University of New South Wales

UNSW Library.

UNSW Library. Photo credit: Tap That

The University of New South Wales is one of Australia's most prestigious universities. There's high demand for places and UNSW sets some of the toughest course entry requirements in the country. It's located in the Sydney suburb of Kensington, not far from the CBD. You are invited to rate UNSW (as a place to study) and post a student review if you've ever attended the university.

UNSW Rating

User Rating 2.91 (95 votes)

Student Reviews

21 Responses

  1. April
    | Reply

    Not worth the money and time

    I am currently studying for a Graduate Diploma in Psychology. The course is quite disappointing because the quality of teaching is bad, and not worth the money. Some lectures were taught years ago. Some teachers’ accents are hard to understand which means students need to rely on not accurate transcripts. Most of all, some tutors were mean in grading assessments. They demonstrated high prejudice in teaching. I don’t know what they are so proud of. Please, please, please consider three times before signing up.

    Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  2. Simon Kozlina
    | Reply

    my experience studying law at unsw

    my experience studying law at unsw was not good. the lecturers were really bad at teaching. students were left to teach themselves. the was particularly evident in the the private law contract streams. to make things even worse, some of the teachers were overly enthusiastic with vested interest for their own approval ratings rather than prioritising students’ learning. tutorials often turn into a disorderly shouting and match for petty participation marks. overall was so disappointed and will forever regret my choice to study here.

    Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  3. A
    | Reply

    DEFINITELY not worth the money

    I’m currently studying an online course in Data Science at UNSW, and the course materials are an absolute joke. The tutorials on Khan Academy are way, way better. Seriously. The content is sloppily written, with unclear/fuzzy/random pictures that are cut from google and not properly explained. For example, I’m currently looking at a picture of a graph, and NONE of the dimensions or functions on the graph are mentioned in the accompanying material. Wtf not?? Because the staff are underpaid and overworked, and they don’t have time to write properly engaging lessons.

    On top of that, despite the PLETHORA of online collaboration and meeting options these days, there is literally not one single opportunity for students to meet each other and chat online. There are the official learning platform forums, but they do NOT feel friendly or welcoming, they are simply for technical questions about the course content. There are ‘tutorials’ each week, but they just involve the tutor speaking for an hour into silence. I have never had a single student discussion in any one of my tutes. The most that happens is an occasional question typed into the chat box. There is no space or opportunity given to discuss the material or problems with our peers, and definitely no chance to get to know anybody or form connections.

    The lecturers have all been lovely.

    Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  4. Peigeng Sun
    | Reply

    Do not bother, just go to another one

    It used to be the day when UNSW was the top uni for engineering in NSW but nowadays it is terrible. Thanks to trimesters, Uni timetables stretched out longer, which means; less time to socialise with friends from any other Uni as every holiday period begins and ends at a different time, Uni lecturers are incredibly unhelpful as they too are stressed out due to staff cuts and having to change entire courses to shorten them and cram them into overall shorter lecture times, and also enjoy the quickly declining reputation (that is why you probably even considered going here in the first place), after all, who chose UNSW for fun or a nice campus when there is USYD, UOW and UTS or even WSU. This is not the Uni for you under ANY circumstance, unless you enjoy pain and suffering.

    Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  5. Ari
    | Reply

    ARTS - Theatre and Performance / French

    I completed a Bachelor of Arts – Major in Theatre and Performance, Minor in French. (I graduated before the Trimesters came in)

    The theatre department was quite underfunded and the professors and people in this field were often stressed about it, which is a shame because I felt the teachers and staff were of high quality, very supportive, and were very engaged in the courses they taught. The theatre course is really great for those who like practical components but are more interested in theory, history and performance criticism. I would not recommend it for those who wish to pursue a career as a performer…

    The french teachers were all native speakers and they went an extra mile to try to get the students engaged (unfortunately, my classmates went the extra 2 miles to avoid speaking french). It was a difficult subject but if you put in the work that the teachers recommend and help provide, it actually would be easy…

    I felt the career counselling staff quite ok. Not amazing as they weren’t specialists in particular industries.

