Universities in Australia for international students
Welcome to IDP
Australia’s top eight universities rank highly alongside the world’s best - like Harvard, Cambridge, and Oxford, to name a few - and each offers a unique mix of educational programs to students from all walks of life. Whether you want to begin undergraduate study, or continue your educational career with postgraduate research, you’ll find in Australia’s universities a robust place for higher learning guaranteed to help you take the next step in your professional career or personal life.
Top eight (Group of Eight) universities
Over the last 100 years, Australia’s top universities have become leading institutions of research and higher learning. Spread across the nation, our best schools each specialise in different areas of study – and most rank highly among even the world’s best in terms of teaching, research, and partnerships.
Australia has organised its top eight universities into what’s called the Group of Eight (Go8). The Go8 includes the following universities:
- University of Melbourne
- University of Sydney
- Australian National University
- University of Queensland
- University of Western Australia
- University of Adelaide
- Monash University
- University of New South Wales, Sydney
This guide will take you through each of the universities in the Go8, explaining their history, specialties, and the different cities in which they are located. This information will help you decide which educational programs are most relevant to you, and which part of Australia you wish to discover.
The Go8 is an elite collective recognised on the world’s stage. 99% of Go8 research is of a world-class standard (or above), and seven of the Go8 institutions are in the world’s top 100 universities. The Go8 has several alliances and partnerships with institutions in Brazil, Chile, France and Germany.
You could now be one of the 100,000 international students who come from more than 200 countries to pursue higher education at a Go8 university. And we can’t wait to study with you!
The University of Melbourne
Location: Parkville, Melbourne, Victoria
National ranking: 1 (2019 Times Higher Education)
International ranking: 32 (2019 Times Higher Education)
Motto: ‘May I grow in the esteem of future generations’
The University of Melbourne is located in Melbourne, a city in the state of Victoria on Australia’s south-eastern coast. It was established in 1853, making it Australia’s second oldest (and Victoria’s oldest) university.
The University of Melbourne currently teaches 50,270 students – including 4,429 doctoral students – and, as of 2009, was the only Australian university to rank in the top 30 in all core subject areas as determined by the QS World University Rankings. It has a unique academic model, which applies to all students, called the Melbourne Model.
Former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard studied at the University of Melbourne. Other alumni include Professors Germaine Greer and Peter Singer, comedian Ronny Chieng, and opera singer Nicole Car. The University of Melbourne has produced several Premiers of Victoria, Nobel Laureates, Justices of the High, Federal, Family and Victorian Supreme Courts, Lord Mayors, and more.
What can I study?
The University of Melbourne is made up of nine faculties and graduate schools:
- Architecture, Building and Planning
- Business and Economics
- Fine Arts and Music
- Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences
- Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences
As mentioned above, the University of Melbourne offers study in these areas according to its unique Melbourne Model. The Melbourne Model is designed to give you flexibility in guiding your curriculum – if you’re not yet sure which career you’re studying towards, you can study a breadth of topics until you are ready to specialise. Under this model, you:
- Begin with a three-year undergraduate (bachelor) degree or an undergraduate and graduate degree combination
- Over three years, you move into a specialised study area – this is your ‘major’
- After your undergraduate bachelor degree is complete, you can choose to finish studying or continue into a specialised graduate masters degree program
That means you must pick one of the following bachelor degree programs to get started: Arts, Agriculture, Biomedicine, Commerce, Design, Fine Arts, Music, Oral Health, or Science.
Key benefits of studying at the University of Melbourne
The University of Melbourne’s main campus is located in Parkville, but it has several campuses spread across metropolitan Melbourne – Burnley, Hawthorn, Southbank and Werribee – and three campuses in Creswick, Dookie and Shepparton in regional Victoria. Each campus has its own faculty and specialisation. This gives you freedom in organising your living arrangements while in Melbourne, as well as coordinating your study, work, and social life.
The Melbourne University Library boasts a massive collection of more than 3.5 million items – books, DVDs, sheet music, ebooks, journals, and rare published materials. This makes it one of the comprehensive libraries in Australia.
