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Australian Catholic University
Brisbane/North Sydney/Canberra/Melbourne/Ballarat/Adelaide

Australia Catholic University (ACU) is an institution that is on the rise, despite its unorthodox setting of eight campuses spread across Australia, and even one in Rome. It is open to students of all backgrounds and beliefs and draws students in high numbers considering the distance and competition challenges they face against other rival universities. 

ACU has many departments of study:

  • Allied Health
  • Business
  • Creative Arts
  • Global Studies & International Development
  • Humanities & Social Sciences
  • Information Technology
  • Law
  • Nursing
  • Nutrition & Biomedical Science
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology

And many more. 

The Nursing programmes are ranked 42nd globally (QS, WUR Ranking by Subject, 2022) and were ranked in the top 2% of universities worldwide (THE, 2020). 


ACU has no main campus per se, as it has campuses all across East Australia and one in Rome: 

  • Melbourne - located in the centre of the city and has the highest student population of the campuses. 
  • Blacktown - in Western Sydney, a new campus with purpose-built teaching and learning facilities.
  • North Sydney - short train ride to city centre, offers a relaxing alternative to a bustling campus. 
  • Strathfield - in one of Sydney’s oldest suburbs, positioned near the Blue Mountains and is very scenic. 
  • Canberra - Australia’s capital city, positioned near Canberra’s cultural hotspots. 
  • Brisbane - Queensland’s capital, the Banyo Campus is an excellent student hub. 
  • Ballarat - the Aquinas campus is very green and a good blend of city and country-living. 
  • Rome - campus is just 5km from the Vatican. 


The Adelaide campus is not currently available for international students. Learn more about what each of these campuses have to offer here. 

Startup Business Support

Collaborate Plus is ACU’s incubator that has been championing local businesses and startups, supporting 150 of them since 2017 across ACU’s two Sydney hubs. 

This is achieved through co-working spaces that the university grants students and the wider business community, and then with technology, educational events, networking and resource management, ideas start to flourish. The incubator’s partnership with the NSW Department of Industry gives students the much-needed connections into the wider scope of business in that region. 

Currently, these spaces exist at the North Sydney and Strathfield campuses and businesses they’ve helped off the ground include Altitude Minds (https://altitudeminds.com/), a consultancy specialising in neuroscience and behavioural science to benefit people, businesses, and communities to improve their lives.

Research And Development

Traditionally, research is not an area that ACU were specialists in, but the past decade has seen a shift in the university’s focus into this area. In 2018, UCA was awarded as having the best research in the following subjects (Four-digit FoRs, Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) 2018): 

  • Cardiorespiratory Medicine & Haematology
  • Clinical Sciences
  • Cognitive Sciences
  • Human Movement & Sports Sciences
  • Nursing
  • Nutrition & Dietetics
  • Psychology
  • Public Health & Health Services
  • Religion & Religious Studies
  • Specialist Studies in Education

Research scholarships are available for domestic and international students who wish to investigate studies in ACU’s pillar topics of research: education, health, and theology & philosophy. 

Job Placement

Undergraduates at ACU have access to a variety of excellent career progression options; work placements, internships, and volunteering programmes will increase any student’s employability, and ACU is proud of their statistics when it comes to this. They have sat in the top three in Australia for undergraduate employment (Graduate Outcomes Survey, overall employment rate, domestic undergraduate cohort, 2019.) and also received 5 stars from the Good Universities Guide 2020

The university ranks second in Australia for graduate employer satisfaction (Employer Satisfaction Survey, 2019 - 2020) and this is through resources at ACU like the Careers Hub where job opportunities, 1:1 appointments with career specialists, events with employers, and application assistants can improve a student’s chances of being in a relevant professional field when they finish their time at ACU. 

Student Life

ACU supports their students brilliantly, particularly international students who can utilise ACU’s services put in place for their benefit, like International Student Advisers (ISAs) who are on hand to answer any queries with student visas, accommodation and more. Airport pick-ups can also be arranged so that the first face you see in Australia is a friendly one. 

The ACU Games is a competition the university holds between its campuses where students compete amongst various sports. Because of the religious background of this institution, most applicants are like minded and have built a strong community around those aspects, though that is not to say that it is impenetrable to a student who does not share those religious beliefs, as ACU is proud of its wide-ranging student population. 

Why should you choose this university?

Australian Catholic University is very unique in its decentralisation but it seems to work as a unified institution in an impressive way. For students with theology close to their heart, it seems a very sensible option to consider, particularly being one of the few Australian universities with a presence in Europe. Its nursing facilities are also famed nationally and the rate with which the university’s graduates find employment should not be dismissed. 

If looking for a university experience that is on a smaller scale in terms of student population, intimacy in class size, and a cheaper alternative to many other Australian universities, ACU is a very viable option.


Ranking BodyYearRanking Number
World University Ranking (QS)2022801-1000
World University Ranking (QS)2021801-1000
World University Ranking (QS)2020801-1000
World University Ranking (QS)2019801-1000
World University Ranking (QS)2018801-1000