University of Western Australia

University of Western Australia.

The University of Western Australia has a strong academic reputation. It's considered to be the most prestigious university in Perth and is the preferred study destination for many Perth school leavers. But does it live up to the hype? See what students think or, if you've studied there, tell us what UWA is like by posting a review.

UWA Rating

User Rating 2.61 (72 votes)
Comments Rating 2.29 (14 reviews)

Student Reviews

27 Responses

  1. Wally
    | Reply

    For youngsters only

    Not a good university for mature-aged students.

  2. Chris
    | Reply

    Not great for mature age

    I enrolled in a unit as a mature age student, but everyone in my class was fresh out of high school. I didn’t fit in at all. I dropped out after 3 weeks. Parking is a pain too.

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  3. Sue
    | Reply

    I loved it and don’t miss a movie showing at the Somerville.

    It is such a shame you have had a miserable experience at UWA.
    The belt is only going to be tightened as the full implications of COVID sets in.
    There will inevitably be larger classes.
    When I enrolled in Economics 100 in 1976, there were approximately 800 students. It was much the same with Maths. The group was split into two lectures. I doubt either lecturer would have known my name or face.
    I survived. Loved my subject areas and still read widely in the area.
    Friends do help and joining a club helps, even if you make one of your own.
    I have wonderful memories of my time there. The grounds are beautiful.
    However, I have noticed some of the gardens and buildings are run down compared to the 1970’s. For example, I think the Arts building needs a pressure clean and some of the flooring is dirty. I suspect this is due to lack of funding.
    But all our unis here in Perth offer different things.

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  4. SPQR
    | Reply

    Oh ye gods no

    I did one year of Law at UWA and it damn near killed me. At the end of that year someone asked if I was coming back, and I replied “Probably not”.

    The real answer was “Not in a billion years for a billion dollars”.

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  5. Anony Mouse
    | Reply

    Go somewhere else

    Its a giant daycare for the Western Suburbs of Perth, if you are a mature age student or professional wanting to upskill DO NOT COME HERE, the university caters to children who have just left school and abit green,live with mum and dad and have zero responsibilities. If you are someone who already has significant industry experience, don’t come here.

    The courses are so out of date, none of the content is relevant to a real life job, or furthering your career. My biggest regret is enrolling, I get excited in attending because it is one day closer to leaving this useless institution. Im too balls deep into my program that changing providers wont be of benefit. Sadly for me i realised this too late.

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  6. Concerned about Noobs
    | Reply

    Don't waste your time here if you plan on doing any other Health Science major (lab, micro, phar, chem, etc) undergrad besides Medicine

    Final year of a science degree in a laboratory related health major (3 year undergrad).
    I’m an international student (I pay 3-4x local student fees) and only recently did I find out that to be employed in laboratory, you need to have gone to an Australian Institute of Medical Scientist accredited university. UWA has no AIMS accreditation for its undergraduate degree. But guess what? UWA just got its accreditation for its masters course (Master of Clinical Pathology). Sounds not so bad right, but also guess what? It is only opened to local and domestic students. Basically I am screwed and no lab will hire me if I graduate from UWA. The only other options to go forward from here are 2 other Australian universities offering AIMS postgraduate accredited and recognized degrees which means entry is highly competitive and limited. UWA also does not do so well with its labs. On all of your laboratory sessions, you only get to do about 70-80% of the work (I have confirmed with my friends from other science disciplines or majors that this is true for them as well). You do not get to use the equipment because only the demonstrators are allowed to do so. So you are left with lots of theory and no practical knowledge. Classes are not run in such a way that would ensure that you understood the lectures well. The assessments are mostly dependent on a one time final exam performance that goes up to 50-60% while labs are just “quizzable” and may go up to 20% max. You would do well to go to Curtin or Murdoch (both AIMS accredited 4 year undergrads). These will land you a job. One valuable thing I learned from my expensive expense at UWA is not to trust prestige but results. A UWA undergrad in Health Sciences is practically useless and might have been the worst choice I have made so far in life.

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    • Cherry_Blossoms
      | Reply

      Just sad :(

      My goodness I’m on the same boat as you…just found out about this 🙁
      Now I wish I had gone to a different Uni

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    • Anonymous
      | Reply

      Sorry to hear that, I was in a similar position 12 years ago. I applied to all diagnostic laboratories across WA – got interviewed for a few but never landed a position.Accreditation is of paramount importance when it comes to securing employment in Australia .Unfortunately not a lot of school leavers are aware of this.