According to the University, it has the second-highest research expenditure – behind the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) – and spent $813 million on research according to its 2010 Annual Report. This, in part, is what helps the University of Melbourne retain its prestigious national and international rankings.
University of Melbourne accommodation comes with a suite of essentials and comforts, like unlimited free Wi-Fi, a gym and basketball court, music rehearsal studio, a scenic rooftop and barbeque terrace, and 24/7 support staff. Home is located within comfortable walking distance of Melbourne’s CBD, a city regarded as the world’s most liveable for several consecutive years.
What are the University of Melbourne’s specialties?
- 15th in the world for Arts & Humanities and 1st in Australia (2018 QS Subject Rankings)
- Equal 27th in the world for Engineering and Technology and 1st in Australia (2018 QS Subject Rankings)
- 13th in the world for Life Sciences and Medicine and 1st in Australia (2018 QS Subject Rankings)
- 8th in the world for Social Sciences and Management and 1st in Australia (2018 QS Subject Rankings)
Other important facts
The University of Melbourne is a ‘sandstone’ university, which means it belongs to a small group of colonial-era tertiary education institutions. Its library is one of the country’s oldest, and it has 3 million visitors per year.
The University of Melbourne has a massive sports program, with 39 affiliated clubs and lengthy histories in sports like lacrosse, tennis and cycling. The Melbourne University Lacrosse Club (MULC) began in 1883, making it the oldest continually-operating lacrosse club in the world.
The university also plays host every year to ‘Prosh Week’, a traditional event held in late September which sees students compete in a range of non-academic activities like go-kart racing, scavenger hunts, pranks, and more.
The University of Sydney
Location: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
National ranking: 3 (2019 Times Higher Education)
International ranking: 59 (2019 Times Higher Education)
Motto: ‘Though the constellations are changed, the mind is the same’
The University of Sydney is located in Sydney, a city in the state of New South Wales on Australia’s south-eastern coast. Established in 1850, it is Australia’s oldest university. The University of Sydney currently teaches around 70,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students, and offers a range of bachelor, master and doctoral degrees. According to the 2018–19 QS rankings, Sydney is the world’s 25th most reputable university.
The University of Sydney has produced seven Australian Prime Ministers, three High Court Chief Justices, five Nobel Laureates, 24 Rhodes Scholars, famed soprano Joan Sutherland and Hollywood movie star Dolph Lundgren.
What can I study?
The University of Sydney is made up of six faculties and three university schools:
- Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
- University of Sydney Business School
- Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies
- Faculty of Health Sciences
- Faculty of Medicine and Health
- Faculty of Science
- Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning
- Sydney Conservatorium of Music
- Sydney Law School
According to 2011 enrolment data, the university’s largest schools by enrolment numbers were: Arts & Social Sciences; Business; Science; Engineering and Information Technologies; and Health Sciences. At the time, 64.4% of students belonged to these schools, and they remain the predominant program centres at the university.
When you begin undergraduate study at the University of Sydney, you join its Undergraduate Experience – a specially-designed program aimed at future-proofing students by expanding on traditional areas of study. There are three types of degree pathways:
- Professional degree – for students who want a ‘specific study pattern that leads to professional accreditation and registration’
- Specialist degree – for students who want to ‘study a set of defined fields that develop expertise in a specific area’ and broaden their learning with electives outside their primary degree
- Liberal studies degree – for students who want to ‘broaden their depth of knowledge’ in the areas of arts and social sciences, business, science, agriculture, environment and veterinary science. When you undertake a liberal studies degree, you can take minors in subjects as diverse and specific as Asian studies, art history, econometrics, ancient Greek, modern Hebrew, Germanic studies, and more.
Following the Undergraduate Experience and merging any of the pathways above with a Bachelor of Advanced Studies, it’s possible to complete a combined degree in as little as four years.
Key benefits of studying at the University of Sydney
According to the 2018-19 QS rankings, graduates of the University of Sydney are the 5th most employable in the world, and the most employable in Australia.
The main University of Sydney campuses are located within the inner-city suburbs of Camperdown and Darlington. Both campuses are situated within walking and easy public transport distance (approximately four kilometres) of Sydney CBD and the world-famous Sydney Harbour.
