World University Rankings 2020 by subject: psychology methodology

November 15, 2019

View the full results of the THE World University Rankings 2020 by subject: psychology

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020 psychology subject ranking includes a range of narrower subject areas.

The subjects used to create this ranking are:

  • Psychology
  • Educational/sport/business/animal psychology
  • Clinical psychology

Different weights and measures

The subject tables employ the same range of 13 performance indicators used in the overall World University Rankings 2020, brought together with scores provided under five categories.

However, the overall methodology is carefully recalibrated for each subject, with the weightings changed to suit the individual fields.

The weightings for the psychology ranking are:

  • Teaching: the learning environment
    27.5 per cent
  • Research: volume, income and reputation
    27.5 per cent
  • Citations: research influence
    35 per cent
  • International outlook: staff, students and research
    7.5 per cent
  • Industry income: innovation
    2.5 per cent


There are two criteria to be included in the subject rankings: a publication threshold by discipline and an academic staff * threshold by discipline.

No institution can be included in the overall World University Rankings unless it has published at least 1,000 relevant publications over the five years that we examine.

For the 11 subject tables, the publication thresholds are set differently.

For psychology, the threshold drops to 150 papers published in this discipline over the past five years.

There is also an academic staff eligibility criterion. Prior to the 2019 subject rankings, an institution had to have at least 1 per cent of its academic staff working in the psychology discipline to be included in the subject table.

Since the 2019 subject rankings, we have made a small adjustment in the staff eligibility criterion. An institution needs to have either a minimum proportion of its staff or a minimum number of staff members in this discipline to be included in the subject ranking.

For psychology, an institution must have at least 1 per cent of its academic staff or at least 20 academic staff members in this discipline.

*Academic staff is defined as the full-time equivalent number of staff employed in an academic post, eg, lecturer, reader, professor.

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