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UCC in the world university rankings

Institutional Level Rankings

Skip to a specific ranking: 1. Times Higher Education World Impact Ranking2. QS World University Ranking3. Times Higher Education World University Ranking4. ARWU – Academic Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai Ranking)5. US News – Best Global Universities6.U-Multirank7. Webometrics8.Sunday Times League Table | 9. QS Europe Rankings

1. Times Higher Education World Impact Ranking

Congratulations to the staff, students, alumni and UCC community world-wide who work in a real way on a daily basis to advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals. UCC ranked an impressive 67 of 1963 universities in the most recent edition of the global impact ranking published by Times Higher Education on 12 June 2024. This is an evidence-based ranking which examines the impact the university is having, through the prism of the UN’s SDGs.

In overall terms UCC scored 90.7 out of 100, back marginally on the 90.8 scored last year and back 9 places overall. This is in the context of an additional 350+ universities making the final published ranking this year.

As well as our overall score and rank, we have also performed remarkably well across the individual UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with UCC ranking in the Top 30 in the world across 5 of the 17 SDGs.

UCC's best performing SDGs based on rank (including actual score out of 100) are as follows:

SDG Rank
SDG 2 - Zero Hunger 20
SDG 11 - Sustainable cities and communities 30
SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production 26
SDG 14 - Life below water 29
SDG16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions 16

UCC leads the Irish universities across the SDGs, being first place in Ireland across 5 of them - SDG2, 11, 14, 15 & 16. UCC features in the Top 30 across the SDGs more than any other Irish university.

This ranking is particularly noteworthy in that not only does it look at data and metrics, it also examines the impact the university is having on society and the world around us on everything from the economy to the environment and social equity.

Times Higher Education assess the impact of the university across the university's teaching, research, student stewardship and community and public engagement so it is great to be recognised as a world leader in this regard, via this independent and rigorous annual assessment.

UCC's profile in the Times Higher Education World Impact Ranking

Year 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024
Rank 21 32 8 62 58 67

THE World Impact Ranking Methodology »

2. QS World University Ranking

UCC improved its overall rank by 19 places in the QS World University Rankings 2024-25 which published on 4 June 2024. This comes on the back of an 11 place improvement last year. UCC now ranks 273 up from 292 last year. This is all the more significant given that this year 5,663 universities were considered (up from 3,000) and 1,503 universities across 106 countries made the final published ranking.

This independent assessment measures performance across indicators including Academic Reputation, Employer Reputation, Student Faculty Ratio, Citation Per Faculty, Proportion of International Faculty and Proportion of International Students, as well as three indicators (new since last year) relating to International Research Network, Graduate Employability and Sustainability.

UCC scores strongly across the board with particular strengths in the areas of sustainability, internationalisation and our reputation with graduate employers. For example UCC ranks an impressive 88 in the world for the advancement of sustainability.

UCC's profile in the QS World University Ranking

Year 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024
Rank 283 338 310 286 298 303 292 273

QS World University Ranking Methodology »

3. Times Higher Education World University Ranking

UCC improved our overall score to its highest level of 51.3-53.0. In doing so, we maintained our position in the 301-350 band in the 20th edition of the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Ranking published on  27 Sep 2023. This is THE's flagship ranking and most competitive yet. THE considered almost 3,000 universities with 1,904 making the final published rank.

The ranking uses five pillars to rank the universities. These are Teaching, Research Environment, Research Quality, Industry Engagement and International Outlook.  

THE amended their methodology this year and now uses 18 indicators across the 5 pillars. Changes include the adjustment of some of the weightings, adding three new research quality metrics to their ‘Citation Score’ in the Research Quality pillar and the introduction of new metrics for 'Patents' and students 'Studying Abroad'.

UCC's strongest pillar is Research Quality where UCC scores 82.4 and is ranked at 275 globally. 

UCC's profile in the Times Higher Education World University Ranking

Year 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Rank 351-400 301-350 301-350 301-350 251-300 301-350 301-350

THE World University Ranking Methodology »

4. ARWU – Academic Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai Ranking).

The first and most prestigious of the university rankings. UCC maintained its position in the 301-400 band in this cycle of the Shanghai ranking, published on 15 Aug 2023. UCC remains joint-second in Ireland with UCD (after TCD) in this ranking which is confined to the top 2,000 universities globally, of which 1,000 make the final published rank.

UCC continues to be the top Irish university for highly cited researchers in this ranking. 

UCC's profile in the ARWU – Academic Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai Ranking)

Year 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Rank 601-700 401-500 401-500 401-500 301-400 301-400 301-400

Academic Ranking of World Universities ARWU (Shanghai Ranking) Methodology »

5. US News – Best Global Universities.

UCC is ranked 397 in the most recent cycle of US News Best Global Universities which published online on 25 October 2022.

This ranking assesses the 2,165 universities against 13 different indicators with 'Percentage of highly cited papers that are in the top 1% most cited' (194), 'Books' (204), and 'Normalized Citation Impact' (241), being UCC's top indicators in this year's ranking. All three within the top 250 globally. Overall, UCC remains third in Ireland in this ranking after TCD and UCD.