The University of Sydney offers an incredible range of sports and fitness classes as part of its Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness (SUSF) program. Once you’re a member, you have access to more than 40 sporting clubs, 65 group fitness classes, hundreds of cardio machines, and more. You can rock climb, do yoga, play squash or tennis, and swim in the 50-metre indoor heated swimming pool.
What are the University of Sydney’s specialties?
- Its Master of Management degree program is ranked 1st in Australia (2018 QS Subject Rankings)
- Its Master of Business Administration degree program was ranked 1st in Australia by AFR BOSS Magazine (2017)
- Ranked 1st in Australia for sports-related subjects and 2nd in the world (QS Subject Rankings 2018)
- Ranked 1st in Australia for veterinary sciences and 11th in the world (QS Subject Rankings 2018)
- Ranked the second-best Australian university for innovation (Thomson Reuters Top 75: Most Innovative Universities)
- Ranked 12th in the Top 20 business schools in Asia-Pacific (Financial Times, 2017)
Other important facts
Like the University of Melbourne, the University of Sydney is a ‘sandstone’ university, which means it belongs to a small group of colonial-era tertiary education institutions.
The University of Sydney Library is the largest academic library in the southern hemisphere and is made up of 11 individual libraries. In 2007, the total library collection consisted of 5 million physical items and 300,000 ebooks. The University of Sydney has copies of extremely rare books, including a first edition of Isaac Newton’s Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica from 1687.
The University’s Nicholson Museum of Antiquities is Australia’s oldest university museum and holds the largest collection of antiquities in the southern hemisphere. The Museum comprises just under 30,000 artefacts curated from Egypt, Greece, Cyprus, Italy and other countries.
Australian National University
Location: Acton, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
National ranking: 2 (2019 Times Higher Education)
International ranking: 24 (2019 QS World University Rankings); 49 (2019 Times Higher Education)
Motto: ‘First to learn the nature of things’
The Australian National University (ANU) is located in Canberra, Australia’s capital city. It was established in 1946 by the Parliament of Australia. The ANU currently teaches 20,892 students – 10,052 undergraduates and 10,840 postgraduates – and is known for its educational programmes in the arts, social sciences, politics, and geography.
Former Australian Prime Ministers Kevin Rudd and Bob Hawke studied at ANU. Other notable alumni include politician and Australian musician Peter Garrett, Kellogg’s CEO John Bryant, and former Singapore Airlines CEO Cheong Choong Kong. ANU has also produced several High Court of Australia judges, university presidents and vice-chancellors.
What can I study?
ANU is made up of seven research colleges, which cover:
- The Arts and Social Sciences
- Studies of Asia Pacific affairs
- Business and Economics
- Engineering and Computer Science
- Health & Medicine
At ANU you can choose from more than 50 single-degree programs across the seven colleges listed above: the course list covers a range of majors, including history, medicine, psychology, English literature, anthropology, Asian cultures, and more. If you choose to study a double degree, you have more than 750 degree combinations to choose from.
Key benefits of studying at the Australian National University
ANU is esteemed for its small classes, which have a 14:1 student-teacher ratio. The Good Universities Guide 2019 awarded ANU with a 5-star rating for staff qualifications; 88% of its academic staff hold a PhD.
ANU also offers more accommodation solutions to its students than any other Australian university. International undergraduate students are eligible for particular benefits and guarantees, subject to the university’s criteria.
What are the Australian National University’s specialties?
- 16th in the world for Arts & Humanities and 2nd in Australia (2018 QS Subject Rankings)
- Equal 14th in the world for Social Sciences and Management and 2nd in Australia (2018 QS Subject Rankings)
- Equal 14th among international law schools and equal 2nd in Australia (2018 QS Subject Rankings)
Other important facts
ANU has more than 10,000 trees across its Acton campus, winning it the International Sustainable Campus Network Award in 2009. In 2011, it was ranked the second greenest university campus in Australia by The Australian newspaper.
The library of ANU was created in 1948 and now holds more than 2.5 million physical volumes across six library branches. One of its branches, Chifley library, is open to staff and students 24 hours a day.
