The basics
Ireland: Latest News

Ireland ranks well globally in Humanities but performs poorly in Science

Ireland’s six universities score above average in Arts and Humanities, but sub-standard in Science.


A new global QS survey has shown Irish universities’ strong performance in fields of Arts and Humanities, but places the nation below average in areas of Science.

Trinity College Dublin, named the nation’s strongest university and scoring within the top 200 in 23 out of 30 subjects, ranked globally within the top 50 in English (25th), Modern Language (42nd), Politics (46th) and History (48th).

University College Dublin scored in the top 100 in English, History, Modern Languages, Agriculture, Accounting, Law and Politics, and ranked within the top 100-150 for Linguistics, Geography and economics, and three different Engineering disciplines.

Improving its overall position, University College Cork ranked within the top 51-100 in subjects including Modern Languages, Agriculture, Accounting and Law. Overall rankings of both Trinity College Dublin and University College Cork however dropped below 100.

None of Ireland’s six universities were included within the 2014 top 100. As the rankings do not detail positions below 100, it is unclear exactly how the institutions are globally regarded.  

No Irish university made the top 100 in areas of Mathematics, Physics, Computer Sciences or Engineering.  All five national undergraduate medical schools however were ranked within the top 200.

Ben Sowter, QS head of research cited an increasingly competitive international environment as a partial explanation of the results.

‘Increased international competition from Asia is making it difficult for Ireland’s universities to keep pace,’ he told The Irish Times. ‘Especially in the STEM disciplines’, he added.

Ranking 689 institutions on a subject-by-subject basis, the survey examined almost 3,000 colleges. Universities were graded based on their relative rankings in separate subject areas Social Sciences & Management, Natural Sciences, Life Sciences & Medicines, Engineering & Technology and Arts & Humanities.

However, a recent OECD Programme for International Assessment (PISA) showed increased performance in Irish secondary students across areas of Science, Reading and Maths. Students demonstrated highest degrees of improvement in Science, moving the nation’s ranking up five places to ninth out of 34 countries in the developed world.


Three Irish Writers to get inspired by

Whilst those in fields of Science may have been disappointed by the survey results, Ireland’s story-telling heritage is still alive and kicking. Here’s a list of three Irish writers to help you get to know the nation’s rich literary heritage and further inspire your studies.

James Joyce

Responsible for what has been called the most difficult book to read in the English language, Joyce’s writing style has been a key influence on literary movements modernism and the avant-garde. With famed titles Ulysses, Dubliners and Finnegans Wake gracing his repertoire, Joyce’s work is of key importance for anyone interested in 20th century culture.

Oscar Wilde

Novelist, playwright and poet, Oscar Wilde is perhaps known best for his only novel The Picture of Dorian Gray. Interested in the visual power of art, beauty and decadence, Wilde’s flamboyant style coloured him one of the best-known personalities of the 19th Century.

C.S Lewis

The architect of fictional world Narnia in the timeless series The Chronicles of Narnia, Clive Staples Lewis hailed from Belfast, Ireland, before holding academic positions at both Oxford and Cambridge Universities. Lewis work has been translated into over 30 languages worldwide.


Now that you’re inspired to write a masterpiece of your own, start browsing courses in Ireland now and plan your study abroad adventure!


Useful Links

Applying to study in Ireland

Common cultural misconceptions about Ireland

Search for a course

About Author

Monica Karpinski received her BA (Media and Communications) and Diploma in Modern Languages (French) from the University of Melbourne, Australia. An art and culture aficionado, in her spare time Monica enjoys film, reading and writing about art.

Have a look...