      UWA science majors are largely tailored purely for research careers which in itself is a dangerous undertaking for prospective students who hope to gain employment.

      I eventually got into my chosen career ( medicine) but it took a while and was a lot more difficult than it should of been.

      My best advice would be to broaden your skill set ie undertake study in a different field as earning potential/job security is abysmal for scientists even those with accreditation.

    • Rou
      | Reply

      Thank you for sharing from an international student

      Thank you for sharing. I too am an incoming international student to Australia and was reading reviews. I am also trying to save my folks cost (my home country does not have too great of courses and we too suffer with no accreditation by overseas universities). So far it has been a headache searching for universities that 1. have the appropriate accreditations and 2. can give me scholarship or financial aid.

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    • Ozbloke
      | Reply

      So Postgrad Medicine is fine? (As there is a severe lack of options for Postgrad medicine)

  7. Mary Davies
    | Reply

    I did my undergraduate degree, and PhD at UWA. I was privileged to have attended this university. The academics value new ideas and were also very caring people. The campus is beautiful. Thank you, UW.A.

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  8. C
    | Reply

    Average at the moment - will update at the end of my degree with full details

    I started a post grad degree at the beginning of the year. I won’t go into details yet as it is still early days but so far I am getting a very bad feeling about this uni compared to the 2 others unis I have attended in Australia. My experience so far has been average and I am expecting it to get worse due to some of the silliest and very poorly thought out work experience programs that are tied to my course.

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  9. Jose
    | Reply

    Terrible PhD

    I was a PhD student at UWA, fully funded by and ARC project. I decided to quit because there was no supervision, My supervisor was never around and instead of being supportive he hired a horrible PostDoc research fellow with anger issues. I had to stand about 10 months of constant yelling and being belittled by him.I would never recommend anyone to come to UWA, go to Sydney or Melbourne. Perth is a mining town with no cultural activity and UWA has a terrible way of treating foreigners.

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  10. natedogg
    | Reply

    Randomised rant format: Some of the very negative reviews seem a little over the top, maybe those people are unlucky or got marked down because their work was not up to scratch, who knows, maybe they had a bad relationship and it is affecting their views. Perth is definitely boring, winters drag on a bit, there are sharks in the ocean, UWA is in a high cost suburb and that is a damn pain for finding accom. People are cliquified (they think they are the bees knees, but alas, they are just clueless), I’m from Perth and this one peeves me no-end. In the end I can’t be bothered with the locals or the imports, I just go, do the lectures and the labs and leave, if someone wants to make friends, I’ll talk to them, kind of get over them when they start trying to leech off me though “oh, can I get a copy of your notes for the last 2 months”, [email protected]! Can’t you just take your own notes, it’s how you learn. Would be more interested if they wanted to have a 2-way study session and review under-standing of things, so we all can benefit. Lecturers are a mixed bag. Facilities are not bad, grounds are great, river location is fantastic, matilda bay. Tons of asian students there and they pay a lot, so ya, I suppose they have a right to expect a lot. It is only 5 hrs from Singapore by the way. UWA is quite prestigious in places like Singapore etc. I got an engineering degree there 20 odd years ago and had a great time working around Asia the last 20 years, a lot of doors opened because of UWA and that’s important. Some lecturers want you to do a lot of self learning. Really, you are going to moan about that? You have to do that in the real world by the way, so maybe it is good for someone to get you started on it at uni. I am currently studying there again and I have no major issues with LMS or the lecture recording, had a few screw-ups, but I’m an engineer, I know, you get screwups with technology from time to time anywhere, as long as the lecturer re-records the lecture or deals with the issue, then no big deal. Sheez, I dont love UWA, but I do not see the cause for the negativity. The odd crap lecturer and accommodation would be my biggest complaints. Would I study there if I had a choice, probably not, but my parents are in Perth, so it’s my easiest option and the Gold Coast doesn’t have any top tier unis, so I’m going to stick with it for now.

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  11. SadtoSee
    | Reply

    Gone downhill

    Going downhill fast.

    Spent over $100,000 there and earned three degrees about 15 years ago but it has slipped.

    It feels like a bank now. Superficial specious ‘service’ when it has put profits before people.

