Murdoch University

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Murdoch University
Murdoch University new logo.png
Murdoch University Logo
Established25 July 1973; 47 years ago (1973-07-25)
EndowmentAU$40 million
ChancellorGary Smith[1]
Vice-ChancellorEeva Leinonen[2]
Students16,606 (2015)[citation needed]
Location, ,
AffiliationsInnovative Research Universities
Open Universities Australia
Universities Australia
MascotVictor the Viking[3]
WebsiteMurdoch University Perth
Murdoch University Dubai site

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 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.[4]

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."[4]

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 enrolled for undergraduate programs.[4]

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.[4]

Since 2015, Murdoch University has become more teaching focused. In late 2018, the University faced scandal subsequent to an enrolment surge of international students, many “lacking English language and computing skills”. In 2019, a Four Corners investigation by the ABC found further denigration of standards with foreign students recruited as 'cash cows'.[5]


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

South Street[edit]

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)Coordinates: 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),[6] large enough to accommodate the veterinary school and its animal stocks—the only such school in Western Australia.[7] Most of the southern part of the university consists of paddocks of livestock, farms and renewable energy facilities.

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.[8] The planting and landscaping were the work of Marion Blackwell.

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.[9]

Rockingham Campus[edit]

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.[10][11]

Rockingham Regional Campus Community Library[edit]

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.[12]

Mandurah Campus[edit]

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).



Broadwalk, west

There are nine schools at Murdoch University:[13]

  • School of Arts
  • School of Business and Governance
  • School of Education
  • School of Engineering and Information Technology
  • School of Health Professions
  • School of Law
  • School of Psychology and Exercise Science
  • Sir Walter Murdoch School of Public Policy and International Affairs
  • School of Veterinary and Life Sciences

Asia Research Centre[edit]

The Asia Research Centre, founded in 1991, produces 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.[14]

The Centre encompasses researchers from across Murdoch University. It also regularly engages in collaboration with researchers from other universities around the world.[14]

The Centre's Director is Caroline Hughes, Associate Professor of Governance Studies in the School of Social Sciences and Humanities.[15]

Student demographics[edit]

Murdoch University has more than 23,000 registered students,[16] of which 37% are international students.[17]

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.[18]

Academic profile[edit]


University rankings
Murdoch University
QS World[19]571-580
THE World[20]501-600
ARWU World[21]601-700
US News World[22]679=
Australian rankings
QS National[19]28
THE National[23]29=
ARWU National[24]27-29
US News National[25]29
ERA National[27]25[26]

The 2021 Times Higher Education World University Rankings has listed Murdoch University in the top 501-600 universities in the world.[28] The QS World University Rankings placed Murdoch University in the top 571–580 universities in 2021.[29] Webometrics ranked Murdoch University at #590 worldwide.[30]

The University has dropped in international University league tables, notably the ‘Worlds Top 100 universities under 50’, having entered at 57th in 2013 and dropped to 68th position in 2017.[31]


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

According to The Australian newspaper ("What makes a good school of journalism"), The Graduate Careers Council of Australia found that Murdoch journalism graduates rated satisfaction with their course at a level within the top five nationally.[32]

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.[33]

The Theology programme at Murdoch was, until its controversial closure in 2021, the most integrated of any Australian University and included a full complement of staff working on-site. It is also one of only 2 universities in Western Australia to offer studies in the areas of Forensic science and the only university to offer Criminology.

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.[34]

The Australian National Phenome Centre (ANPC), led by Murdoch University, is a world-leading (as well as the only facility of its kind in the southern hemisphere) research institute in metabolic phenotyping.[35][36][37] The ANPC is led by Professor Jeremy K. Nicholson, one of the most renowned academic in the areas of metabolomics.[38][39]

Murdoch University International Study Centres[edit]

Murdoch University Dubai[edit]

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.

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.

Murdoch University International Study Centre Singapore[edit]