    The Kensington Campus is fine, I found numerous nooks and study places both indoors, outdoors, with a view or with ‘dining’, I enjoyed choosing where to study according to my mood and needs. The food was not cheaper, but I thought there were some good options for taste. The other services were convenient and easily accessible.

    The Exchange Program was the biggest headache and major stress as the process was not easy and the staff appeared overworked (it seems their automated application systems were out of date or not actually helpful to anyone). However, it all got easier once I got to my exchange uni, and settling things when I got back was so easy and kind of sketchy (to my advantage).

    In short, the course was average, the teachers and staff are fantastic but the department resources were poor (there have been further budget cuts to their department since I left). The students were… students, I expected more enthusiasm from them.

    The Campus was fine and nice, motorbike/scooter parking is great, don’t try with a car, public transport depends. Easy to get fit with the stairs and if you have to run from lower to upper campus between classes. Unfortunately I cannot make comment about the effects of Trimesters…

  6. David B
    | Reply

    University in distress

    This now appears to be a university in distress.

    Phones are not answering, testamurs are not being issued for completed students.
    Everything shrieks total chaos, from the non-responsive online interfaces, failing phone systems, emails not being responded to and on-hold student inquiries through to the university switchboard sending calls to non-phones. No-one responds to anything. Have been trying for 3 weeks for a response regarding verifying an engineering student is fit to employ and no-one is home, just automated systems and a switchboard operator manning a broken system.

    Would issue zero stars if i could

    Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

    • Caitlin
      | Reply

      Don't bother if you're disabled

      I don’t think this is a university which is set up to help disabled people succeed.

      I became seriously physically and mentally ill during my first year to the point where I was too ill to complete my classes or attend exams. I was suspended, and I obviously appealed this because I did not intend to get sick. This was out of my control. Despite proving I had worked to completely change my circumstances to put myself in a good space, the suspension was upheld, because the uni “did not believe they could offer the required support”.

      Can’t praise the residential colleges admin enough though.

      Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  7. Sam
    | Reply

    check map

    Check out this review of UNSW Sydney on Google Maps

    Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  8. Lauren
    | Reply

    Master of Art Curating

    Hi peeps, kinda need help here. I am considering to take Master of Art Curating and Cultural Leadership (MCCL). Anyone has taken the art major here? is it worth it? Also I am wondering whether students need to pay tuition fees for the credits during Internship?

  9. GR
    | Reply

    Was a great uni but things have changed

    Did Science honours and Computer Science postgrad over the last 8 years. In short, teaching staff is great but student admin such as financial admin and student experience teams are a big negative.

    They have profited off the health situation by delaying announcements after financial census date and academic census date. This is intended to leave no avenue for students to get refunds at all since they won’t adjust fee remission circumstances for COVID. They have also cherry-picked withdrawal options by extending academic census date from 29 March to 28 April while keeping financial census date the same to lock in your fees.

    Student Admin also paints the idea of flexibility by moving to a trimester calendar when in reality, it has limited the opportunities for students. For example, internships with big companies are not easily negotiable as most would require you to start sometime in November while exam period under a trimester calendar does not end until mid December. Good luck asking companies to push your start date for a whole month! As a cherry on top, the trimester calendar has left the uni so inflexible to any disruptions that they can’t afford to suspend teaching for even a week since it will directly cut into another term. It really takes an unworldly imagination from Student Admin to fabricate such fantasies of flexibility and opportunity when they don’t even speak from student experience.

    Another example of the inconvenience of student admin is intentionally hindering the courses you can claim as transfer credit. A popular course such as Master of IT in CSE for those wanting to break into data analytics. They will only recognise transfer credit for certain courses such as AI, intro courses to programming, comp networks, databases and project management. This means if you did heavily comp sci courses at another uni or even other unsw courses with the same course codes they ask for in the handbook, if it doesn’t falling into one of those 5 or 6 courses then you won’t get transfer credit. Another method to force course intake and fees.