The University of Queensland
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
National ranking: 4 (2019 Times Higher Education)
International ranking: 69 (2019 Times Higher Education)
Motto: ‘By means of knowledge and hard work’
The University of Queensland is located in Brisbane, a city in the state of Queensland on Australia’s eastern coast. It was established in 1909 and its schools are spread across three closely-linked campuses: St Lucia, Gatton and Herston.
The University of Queensland currently teaches around 52,331 students – 35,861 undergraduate students and 16,470 postgraduate postgraduate students – and has won more Australian awards for university teaching than any other Australian university.
The University of Queensland focuses its research primarily toward science, medicine and technology. Its research is rated ‘above world standard’ in 22 broad fields, which is more than any other Australian university.
Of its 250,000 alumni, the University of Queensland has produced a Nobel Laureate, two Fortune 500 company CEOs, Academy Award-winning actor Geoffrey Rush and triple Grammy Award-winning musician Tim Munro.
What can I study?
At the University of Queensland, you can study undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in the following fields:
- Agriculture and Environment
- Architecture and Planning
- Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
- Business and Economics
- Engineering and Computing
- Health and Behavioural Sciences
- Science and Mathematics
Across its undergraduate and postgraduate programs, you have access to hundreds of programs and majors spanning Advance Business, Architectural Design, Nursing, Mathematics and Computer Science, and more.
Beyond postgraduate study, the University offers several pathways into PhD, Master of Philosophy or professional doctorate programs.
The university has six faculties to support the above programs:
- Business, Economics and Law
- Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology
- Health and Behavioural Sciences
- Humanities and Social Sciences
Key benefits of studying at the University of Queensland
The University of Queensland was ranked 65th in Times Higher Education’s Top 100 Most Reputable Universities in the World (2018), a standing which places students favourably when the time comes to secure postgraduate employment. This is backed up by its 73% graduate job rate (full-time rate for bachelor degree), which is above the national average of 68.8%.
The university also features a thriving art, music and theatre scene fostered by its student body. The Red Room is nationally-famous on-campus live music venue, and the UQ Student Union organises regular music festival based on themes like Eurovision and classical symphonies. The Schonell Theatre hosts screenings and live shows throughout the year for film and theatre buffs.
The UQ Sport arm of the university boasts some of Brisbane’s best-equipped exercise facilities, including separate aquatic, athletics, fitness and tennis centres. The UQ Aquatic Centre has three pools including a 50-metre lap pool, and the UQ Athletics Centre features an Olympic-standard eight-lane synthetic track, complete with a spectator grandstand.
The main St Lucia campus of the university is located on the Brisbane River just five kilometres south of Brisbane CBD, offering sublime connectivity to the city. The Herston campus sits three kilometres north of the CBD; the Gatton campus is situated farther inland, nearby the beautiful Lockyer National Park. Whichever campus you choose, you’ll be treated to a unique taste of Australian culture and nature.
What are the University of Queensland’s specialties?
- Its Master of Business Administration degree is ranked 1st in Asia-Pacific and places in the global top 10 (The Economist Intelligence Unit MBA Ranking, 2016). It is also ranked 1st in Australia by the Australian Financial Review (March 2017)
- Ranked 10th in the world for Mining Engineering (QS Subject Rankings 2018)
- Ranked 1st in Biodiversity Conservation (CWUR Rankings 2017)
- Ranked 30th in the world for Life Sciences and Medicine and 4th in Australia (QS Subject Rankings 2018)
- Ranked 31st in the world for Social Sciences and Management and 5th in Australia (QS Subject Rankings 2018)
Other important facts
Like the Universities of Melbourne and Sydney, the University of Queensland is a ‘sandstone’ university – which means it belongs to a small group of colonial-era tertiary education institutions – and is also the fifth-oldest in the country.
The university is home to more than 200 clubs and societies, including the University of Queensland Australian Football Club; the University of Queensland Debating Society; the Queensland University Regiment, and more. If you’re looking for ways to boost your learning and meet new people, look no further!
The university library was founded in 1910 and now has a collection of 2.4 million electronic and print books, as well as 148,000 journals. It has 13 branches, most of which are differentiated based on field of study (such as the Architecture and Music Library, or ARMUS).
