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Murdoch University

Coordinates: 32°03′58″S 115°50′06″E / 32.066°S 115.835°E / -32.066; 115.835 (Murdoch University, South Street campus)
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Murdoch University
Latin: Universitas Murdochiana
Ngala Kwop Biddi (Whadjuk)[1]
Motto in English
Building a brighter future, together.[2]
TypePublic research university
Established25 July 1973; 50 years ago (1973-07-25)[3]
Academic affiliation
BudgetA$385.43 million (2022)[4]
ChancellorGary Smith[5]
Vice-ChancellorAndrew Deeks[6]
Academic staff
1,284 (FTE, 2023)[7]
Administrative staff
1,821 (FTE, 2023)[8]
Total staff
3,105 (FTE, 2023)[9]
Students24,051 (2023)[10]
Undergraduates16,766 (2023)[11]
Postgraduates7,305 (2023)[12]
90 South Street
, , ,
CampusUrban and parkland, 277 hectares (2.8 km2)[14]
Named afterSir Walter Murdoch
ColoursAmaranth Red[15]
Sporting affiliations
MascotVictor the Viking[17]

Murdoch University is a public university in Perth, Western Australia, with campuses also in Singapore and Dubai. It began operations as the state's second university on 25 July 1973, and accepted its first undergraduate students in 1975. Its name is taken from Sir Walter Murdoch (1874–1970), the Founding Professor of English and former Chancellor of the University of Western Australia.

Murdoch is a verdant university and a member of the Innovative Research Universities. In 2018, Murdoch University was recognised as producing the most employable graduates of all Australian universities after 3 years of graduating from their courses.[18][19] In 2019, the university ranked third in overall student satisfaction amongst all public universities in Western Australia.[20]



In 1962, the Government of Western Australia earmarked an area of land in Bull Creek to be the site of a future, second, state university. Integral to the planning of the creation of Western Australia's second university was the planning for the School of Veterinary Science, which was to be the first professional faculty of the new university.[21] It was decided that the new university would be named after Sir Walter Murdoch, a prominent local author, philosopher, and an Emeritus Professor at the University of Western Australia. When asked if he minded a new university in Western Australia being named in his honour, he was quoted as saying, "No, but it had better be a good one."[21]

Murdoch University was formally constituted on 25 July 1973. It was opened with an inauguration ceremony on 17 September 1974. This date was chosen as it was Sir Walter Murdoch's 100th birthday. The Governor-General of Australia, Sir John Kerr, attended the ceremony as the guest of honour. Lectures began in 1975, with 510 students initially enrolled for undergraduate programs.[21] At the time, the young university was notable for its admissions policy of taking into consideration eligibility factors other than the school leaving exam results of students. Other universities later came to adopt this more holistic perspective of student eligibility for entrance into university education.[21]

In late 2018, the university faced scandal subsequent to an enrolment surge of international students, many said to be "lacking English language and computing skills". In 2019, a Four Corners investigation by the ABC found further deterioration of standards with allegations of foreign students being recruited as "cash cows".[22]

In May 2021, the university unveiled a new brand, replacing the traditional banksia logo with a simplified "MU" logo intended to be "modern and future-focused",[23] as well as signifying the university's commitment to being a "progressive", "free thinking" university.[24]



Murdoch University has three Australian campuses : South Street Campus and Rockingham Campus in Perth, and Mandurah Campus.

South Street


The main campus is on South Street, Perth, in the suburb of Murdoch, near the Kwinana Freeway (32°03′58″S 115°50′06″E / 32.066°S 115.835°E / -32.066; 115.835 (Murdoch University, South Street campus)). South Street campus is Australia's geographically largest campus at 2.27 square kilometres (0.88 sq mi),[25] large enough to accommodate the veterinary school and its animal stocks—the only such school in Western Australia.[26] Most of the southern part of the university consists of paddocks of livestock, farms and renewable energy facilities.[citation needed]

