Four universities attain top 100 rank for various subjects

UCD leads way with positions in global top 50 for veterinary science and English

Four Irish universities have taken top-100 positions for at least one subject in the latest world university rankings.

The leading performance for any one subject in Ireland was achieved by University College Dublin (UCD), which rose two places to 29th position for veterinary science.

Further top 50 positions were taken by Trinity College Dublin, ranked 36th for the study of nursing, and, by UCD, which rose to 45th position for English language and literature.

The QS World University Rankings analyses the subject-specific university performance across 46 different subject areas.


Harvard University in the US took the top spot with number one rankings in 15 areas, ahead of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which secured 12 number one spots.

In total, Irish higher education saw its share of places in the top 100 decrease – from 30 in 2016 to 18 in 2016.

Much of this decrease was due to the backdating of Trinity College Dublin’s survey responses by QS last year to mitigate the influence of a “substantial email campaign” from Trinity that was deemed to breach QS policies.

As a result, Trinity saw its share of top-100 places decrease from 16 to two, while UCD ranked in the top 100 for 13 subjects.

In total, universities in the Republic featured in the top 100 some 18 times. NUI Galway secured a top-100 position for nursing, while University College Cork took two top-100 positions for both nursing and pharmacy and pharmacology.

Carl O'Brien

Carl O'Brien

Carl O'Brien is Education Editor of The Irish Times. He was previously chief reporter and social affairs correspondent