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. 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." 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. 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. 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'.


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

South Street

The main campus is on South Street, Perth, in the suburb of Murdoch, near the Kwinana Freeway (). South Street campus is Australia's geographically largest campus at , large enough to accommodate the veterinary school and its animal stocks—the only such school in Western Australia. 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. 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. File:Chancellery Building.jpg|Chancellery Building File:Bush Court and original campus buildings.jpg|Bush Court and original campus buildings File:View of Bush Court from Broadwalk.jpg|View of Bush Court from Broadwalk File:Murdoch Building 440 Bower Court 2014 iwelam.jpg|Bower Court in the Social Sciences building File:Peace Pavilion.jpg|Joglo Rahayu or Peace Pavilion File:Economics and commerce Building.jpg|Economics and commerce Building

Rockingham Campus

The Rockingham Campus is located south of central Perth in the suburb of Rockingham (). 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.

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.

Mandurah Campus

The Mandurah Campus is located south of central Perth in the suburb of Greenfields, near the regional centre of Mandurah (). 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).



There are nine schools at Murdoch University: *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

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.Asia Research Centre
, Murdoch University
The Centre encompasses researchers from across Murdoch University. It also regularly engages in collaboration with researchers from other universities around the world. The Centre's Director is Caroline Hughes, Associate Professor of Governance Studies in the School of Social Sciences and Humanities.

Student demographics

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

Academic profile


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


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. 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. 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. 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. The ANPC is led by Professor Jeremy K. Nicholson, one of the most renowned academic in the areas of metabolomics.

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. 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

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

*Glenn Albrecht – sustainability expert and coined the term solastalgia *Visam Ali – Maldivian politician *Cora Baldock – Sociologist, and former President of the Australian Sociological Association *Adam Bandt – Australian politician, current leader of the Australian Greens and MP for Melbourne *Sarah Bell professor of engineering *Reg Bolton – clown *Jeremy Callaghan – actor *Craig Challen - technical diver and cave explorer, veterinary surgeon, and 2019 co-Australian of the Year *Leonard Collard – Author, Professor of Indigenous studies at University of Western Australia *Roger Cook – Australian politician in the Labor Party, current WA Health Minister *Tracey Cross – Australian Paralympic swimmer *James Edelman – justice of the High Court of Australia and former justice of the Supreme Court of Western Australia and Federal Court of Australia *Alan Eggleston – Australian politician, former Senator for Western Australia, representing the Liberal Party *Vivienne Elanta – environmental activist *Brian Greig – Australian politician, former Senator for Western Australia representing the Australian Democrats *Kevin Hewison – Asian Studies professor *Frederic Jevons – biochemist and educator *Michael Keenan – Australian politician, member for Stirling, representing the Liberal Party *Bill Loader – Professor of New Testament * Scott Ludlam – Former Senator for Western Australia and federal co-leader of the Australian Greens *Toby Miller – cultural and media studies scholar *Jeremy K. Nicholson – academic specialising in metabonomics *Melissa Parke – Australian politician, member for Fremantle, representing the Labor Party *Brad Pettitt – Mayor of the City of Fremantle *Margaret Quirk – Australian politician in the WA Legislative Assembly, representing the Labor Party *Chandrika Ravi – Indian-Australian model, dancer and actress *Kim Scott – author *John Turner – Australian politician representing the Nationals *Kon Vatskalis – Australian politician representing the Labor Party, current Lord Mayor of Darwin *McKenzie Wark – writer and academic *Giz Watson – Australian politician, former leader of the Greens WA *Royston Wee – (Management and Marketing) professional Mixed Martial Artist in the UFC *Barbara Wienecke – Antarctic researcher, seabird ecologist *Grant Woodhams – Australian politician representing the Nationals *Alison Xamon – Australian politician in the Legislative Council, Parliamentary leader of the Greens WA *Edmund Yeo – Malaysian filmmaker *Basil Zempilas – Broadcaster and Lord Mayor of Perth *Raeesah Khan – Singaporean activist and politician

See also

* List of universities in Australia


External links

Murdoch University

Murdoch University Dubai
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