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

1. Times Higher Education World Impact Ranking

UCC ranked 62 of 1,406 universities in the most recent edition of the global impact ranking produced by Times Higher Education. 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 91.2 out of 100 puts us in the top 4.5% universities in the world for impact.

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 40 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 Score
Responsible consumption and production 13 88.9
Life on land 17 90.3
Life below water 24 87.1
Zero hunger 34 76.8
Sustainable cities and communities 36 85.8

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.

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
Rank 21 32 8 62

2. QS World University Ranking

UCC improved its overall score by 0.2 but its rank dis-improved by 5 places in the QS World University Ranking 2022-23. UCC now ranks 303. This year 2,462 universities were considered and 1,422 made the final published rank. It measures performance across indicators including Academic Reputation, Employer Reputation, Student Faculty Ratio, Citation Per Faculty, Proportion of International Faculty and Proportion of International Students.

At 143 globally, the International Faculty indicator is the strongest for UCC. Academic Reputation, Employer Reputation and Citations Per Faculty all improved for UCC in this year's cycle of the ranking.

UCC's profile in the QS World University Ranking

Year 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Rank 283 338 310 286 298 303

3. Times Higher Education World University Ranking

Having improved its rank to the 251-300 band in 2021,  UCC is again ranked in the 301-350 band in the most recent cycle of the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Ranking published on 12 Oct 2022. This is THE's flagship ranking and this year included 1,800 universities of the world's top universities on the final published rank.

The ranking uses five pillars to rank the universities. These are Teaching, Research, Citations (Research Impact), Industry Income and International Outlook.  

UCC's top ranking pillars are International Outlook at 168 and Citations (Research Impact) at 252 globally. 

UCC continues to be the top Irish university for Research Impact as measured by this ranking.

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

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

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

The first and most prestigious of the university rankings. UCC improved its overall score and maintained its improved position to the 301-400 band in this cycle of the Shanghai ranking, published on 15 Aug 2022. 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 maintained its position as 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
Rank 601-700 401-500 401-500 401-500 301-400 301-400

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


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.

7. Webometrics

Spanish Government developed ranking with a primary purpose to promote scientific research, UCC improved its rank to 386 of 12,000 global universities and third-level institutions. The latest version of the ranking, which published in January 2023, is based on three indicators relating to Impact, Excellence and Openness.

The ranking also continues to place UCC 3rd of 66 post secondary institutions in Ireland. 

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

Niche / Specialised Rankings

1. UI Green Metric

UCC is ranked 7th in the world for sustainability according to the latest independent assessment from UI Green Metric which published on 12 Dec 2022.  The UI Green Metric Ranking measures the advancement of sustainability across 1050 universities around the world 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 8th last year) to 7th in the world this year. In doing so UCC retained its place within the top 10 for the past seven years of this ranking.

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

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

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

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. 

UCC's profile in the European Research Ranking

Year 2017 2018 2019 2020
Rank 75 65 81 33

Subject / Discipline Rankings

1.QS World University Rankings by Subject 

UCC produced another strong performance in the latest QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022We've been named as one of the world's top universities for the study of 23 subjects according to the latest ranking published on 6 April 2022. UCC is ranked in the top 50 universities for one discipline (Nursing at number 41) and top 100 for a further three disciplines (Agriculture and Forestry, PharmacyPharmacology, and Law at 59, 66 and 75 respectively). 

Our Performance

In overall terms UCC now has 4 top 100 subjects (up from 3), it has 9 top 200 subjects (up from 6) and it features 23 times on this global ranking (up from 20 last year). A noticeable improvement.   

With 166 ranked programs from 11 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 19 July 2022

UCC subjects feature prominently in the prestigious Shanghai Subject Rankings. UCC features across 15 of Shanghai's subject categories in the most recent cycle, where

  • Food Science & Engineering (Top 75),
  • Nursing (Top 75),
  • Dentistry (Top 75),
  • Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences (Top 150)
  • Clinical Medicine (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

and joint first for each of: 

  • Energy Science and Engineering
  • Dentistry and Oral Services
    • Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

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.

4.Times Higher Education (THE) World Subject Rankings

Rather than rank specific subjects, THE publishes rankings across eleven broad subject areas each October. The most recent cycle published on 25 October 2022 and UCC improved its overall position across the subject areas.

The areas of Psychology, Computer Science, Business & Economics and Law all improved in this years ranking.

UCC is ranked 126-150 for Law, 176-200 for both Clinical/Pre-clinical & health and Psychology, respectively. Life Sciences at UCC is also ranked 201-250 globally by THE.

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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