Study in University of Sydney: Admission, Tuition Fees, Courses and Rankings

The University of Sydney, often called USYD, is an Australian public research university in Sydney, Australia. It is one of the world’s leading universities. It was founded in 1850 and was Australia’s first university. Here is a post on Study at the University of Sydney: Admission, Tuition Fees, Courses, and Rankings.

The university has 6 faculties and 3 universities offering bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees. The university has a main campus and 6 satellite campuses.

The main campus is spread across the inner-city suburbs of Camperdown and Darlington. It is ranked among the top 10 world’s most beautiful universities by the British Daily Telegraph and The Huffington Post.

Please, see the table of contents below for an overview of what to expect in this article.

University of Sydney Campuses

Its satellite campuses are:

  • Mallett Street campus: Home of the Sydney Nursing School.
  • Cumberland campus: Home to the Faculty of Health Sciences.
  • Surry Hills and the Westmead Centre for Oral Health: This is The Sydney Dental Hospital and is attached to Westmead Hospital.
  • Rozelle Campus: For the Sydney College of Arts(SCA).
  • Sydney Conservatorium of Music: This is located in the Sydney CBD on the edge of Sydney’s Royal Botanic Garden and incorporates the main campus Department of Music.
  • Camden campus: This is located on Sydney’s southwest rural fringe and houses agriculture and veterinary science research farms.

The University has 11 individual libraries spread across its various campuses. It uses several other teaching facilities, including the One Tree Island, the IA Watson Grains Research Centre, the Molonglo Observatory, etc.

The university has several on-campus residences and residential colleges, each with distinctive style and facilities. The on-campus residences are The Queen Mary Building, the Abercrombie Student Accommodation, and the Regiment Hall.

And of the residential colleges are the six religiously denominated colleges that are not affiliated with any specific discipline of study. They are The International House, St John’s College, St Andrew’s College, St Paul’s College, Sancta Sophia College, Wesley College, The Women’s College, and the Mandelbaum House. There is also a university-affiliated housing cooperative at Stucco.

The University is a member of the Group of Eight, Academic Consortium 21, the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRICOT), the Association of Southeast Asian Institutions of Higher Learning, the Australia-Africa Universities Network (AAUN), the Association of Commonwealth Universities and the Worldwide Universities Network.

As of 2014, the university had 33,505 undergraduate and 19,284 graduate students.


The University of Sydney is one of the world’s leading, comprehensive research and teaching universities.

They offer an exceptional range of disciplines–over 400 areas of study–and the school’s community includes more than 70,000 students, 8000 permanent and fixed-term staff, and 350,000 alumni in more than 170 countries.


As of July 2015, the total number of universities worldwide was 23,729. Of this number (which must have increased over the years), The 2019 Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings placed the University of Sydney as the 42nd university in the world, the third nationally, and the top-ranked university in New South Wales.

QS ranked it 25th in the world based on academic reputation, and by subject, the University makes the top 50 across all five broad subject areas broken down below:

  • Arts and Humanities – 25th
  • Engineering and Technology – 39th
  • Life Sciences and Medicine – 15th
  • Natural Sciences – 43rd
  • Social Sciences and Management – 14th

Across other subjects and disciplines:

The university is ranked 2nd in Sports-related Subjects, 10th in Anatomy & Physiology, 11th in Veterinary Science, 12th in Education, 14th in Law and Legal Studies, 15th in Nursing, 16th in Architecture, 18th in Accounting and Finance, 18th in English Language and Literature, 18th in Medicine and 18th in Pharmacy and Pharmacology.

Employability ranking:

The University of Sydney’s graduates is the 4th most employable graduates in the world, 1st in Australia, and 2nd in the Asia Pacific region, based on the 2018 QS Graduate Employability Rankings.  In addition, the result of a Paris Human Resource Consultancy survey conducted in 2012 amongst recruiters in 20 countries saw the University’s graduates ranking 49th in the world for employability.