UCC's profile in the US News – Best Global Universities Ranking

Year 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Rank 422 427 451 437 392 397

US News Best Global Universities Methodology »


Is a user-based approach to ranking universities which was formed from an EC-funded project. It is a very rigorous assessment of the University which examines the University's performance in 38 different indicators across the areas of teaching and learning, research, knowledge transfer, international orientation and regional engagement. This year's assessment, which published on the U-Multirank website on 21 June 2022, saw UCC improve its performance to 17 A scores and 11 B scores out of the 38 performance indicators scored, making it the top performing Irish Higher Education Institution under this independent assessment again this year.

U-Multirank Methodology »

7. Webometrics

Spanish Government developed ranking with a primary purpose to promote scientific research, UCC improved its rank by 9 places to 377 of 12,000 global universities and third-level institutions. The latest version of the ranking, which published in July 2023, is based on three indicators relating to Impact, Excellence and Openness.

The ranking also continues to place UCC 3rd of 71 post secondary institutions in Ireland.

Webometrics Methodology »

8.Sunday Times League Table

UCC ranks 3rd in Ireland after TCD and UCD in this national ranking of Ireland’s seventeen third level institutions. This ranking looks across 8 different indicators and takes data from the CAO, HEA, and National Student Survey among other sources.

UCC leads the sector in Ireland on Graduate Employability (along with UL and NUIG) and on Progression Rate (along with TCD) from 1st to 2nd year, within this ranking.

UCC's profile in the Sunday Times League Table of Irish Higher Education Institutions

Year 2019 2020 2021
Rank 2= 2 3

9. QS Europe Rankings

The 2024/2025 QS Europe University Rankings (2nd edition) released 10 July 2024 by higher education analyst Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) sees UCC improve 4 places to 105 in Europe, which spans the Council of Europe countries. 

The ranking examines the universities against 12 indicators relating to the areas of Research & Discovery, Employability & Outcomes, Learning Experience, Global Engagement & Sustainability. It assessed universities across 46 locations and in all 685 universities from 42 countries make the final published ranking.

QS rated UCC highly across the board, with particular strengths for sustainability, faculty diversity and reputation with employers within this independent assessment.

UCC remains first in Ireland for outbound student exchange opportunities within this ranking.

UCC's profile in the QS Europe rankings

2023 2024
109 105

Niche / Specialised Rankings

1. UI Green Metric | 2. QS Graduatge Employability Rankings3.Financial Times Executive Global Rankings | 4. European Research Ranking | 5. QS World Sustainability Ranking

1. UI Green Metric

UCC is ranked an impressive 6th in the world for sustainability according to the latest independent assessment from UI Green Metric which published on 5th Dec 2023, from the Sustainability Conference coinciding with COP 28.   

The UI Green Metric Ranking measures the advancement of sustainability across 1,183 universities in 85 countries world-wide in the areas of Infrastructure and setting, waste, water, transportation, energy and climate change as well as education and research. UCC continues to be recognised as a world leader in this area and improved (from 7th last year) to 6th in the world this year. In doing so UCC retained its place within the top 10 in the world for the past seven years of this ranking

UCC has been the Top Irish University for Sustainability since the inception of this ranking in 2010.

UCC's profile in the UI Green Metric (Sustainability Ranking)

Year 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Rank 9 9 9 9 8 7 6

UI Green Metric Methodology »

2.QS Graduate Employability Rankings

UCC improved its position to the 201-250 band from 251-300 band in this ranking in 2019. The ranking which examines the university’s initiatives around securing employment for their graduates was suspended by QS in 2020 due to Covid-19 and recommenced in 2021. 

UCC's profile in the QS Graduate Employability Rankings

Year 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Rank 301-500 301-500 251-300 N/A 201-250

QS Graduate Employability Ranking Methodology »

3.Financial Times Executive Global Rankings

University College Cork’s Irish Management Institute (IMI) and Cork University Business School (CUBS) have maintained position and ranked an impressive 60th in the most recent cycle of the prestigious global FT Rankings for custom executive education which published on 20 May 2024. 

IMI/CUBS has also ranked an impressive 67 in the 'Open' executive education category.

The rankings, which encompass a wide range of criteria, including value for money, programme design, and learning outcomes, reaffirm IMI/CUBS as an unparalleled provider of executive education. IMI/CUBS continue to lead in Ireland for quality of our faculty. More information on business school rankings is available on

Financial Times – Business Rankings Methodology »

4. European Research Ranking

UCC ranks first in Ireland and impressive 33rd in Europe in the European Research Ranking. The data source is Cordis and the criteria used to rank the institutions include total funding per partner, total number of projects, total project funding, networking rank (reputation), partner constancy, project leadership index, diversity index. 

