University of Newcastle

Engineering Building, University of Newcastle Australia.

Engineering Building. Photo credit: Mars Building

The University of Newcastle is the main uni for Newcastle, a city of around half a million people located 160 km north of Sydney. The Callaghan campus is set in bushland 12 km from the city centre. The uni is research-intensive and comfortably ranks in the top 500 in world rankings. If you've attended Newcastle Uni, feel free to post a student review and share your experiences.

Newcastle Uni Rating

User Rating 2.86 (101 votes)
Comments Rating 2.06 (18 reviews)

Student Reviews

36 Responses

  1. Honk honk.
    | Reply

    Go elsewhere for Bachelor of Environmental Science and Management.

    I feel like I really should buy myself a multicoloured wig, oversized shoes, and a tiny little tricycle because at the completion of my degree I feel like an absolute clown for staying there for 3 years. I went from earning $100,000 a year to now having a degree that will get me a whopping $52,000 salary, less than one could make working at Bunnings or the local big chain supermarket.

    My advice to anyone considering doing a bachelor of Environmental science and management degree here would be to GO ELSEWHERE! Enrol somewhere that has a combined Bachelor and honours degree, which unlike the archaic UoN, most universities offer.Find a university that offers modules which actually relate to the field you want to go in to. UoN simply offers “science-ish” modules which are cheap to deliver to students, not what will best prepare you or make you employable. It makes it really difficult to excel because all modules aren’t created equally, some lecturers and professors will literally give you step by step instructions on how to complete things while the majority will do the bare minimum, some not even as much as a rubric and then have their PhD students mark your work based on outlines and rubrics which don’t exist.

    BE SUPER CAREFUL WHICH PROJECT YOU CHOOSE IN 3008. One of the PhD students meant to be overseeing the project woke up drunk in a river and spent the majority of the remainder drunk. You’ll be used as free labour to do the grunt work that the PhD students don’t want to do, and then they’ll leave you stranded not knowing whether you’re alive or dead….oh, that’s if they’re not asking you to cross mossy waterfalls at the top of literal cliffs to find animals not even relating to the animals you’re meant to be surveying. And they’ve now increased the hours you need to complete to pass the module from 80 to 160, for this specific project you’ll need to travel to smith’s lake, stay overnight for multiple days yet only the hours you’re actually doing the study will be recognised. And it’s all at your own cost.
    I was lucky as I have a lot of experience in the bush, had a school leaver or someone green in the field have been put in those positions it could have ended up in someone dead.

    Just go to another university.

    Honk honk.

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  2. Anon
    | Reply

    Do yourself a favour and don't go to UoN

    I can only agree with previous comments. DO NOT GO to the University of Newcastle, I repeat DO NOT GO. It’s a waste of your money and time and I literally every new trimester I am thinking about dropping out. Sadly, I am too far into my degree but do not make the same mistake as me and come here.
    While most of my lecturers have been nice the general university is absolute rubbish. The campus is awful and outdated. The lecture rooms do not work for hybrid delivery methods, so we wasted literally 15 minutes of every class trying to work the zoom. The shops, cafes and restaurants are all bad and close by 3pm so if you have lectures after that you won’t be able to get food or drink besides from the vending machine. Everything else also doesn’t work form the online library or learning platform to the app so I don’t know what this university is spending my outrageously high tuition fee on.
    The response rate from the uni staff outside of my courses is the worst thing ever as has been mentioned by others. It takes literal weeks before you get an answer even if you send follow up emails. My tactic now is to just walk into people’s office and ask in person otherwise you will never get a response.
    The university also puts zero efforts into preparing you for the professional world by inviting working professionals or having any other form of collaboration with the outside world.
    I’d also check very carefully what the degree description says online. My degree said it was co-certified by the United Nations. Imagine my surprise two trimesters in when I found out that out of my 16 courses, only 3 are UN certified. Yes, you read that right 3 OUT OF 16!!! It doesn’t say that on the website anywhere which is an absolute joke and should be illegal to trick people like that.
    If you are an international student and want to come here, I also wouldn’t recommend as there is not university life at all. Everyone works full time, so you’ll be lonely and bored and again amenities on campus are awful.
    So yeah, an absolute disappointment in every way possible. I have literally nothing positive to say about this university besides some friendly lecturers but even though they are nice half of my courses are absolutely pointless and there’s barely any interesting electives on offer. Everyone I talk to complains about this uni no matter the degree so honestly no matter what you want to do, go somewhere else.