    Cost cutting penny wise pound foolish

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    • UWA Future Students
      | Reply

      Dear SadtoSee,
      Thanks for your comment. We’re sorry you’ve had this experience. As a valued alumni, we’d love to speak to you to get your feedback so we can look at ways to improve the experience.
      Please get in touch with the Future Students Centre at [email protected]

  12. Terry
    | Reply

    For a HDR student, UWA has some things it does well and some things it needs improving. UWA does quite well in available courses/workshops for research development. It also supports the student well in terms of travel and funding for things like software programs.
    However, like many large universities there is a large amount of bureaucracy, and misdirected effort on trying to get higher University rankings. Also, many of the staff seem unmotivated, and some borderline incompetent. Guest-authorship is a problem on papers.

    Overall, I’d recommend a smaller university in Perth

    • Future Students Centre
      | Reply

      Dear Terry,
      Thank you for your feedback regarding UWA – We are glad to hear that you felt that there were good opportunities for research development and travel for HDR students. However, we know we can continue to improve – so we would love the opportunity to chat further about what we can do – Please get in touch with the Future Students Centre at [email protected] to discuss this further.

      • Aaron Fitzgerald
        | Reply

        Not off to a good start

        I am not sure of this university myself, I chose it to be my future studies university for me next year in 2020, but as a future student who has yet to be enrolled I have now TWICE already had a bad experience at UWA, the first time, I went to the uni tavern to a have a quite beer and peruse the course booklet with my brother, then I was suddenly asked to leave and kicked out of the tavern. When I asked why they told my my shirt was “racist”; it just said “Defend Europe” on it, I asked how is that racist and the nerd behind the bar triggered and started screaming and crying inconsolably and uncontrollably, I said I would not leave so they called the police and had us escorted clean out of there and issued a move on notice.

        Months later I was back there with my brother and mum again looking at courses, I went to the cafe to ask for directions, a person at the cafe looked at me and began to answer then suddenly stopped and walked off so I raised my voice and I heard him out that back say to another person to quote ” go tell the racist to leave, he’s wearing a white supremacist hammer thing” it was a THOR HAMMER which is a symbol of my Germanic Norse Pagan religion, perhaps if uni kids were not indoctrinated with far left propaganda by the likes of lecturers who cite (((hate symbols))) from the ADL, and SPLC perhaps this would not of been and issue. So not off to a good start, I have made two complaints to UWA ABOUT both incidences and they have not responded which I find unprofessional. I don’t want to go to a uni that is full of Marxist leftist politically correct soy boys and wamyns. UWA lift your game and teach kids to enter the real world and stop being offended by this thing called LIFE!

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        • Candy
          | Reply

          Not recommended for "Mature age" students

          I would not recommended UWA if your a mature age student, and by mature age…i mean “mature age”. UWA is full of children still wet behind the ears. I stopped going to tutes because I couldn’t put up with sitting in a room full of children anymore, i feel like I’m judged and stared out, like I don’t belong there and it’s such a heart wrenching feeling. And what is wrong with today’s youth? They don’t speak or offer anything, not alot of fun when your paired with one of them! I’m looking at going to curtin next year. I feel the material isent relevant and out of date. One of my units dosent even put lectures on LMS so if a miissed lecture is unavoidable you miss out completely. The first year microscopes are so old, i imagine they are the original microscopes brought when the uni opened. It seems to me that all UWA cares about is money and they really don’t care about the students at all. Cutting units from social sciences and wiping out a major completely is not the way to look after your students either, i suppose it also means even larger class sizes. It’s such a shame that UWA has become a daycare centre.

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  13. Snowpea
    | Reply

    I’m studying a post graduate course and Ive also attended 3 other universities. UWA is by far the worst. It’s unbelievable.
    I’ve had assignments I submitted go missing, the online system is clunky, outdated and disorganized, not to mention, often under repair. Some units (of which I paid full price) arbitrarily decided to cut contact time in half (only offering lectures on a fortnightly basis.)
    Queries, disputes and process of negotiation for RPL are dismissed without ANY process. None of the lectures I have thus attended are recorded and often, due to cramped lecture theaters you cant here the lecture anyway.. University of Western Australia has gone to the dogs. I am the third generation in my family to attend this university and I will not be recommending my children attend.

    • UWA Future Students
      | Reply

      Dear Snowpea,
      Thanks for your feedback regarding UWA – we changed Learning Management Systems in 2016 and staff at UWA have fully adopted the new system, which means all assignments are now submitted online – meaning there should be no more lost assignments. We would love the opportunity to chat further about the changes that have occurred over the last couple of years – if you want to get in touch with The Future Students Centre at [email protected] we would be happy to hear about your concerns.