UCC's profile in the European Research Ranking

Year 2017 2018 2019 2020
Rank 75 65 81 33

European Research Ranking Methodology »

5. QS World Sustainability Ranking

UCC improved 35 places from 123rd in last year's pilot ranking to 88th in the first fill iteration of this sustainable impact rankings from QS. In all, 1,403 universities make the final published listing, published Tue, 5 Dec 2023. The ranking examines three areas of environmental impact, social impact and governance. UCC ranks inside the Top 160 in the world for all three elements. 

UCC's profile in the QS Worl Sustainability Ranking

Year 2022 (pilot) 2023
Rank 123 88

QS World Sustainability Ranking »

Subject / Discipline Rankings

1.QS World University Rankings by Subject 

Updated 10 Apr 2024

UCC has been named as one of the world’s top universities for the study of 24 subjects according to the latest ranking published 10 April 2024. QS World University Rankings by Subject 2024 has seen UCC make the Top 50 in one subject (Nursing – ranked at 32, up one from last year) and the Top 100 for another four subjects including Law (73), Agriculture & Forestry (79), Pharmacy & Pharmacology (94) and Performing Arts (51-100) respectively. 

Our Performance

In overall terms UCC now features 24 times across the specific subject rankings. UCC is in the top 100 for 5 subjects, it has 9 top 200 subjects. It improved ranks in 8 subjects and has 1 'new' subject featuring this year, Philosophy.

It is great for UCC subjects to be recognised internationally where it is a real positive for the University to be featuring higher up, and more often in these global subject rankings. In total 1,559 universities are featured across 149 countries.

QS World University Rankings by Subject Methodology »

2. Global Ranking of Academic Subjects – Shanghai 

Updated 3 Nov 2023

UCC subjects feature prominently in the prestigious Shanghai Subject Rankings. UCC features across 17 of Shanghai's subject categories in the most recent cycle (up from 15 last year), where

  • Dentistry & Oral Sciences (Top 75),
  • Food Science & Technology (Top 150),
  • Clinical Medicine (Top 200)
  • Human Biological Sciences (Top 200),
  • Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences (Top 200)
  • Nursing (Top 200),

are all at the top end of these global rankings. 

In the Irish context, UCC is first in Ireland for:

  • Clinical Medicine

and joint first for each of: 

  • Electrical & Electronic Engineering
  • Biotechnology
  • Energy Science and Engineering
  • Human Biological Sciences
  • Dentistry & Oral Sciences
  • Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Medical Technology

Global Ranking of Academic Subjects – Shanghai Methodology »

3. US News – Global Subject Rankings

Twelve different UCC disciplines have made the most recent version of the US new Best global subjects ranking, which published online on 25 October 2022. Some of UCC's top performing subject areas in this ranking are as follows

  • Food Science and Technology (#57 - up two places)
  • Agricultural Sciences (#69 - up 3 places),
  • Microbiology (#78 - up 14 places),
  • Neuroscience and Behaviour (#118 - up 6 places).

US News uses 13 different indicators to rank the universities in these subjects. The indicator 'percentage of highly cited papers that are in the world top 1% most cited' is particularly strong for UCC subjects with Neuroscience & Behaviour (3rd in the world versus peer universities), Microbiology (4th in the world), Psychiatry/Psychology (6th in the world) for this indicator which relates directly to top quality research.

US News – Global Subject Rankings Methodology »

4.Times Higher Education (THE) World Subject Rankings

Rather than rank specific subjects, THE publishes rankings across 11 broad subject areas each October. The most recent cycle published on 26 October 2023 and UCC once again improved its overall position across these global subject rankings.

The areas of Physical Sciences, Engineering & Technology, Computer Science, Social Sciences and Education all improved in this years ranking.

UCC is ranked 176-200 for both Clinical/Pre-clinical & health and inside the Top 250 for Life Sciences, Psychology and Law.

Times Higher Education (THE) World Subject Rankings Methodology »

Summary Table

Use the table below to see UCC's positon across the different rankings over the last number of years.

Ranking Ranking Type Scope 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024
Times Higher Education World Impact Ranking Institutional Global     21 32 8 62 58 67
QS World Ranking Institutional Global 283 338 310 286 298 303 292 273
Times Higher Education World University Ranking Institutional Global 351-400 301-350 301-350 301-350 251-300 301-350 301-350   
ARWU - Academic Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai Ranking) Institutional Global 601-700 401-500 401-500 401-500 301-400 301-400 301-400  
US News - Best Global Universities Institutional Global 422 427 451 437 392 397    
Sunday Times League Table of Irish Higher Education Institutions Institutional Ireland     2= 2 3      
UI Green Metric (Sustainability Ranking) Specialised/Niche Global 9 9 9 9 8 7  
QS Graduate Employability Rankings Specialised/Niche Global 301-500 301-500 251-300 N/A 201-250      
European Research Ranking Specialised/Niche Europe 75 65 81 33        
QS World Sustainability Ranking Specialised/Niche Global           123 88  

Any Queries?

If you have any queries on UCC rankings, please contact David Hogan, Data and Institutional Research Officer.

University College Cork

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