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Top Universities for Sports-Related Subjects in 2017

Top Universities for Sports-Related Subjects in 2017 main image

For the first time ever, the QS World University Rankings by Subject now includes a ranking of the world’s top 100 universities for sports-related subjects. In compiling this ranking, sports (or exercise) science, sports studies and kinesiology were all deemed eligible. Depending on the individual degree contents, sports psychology and sports management may also have been considered.

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So, whether you’re interested in sports science or coaching the stars of tomorrow, these are the universities you should be considering.

Top 10 universities for sports-related subjects in the world

Based on the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017

1=Loughborough UniversityUnited Kingdom
1=The University of SydneyAustralia
3The University of Queensland (UQ)Australia
4University of British Columbia Canada
5University of BirminghamUK
6University of TorontoCanada
7University of OtagoNew Zealand
8=Pennsylvania State UniversityUnited States
8=University of FloridaUSA
10University of AlbertaCanada

Top sports-related universities in the US & Canada

Canada enjoys North American bragging rights when it comes to universities in the world top 10, with three institutions compared to USA’s two. The United States dominates the rest of the rankings though with 22 universities featured, 14 of which are in the top 50. Canada only has a dozen universities in this year’s ranking, with McMaster University (14th) and McGill University (16th) the highest-ranked outside the top 10.

Top sports-related universities in Europe

With 17 universities in the first-ever sports subject ranking, the UK is dominant in Europe. As well as top-ranked Loughborough University and Birmingham, the UK is also represented by University of Edinburgh (13th), University of Bath (22nd), University of Exeter (25th), UCL (University College London) (29th), University of Manchester (43rd), University of Leeds (=49th) and nine more universities ranked 51-100.

The Netherlands has the next-highest concentration of top sporting universities with four institutions in this year’s list. Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (=26th) and Erasmus University Rotterdam (=49th) both make the top 50.

Spain are close behind the Netherlands in terms of representation with three universities (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, Universitat de Barcelona (UB)), although none of them make the top 50.

Belgium, Denmark and Portugal all have two universities in this year’s list, with the University of Copenhagen the highest-rated of those in 18th place. Finland, Ireland and Norway all have one university flying the flag for their respective nation.

Top sports-related universities in Asia

Asian universities may lag behind their European counterparts when it comes to sports-related subjects, with only 13 institutions from the continent making the top 100. South Korea is impressively represented by three universities though, with Yonsei University in 39th place the highest-ranked of those.

Japan also has three representatives on this year’s list, all of which are inside the top 50. They are Waseda University (19th), University of Tsukuba (=26th) and Kyoto University (33rd).

Hong Kong and Singapore both have a pair of universities each in the sports-related subject ranking. The University of Hong Kong (HKU) and the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) are ranked joint 11th and joint 26th respectively, while the National University of Singapore (NUS) is the highest-ranked Singapore university at 46th.

China, Malaysia and Taiwan all have one university each on the list. Of these three universities, only one makes the top 50: the National Taiwan University (NTU) in 15th place.

Top sports-related universities in Australia and New Zealand

Unsurprisingly for a country of rich sporting pedigree, 10% of the universities on this year’s list are Australian. As well as the University of Sydney and the University of Queensland (UQ) in the top 10, Australia also has the University of New South Wales (UNSW) (=23rd), Deakin University (35th) and the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) (=41st) in the top 50.

Three new universities from New Zealand make the grade this year, with only one featuring in the top 50: seventh-placed University of Otago. Ranked 51-100 are the Auckland University of Technology and University of Auckland.

Top sports-related universities elsewhere in the world

Two other countries are featured in the inaugural sports-related subject ranking. Six Brazilian universities are featured, with two inside in the top 50. They are Universidade de São Paulo (USP) at joint 31st and Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais at 45th.

The other country to be represented is South Africa, which has one university on the list. The University of Cape Town, ranked 51-100, is the sole African university in this year’s ranking.

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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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