Rankings by other organizations/bodies:

The 2018 Times Higher Education World University Rankings (THE–WUR) ranked the University of Sydney as 61st globally and 3rd in Australia. And going by subject area, the University ranked the following:

  • Arts and Humanities – 58th
  • Clinical, Pre-clinical, and Health – 37th
  • Engineering and Technology – 76th
  • Life Sciences – 47th
  • Physical Sciences – 97th
  • Social Sciences – 68th
  • Business and Economics – 83rd
  • Computer Science – 101 – 125th
  • Law – 33rd
  • Education – 24th
  • Psychology – 65th

The 2017 Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings ranked the University 61st – 70th most reputable worldwide.

The 2018 US News & World Report’s Best Global Universities ranking (USNWR) placed Sydney as 34th globally and 2nd in Australasia.

The 2016 Shanghai Ranking published by the Shanghai Ranking Consultancy placed the University 82nd in the world and in the top 0.8% of universities worldwide.

The 2017 CWTS Leiden Rankings for research impact ranked the University 29th in the world and 1st in Australia.

National Taiwan University 2015 ranked world universities based on the Performance of Scientific Papers. The University of Sydney got the 36th spot in the world, 3rd in the Asia Pacific, and 2nd in Australia.

Also, based on a wealth of alumni, according to ABC NEWS, the number of wealthy Sydney alumni was ranked 5th outside the United States, behind Oxford, Mumbai, Cambridge, and LSE. Business magazine Spear’s placed the University of Sydney 44th globally and 2nd in Australia in its “World’s top 100 universities for producing millionaires” table.


Over the years, the university has produced notable alumni whose impacts and contributions to Australia and the world are laudable.

From the University’s Law school, we have the current Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, and five other Prime Ministers; three Chief Justices of the High Court; four Federal Opposition Leaders; two Governors-General; nine Federal Attorneys-General; and 24 Justices of the High Court.

This is more than any other law school in the country has ever produced. The faculty has also produced 24 Rhodes Scholars and several Gates Scholars.

On the International level, the alumni of the University Law School include the third President of the United Nations General Assembly and a President of the International Court of Justice. These are the only Australians to date to hold such positions.

The University of Sydney has produced five Nobel laureates in the following disciplines:

  • Chemistry:  John Cornforth, the only Nobel Laureate born in New South Wales, and Robert Robinson, currently a staff of the university.
  • Economics: John Harsanyi.
  • Physiology/Medicine: John Eccles and Bernard Katz are both current staff of the University.

Peter Godfrey-Smith, the famous philosopher of science, who won a prestigious Lakatos Award, obtained a Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honors and a University Medal from the University of Sydney in 1987.

The University’s School of Physics has played a huge role in the development of radio astronomy. Their Ruby Payne-Scott conducted the first interferometric observations in radio astronomy with the sea-cliff interferometer at Dover Heights.

Ron Bracewell, an alumnus, proposed the nulling interferometer to image extrasolar planets, contributed to the theory of the Fourier Transform and X-ray tomography, and proposed the idea of the Bracewell probe in SETI.

Bernard Mills, an alumnus, led the construction of the Mills Cross Telescope and Molonglo Observatory Synthesis Telescope in the ACT.

Another of the University’s School of Physics alumnus and Crafoord Laureate, Edwin Salpeter, discovered the form of the initial mass function of stars.

He also discovered the importance of beryllium-8 in stellar nuclear fusion. And, independently of Yakov Zel’dovich, the black hole accretion disk model of active galactic nuclei was proposed.

Philip K. Chapman, the Apollo 14 Mission Scientist, and Paul Scully-Power, the first Australian-born astronaut to fly in space, are alumni of the University.

Robert May, Chaos theory pioneer and Crafoord Laureate is an alumnus and former Professor at the School of Physics. He is best known for his exploration of the logistic map bifurcations.

In the performing arts industry, the school has produced Joan Sutherland, a soprano singer; John Bell, a Shakespearean actor; Dolph Lundgren, an actor, producer, and director; and Jacqueline Fernandez, a Sri Lankan-born Indian actress.