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  3. Trevor
    | Reply

    Business Faculty

    My daughter was thinking of doing a Bachelor of Business at UON in 2023 but after reading these reviews I am having second thoughts for her. Does anyone have anything good to say about the Business faculty and campus life? Is it really as bad as these reviews suggest?

    • Jacob trevor
      | Reply

      Hey I am an international student and need your help what did you choose for your daughter, i was also thinking of choosing newcastle but now i am having second thoughts.

    • No Names
      | Reply

      I do not think UoN deserves to keep the reputation it has built over decades.

      I would not recommend the university of Newcastle in general. There has been a cultural and managerial shift over the last decade that is very much for the worst. There has been a focus on improving the image of the university, while at the same time cutting funding and support to every aspect of the university that made it as good as it was.

      If you go to the university of Newcastle now, expect to be met with a nice facade covering a crumbling mass. It hides overworked academic staff, understaffed administrations, and an overstuffed chancellery. Corners are cut at every stage just for the sake of surviving, but everything suffers as a result. Student experiences are a prime example of things that have suffered. While UoN boasts about how it is X million in the black, it got there by not paying its bills, not putting money back into itself, and not maintaining things. It is the poster child for selling the car for fuel money.

      It is a shame, I have loved this institution and this town dearly in the past, but it simply is not the same place that earned it the reputation it enjoyed up to now.

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  4. Laura
    | Reply


    – The PEU has failed to find placements for their students 3 years in a row, which prevents students from
    graduating or getting teaching jobs.
    – Student’s are not allowed to organise their own placements or even contact any schools.
    – PEU stated they would prioritise students who elected to go out of area – however did not do this.
    – 60/200 students in my cohort have NOT been placed and will not be until 2 weeks before placement is
    due to begin. How are students supposed to organise accommodation?
    – There is ZERO emotional or financial support to assist students on these placements.
    – About 4-5 of the courses are carbon copies of each other, even using the same presentations and
    – Incredibly rude and unhelpful staff.
    – Many courses are just online YouTube videos and self-directed. Waste of money.
    – Senior management ONLY care about money.

    I WISH I went to another Uni!

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  5. Anne
    | Reply

    Wish I could give a 0 rating

    Simply put, do not go here. Reading some of these positive reviews makes me think someone who works for this uni is typing them. There’s no way that you have been a student at this uni and have had a completely positive experience. I’ll keep this short, the teaching is horrible and repetitive (some of the courses are literally the same with a minor difference and they use the same half-assed powerpoint presentations every year). Majority of the teaching staff are so rude (which they will never replace because no one wants to work there) and entitled and the student support is trash (response rate is horrible). The campus itself is horrible too. If you’re actually looking to learn something useful then you’re better off going anywhere else or using free online courses/services that are 1000 times much better. Do not waste your time or money here.

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    • daniel
      | Reply

      not good.....

      I’m in the same boat, I’m doing a Bachelor of IT and my experience at the university of newcastle has been horrible the past two years, with it getting especially depressing this year, I totally agree with everything Anne has said and my experience has been very similar, Ill give you an example, I do what at its core is a computing degree where one would think we would have to be getting taught up to date industry standard information relevant to todays computer. BUTT no sadly, almost all the labs I do for a specific course, just tell us to do exercises from an 8 year old text book which is far out of date. not to mention none of the lessons are original they literally just steal other teaching resources from online, with zero attempt made to furthering students actual knowledge.

      Another alarming thing I have noticed in semester 2 of 2022 is that the course described above I received marks from and they were clearly propped up and very very suspiciously generous, I was sure I was got to get 1/10th of the marks needed to pass that assignment, put to my surprise I got dead on 50%….. not only is this unfair on other students. but also totally degrades the learning experience, and fundamentally teaching at its core. How am I supposed to learn from mistakes if I don’t even know I’m making them?
      It would seem like some forms of corruption are infuriating this once merited institution.

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  6. Art Vandeley
    | Reply

    Waste of 3 years and $20,000

    Go elsewhere.
    I’m a current student in the final year of my degree and I still have no clue what I’m doing. You’ll be assigned work you’ve never been taught and then be graded on it.
    I honestly believe I could have received a better overall education in my field by using free online resources for 6 months than I have in the almost 3 years I’ve been here.

