Top universities in Melbourne | Top Universities

Top universities in Melbourne

User Image

Laura Bridgestock

Updated Jun 24, 2024



Top Universities in Melbourne main image

Melbourne is Australia’s second largest city and one of the most liveable cities in the world, according to the annual Mercer quality of living report. It's a truly international place to live, with over 40 percent of its population coming from overseas.

Historically, Melbourne is well established as a hub of cultural innovation, having produced the world’s first feature film in 1906 and played an integral role in the Impressionist movement. This continues today as the city offers myriad museums, galleries and cultural hangouts, including Corner House and Northcote Social Club, known as the best live music venues in the city.

Also of note is the city’s urban art scene and expressive graffiti culture, which can be viewed on solo excursions or as part of a street art tour.

Situated in the western state of Victoria, Melbourne is also known for its changeable weather. It can go from searing heat to tepid downpours in minutes. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, the city is a heaven for food lovers and boasts many great restaurants and cafés.

The city’s lively nightlife and packed cultural calendar, along with its beautiful beaches, help make Melbourne a highly attractive destination for international students. Perhaps the only downside would be that the strength of the Australian dollar makes living in the city relatively expensive – but on the other hand, employability prospects after graduation are strong.

Based on the QS World University Rankings®, these are the seven top universities in Melbourne, each with much to offer prospective students.

University of Melbourne

University of Melbourne


The highest ranked of universities in Melbourne, and Australia’s second oldest university, the University of Melbourne is located in the city’s Parkville suburb and is ranked 33rd in the world. The school is around 170 years old and currently enrols over 54,000 students. The area of Parkville is known for its leafy streets and heritage buildings along with one of Melbourne’s main tourist attractions, Melbourne Zoo.

On the doorstep of the city’s central business district, the university boasts many cafés, shops and sports venues as well as good transport links. Parkville was also the site of the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games Village and continues to act as an inclusive community environment and the social legacy of the games. The university is a member of the prestigious Group of Eight, an alliance of Australia’s leading research universities.

Monash University

Green Chemical Futures building at Monash University


Just 55 years old, Monash University is a relatively young research institution with a large student community of over 86,000. The university in ranked 57th in the world and has six campuses throughout the state of Victoria and two more internationally. The school’s motto ‘Ancora imparo’, translated as ‘I am still learning’, reflects its dedication to innovation and ongoing development.

Its main campus neighbours the University of Melbourne in Parkville and is home to the Victorian College of Pharmacy which merged with Monash University in the 1990s, and has led to the school being ranked first in the world in the fields of pharmacy and pharmacology. Monash is also a part of the Group of Eight.

RMIT University (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology)

Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology


Originally founded in 1887 as the Working Men’s College of Melbourne, RMIT University has a strong focus on design and technology and is ranked =190th in the world. Its main campus is in the northern section of the city centre on the edge of the central business district. The school prides itself on being one of few central universities in Melbourne that it is not enclosed within itself, but forms a key part of the city’s cultural hub.

RMIT University has a population of over 97,000 students at its Australian base and international campuses. One of the notable facilities at the school is its working wind tunnel, which is used on the automotive design course and by industry partners.

Deakin University

Deakin University


Although located primarily in the neighbouring city of Geelong and the suburb of Burwood just outside of Melbourne, Deakin University has a distinctly metropolitan vibe. Starting life in 1974 as a small regional institution, Deakin has since merged with two other schools in the state of Victoria to become a key player in the western side of the state, excelling in a large range of subjects, and becoming one of the top universities in Melbourne.

The school now has a student population of over 61,000 across its three campuses and is ranked 266th in the world. The Geelong campus is located on Corio Bay with modern facilities and open spaces.

Swinburne University of Technology

Swinburne University of Technology


Swinburne University of Technology is located in the suburb of Hawthorn, just 7km outside of the city center. The institution, ranked =296th in the world, is a public research centre focused on technology and is home to over 35,000 students spread across its campuses.

The university’s Prahran campus, where the faculty of design and the National Institute of Circus Arts are located, is renowned for its creative community in fields of arts and design. This suburb of Melbourne is both vibrant and metropolitan, boasting a popular shopping district and decent nightlife.

La Trobe University

La Trobe University


Established in 1964, La Trobe University has six campuses across the state of Victoria. Its main campus is situated in the city suburb of Bundoora which is just 16km north of Melbourne’s city centre. The school boasts two art museums as well as a sculpture park in Melbourne city.

The university is ranked 316th in the world, with its most notable ranking achievements in the arts and humanities subjects. La Trobe University has over 38,000 current students and also teaches postgraduate business students in the heart of Melbourne’s central business district.

Victoria University

Victoria University


Next in our list of top universities in Melbourne is Victoria University, ranked 701-750 in the world and has much to offer in terms of its wide spectrum of teaching levels, ranging from short courses and apprenticeships to postgraduate degrees. Over 40,000 students are enrolled at Victoria and the Footscray Park campus, 5km outside of Melbourne city centre. 

Australian Catholic University

Australian Catholic University


The youngest university on the list, Australian Catholic University was established in 1991, but the school has grown rapidly over the past couple of decades and has seven campuses around Australia with one in Rome, Italy too.

The university is the lowest ranking university in Melbourne, but is still very much within the world's most elite institutions. The student population has reached over 33,000 with representation from over 100 countries and more than 2,300 highly qualified staff. 

+ 2 others
saved this article

+ 3 others saved this article