An almost comprehensive list of all the courses offered by the University of Sydney is best glimpsed and understood, broken down into their various faculties and university schools.

The university offers the widest range of courses than any other Australian University. The University has 6 faculties and 3 University schools. Below is a list of these faculties and schools and the array of courses/programs you can get a degree from:

University of Sydney Faculties

  • Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences – School of Languages and Culture; School of Literature, Art and Media; School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry; School of Social and Political Sciences; School of Economics; and Sydney School of Education and Social Work.
  • Business – Discipline of Accounting; Discipline of Business Analytics, Discipline of business information systems; the discipline of business law; the discipline of finance; the discipline of marketing; the discipline of strategy, innovation, and entrepreneurship. And discipline of work and organizational studies.
  • Engineering and Information Technologies – Advanced computing; Aeronautical Engineering; Biomedical engineering; chemical and biomolecular engineering; civil engineering; electrical engineering; flexible first-year engineering; mechanical engineering, mechatronics engineering; project management; and software engineering.
  • Health Sciences – Behavioural and social sciences in health; Exercise and sport science; medical radiation sciences; occupational therapy; physiotherapy; rehabilitation counseling; and speech pathology.
  • Medicine and Health – This faculty is further broken into:
  • Medicine: Addiction medicine; Anaesthesia; Brain and mind sciences; pathology; psychiatry; genetic medicine; general practice; ear, nose, and throat; intensive care medicine, etc.
  • Public Health: Global Health; Clinical Epidemiology; Health policy; biostatistics; indigenous health promotion; and bioethics.
  • Nursing: Advanced Nursing Practice/Clinical nursing; cancer and hematology nursing; emergency nursing; intensive care nursing; mental health nursing; nurse practitioner; and primary healthcare nursing.
  • Pharmacy
  • Dentistry
  • Sciences – Anatomy and histology; applied medical science; biochemistry and molecular biology; biology; cell and developmental biology; chemistry; computer science; data science; ecology and evolutionary biology; environmental sciences; environmental studies; financial mathematics and statistics; food science; genetic and genomics; geography; nutrition sciences; soil science and hydrology; software development; plant science; neuroscience; etc.

University Schools


The University of Sydney classifies the Master/Postgraduate program into Postgraduate Coursework and Postgraduate Research.

For the Postgraduate Coursework, the University offers courses in 9 study areas, namely: Architecture, Design, and Planning; Arts and Social sciences; Business; Education and Social Work; Engineering and IT; Medicine and Health; Law; Music; and Science, Agriculture, Veterinary Science, and Environment.

Postgraduate courses are open to all graduates with a bachelor’s degree or, in some cases, equivalent work experience. The university offers more than 450 courses with degrees that can be tailored to your short or long-term study needs.


As an international student, you can be admitted to the university for undergraduate, postgraduate, or postgraduate research. Briefly, the admission requirements for each section are described below:

Undergraduate Students

Applying with a secondary education qualification:

  • Check the school’s recognizable secondary education qualifications list to ensure your qualification is accepted. For international – International ATAR and IB; For Global – CBSE, GCE A levels, HKDSE, OSSD, SATs, ACT, etc.
  • You should have attained the minimum academic requirements for admission into your preferred course.
  • There may need to demonstrate your English language proficiency.

Applying with studies a bachelor’s degree

  • Applicants with an average pass in their bachelor’s degree studies can apply to courses with an ATAR of up to 84.
  • Applicants with average credit can apply to courses with an ATAR of up to 90.
  • Applicants with an average distinction can apply to courses with an ATAR of 96.
  • Applicants with an average high distinction can apply to courses with an ATAR of 99.50.

Postgraduate Course

Many of the postgraduate courses require you to have a bachelor’s degree. Some courses are also accessible with relevant professional work experience or other qualifications. Some programs require you to have completed this degree in a related field, such as psychology. Other disciplines, such as law and business, are open to graduate students from all backgrounds.