    Aside from the emphasis on profit, there is a lot of truth around the stereotype on the abundance of international students. Using the Master of IT as an example, a compulsory course is project management which traditionally includes a group project for students in a cohort of 300 to 400. Walk into the first lecture and you will find the overwhelming demographics to be international students (>90%). The challenge comes from preparing your assessment submissions with English-challenged students who are sure to not have met language proficiency requirements. Combine this with the usual sloths in group work and you’ll cook up 10 weeks of misery and frustration that makes you question your choice in studying at this university.

    Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  10. Sanjay
    | Reply

    Can somebody please help me. Its really urgent.

    Can somebody please help me. Its really urgent.

    I am an international student from India who got admitted to the Master of Telecommunication engineering program at UNSW. The program is a non-accredited program. Can somebody please educate me on what this non-accreditation means. My whole purpose for masters is to do a job in Australia and go for PR.

    As the program is non-accredited, I really don’t know what does this mean and will it be a problem for me in securing a job and PR in Australia. Is this program any worth pursuing?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Jay
      | Reply

      Hi Sanjay,

      There is the Master of Engineering at UNSW which is accredited and the Master of Engineering Science which is not. Accreditation in Australia is through Engineers Australia (under the Washington Accord), its a professional recognition for the degree.

      The Master of Engineering Science is people who have already completed a 4-year Engineering degree at undergraduate level and therefore do not need to become accredited. The course is more flexible for students, with more control over the electives they choose. Students can decide to become very specialised in a specific area or broaden their engineering knowledge.

      The Master of Engineering is usually for students that have come from a 3 year engineering UG degree, or a non-accredited engineering degree. This course is more rigid, with less choice for students as it has to meet accreditation requirements.

      Most Australian students will be doing the Master of Engineering Science as they would have already come from an accredited UG degree. So check your background and see if you already have accredited from your UG degree.

      Both degrees will get you a job, UNSW is known for Engineering and the Master of Engineering Science is their biggest program. It is still possible to get accreditation after your degree by applying directly to Engineers Australia (you will need some work experience). I don’t know if accreditation affects PR, i doubt it. You will still receive you post study work rights and will be highly employable. If you can find sponsorship in the 2 years after graduating in a job that appears of the skills list then it shouldn’t be a problem.

      • Subir Saha
        | Reply

        Dear Sanjay-my advice to you is very genuine.If you are coming to UNSW or Australia just to earn a PR or a job in Australia,you will be highly disappointed.Come here to get a high graded education which means to grind your butt with lot of researching yourself.Your passion should be to get a quality education.May be you shall be disappointed by the quality that is delivered to you but do not think of PR/job as an immediate result.The PR/Job,you may get,but only if can bring laurels through your education.Hope you get the point.

        Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

    • Judy
      | Reply

      Hi Sanjay,
      A non-accredited program means that the engineering profession does recognise this course as an acceptable course of study. You will not be able to find a job in that profession using this degree alone unless you do another accredited degree afterwards.
      Please don’t do a non-accredited degree unless you know what you’re getting yourself into!

  11. Jack Nugent
    | Reply

    Master of Commerce--please help!

    Hi, I’m considering taking Master of Commerce at UNSW. Can anyone comment on the student experience? I heard that international student to domestic student ratio is bad. Also, I heard that lecturers force english speaking students into groups with other poorer english speaking students to bring the whole group up. e.g. 1 english speaker and 3-4 international students to a group. This sounds terrible. Is there truth to this? Any other comments regarding the experience? Thank you so much!

    • T
      | Reply

      I am considering going to Australia to study Computer Science and struggling to choose between Unimelb and UNSW for my Bachelor of Science. Unimelb has a higher rank than UNSW but people are saying UNSW is better for computer science. Can anyone help me choose?

      • Sam
        | Reply

        UNSW or Uni Mel undergrad

        Following. Please advise any reviews or facts that could help

  12. A
    | Reply

    The downside of studying at UNSW

    I did a science degree at UNSW and graduated with Honours approximately 3 years ago. In my opinion, most of professors, tutors and demonstrators are amazing – I learned a lot from them, except for some. Most of the students that studied at UNSW are also high achievers.

