UCC in the world university rankings

Institutional Level Rankings

1. Times Higher Education World Impact Ranking

UCC has improved its position and is now 8th most impactful university in the world, in this global ranking. This is an evidence-based ranking which examines the impact the university is having, through the prism of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Our score of 96.0 (out of 100) puts us in the top 1% of universities in the world for impact. 

As well as our overall score and rank, we have also performed remarkably well across the indivdual UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with UCC ranking in the Top 20 across 7 of the 17 SDGs (last year we ranked in the Top 20 across 5 of the 17 SDGs): 

Life on land 3 92.9
Responsible consumption and production 3 90.3
Life below water 4 92.2
Clean water and sanitation 6 80.2
Zero hunger 12 79.2
Sustainable cities and communities 13 88.2
Partnership for the goals 17 94.8

This ranking is particularly noteworthy in that not only does it look at data and metrics, it also looks at the impact the university is having on society and the world around us. 

2. QS World University Ranking

UCC ranks 298 in the prestigious QS World University Ranking 2021. 1,673 universities are considered and 1,300 made the final published rank this year. It measures performance across indicators including academic reputation, employer reputation, student faculty ratio, citation, per faculty, proportion of international faculty and students.

At 136 globally, the International Faculty indicator is the strongest for UCC. 

3. Times Higher Education World University Ranking

UCC improved its rank to the 251-300 band in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Ranking published on 2 September 2021, This is THE's flagship ranking and a key ranking for UCC as set out in UCC 2022. Over 1,600 universities around the world made the final published rank.

UCC again improved its overall score as well as improving its score and rank under each of THE's 5 pillars: Teaching, Research, Citations (research Impact), Industry Income and International Outlook.

UCC is the top Irish university for Research Impact and Industry Income as measured by this ranking.

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

The first and most prestigious of the university rankings. UCC improved its position to the 301-400 band and improved its overall score in the most recent cycle of this ranking. UCC is now joint-second in Ireland with UCD in this ranking which is confined to the top 2,000 universities globally, of which 1,000 make the final published rank.

UCC maintained its position as the top Irish university for highly cited researchers in this ranking. 

5. US News – Best Global Universities.

UCC improved its position 14 places to 437 and improved its score in the most recent cycle of this global ranking. This ranking assesses 1,800 universities around the world, with Books being UCC’s strongest indicator


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 32 indicators across the areas of teaching and learning, research, knowledge transfer, international orientation and regional engagement. This year UCC improved its performance to 16 A scores and 11 B scores out of the 32 performance indicators scored, making it the top performing Irish Higher Education Institution under the U-Multirank assessment. 

7. Webometrics

Spanish Government developed ranking with a primary purpose to promote scientific research, UCC is ranked 368 of 12,000 global universities and third-level institutions. The ranking is based on three indicators relating to Impact, Excellence and Openness. 

8.Sunday Times League Table

UCC ranks 2nd in Ireland after TCD in this national ranking of Ireland’s 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 and on Progression Rate from 1st to 2nd year, within this ranking.

Niche / Specialised Rankings

1. UI Green Metric

UCC is 9th in the world for sustainabilityThis ranking measures the promotion of sustainability across 800 universities around the world and UCC has retained a top-10 place for the past five years in a row. 

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. 

3.Financial Times Executive Global Rankings

IMI (Irish Management Institute) has retained its position amongst the world’s top 100 in execution education for Open and Custom programmes, according to the latest Financial Times global rankings.

  1. IMI has cemented its place in the Customised Executive Education Global Rankings for a 12th successive year. This year IMI is ranked 66th in the world for customised executive education, and 10th in the UK & Ireland.
  2. IMI retains its place in the Open Enrolment Global Rankings, for a 3rd successive year. IMI has maintained its position in 67th place globally and is ranked 7th in the UK & Ireland for open enrolment programmes.

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. 

Subject / Discipline Rankings

1.QS World University Rankings by Subject 

UCC produced another strong performance in the latest QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021We've been named as one of the world's top universities for the study of 20 subjects according to the latest ranking published in March 2021. UCC is ranked in the top 50 universities for one discipline and top 100 (Nursing at number 49) for a further two disciplines (Agriculture and Forestry, and Law at 57 and 100 respectively). 

Our Performance

  • 6 Subjects in the top 200: UCC is ranked in the top 200 for 6 subjects
  • UCC disciplines that improved in this year's ranking include Nursing, Law, Medicine and Modern Languages while newly ranked UCC disciplines this year include the aforementioned Agriculture and Forestry, and Accounting and Finance.
  • In Academic Reputation, UCC’s best performance is in Nursing, in which it scores 71.8.
  • In Employer Reputation, our best performance came in Biological Sciences where it earned a score of 74.3.
  • Agriculture and Forestry is the subject in which UCC earned the highest score (96.1) for Citations Per Paper, while Pharmacy and Pharmacology (87.3) was our best performing subject on the H-Index. 13 of the 20 scored over 70 on citations, 9 of the 20 scored over 70 on h-index.
  • With 151 ranked programs from 10 institutions in this year’s subject rankings, Ireland is the 23rd most-represented country in the world.

2. Global Ranking of Academic Subjects – Shanghai 

updated 11 June 2021

More and more UCC subjects are featuring in the prestigious Shanghai Ranking of global subjects. UCC features cross 16 of Shanghai's subject categories in the most recent cycle, where

  • Food Science & Engineering (49),
  • Nursing (Top 75),
  • Dentistry (Top 75),
  • Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences (Top 150)
  • Clinical Medicine (Top 150),
  • Biotechnology (Top 150), and
  • Public Health (Top 150)

are all at the top end of these global rankings. 

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

  • Biotechnology
  • Clinical Medicine
  • Public Health
  • Nursing
  • Dentistry (joint first with TCD)

3. US News – Global Subject Rankings

Nine different UCC disciplines have made the most recent version of the US new Best global subjects. Some of the top performers were:

  • Agricultural Sciences (93),
  • Biotechnology and Applied Microbiology (105),
  • Microbiology (114),
  • Neuroscience and Behaviour (144). 

4.Times Higher Education World Subject Rankings

Rather than rank specific subjects, THE publishes rankings across eleven broad subject areas each October. UCC is ranked in 176-200 for Clinical/Pre-clinical & health and for Life Sciences respectively. Each of Education, Business & Economics and Computer Science improved their position in the latest published ranking.


Any Queries?

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

University College Cork

Coláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh

College Road, Cork T12 K8AF