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[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Gary Smith installed as Murdoch's seventh Chancellor". Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  2. ^ "Murdoch appoints new Vice Chancellor". Murdoch University. 1 December 2015. Archived from the original on 28 May 2016. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
  3. ^ "Murdoch students raise funds at games". Murdoch University. 16 October 2012. Archived from the original on 29 March 2017. Retrieved 13 April 2017. Murdoch mascot Victor the Viking and Emma Minear present a cheque to Graham Jaeschke from the Smith Family Foundation.
  4. ^ a b c d "History of Murdoch". Murdoch University. Archived from the original on 31 March 2017. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Take a tour of South Street". Murdoch University. Archived from the original on 19 October 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
  7. ^ "Open your mind to a career in Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences". Murdoch University. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  8. ^ Hannah Lewi and Andrew Saniga, 2014' 'Planning for Expansion and Dissent: the a Modern Australian Campus, in edited proceedings, Expansion and Conflict, 13th International Docomomo Conference, Seoul Korea, September 2014.
  9. ^ "Pendopo". Murdoch University. Archived from the original on 6 April 2015. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  10. ^ Barnes, Candice (8 August 2014). "Murdoch University to stop teaching at Rockingham campus". Archived from the original on 7 May 2017. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  11. ^ "Rockingham campus". Archived from the original on 25 June 2016. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  12. ^ "ABOUT ROCKINGHAM REGIONAL CAMPUS COMMUNITY LIBRARY". Archived from the original on 27 April 2007. Retrieved 12 May 2007.
  13. ^ "Schools at Murdoch University". Archived from the original on 16 July 2016. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  14. ^ a b Asia Research Centre Archived 22 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine, Murdoch University
  15. ^ "Associate Professor Caroline Hughes". Murdoch University. Archived from the original on 10 April 2013. Retrieved 12 December 2012.
  16. ^ "About Us | Murdoch University". Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  17. ^ "Murdoch University". Times Higher Education (THE). 9 September 2019. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  18. ^ "History of Murdoch University". Murdoch University. Archived from the original on 6 January 2013. Retrieved 12 December 2012.
  19. ^ a b "QS World University Rankings 2021". Quacquarelli Symonds Limited.
  20. ^ "World University Rankings 2021". Times Higher Education.
  21. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2020". Shanghai Ranking Consultancy.
  22. ^ "U.S. News and World Report Best Global Universities Rankings". U.S. News and World Report.
  23. ^ "THE 2021 - Australia". Times Higher Education.
  24. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2020 - Australia". Shanghai Ranking Consultancy.
  25. ^ "U.S. News and World Report Best Global Universities in Australia". U.S. News and World Report.
  26. ^ "ERA Outcomes 2018 Research Rankings". The Australian. 4 December 2015. Archived from the original on 31 December 2016. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  27. ^ "Australian University Rankings". Australian Education Network.
  28. ^ "World University Rankings". 30 September 2015. Archived from the original on 31 October 2016. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
  29. ^ "QS World University Rankings 2021". Top Universities. Archived from the original on 21 October 2016. Retrieved 22 February 2014.
  30. ^ "Murdoch University". Webometrics. Archived from the original on 26 February 2014. Retrieved 22 February 2014.
  31. ^
  32. ^ Jackson, Sally (21 September 2006). "Stock Quotes". The Australian. Archived from the original on 23 August 2007. Retrieved 13 June 2007.
  33. ^ "ACICIS – Study Indonesia". Archived from the original on 4 April 2007. Retrieved 5 April 2007.
  34. ^ "Long may kids' health study Raine | Health+Medicine". Archived from the original on 27 December 2017. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  35. ^ "Australian National Phenome Centre: new facility could find autism prevention". Perth Now. 16 December 2018.
  36. ^ "Phenome Centre to Connect the Dots". Business News Western Australia. 21 February 2019.
  37. ^ "Inside WA's cutting-edge medical innovation hub". The West Australian. 30 May 2019.
  38. ^ "Phenome centre will be a 'crystal ball' into the health of WA and beyond". Murdoch University. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  39. ^ "How Perth lured one of the world's most respected medical minds". The West Australian. 30 May 2019.
  40. ^ Eames, Malcolm; Dixon, Tim; Hunt, Miriam; Lannon, Simon (6 September 2017). Retrofitting Cities for Tomorrow's World. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-1-119-00722-7.
  41. ^ "Cave dive hero and Murdoch alumnus recognised as co-Australian of the Year". Retrieved 17 October 2019.
  42. ^ Derriman, Philip (11 October 2000). "Why every stroke counts for Cross". The Sydney Morning Herald. p. 40. Retrieved 12 December 2012.
  43. ^ "Dr Brad Pettitt – Mayor". Fremantle City Council. Archived from the original on 8 April 2019. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  44. ^ Ong, Justin (3 January 2014). "Singapore's first-ever UFC fighter Royston Wee almost quit MMA". Yahoo Sports Singapore. Archived from the original on 17 May 2014. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  45. ^ "Royston Wee UFC Profile". Zuffa. Archived from the original on 20 August 2014. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  46. ^ "Penguin Barb". Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  47. ^ Parliament of Western Australia. "Hon. Alison Marie Xamon MLC".

External links[edit]