University of Auckland ranked top university for Anatomy and Physiology

01 March 2018

The University of Auckland has ranked 18th in the world for the subject of Anatomy and Physiology in the QS World University Rankings by Subject released today.

This is the highest ranking for the subject Anatomy and Physiology by a University in New Zealand. It is an increase of 16 places from the ranking of 34th last year.

Dean of Medical and Health Sciences, Professor John Fraser, says the faculty’s success is a testament to the hard work of the staff and academics, and the great students they produce.

“This is the first time we have ranked in the top-20 in the world for the subjects of Anatomy and Physiology. I congratulate both departments for their success.”

“It is especially pleasing this great news has come as the faculty celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year.”

The faculty’s Department of Anatomy and Medical Imaging sits within the School of Medical Sciences and makes a major contribution to general courses in medicine and biomedical science as well as specialist courses in the anatomical and imaging sciences.

The department is widely recognised for several outstanding developments, including highly regarded medical imaging programmes, an internationally recognised Human Brain Bank for neuroscience research, and a fully integrated human anatomy facility that underpins anatomy, radiology and pathology teaching on the human body. It also includes the Auckland Medical Research Foundation Medical Sciences Learning Centre - Whakaaro Pai.

Department head, Professor Alistair Young, says the success is from a range of factors, including the highly cited research published by staff and the department’s state-of-the-art MRI and cellular imaging facilities.

“It’s not just the perception of other academics but it’s also the high quality publications. Anatomy and Physiology got the highest score of any subject in the University of Auckland and this is a testament to the stellar work that is happening in Auckland.”

Professor Young says the department has also grown substantially over the past six years.

“We have recently put a lot of investment into our anatomical and medical imaging research programmes and it’s fantastic to get this recognition.”

The Department of Physiology has broad teaching and research representation within the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences and the Faculty of Science. Our research covers a wide range of biomedical fields,

Head of Physiology, Professor Laura Bennet, said the ranking is great news for the department.

“We have a very dedicated team of academics and amazing professional teaching staff who I know will be thrilled with this recognition,” she says.

“We are also growing our research outputs in areas such as fetal physiology and brain development, and we are in the process of developing a national centre of excellence for heart research. These research fields create diverse, world-class research opportunities for our students. This has been reflected in exceptional support from the HRC and Marsden fund for research projects and fellowships and prestigious awards to our staff and students at all levels.”

The QS Rankings were also good news for the faculty’s Department of Nursing, which climbed from a ranking of 50th in 2017, to 41st this year.

Founded in 1990, QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) is the leading global provider of higher education and careers information and independent research. Its activities span across 50 countries, working with over 2,000 international universities and business schools.

Since 2011, QS has extended the scope of the world rankings to include the evaluation of individual disciplines. The rankings are based on research citations, alongside reputational surveys of over 121,000 academics and graduate employers worldwide.


Anna Kellett, Media Relations Adviser
Phone: +64 (0)9 923 9336
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