    I now have a student debt and I’m nowhere near prepared for a job in my field. I completed a TAFE module that was field adjacent and it was MUCH, MUCH better than anything UON offers.

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  7. Beyonce
    | Reply

    Gets the job done

    The student administration and trying to get anything done (including answers to seemingly straight-forward questions) is a right nightmare and you will always be given the run-around.

    The units themselves aren’t academically vigorous, the money seems to be funnelled into new & shiny buildings rather than promoting an active academic community – to be fair, this criticism could be said for most unis in Australia.

    I’ve found other universities to be much more responsive and take a service-oriented approach to interacting with students. This may not be important to all students, but I value this.

    Overall, I’m only studying here because it was the cheapest and quickest degree for my particular course.

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  8. Robyn
    | Reply

    Love UON

    I have been at UON on and off for the past 5 years – and I love this uni. I have tried other unis – but so far nothing comes close to the course quality here. Will definitely continue my postgrad here.

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    • poo
      | Reply

      what course

      what degree?

  9. Anne
    | Reply

    Go anywhere bit UoN for nursing

    Steer way clear of UoN for a nursing degree. Course material is rehashed year after year; school of nursing is ludicrously disorganised & any practical in “labs” is a complete & utter waste of time in preparation for clinical placement. Majority of nursing faculty staff do indeed eat their young & seriously do not care if students pass or fail.

  10. Bunyip
    | Reply

    Overall very good

    Current student – just completed 1st year and am largely happy so far. This is my third degree at my 3rd institution and overall I think UON is solid (Health Sciences area). I really like how both staff and students are completely unpretentious. Online stuff is easy to navigate – online lectures, tutes, making a study group, enrolling, checking marks, paying fees, etc. All of that is super easy to do.

    Regards the education, I think the staff are under a lot of pressure but most of them try super hard to put on a good course. If you’re coming to UON to study in a health discipline, ime, any course with a HUBS prefix is a total monster and prepare yourself to put in well beyond 10hrs per week study time. Other courses are more manageable so far.

    I would say there are a few things that could be done a little better – e.g. timetabling, administration within my particular degree, etc., but it’s mostly only small stuff. The timetabling is a bit thoughtless tho, that’s my biggest gripe given campus is a long drive from home.

    They’ve done a very good job of managing classes and exams etc. throughout the whole covid malarkey.

    Overall I’m very satisfied.

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  11. Lachlan
    | Reply

    Surveying Degree @ UON

    People contemplating Bach of Surveying (Hons) checkout RMIT, even if it’s online.. At least the courses are relevant.. UON is 50% civil engineering. You’ll graduate nowhere near industry ready.

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  12. Zzzzz
    | Reply

    Has its problems, but overall things were good.

    As a Newcastle native, and due to my familial situation, this was the only university I could attend. I received a Certificate and a Bachelor’s Degree from UON after 8 years of part time on campus study. I studied mostly Business, Economics, Finance, and Mathematics. Economics and Mathematics were fairly good courses, about half of my lecturers were very good, the other half very average. As a student at UoN you will be able to enjoy the fantastic campus, and you will spend a hell of a lot of time teaching yourself content in order to pass exams. I met some nice and interesting people in my time, and even ended up working as a tutor on the campus (at the request of one of my math lecturers, as I had performed well in his courses). A lot of staff at the campus have the old-boys notion of “you’ll sink or swim”, meaning they don’t care if you pass or fail, they don’t see it as their job to ensure you pass, on lecturer I had told us he was happy to fail students as it made his course look more prestigious to pass.

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  13. Bon Arribas
    | Reply

    UON=Excellent in all aspects of the Master if Studies program

    I recently completed my Master of Studies candidacy via online delivery. I loved every aspect of the UON experience. Let me elaborate a bit:

    1 Teaching Staff-very supportive. If you have a query and ask them either by direct email or UON’s online learning system Blackboard, they will respond to you in a timely manner.

    They are also very understanding. For example, if there are temporary glitches with the online system (let’s be realistic, in any environment technical glitches happen. How about the normal wi-fi glitch at your home as an example?) They would extend and amend teaching plans to be fair to students.

    2. Subject content-very relatable and applicable in the real world. What’s more, the subjects, aside from the core 4, are yours to pick, with the possibility if specialising.

