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The Times Higher Education World University Rankings by subject place the University of Oxford at the top of the social sciences table, marking the first time that a UK institution takes first position in the eight-year history of the listing.

World university rankings


Oxford overtakes Stanford, which saw large drops in its scores for research and teaching, while Oxford improved its teaching performance.

Professor Neil Macfarlane, Interim Head of the Social Sciences Division at Oxford University, said: 'Social Sciences in Oxford strives to combine excellence in research with excellence in teaching. Our first place position in the THE World University Rankings for Social Sciences is welcome recognition of that effort. Our success reflects the hard work of our academics and the leadership of Professor Roger Goodman as Head of Division over the past ten years.’

Social Sciences at Oxford provide the knowledge base, evidence and inspiration for new policies and approaches that promote resilience, sustainability and social change, and preserve human diversity and culture. Our trained economists, sociologists, lawyers and political scientists hold office in governments, non-governmental organisations and businesses worldwide. Policy-makers frequently engage with our researchers through seminars, commissioned research and advisory groups. Businesses seek our advice on productivity and efficiencies; and communities work with our researchers to co-develop practical solutions to the problems they encounter. The world’s news media regularly turn to our social scientists for authoritative comment on issues of the day.

The 2018 Times Higher Education World University Rankings table for social sciences subjects employs the 13 performance indicators used in the overall World University Rankings, but the methodology has been recalibrated to suit the individual fields. It highlights the universities that are leading across sociology, geography, political and international studies and communication and media studies subjects.

The 2018 Times Higher Education World University Rankings table for education degrees ranked the the University of Oxford third, just behind Stanford University and Harvard University.  The Department of Education combines a world-class research environment (the top rated Education department in the Research Excellence Framework) with a commitment to the highest quality of teaching (Gold award in the Teaching Excellence Framework) without compromising on student experience as reflected in the consistently exceptional student feedback on the National Student Barometer survey.

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