  14. Henriksen K
    | Reply

    As an international student having experiences studying in four different countries now, this is by far my worst educational institution experience in my life. Paradoxically, the teachers in Strategic communication dont know how to communicate to their audiences. And this is interesting, cause they contradict the essens of what they intend to toutor. For instance, we have a guy who talked so fast, it was as if he was on something. I payed 15500 USD for teachers who dont give a shit if you understand them or not. He did not slow down and it is new for the faculty that they should consider the crowd from other countries and care. At uwa you are a commodity, not a person. Such a complete waste of investment. The most expensive and thing I`ve ever did for myself, and the quality is shit (parden my french). The quality does not fit the price, its pretensious and overrated. Even in communication, where we are supposed to be knowledgeable about how to address content and pedagogy, they are completely clueless. Forget to make friends at uni, your classmates looks at international students as a burden and ignore you, so unfriendly. UWA only profile themselves as an international university to gain profit. It is an impossible learning environment as you dont get things explained, they will make you feel dumb and loose your confident, when it is really about taking care of new people.
    UWA should bend over backwards to satisfy their customers and give a good product (teaching). UWA job is to provide a good service, and not vice versa. I am not going to kiss a teachers ass, they should care and think about who their audience is. I cannot believe this is not already established. Now I have to learn the info by myself, which should be totally unnecessary as I have paied to be tutored.

    It might be a given or a culture that students in Australia dont critic or are too authoritative about their educational systems. I will certainly quit my study and have felt it as being a hassle through this whole semester. I would have quit if I was allowed to, though the rules sais that I have to pay if I dont reassign a month before the study starts. And, who would travel across the globe a month before the study starts.. well, no, you have to be in your home country to save up money to actually go somewhere. Its a way to trap us in a system, not having a chance to change our minds when we actually are here, capitalistic Australia in a nutshell.
    The content had lots of internal jargon, which only works with Perth or Australians. I feel I have the right to be disappointed as I was not allowed to leave as I was forced to pay for it. I looked much forward to coming and so far I am chocked how unfriendly this programme is for students outside Australia. I am not bad in English and I studied it though my whole bachelor, this kills me. It does not seem that it has crossed the minds of the faculty here that Australia is not, at least for Europeans a country which is very known and their english and abbrevaiton is difficult. It is called the land down under, it is a reason for that. Dont take it a given that everybody has prior knowledge about this country. In that way it would be easier to actually learn something. Their systems and the teaching is really unpleasant and motivational to listen to.
    Now I would leave UWA with a relief and think of it as one of my worst investments in my all 31 years of life and will never come back to depressing Perth. I felt like I was imprisoned and was treated horribly while being in group work. Go to the east cost, UWA is only good at bragging about themselves. People who believe this is such a good place have nothing or little to compare it with. BTW, is far to go to the beach and the winters here are long. City boring and they are anti multicultarism.

    Kine Henriksen

  15. Jane
    | Reply

    This ‘university’ houses a climate change “consensus centre” which was defunded by the Danish government in 2012. Never have I been so embarrassed by an Australia university. Shame on you UWA.

  16. Amie
    | Reply

    UWA has a very active social scene which allows the easy making of many, diverse friends. However, it is very hard to make friends through classes or any academic situations. Although most people are friendly, they just don’t seem to have the time to make friends.

    The campus is quite nice and serene. It is quite an old area and is well known to have weddings held on the campus and the nearby foreshore.

    The courses and teachers are of a mixed quality. I’ve had some very well organised courses with passionate and interesting teachers but on the flip side, there are many poorly organised ones with boring lecturers. It does depend on what subjects you choose.

    Transport is very convenient, only about 10-15 minutes from the city via the bus BUT it is very dependent on the traffic. The traffic between the city and campus can get very crazy so you just have to be wary when running late to class!
    However, accommodation isn’t perfect. The housing is either run down properties or very expensive average houses due to the wealthy area that UWA is located in.

  17. Olivia
    | Reply

    UWA is a good university all-round IMHO. It’s quiet enough for you to focus on studying – especially around exam-time – but there’s also plenty of things to do on campus and in the city.
    The UWA campus is very pretty and close to the river. It’s not a buzzing, inner-city campus if that’s what you’re looking for. The areas surrounding it are generally suburban, and there is also some native woodland (Kings Park) which puts a bit of a dampener on the urban vibe.
    The public transport there is pretty good – on semester weekdays buses come every 5-10 minutes and around every half hour on weekends…it takes about ten minutes to get into the CBD. There’s also a well maintained public cycle path you can use to get into the city.
    Pros: Campus activities – something good most weeks.
    Cons: Exam pressure since grades mainly depend on final exams.

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