• Clock tower at the University of Western Australia. Photo credit: UWAClock tower at the University of Western Australia. Photo credit: UWA
  • Study architecture at the University of Western Australia. Photo credit: UWAStudy architecture at the University of Western Australia. Photo credit: UWA
  • Relaxing on campus. Photo credit: UWARelaxing on campus. Photo credit: UWA
  • Study Medicine at the University of Western Australia. Photo credit: UWAStudy Medicine at the University of Western Australia. Photo credit: UWA

UWA is the university of choice for the highest-achieving Western Australian school-leavers and has some of the best graduate outcomes in Australia. It is ranked in the top 100 universities worldwide by the QS World University Rankings and by the ARWU. UWA is placed 26 in the world (1 in Australia) in life and agricultural sciences by the ARWU, and in 2014 was awarded a Five Star Plus rating from QS.

A dynamic and progressive university, UWA is a member of the prestigious Australian Group of Eight and of the international Matariki Network of Universities. It is one of only two Australian members of the Worldwide Universities Network, a group of 18 research-led universities from Europe, North America, North Asia and Australia. 

The 2014 Good Universities Guide awarded UWA maximum five-star ratings for graduate outcomes, graduate starting salaries, research grants, research intensity and student demand, putting it equal first in Australia on these measures.

Situated on the Swan River, just five kilometres from the centre of Perth, UWA is widely acclaimed for its national-heritage listed campus grounds and vibrant social, cultural and sporting life, as well as its contribution to the community. 

Teaching and learning

In 2012 UWA introduced a new streamlined, flexible curriculum, based on broad undergraduate studies and opportunities for postgraduate professional studies. Courses prepare graduates for the challenges of a changing world by honing their communication and critical thinking skills, and by promoting a global perspective.

Study programmes are offered by eight faculties and the School of Indigenous Studies. The faculties are Architecture, Landscape and Visual Arts; Arts; UWA Business School; Education; Engineering, Computing and Mathematics; Law; Science (including Natural and Agricultural and Life and Physical Sciences); and Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences.

UWA research priorities include plant sciences and sustainable food production; ecology, evolution and the environment; energy and minerals; indigenous knowledge; medicine and health; and the mind and the nervous system. Other areas of expertise at UWA include historical studies; public health and health services; medicinal and biomolecular chemistry; environmental science and management; electrical and electronic engineering and many more.

UWA course highlights

Business

UWA MBA students work and learn from unique, practical, industry experiences and benefit from the involvement of global companies. From 2015, the MBA Flexible will accept applications from international students, with new intakes in January, May and August. The full time MBA, with one intake in January, is a cohort-based 12-month degree featuring a personal Leadership Development Programme and an applied, industry-based capstone project. For more information on both MBA options, visit mba.uwa.edu.au

Forensic science

UWA is at the forefront of forensic research in the Asia/Pacific region, in entomology, anthropology, human and animal DNA profiling, chemical gold and diamond fingerprinting, and food forensics. The Centre for Forensic Science brings together UWA’s expertise in all of these, offering postgraduate students an interdisciplinary introduction to major forensic science disciplines including entomology, anthropology, DNA, chemistry and pathology. Students get hands-on experience in the analysis of material associated with a crime scene, use techniques like scanning electron microscopy and learn how to employ DNA sequencing using specific genomic markers.

Marine science

The marine environment of Western Australia is a biodiversity hotspot with up to 80% of fish, invertebrates and other organisms found nowhere else in the world, making it a living laboratory for marine studies. The undergraduate major includes oceanography, marine biology and ecology, and marine and coastal management. UWA is well equipped for marine teaching and research, supported by world class research from the Australian Institute of Marine Science, the Oceans Institute, and the Centre for Marine Futures.

Zoology

The undergraduate major gives students the opportunity to study animals and their habitats. These are diverse, ranging from deserts to temporary wetlands and rainforests. The major integrates theory with practical (both field and lab) studies using as examples many of the diverse animals and ecosystems of Western Australia. 

Environmental sciences

An interdisciplinary approach to problem-solving, encompassing studies in biological and earth sciences as well as in environmental planning and management prepares students to deal with issues such as climate change, carbon trading, greenhouse gas emissions, water resource management, salinity, energy and mineral depletion, soil water erosion and groundwater contamination.

Sport science and exercise health

The undergraduate course offers students the chance to try every aspect of sport science in order to choose the path that best suits them. A wide range of third year practicum placements provides opportunities for employment in the industry for many. Research strengths include biomechanics, sports psychology, motor learning and control, exercise physiology, physical activity and health.

Infectious disease

Courses have been developed in response to the international need for advanced training in infectious diseases to better prepare medical scientists, medical professionals, the public sector and other groups. Students study new diseases, the re-emergence of disease previously thought to be under control, and investigate the effect of climate change and the changing international security environment under the spectre of bioterrorism. 

Psychology

UWA offers two undergraduate psychology majors – psychology in society (under the Bachelor of Arts) and psychological science (within the Bachelor of Science). Postgraduate studies are available in clinical psychology, clinical neuropsychology, industrial and organisational psychology; or school psychology. Research strengths include neuropsychology, clinical psychology, industrial and organisational psychology.