The master plan for the campus included an open quadrangle of grass and trees, known as "Bush Court", in the northern part of Murdoch campus, which rises to the highest altitude on campus. The library and first academic buildings flanking this court were designed by R. J. Ferguson, who also designed several buildings on the University of Western Australia campus. According to the foundation ethos of Murdoch University, there were to be no imposing buildings like the University of Western Australia's grand, Mediterranean-style Winthrop Hall, with its imposing clock tower. Rather, the architecture adopts a low-slung form redolent of a homestead, with covered walkways suggesting a hybrid veranda or cloister around the bush court. In the smaller courtyards exotic gardens, including a Chinese garden of rocks and stones, contrast with the bush court.[27] The planting and landscaping were the work of Marion Blackwell.[citation needed]

Features of the campus include the Joglo Rahayu (Peace Pavilion), a semi-enclosed pavilion near the Education and Humanities building. A monument to the ongoing association between Murdoch University and Indonesian academic institutions in Java, it acts as storage for the Western Australian Gamelan Orchestra.[28]

The university recently established three "myMurdoch Advice" locations across campus, to assist with academic support, general advice about study, wellbeing and specialist advice for international students.[29] A newly renovated Student Hub is located off Bush Court, including a variety of food chains and seating.[30] The university also has a tavern and a restaurant named Sir Walter's.[31] A range of food trucks are also available via the Pop-Up Ref on the east side of the campus.[31]

Rockingham Campus


The Rockingham Campus is located 38 kilometres (24 mi) south of central Perth in the suburb of Rockingham (32°16′41″S 115°45′04″E / 32.278°S 115.751°E / -32.278; 115.751 (Murdoch University, Rockingham campus)). Opened in 1996, it is co-located with Rockingham Challenger Institute of Technology campus, and features an arts and commerce building. The campus ceased offering undergraduate classes at the end of 2014 due to not enough students attending the campus.[30][32]

Rockingham Regional Campus Community Library


Rockingham Regional Campus Community Library, located at the Rockingham Campus, is a joint venture between the university, the City of Rockingham and Challenger Institute of Technology. Members of all of these groups have free access to library membership.

Membership entitles all patrons to access to Challenger Institute of Technology, university and public library resources at Rockingham.[33]

Mandurah Campus


The Mandurah Campus is located 64 kilometres (40 mi) south of central Perth in the suburb of Greenfields, near the regional centre of Mandurah (32°30′58″S 115°45′22″E / 32.516°S 115.756°E / -32.516; 115.756 (Murdoch University, Mandurah campus)). Opened in 2004, it is home to the School of Health Professions' Bachelor of Nursing (formally Nursing and Midwifery). In Semester 2, 2015, this degree also became available for study at the South Street Campus. Murdoch University shares the campus with Challenger Institute and John Tonkin College (formerly Mandurah Senior College).[citation needed]




Broadwalk, west

There are nine schools at Murdoch University:[34]

  • School of Agricultural Sciences
  • School of Allied Health
  • Murdoch Business School
  • School of Education
  • School of Engineering and Energy
  • School of Environmental and Conservation Sciences
  • School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
  • School of Indigenous Knowledges
  • School of Information Technology
  • School of Law and Criminology
  • School of Mathematics, Statistics, Chemistry and Physics
  • School of Media and Communication
  • School of Medical, Molecular and Forensic Sciences
  • School of Nursing
  • School of Psychology
  • School of Veterinary Medicine

Asia Research Centre and Indo-Pacific Research Centre


The Asia Research Centre, founded in 1991, produced multi-disciplinary research in politics, political economy, modes of governance, social change, and policy making. Its distinctive contribution to the research debate is based on the proposition that these factors have their roots in broader processes of conflict and change in society that are connected to the advance of market economies.[35] The centre encompasses researchers from across Murdoch University. It also regularly engages in collaboration with researchers from other universities around the world.[35]

In 2022, Murdoch University launched the Indo-Pacific Research Centre as the successor of the Asia Research Centre. The new centre facilitates innovative and policy-relevant research on security, conflict, development, and the environment in the Indo-Pacific region.[36] As of 2024, Prof Jacqueline Lo is the director of the Indo-Pacific Research Centre.[37]