The University of Queensland has established research stations in remote areas. The Heron Island Research Station, for instance, is located around 80 kilometres off Queensland’s coast and is tasked with undertaking research projects on the Great Barrier Reef.
The University of Western Australia
Location: Perth, Western Australia
National ranking: 7 (2019 Times Higher Education)
International ranking: 111 (2019 Times Higher Education)
Motto: ‘Seek wisdom’
The University of Western Australia (UWA) is located in Perth, the capital city of Western Australia on Australia’s south-western coast. It was established in 1911, is the sixth-oldest university in Australia, and was the only university in Western Australia until 1973. At the time of its establishment it was the first free university in the entire British Commonwealth.
UWA currently teaches around 25,806 students – 19,839 undergraduate students and 5,967 postgraduate students. Similar to the University of Melbourne, it offers a unique undergraduate and postgraduate program structure.
UWA alumni include former Prime Minister of Australia Bob Hawke, five High Court of Australia Justices and more than 100 Rhodes Scholars. Two UWA faculty members won Nobel Prizes for research undertaken at the university.
What can I study?
UWA has its own model for undergraduate and postgraduate study designed to simplify the pathways to employment and further education. As an undergraduate, you select a broad three-year bachelor program from a list of four (or five, providing you meet additional criteria):
- Bachelor of Arts
- Bachelor of Commerce
- Bachelor of Biomedical Science
- Bachelor of Science
- Bachelor of Philosophy – this is a special four-year program comprising one of the three-year bachelor programs above and a fourth year of honours study.
Once you’ve completed your three-year bachelor degree, you can choose to undertake a second degree (called a Professional Pathway) which is designed to increase your career opportunities. Fields of available study under this program include law, teaching, pharmacy, and more.
You also have the flexibility to study a postgraduate degree in a massive range of fields, including Business and Management, Life and Environment Science, Computing and Information Technology, and more.
Key benefits of studying at the University of Western Australia
The Academic Ranking of World Universities regards UWA (along with the University of Queensland) as a leader in the field of clinical medicine and pharmacy. It’s the top ranking university in Western Australia, and UWA graduates ‘consistently exceed’ the national averages for postgraduate salaries and state graduate employment rates. The Good Universities Guide 2018 awarded AWU five stars for its student to teacher ratio.
Located in the suburb of Crawley, UWA’s main 65-hectare campus is in a prime location. It sits on the Swan River just outside Perth CBD (about five kilometres, a distance ideal for walking or cycling), and is known for its 20th century sandstone buildings and heritage-listed gardens.
If you choose to stay UWA’s residential colleges, you’ll enjoy a premium living package which includes meals, Wi-Fi, all utilities and a vibrant community.
The UWA Student Guild runs more than 140 clubs and societies. These groups hold hundreds of events throughout the school year: festivals, seminars, competitions, balls, and more. All combined, the groups have around 15,000 members – and they’re always looking for new ones. Whether you’re into archaeology, dance, Korean culture, Japanese studies, robots, Unigames, or craft beer-making, chances are you’ll find a club at UWA aligned with your interests.
What are the University of Western Australia’s specialties?
- Seven of UWA’s subject areas are ranked in the 2018 QS Subject Rankings Top 50: Agriculture and Forestry; Anatomy and Physiology (13th); Civil and Structural Engineering; Earth and Marine Sciences; Mineral and Mining Engineering (7th); Performing Arts; and Sports-Related Subjects
- UWA’s Engineering and Technology programs have a QS 5-star rating (QS Subject Rankings 2018)
Other important facts
Like the University of Melbourne, UWA students celebrate ‘Prosh’ in April of each year – but unlike the University of Melbourne, UWA’s Prosh festivities involve students dressing up in elaborate costumes and selling satirical newspapers on the streets of Perth for charity.
Students get access to an exclusive fitness membership called UniPass. With this pass you gain access to all university fitness areas, including its state-of-the-art staffed gym and training zones. You can join more than 50 classes happening each week, spanning Les Mills, spin, and group functional fitness.