    3. And finally, as a whole, the online experience is very interactive. Even with students now officially done with the trimester and we have never actually physically met, we have each other’s contacts for opportunities to meet should we chance upon each other professionally or socially. This applies within NSW, interstate, or internationally. This is networking 101!

    In summary, I am delighted and honoured to officially be an alumnus 👨‍🎓 of UON!

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  14. NC
    | Reply

    Engineering - no

    I spend more time looking at other university notes and youtube. It appears to be the standard for engineering.

    Worst knowledge sharing experience.

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  15. Podgirl
    | Reply

    Podiatry student Ourimbah campus


    I attend their Ourimbah campus.

    Their podiatry degree is FANTASTIC.

    Every single lecturer has been amazing. They are all accomplished but they are also good at the delivery side. They are all good lecturers.

    A few were also incredibly nice people.

    I believe that while some degrees at Callaghan campus may suck and be a national disgrace- that not ALL their degrees suck!

    Ourimbah campus seems to have much better feedback. The oral health and podiatry departments are all rated highly…

    It’s under funded and the parking and computers aren’t great. But the actual degree, as well as the lecturers and the way the material ia delivered is amazing for the podiatry degree.

    Some of the lecturers really, really cared and were so interested in their area they lectured in!

    Lecturers always answered student emails promptly too.

    Oh- and it is a beautiful campus!

  16. woony
    | Reply

    The Grad school online courses are absolute rubbish. For something delivered 100%, there’s readings that are not provided, course material not available online and the method of teaching is outdated and just an overall terrible experience. I will be transferring out to a decent uni with lecturers that are contactable and actually want to help people learn

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    • Anon
      | Reply

      Sadly I share your experience! Thank you for sharing your views because I thought was expecting too much from an online masters program.

  17. x
    | Reply

    Go Elsewhere

    UON Law is rubbish. Once it was the leading clinical program in the country. Now I am being taught mostly by people who don’t know what the law is. The last Dean was APPALLING. The courses are all over the place. I am transferring out.

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    • ajy
      | Reply

      I was considering their JD because of the integrated PLT component for 3 years, would it be a mistake to turn down my USYD or UTS offers?

  18. Gurmeet
    | Reply


    My study is going to finish and m doing MBA … I love the campus facilities … whenever i need some help regarding my study … course coordinator always with me… I dont know why students disappointed.. moreover this is expensive university of sydney but excellent staff and fabulous services

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  19. Brendan Kelso
    | Reply

    I am a current student and my experience at UON has been pretty disappointing. I would choose to study elsewhere if I had my time again.

  20. Grant
    | Reply

    I am a B.Arts(Hons) psychology Honours student. I am very disappointed with the psychology departments’ outdated ‘old-school ‘approach to research methodology. They insist on pushing quantitative methods for psychology, despite a commonly accepted need to shift towards accepting mixed methodology by the large majority of scholars in the field.
    This has resulted in me not being eligible for my honours degree despite having a 70% GPA in 7 of the 8 units in my honours degree!!!
    If I studies my honours degree elsewhere, there is good chance I would have been awarded a first or second class honours!!! rather than no degree whatsoever!!!
    I attained a HD in qualitative methods in my Grad Cert Business Research
    Yet, because I enrolled at Newcastle University I now have no honours degree (simply because the psychology department do not recognize the importance of qualitative methods; of which are not examined in the psych4000 course).
    I am very angry and disappointed with the University of Newcastle. I do not wish for the same issues to be experienced by other students.

  21. John
    | Reply

    Hey guys, i’m thinking about studying physiotherapy at UON. Would appreciate any thoughts about the course from current students/ graduates. Thnx

  22. Ben
    | Reply

    I cannot stress enough that if you want to study engineering DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT go to UON if you have other choices.
    I am a mature aged student and I am amazed an institution of this scale can be so epically incompetent.
    Tutors are unable to answer basic questions 8/10 times, lecturers are regularly incompetent and have zero real world experience,

    I have previously spoken to the Vice Chancellor of engineering and he has pretty much told me that they cant sack the bad teachers as they can’t find anyone good that wants to work there. He has agreed to me that the place needs fixing, but apparently the place is so bad everyone is steering clear of the place.

