Durham Uni falls in almost half of the world subject rankings for 2024

It performed the worst in the physical sciences subject area


According to the Times Higher Education World University rankings by subject, Durham University has fallen in four out of the 10 subject areas it offers.

These are physical science, arts and humanities, and law and education. Of these four subjects, it was placed in the top 100 for three of them. Durham performed worst in the physical sciences category, in which it had previously been ranked 99th, and has now been ranked between 126-150th globally.

However, the uni did rank in the top 100 for all the other subject areas it offers. It also saw some improvement in the social sciences category and rose in the overall rankings from 198th to 174th.

The arts and humanities department, which has fallen 13 places in the last three years, received a significant funding increase this year.

The Durham University website reveals that the medical humanities section of the arts and humanities school had been awarded a £9 million grant for research. The university has seen similar patterns of decline in its rankings outside of The Times league table as it was downgraded from Gold to Silver in the teaching excellence framework this year and also fell in the Guardian and the Complete University Guides for 2024.

This news comes after Durham was also ranked as the worst university in England and Wales for social inclusion.

A Durham University spokesperson told the Palatinate: “Durham University is consistently ranked highly in both UK and international rankings. Such rankings assess hundreds of universities around the world and, in a highly competitive field, it is rewarding to see that Durham continues to be recognised as a global centre of excellence.

“We monitor and review our performance in the global and domestic rankings annually and will be analysing the most recent rankings in due course. It should be noted that there is often a lag between rankings results and the actual activity in question and this needs to be recognised when considering the impact of associated actions and resource allocation.

“It should also be noted that there is an inherent volatility in rankings from one year to another. This reflects a variety of factors out of the control of the university and small differences in absolute performance can sometimes result in significant changes in rankings.

“As well as our most recent results in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject 2024, we are also ranked 78th in the QS World University Rankings 2024, and 7th in both the Guardian University Guide 2024 and the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024.