You can also get involved with UWA’s extensive Social Sports program and try your hand at 5-a-side soccer, netball, basketball, Australian Rules Football (AFL), volleyball, and more.
UWA has a working relationship with charity Australian Doctors for Africa and sends staff to teach medical students in Somalia, Ethiopia and Madagascar two to four times per year.
The University of Adelaide
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
National ranking: 8 (2019 Times Higher Education)
International ranking: 134 (2019 Times Higher Education)
Motto: ‘The light of learning under the Southern Cross’
The University of Adelaide (UA) is located in Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia on Australia’s south coast. It was established in 1874, making it one of Australia’s ‘sandstone’ colonial-era universities and the third-oldest in Australia. Aside from its main campus on Adelaide’s North Terrace, it has three suburban campuses (Waite, Thebarton and the National Wine Centre), a rural campus in Roseworthy, and an overseas education centre in Singapore.
UA currently teaches around 27,357 students – 20,005 undergraduate students and 7,352 postgraduate students – from over 90 countries. The university is particularly world-famous for achievements like the discovery of penicillin and the development of Wi-Fi and polymer bank notes.
UA alumni include former Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard, five Nobel Laureates, more than 100 Rhodes Scholars, and Australia’s first female Supreme Court Judge.
What can I study?
UA offers students a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees across five key faculties (and associated schools):
- Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences
- Includes the School of Chemical Engineering, School of Computer Science, and more
- Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
- Includes the School of Medicine, School of Psychology, and more
- Faculty of Arts
- Includes the Elder Conservatorium of Music, School of Education, and more
- Faculty of the Professions
- Includes Adelaide Business School, Adelaide Law School, and more
- Faculty of Sciences
- Includes School of Physical Sciences, School of Biological Sciences, and more
As an international undergraduate, you have the flexibility to choose your Bachelor degree from a list of 168 programs. At UA, that opens up a breadth of educational opportunities – from a Bachelor of Global Business or Bachelor of Creative Arts, to a Bachelor of Languages, or a Bachelor of Oral Health. You can even, in some cases, choose to study a double degree.
If you decide to continue on to postgraduate study, you can opt for a course which supports your career ambitions with a Masters or Graduate Diploma (the Postgraduate Coursework program), or undertake a Postgraduate Research degree and pursue a Doctorate in a field like Education, Nursing or Philosophy.
Key benefits of studying at the University of Adelaide
UA is a well-recognised research university, and is responsible for many world-renowned inventions and discoveries. Current Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) results state that 82% of UA research is ‘above or well above world standard’ – proving that UA’s commitment to research is as strong as ever.
UA’s North Terrace campus is set in the heart of Adelaide, a coastal city regarded as one of the world’s most liveable and most affordable. UA is footsteps from the Adelaide Botanic Garden and Botanic Park, and is a short walk from Adelaide Oval, a premier venue for live sports. If you choose on-campus accommodation while studying at UA, you will enjoy being caught up in the city’s love for food, wine, and art.
UA is home to more than 130 clubs and societies. You’ll find group interest in gaming, wine-tasting, debating, dancing, yoga, martial arts, and much more. Sports and outdoors lovers have access to nearly 40 different teams and clubs, who are engaged in an array of activities from skiing, to bushwalking, to field hockey. UA also has a state-of-the-art Fitness Hub, which includes fully-equipped gyms, trainers, and group fitness classes.
What are the University of Adelaide’s specialties?
- Ranked 6th in Australia for Medicine and Pharma and 78th in the world (ARWU rankings)
- Ranked in the top 6 in Australia for Life Sciences and 85th in the world (ARWU rankings)
- Ranked in the top 10 in Australia for Social Sciences (ARWU rankings)
- Ranked in the top 6 in Australia for Science (ARWU rankings)
- Ranked 6th in Australia for Engineering and 102nd in the world (ARWU Rankings)
Other important facts
UA is fringed by some of Adelaide’s most important educational and cultural institutions: namely the State Library of South Australia, and the Art Gallery of South Australia. Both will form a crucial part of tertiary study at UA.
UA’s Waite campus hosts the Waite Research Institute, an internationally-recognised body in agricultural research. The Institute is regarded as the ‘pre-eminent plant and agricultural science research site in the southern hemisphere’ - if you’re seeking career in plant science, UA may be your preferred choice!