Student demographics


Murdoch University has more than 23,000 registered students,[38] of which 37% are international students.[39]

In November 2008 H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Bin Murbarak Al Nahayan (Minister of Higher Education and Research) opened the Murdoch International Study Centre in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.[40]

Academic profile



University rankings
Global rankings
U.S. News & World Report[44]679=
Australian rankings
U.S. News & World Report[48]29

The 2023 Times Higher Education World University Rankings has placed Murdoch University in the top 401–500 universities in the world.[51] The 2025 QS World University Rankings ranked Murdoch University 436th in the world.[52] ARWU ranked Murdoch University in the top 401–500 universities worldwide.[53]

The university has dropped in international university league tables, notably the ‘World's Top 100 universities under 50’, having entered at 57th in 2013 and dropped to 68th position in 2017.[54] However, the 2018 Graduate Outcomes Survey (GOS) identified that Murdoch University graduates had the highest employability level of all Australian universities after three years of graduating, at 96.7%.[18][19] In the most recent 2019 Student Experience Survey, Murdoch University received an overall student satisfaction rating of 79.8 and a teaching quality rating of 82.3, comparable to most other universities in Western Australia, as well as receiving the second highest rating for student support of all public universities in Western Australia.[20]



Murdoch University is a research-intensive institution and a member of Innovative Research Universities Australia (IRU Australia).[55]

According to The Australian, The Graduate Careers Council of Australia found that Murdoch journalism graduates rated satisfaction with their course at a level within the top five nationally.[56]

Murdoch University is the founder of the ACICIS (Australian Consortium for 'In-Country' Indonesian Studies) Study Indonesia program, a non-profit consortium of Australian universities that was established in 1994 to coordinate semester-long study programs at partner universities in Yogyakarta and Malang in Indonesia, for Australian university students.[57]

The Theology programme at Murdoch was, until its controversial closure in 2021, the most integrated of any Australian public University and included a full complement of staff working on-site.

The university is one of the partners in the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study, one of the largest cohorts of pregnancy, childhood, adolescence and early adulthood to be carried out anywhere in the world.[58]

The Australian National Phenome Centre (ANPC), led by Murdoch University, is a world-leading research institute in metabolic phenotyping, as well as the only facility of its kind in the southern hemisphere.[59][60][61] The ANPC is led by Professor Jeremy K. Nicholson, one of the most renowned academic in the areas of metabolomics.[62][63] During the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers at Murdoch University were at the forefront of studying the long-term biochemistry and symptomatology of the coronavirus, including the discovery of distinct blood signatures of patients who contracted the virus.[64][65]

The university's work with conservation management has including the protection of dugongs through drone-tracking devices,[66] and the use of space technology to track movement patterns of vulnerable whale sharks.[67] Murdoch researchers also work to protect the endangered native black cockatoos.[68]

Murdoch was the subject of an ABC Four Corners report on selling of placements and the associated student visas to seemingly unqualified people including those who had been previously rejected for Australian visas.[69] Subsequently, the Department of Home Affairs increased Murdoch's risk rating.[70]

Murdoch University International Study Centres


Murdoch University Dubai


Murdoch University Dubai is a branch campus, established in 2008 in Dubai International Academic City to cater for the expanding Dubai media and financial sectors, and support Dubai's ambitions in providing an ongoing reserve of regional graduates connected to the demands of the region's booming industries.[citation needed]

The campus in Dubai offers degree programs in Commerce, Information Technology and Media and postgraduate programs in Business, Human Resource Management and Education. The Degree programs are fully compatible with those offered in Perth and carry full Australian accreditation as well as being certified by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, Government of Dubai.[citation needed]

Murdoch University International Study Centre Singapore


The Murdoch University International Study Centre (MUISC) in Singapore was officially opened in June 2008 by Australian High Commissioner Mr Miles Kupa.

Notable faculty and alumni


See also



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