Best Universities in South Africa to Study These Subjects

ShanghaiRanking has released its Global Academic Subject Rankings report for 2022, ranking the world’s best higher education institutions based on the quality of their subject offerings.

The Global Ranking of Academic Subjects (GRAS) 2022 claims to represent the most comprehensive and objective ranking of world universities by subject.

This year’s ranking contains university rankings in 54 subjects across natural sciences, engineering, life sciences, medical sciences and social sciences. More than 1,800 out of 5,000 universities in 96 countries and regions were finally listed in the ranking.

The ranking includes 12 universities in South Africa, which rank among the top 500 universities in the world in 33 subjects, out of the 54 tracked by the group.

South African universities fall well outside the top 100 global universities for most subjects, but there are a few that stand out.

The University of Cape Town is the highest-ranked university in the country, appearing in 21 subject rankings, including the only local university ranked for oceanography, where it placed in the top 75, and for marine sciences. environment, where she ranked in the top 25. .

UCT is followed by the University of Stellenbosh, which features in 15 subject rankings. Stellies is the only South African university to be ranked for food science and technology, where it ranked among the top 150 schools, and for communication, where it ranked among the top 300.

The University of Pretoria and the University of the Witwatersrand are tied for third locally, each appearing in 12 subject rankings. UP is uniquely presented in three subjects in South Africa. It is the only local university to rank in mechanical engineering (top 200), finance (top 200) and engineering sciences and engineering (top 400).

The University of Johannesburg and the University of KwaZulu Natal also tied – appearing in 10 subject rankings.

UJ was uniquely ranked in three subjects – sociology (top 200), public administration (top 200) and management (top 400) – and also has the honor of achieving the highest ranking in one subject among all local universities, ranking 9th in the world of hospitality and tourism management.

The tables below show the top-ranked subjects across all South African universities in the ranking. Top 100 topics are in boldand single topic rankings are highlighted in green.


University of Cape Town

Matter Overall Rank
Environmental Science and Engineering 24
Oceanography 51-75
mining and mining engineering 76-100
clinical medicine 76-100
Public health 76-100
Geography 101-150
Ecology 101-150
Atmospheric sciences 101-150
Human Biological Sciences 151-200
Earth Science 151-200
Physics 201-300
Biological Sciences 201-300
medical technology 201-300
Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences 201-300
Right 201-300
Biotechnology 301-400
Economy 301-400
Political Sciences 301-400
Psychology 301-400
Education 301-400
Agricultural sciences 401-500

University of Stellenbosch

Matter Overall Rank
Food science and technology 101-150
Ecology 151-200
veterinary science 151-200
agricultural science 151-200
clinical medicine 151-200
Public health 151-200
Communication 201-300
Geography 201-300
Biotechnology 301-400
Human Biological Sciences 301-400
medical technology 301-400
Political Sciences 301-400
Earth Science 401-500
Biological Sciences 401-500
Education 401-500

University of Pretoria

Matter Overall Rank
Veterinary sciences 51-75
Mechanical Engineering 151-200
Finance 151-200
Ecology 151-200
Economy 201-300
Energy Science and Engineering 301-400
Biological Sciences 301-400
Agricultural sciences 301-400
Biotechnology 401-500
Chemical Engineer 401-500
Public health 401-500
Education 401-500

University of the Witwatersrand

Matter Overall rank
mining and mining engineering 76-100
Public health 101-150
clinical medicine 151-200
Earth Science 201-300
Geography 201-300
Right 201-300
Physics 301-400
Ecology 301-400
Human Biological Sciences 301-400
Biotechnology 401-500
Biological Sciences 401-500
Psychology 401-500

University of Johannesburg

Matter Overall Rank
Hospitality and Tourism Management 9
Sociology 151-200
Public administration 151-200
Earth Science 201-300
Geography 201-300
Education 201-300
Management 301-400
Political Sciences 301-400
Physics 301-400
Chemical Engineer 401-500

University of KwaZulu Natal

Matter Overall Rank
mining and mining engineering 51-75
clinical medicine 101-150
Public health 101-150
Veterinary sciences 201-300
Ecology 201-300
Human Biological Sciences 301-400
Physics 401-500
Biotechnology 401-500
Chemical Engineer 401-500
Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences 401-500

Northwestern University

Matter Overall rank
clinical medicine 101-150
Public health 101-150
Hospitality and Tourism Management 101-150
Veterinary sciences 201-300
Atmospheric sciences 301-400
Education 301-400

Nelson Mandela University

Matter Overall rank
Ecology 301-400
Earth Science 401-500

University of the Western Cape

Matter Overall Rank
Physics 401-500
Public health 401-500

Tshwane University of Technology

Matter Overall rank
Chemical Engineer 201-300

Rhodes University

Matter Overall rank
Ecology 401-500

University of South Africa (Unisa)

Matter Overall rank
Chemical Engineer 401-500

Read: South Africa’s top-ranked university shifts to hybrid working model

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