In 1882, thanks to the visionary work of the university’s first vice-chancellor Doctor Augustus Short, UA became the first Australian university to offer degrees in science. From there, and before 1900, UA expanded its offerings to include degrees in arts, science, law, medicine, philosophy, and more.
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
National ranking: 5 (2019 Times Higher Education)
International ranking: =80 (2019 Times Higher Education)
Motto: ‘I am still learning’
Melbourne’s Monash University was established in 1958 and is the second-oldest university in Victoria behind the University of Melbourne (1853). A major research university, Monash University hosts more than 100 research centres, including the Australian Synchrotron, the Australian Stem Cell Centre, and the Monash Science Technology Research and Innovation Precinct (STRIP).
Monash University currently teaches around 73,000 students – just over 50,000 of which are undergraduate students – across its four suburban campuses in Victoria: in Clayton, Caulfield, Parkville, and Frankston (Peninsula campus).
Notable Monash University alumni include current and former high-ranking Victorian politicians like Daniel Andrews and Richard Di Natale, the Chief Scientist of Australia, and the first female Chief Justice of Victoria.
What can I study?
Monash University is made up of 10 faculties, which include the university’s teaching and research centres:
- Art, Design & Architecture
- Business & Economics
- Information Technology
- Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
- Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
As an undergraduate, you take on a generalised bachelor degree under Monash University’s Comprehensive courses program. This requires you to choose a broad field of study from five fields – Arts, Business, Commerce, Information Technology or Science – then customise your personal curriculum with additional minor electives. You have the flexibility to choose your major right away or later. Monash University offers major courses in Accounting, Fine Arts, Criminology, Engineering, and many more.
Monash University also offers a range of Specialist courses designed to focus your study on a career path you’ve already decided you want to take. Specialists courses are four-year degrees (three-year bachelor and one year of honours) and can be studied in the fields of law, physiotherapy, engineering, and more.
From there, you have a range of options for postgraduate study and research.
Key benefits of studying at Monash University
The Good Universities Guide 2016 awarded Monash University five-star ratings for staff qualifications, student retention, and research grants.
Monash University is one of only two Australian universities to be ranked in the Mines ParisTech ranking due to the high number of alumni who became Fortune 500 company CEOs. It is also the only Go8 university with three separate international business accreditations within its Business and Economics school (AACSB, EQUIS, and AMBA). As a result, Monash University is consistently regarded as a preferred university for graduate hiring.
The locations of Monash University’s four campuses offer students the flexibility to balance study and life. The Clayton and Peninsula campuses over several onsite accommodation options, but each campus is situated near affordable and convenient student housing. Whichever campus you choose, you’ll be surrounded by the delights of the world’s most liveable city (crowned seven times by the Economist Intelligence Unit). The Parkville campus, for instance, sits within walking distance of Melbourne CBD.
Monash University operates hundreds of societies and clubs across its four campuses, including arts societies, debating clubs, music clubs, drama clubs, and more. As a student you also have access to exclusive health and fitness services and programs: gyms, fitness and aquatic centres, group fitness classes, and social sports like soccer and Australian Rules Football (AFL).
What are Monash University’s specialties?
- Ranked 1st in Australia for Engineering and Technology (2017-2018 Times Higher Education)
- Ranked 1st in Australia for Chemistry ( 2015 Academic Ranking of World Universities)
- Ranked 2nd in the world for Pharmacy and Pharmacology (QS Subject Rankings 2018)
- Ranked 26th in the world for Law (QS Subject Rankings 2018)
Other important facts
Monash University staff produce more than 3,000 research publications each year across 120 research centres and institutes and 150 fields of study. Its work in research has produced several world-grade achievements, including the world’s first IVF pregnancy, the development of an oral malaria medicine, and the discovery of an anti-flu drug.
The Monash University Library has several branches across its campuses, nationally and internationally, with a total collection of more than 3.2 million items. It also has a rare books collection of 100,000 items at the Sir Louis Matheson Library (Clayton campus), featuring English and French literature from the 15th and 17th centuries.