    Facilities are terribly dilapidated, computers and IT network aren’t able to cope with basic CAD programs so you cant even do the set assignments at unit as the computers regularly crash. If you do get in, budget enough money to purchase yourself a good reliable laptop to take with you.

    As for accommodation and transport, I always drive so I am natural on that, however parking is terrible if you don’t get there before 8:30am.

    City life, not a big fan of Newcastle, but I am not a city person so that is a biased view.

    Campus is mosquito infested, I mean seriously infested, and again the engineering area has no campus life either.

  23. ben
    | Reply

    I despise Newcastle University. I hope the entire place burns to the ground. The final year of my masters degree involved several “face to face” courses which were delivered entirely on line with recorded lectures from the year before. But we still had to pay the entirety of the course fees. Joke

    • Tagh Cuskelly
      | Reply

      I agree. 3rd year psychology is exactly the same.

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  24. jewel
    | Reply

    The lecture rooms have very outdated seating, which makes it extremely uncomfortable to get through a session, it’s even more difficult if you actually want to take any notes. Please get rid of the 1950 primary school desks!!! Most proper University campuses will have the fold down seating and a long row of bench/desk space in front, making it much more practical and comfortable for adult learning. The lecturers are very accomplished people, I can’t take that from them, but a majority are not great at relaying information to students. Having knowledge is a very different thing from having the ability to teach, and the lectures and tutorials leave you feeling very “empty”. It’s kind of like showing up just to tick off the box of being there, but if you have any chance of actually passing the courses, you’ll have to really pour over the content of the books and look for other sources to fill in the gaps. I find you don’t get much assistance when you ask for resources other than a long-winded non answer that basically amounts to researching whatever it is on your own and hope you found the right information and digested it properly before exams come around. The University was just given a huge grant so I’m hoping they use some of that money to make the environments nicer, because the lectures are a painful hoop to jump through on the road to your degree; being comfortable would go a long way. Study, study, study every moment you have! You can attend every lecture and tutorial without fail, but if you don’t put in serious study hours on your own, you will not pass your finals. The lectures are very all over the place, so don’t expect you’ll hear everything you need to know to pass!

  25. Michael Jones
    | Reply

    Can’t recommend it. The worst is the farcical admission process.

    I entered with an undergrad and postgrad in cognate disciplines, both from different unis. They used the undergrad for entry, rather than the postgrad which would have exempted me from 40 units. That’s a bit daft at best. And they don’t ask you or give you an option to nominate.

    The letter of offer says nothing about it so 18 months later I think I’m ok to graduate and they inform me I’m 40 units short. Emailing the program adviser is a waste of energy. They keep telling you the same thing, like you’re the daft one.

    Called up and eventually found a helpful person. I have her direct number! Upshot is that they ‘might’ be able to fix their own stuff up. How good of them! I’ll have to jump through major hoops and no guarantees it’ll all work out.

    I’ve studied at four institutions now. This is the worst. Course content was ok and lecturers were a mixed bag. Systems are very poor. Go elsewhere.

    ps I had to rate the transport, sity life and campus as average. I’m an external student. Teachers rated harshly to bring the average down where it should be. They were good enough in reality.

  26. bridget
    | Reply

    its not great to be honest

  27. Phil
    | Reply

    It is hard to find anything positive about the general workings of UON. The IT dept is of little help. The admission process is atrocious. The engineering teaching in severely disorganised. Lecturers need to do their job and prepare clear and concise lectures with proper course notes.

  28. John
    | Reply

    The engineering lecturers are so disappointing. Many are difficult to understand, they have no idea about structuring a lecture and presenting information. Most just reuse previous year notes some which are hand written.
    No accountability by the lecturers either, poor quality notes, tutorials or echo recordings they essentially don’t give a shit and you’re left scrambling trying to find better presented information on you tube.
    So disappointing…professionalism is lacking

  29. James
    | Reply

    its a great uni but dont expect the computers to work, the folks in the IT department have enough compentancy to advice someone to turn stuff off and back on again, they cant even get their own system to work and have no idea how to fix it, if you are thinking about a course that uses a computer, even if its just word processing, forget it. they use their own crappy version of everything with nobody on staff who knows how to reset an account or a password or anything else. the staff love to pass the buck and have nobody about the place who can fix anything or even try, as far as i am concerned its a disgrace to australia and newcastle and the uni as well as the human race, i am ashamed and embarrised on behalf of the uni

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