    I truly believe that UNSW would be an excellent University if they hired the right staffs, particularly all the admins. This includes FINANCIAL admins, admins involved with student enrolments and faculty admins (ALL faculties). I really hope that UNSW will find a time to review their staffs, especially ones that are involved in administration.

    Another negative input from me is the unbelievably expensive books (had to pay $10 for 15 blank page book with just a “laboratory manual” title on the cover page)/ tuition fees/ foods/ parking/ any price that the university charged to us students. We are only students – we have no money. Also, by the time we graduate we are still liable for HECS, and this is only if we got a job. There are lots of graduates I knew from my year who had no luck in finding jobs (maybe thousands of new graduates in reality). Please give us mercy!

    Last but not least, also a negative feedback from me is that I believe the university has not used the income they have received from students wisely. Instead of using their income for research (eg. Buy or replace broken lab equipments), the University bought themselves new Tesla. You won’t believe how many Teslas UNSW has until you see it for yourself at the car park.

    UNSW is a good University to study and I am sure you will enjoy studying here as long as you do not create problems with the staffs or work in the lab (sometimes the idea about Tesla being prioritised over research can be irritating – I thought I spent big money for my tuition fee, their service, to make me smarter?).

    Nevertheless, after studying medicine course at the University of Melbourne, I will definitely prefer and would strongly recommend the University of Melbourne over UNSW as I think they are very organised (if you have interest in moving to Melbourne). The difference is like heaven and earth!

    I really hope that those 3 main issues with UNSW mentioned above can be fixed.

    Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

    • Miya
      | Reply

      Question/comment- not a review

      Hi A,

      I am currently considering studying health/medical sciences at both UNSW and Melbourne University. I found your review helpful and I was wondering if you could expand upon the differences between the universities, especially in your field. That would be hugely appreciated, thanks!

  13. S
    | Reply

    Hi peeps,

    I am thinking of joining this Uni for my Master of eduction (special ed). Has anyone taken this up?
    I am seeing a lot of bad reviews for other Universities (Sydney, ACU, Griffith) and this has just the one.
    Please help me decide.

  14. V
    | Reply

    I’m currently studying B. Environmental management, which is a natural science course. I’m majoring in Earth science (basically geology).

    This review is only really going to apply to the department of BEES (esp. my major) and general campus life.

    Even thought UTS has a reputation for being “hands-on”, I find my courses pretty hands on. We keep getting field trips and fieldwork chucked at us. It’s pretty sweet. You’re basically forced to make friends because of it.

    A lot of emphasis is put on learning the basics of computer programs that we’ll probably use when we enter the science industry.

    In natural science, group work is also generally less painful. Everyone wants to be there, so they have to pitch in. (No one is there for the prestige, or the money.) The peeps in my cohort at are quite friendly. But then again my cohort is quite small so if someone’s an ass, everyone would know…

    ARC is cool; the clubs and societies are also cool. I can see how they’d be quite fun, but it’s…not like I go to club meetings and events.

    All the lecturers & professors are very approachable. Most of them seem to know what they’re doing and have pretty good senses of humour. At least science lecturers don’t seem to teach out of a textbook. Volunteering with lecturers is always encouraged.

    The campus is lovely, if you ignore the Basser steps. Seriously, if you don’t like climbing stairs, UNSW may not be the uni for you (maybe check it out before you enrol).

    Food on campus is on average pretty sucky. The Quad foodcourt, the 2 uni bars & Subway have some decent stuff, but nothing is really cheap.

    University transport varies. The bus ride can be annoying. The various buses from Central/Green Square are 15-30 min. Don’t go to UNSW if you hate buses. Personally I read or play my 3ds on the bus.

    Overall, if I had to choose, I’d say I like this uni. The atmosphere is nice. I don’t really feel alone even when I am. Classes are cool. Content is ace. Though I guess it would depend on what you’re studying.

    Well, I guess I’d recommend UNSW to anyone interested in Bio/Geo/Enviro science 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your thoughts about the university?

Your email address will not be published.