Monash University’s Southeast University-Monash University Joint Graduate School in Suzhou, China is the first Australian university to be granted a licence to operate in the country. It currently offers master’s and PhD degrees in engineering and science. Monash University also operates the IITB-Monash Research Academy in Mumbai, India.
University of New South Wales
Location: Kensington, Sydney, New South Wales
National ranking: 6 (2019 Times Higher Education)
International ranking: 96 (2019 Times Higher Education)
Motto: ‘Knowledge by hand and mind’
The University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney was established in 1949 and is the second-youngest university in the Go8. The main UNSW campus is located around 7 kilometres from Sydney CBD – it has two secondary campuses in Paddington and Canberra (ACT) and other schools and facilities across New South Wales.
UNSW currently teaches around 59,000 students – around 35,000 of which are undergraduate students – and a research community of over 7,000 professionals.
Notable UNSW alumni include the King of Thailand and King of Tonga, current Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison, Hollywood actress Rebel Wilson, and Bob Bellear, Australia’s first indigenous judge.
What can I study?
UNSW is made up of nine faculties:
- Art & Design
- Art and Social Sciences
- Built Environment
- Business School
- Canberra at ADFA (Australian Defence Force Academy)
As an undergraduate, you can choose to study a single bachelor degree across 142 programs, which are divided among the faculties listed above. Most UNSW bachelor degrees take three years of study, but some, like Engineering, require an additional year. You also have the opportunity to supplement your three-year degree with an additional year in the honours program, provided you meet the university’s grade criteria.
You also have the flexibility to study two majors as part of your degree, which involves selecting from two of the faculties listed above. UNSW also offers combined degree programs, which results in you earning two degrees after completing study.
From there, you can continue on to postgraduate coursework for one to two years, or postgraduate research for two to four years to earn a master’s degree or PhD.
Key benefits of studying at the University of New South Wales
UNSW has earned QS Five Star Plus ratings for teaching, research, facilities, internationalisation, inclusiveness, innovation, and employability. Currently it is ranked 24th in the world for employer reputation (QS Graduate Employability Rankings), and 37th in the world for academic reputation (QS World University Rankings).
UNSW offers students a range of award-winning on and off-campus accommodation options, meaning you can live within walking distance of your classrooms and lecture halls while remaining in the thriving social hub of Kensington and close by Sydney CBD. Depending on the program you choose, you also have the opportunity to live by the beach in Coogee or in the very heart of Sydney.
If you choose on-campus accommodation, you will enjoy a suite of inclusions like meals, Wi-Fi, utilities (gas, water), room cleaning, group study rooms, and more.
Across its campuses, UNSW is home to more than 300 societies and clubs. Whether you’re interested in Disney movies, criminology, blues music, literature, Quidditch or dancing, you’ll find a welcoming community looking for enthusiastic new members.
As a student you can become a member of the UNSW Fitness & Aquatic Centre, which is run in conjunction with the YMCA. This gives you access to a gym fully-equipped with weight stations, resistance and cardio machines; a 50-metre indoor swimming pool; and scores of group fitness classes. If you’re interested in sports, you can join weekly friendly netball or futsal (indoor soccer) competitions.
What are the University of New South Wales’ specialties?
- Its Masters of Business of Administration (MBA) program is listed in the top 100 global MBA programs (Financial Times Global MBA Rankings 2018)
- Ranked 1st in Australia for Civil and Structural Engineering and 11th in the world (QS Subject Rankings 2018)
- Ranked 4th in Australia for Law and 16th in the world (QS World University Rankings)
- It has nine subjects ranked 1st in Australia by the ShanghaiRanking’s Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2018, including: Finance, Water Resources, Mechanical Engineering, Instrument Science and Technology, and Civil Engineering
- It has the highest number of graduates (23%) in Australia’s Top 100 Influential Engineers List 2013 as ranked by Engineers Australia
Other important facts
According to Spear’s Wealth Management Survey (2015), UNSW has produced the most millionaires of any Australian university.
UNSW is part of the Universitas 21 group, a global network of prestigious research universities, and has partnerships with more than 200 universities internationally.