Course-specific admission criteria

Some of the criteria for course-specific postgraduate programs include the following:

  • A minimum grade point average in your previous degree.
  • Relevant professional experience – such as at least three years in a management role to enter a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree.
  • Health and security checks for anyone doing fieldwork in New South Wales hospitals or schools
  • A portfolio of work – for example, for admission to our urban design architecture courses.
  • Completed tertiary studies in which the language of instruction, examination, and assessment was English, or
  • Completed an English proficiency test and met the admission criteria for your course.

Postgraduate Research

The university classifies Postgraduate Research into:

  • Master’s degree by research and Master of Philosophy
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
  • Professional Doctorate

Due to the highly competitive nature of this segment, you need to have undertaken a significant research project or thesis in your previous university-level studies, which should be the equivalent of an Australian honors degree, a master’s by research degree, or a master’s by coursework with a thesis component (dissertation).

Admission criteria by degree

Master’s by research/Master of Philosophy

You must have in place the following:

  • A bachelor’s degree with first or second-class honors from the University of Sydney or another approved institution
  • An equivalent qualification that demonstrates sufficient research experience and capability.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

To apply for a Ph.D., you need to demonstrate sufficient prior research experience and capability. Here, referee reports are essential as part of the application for admission, and you will have either:

  • A bachelor’s degree with first or upper-second-class honors or
  • A master’s degree performed at a high academic standard and includes a substantial component of research
  • An equivalent qualification that demonstrates research experience, excellence, and capability.

These criteria constitute the minimum requirements for eligibility and do not guarantee admission. Admission remains at the discretion of the Associate Dean (HDR) for the given faculty.

Professional Doctorate

These are offered in certain faculties at the University of Sydney. In most cases, to be eligible for admission to a Professional Doctorate, you must have either:

  • Completed a master’s degree or a bachelor’s degree with first or upper-second-class honors, or
  • Passed a qualifying examination at a standard equivalent to the bachelor’s degree, with first or upper-second-class honors

You must also:

  • Demonstrate recent, full-time employment or professional experience in a relevant field.

Furthermore, you need to provide evidence to show that:

  • Your planned research is appropriate and acceptable
  • You have the necessary training and ability to pursue your preferred course of study and research
  • You have secured a suitable supervisor for your project and have access to appropriate resources and facilities to complete your proposed research.

For most research programs, you will need to submit a research proposal with your application, so consider the subject of your research carefully and find out whether your interests align with any academic members of the staff.


The University’s tuition fees are calculated based on your residency status, your calendar year of study, and the course you are enrolled in.

For international students, the University calculates the tuition fees for single undergraduate and postgraduate degrees (coursework and research) based on an annual course fee subject to increase yearly.

This makes it easy for international students and parents/guardians to understand the potential financial commitment for each year of study.

The University’s tuition fees vary between courses and the calendar year that you undertake a study. Fees for each course are based on a full-time student enrolment load of 24 credit points per semester or 48 credit points per year (1.0 EFTSL).

Thus, your tuition fee will differ if your study load for the year is more or less than 1.0 EFTSL.

In addition, international students who apply to study onshore must pay an application processing fee of A$125 that covers a year and have a Health insurance policy.

This is compulsory for most international students who are studying in Australia. When you accept your offer, you must pay or give evidence of your Overseas Student Health Cover.

To subsidize and even cover tuition fees for foreign students, scholarships and aids are made available periodically. Visit the university’s online Scholarship Office for current opportunities or search for scholarships using the following keywords:

  • Australia Awards funding for international undergraduate students
  • Scholarships for international postgraduate students
  • International schemes.


A survey of how many international students are enrolled in Australian universities shows the University of Sydney (NSW) to have a total enrollment of 54,303 students, of which 22.6% or 12,278 are international students. When compared to the lowest percentage of international students of 3% (the University of Notre Dame) and the highest percentage of 48.9% of international students (Federal University Australia), we can see that the University of Sydney has a fair average international students acceptance rate amongst the Australian universities.

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