Melbourne is the best place to study psychology in Australia this year. 20 other Australian universities are ranked beneath Melbourne, five of which are also in the top 50 in the world.

Social Policy & Administration

One of seven Australian universities to be ranked for social policy & administration this year, the Australian National University (ANU) is the 17th best in the world, one place ahead of the University of Melbourne.

Sociology

The Australian National University (ANU) has climbed five places in this year’s sociology ranking and retains its title as the best university in Australia for studying sociology. 20 Australian institutions are ranked in total.

Sports-related Subjects

It may no longer be ranked number one in the world for sports-related subjects, but the University of Sydney retains its title as the best university in Australia for this subject. Now ranked second in the world, Sydney is one place ahead of the University of Queensland (UQ), with 10 other Australian universities ranked beneath those two.

Statistics & Operational Research

Of the 10 Australian universities ranked for statistics in this year’s subject ranking, three are within the top 50 in the world. The best of these is the University of Melbourne, which has climbed five places to 25th.

Theology, Divinity & Religious Studies

Only six Australian universities are included in this year’s theology ranking, with Monash University the highest-ranked of these. Ranked joint 34th globally, Monash is closely followed by the University of Sydney (ranked 37th) and Deakin University (45th).

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 in the country. Ranked joint 11th in the world, Sydney narrowly beats the University of Melbourne which is ranked 15th.

At a glance: top Australian universities

University

Amount of number one ranks in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018

University of Melbourne

16*

Australian National University (ANU)

13

University of Sydney

6

Monash University

4*

University of New South Wales (UNSW)

3*

RMIT University

2

University of Queensland

2*

Griffith University

1

Curtin University

1

University of Technology Sydney

1

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

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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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