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Where to Apply in Sydney? Top Universities’ Admission Criteria and Total Expenses

where to apply in Sydney

Sydney? A city full of life and opportunities. Its limitless educational opportunities have made it the third most sought-after destination for international students. As a result, a city housing over 180 nationalities has some of the most recognised institutions.

The initiatives taken by the Australian government for their foreign students are also a defining factor. Students further aspire to study in the top universities of Sydney due to their research-focused approach towards their degree programmes.

We will now look into some of the top universities in Sydney where you can continue your higher studies.

Which Universities are the Best in Sydney?

The table below provides the global and national rankings of the top universities in Sydney.

 

Highest Ranking Universities in Australia
University Name U.S News (National Ranking) U.S. News (Global Ranking) Times Higher Education (Global Ranking)
University of Sydney 2 28 54
UNSW University 4 37 71
University of Technology 9 112 133
Macquarie University 13 192 175
Swinburne University of Technology 14 199 201-250

All these universities above are recognised globally for the quality of education they provide. They are further ranked high based on their teacher and student satisfaction. The overall ranking of these universities shows their commitment to helping students excel.

However, what more is there in Sydney to study in the city?

Why Pursue Studies in Sydney?

The simple answer to this question is the perks of living in an industrious city. Some of the key benefits of living in Sydney include but are not limited to:

  1. High Employment Rate
  2. Economic, Technological and Social Hub
  3. Globally Recognised Universities
  4. Good Quality of Life

High Employment Rate

The students graduating from the universities in Sydney have a higher employment rate than others. The reasons for their high employment rate are:

  • Universities focus on creating well-rounded students
  • Preparing students for a global market
  • More job opportunities in Sydney

These high employment rates are a prime example of people’s preference for Sydney.

Economic, Technological and Social Hub

Sydney not only provides numerous employment opportunities but also is technologically advanced. Out of 400 top companies in Australia, at least 40% are in Sydney. This advancement and saturation of opportunities make it the best fit for international students.

Additionally, the multicultural nature of the city makes everyone feel at home here. With over 600,000 international students in only its top universities, Sydney takes diversity to a new level. A combination of all these traits helps people adjust to the city faster and live as happier beings.

Globally Recognised Universities

Adding “educational hub” would not be an exaggeration either. Since some of the top universities in Sydney keep ranking in the top 50 globally, the quality of education speaks for itself. The Group of Eight (G8) in Australia contains two universities from Sydney that rank high:

  • University of Sydney
  • University of New South Wales (UNSW)

The Group of Eight is best known for its research-intensive programmes and academic excellence. The inclusion of some Sydney universities in this group showcases the educational quality in the city.

Moreover, the degrees awarded by the universities in Sydney are recognised globally. Hence, if a student decides to move to another country, their degree will continue to hold the same importance.

Good Quality of Life

Life in Sydney is nothing short of a dream. The city caters to everyone’s needs and lifestyles. From its amazing beaches to modern urban centres, Sydney creates in everyone a desire to live and succeed. The quality of life, hence, is unmatched, with some of the happiest people living there according to the happiness index.

Why Should I Study in Sydney

What do I need to Secure Admission?

If the following requirements are fulfilled without any mistakes, you have a high chance of securing admission to one of the top universities in Sydney.

  1. English Language Proficiency Test Score
  2. GPA Criteria
  3. Supporting Documents
  4. Work Experience
  5. CV or Resume

English Language Proficiency Test Score

The national language of Australia is English. As a result, all the educational, professional and official tasks utilise English. For international students to successfully study in Sydney, the English language is a must. If the student’s first language is not English or he/she has not used it as a medium of instruction, English language proficiency tests are required.

A high score on an English language proficiency test can improve your chances of being accepted. The reason is that the admission committee views it as your ability to better adjust both in the city and on the campus. 

Some of the commonly accepted English language proficiency tests are TOEFL and IELTS.

GPA Criteria

The GPA requirements for the top universities in Sydney are not as high as the top universities in UK or USA. However, maintaining a GPA of 2.8 or higher is recommended. Furthermore, if you have a GPA of 3, you have a even higher chance of securing admission.

However, note that the GPA is not the only determinant of acceptance. Overall, the consistency in GPA and the difficulty of courses taken is also considered. If the academic requirements are fulfilled, not only can you get admission but can also try your luck with merit-based scholarships.

Supporting Documents

Supporting documents are all the material needed for an application. All the supporting documents mentioned below contribute to your application in one way or another.

  • Statement of Purpose (SOP): A statement of purpose, also known as a personal statement, is a determining factor in the application process. A personal statement is used to introduce yourself as a whole. Rather than focusing only on your academics and extracurriculars, you should also discuss your life-changing experiences and what has inspired you to be who you are today. All in all, a precise description of your achievements, key life events, interests and aspirations can be a part of your statement.
  • Recommendation Letters: Recommendation letters are best known for their second-person perspective. People who have played a key role in your life, e.g. teachers or employers, can write a recommendation letter for you. However, the person must know you on a personal, academic and professional level. Once you have chosen the person to write your recommendation, make sure you provide them with all the necessary information. Some of these details can be your prominent achievements, skills, and experiences.
  • Official Transcripts: For the verification of your previous academics, official transcripts are needed. You must submit your official transcripts since not submitting them will result in disqualification of your application.
  • Test Scores: You can have two types of test scores to submit. The first ones are the standardised tests like SAT, ACT, ATAR, etc. The second category is optional and subject-specific tests. These tests will score your course suitability by evaluating your subject knowledge. Further note that though ATAR is a standardised test, it too tests your suitability for courses you are applying for. SAT and ACT, on the other hand, test your previous knowledge and your potential to gain knowledge respectively.
  • Portfolios (if applicable): Portfolios are not compulsory for all applicants. Only some specific subjects can require a portfolio. For example, arts and humanities, design etc. When a portfolio is requested, ensure that you have added your best work in it. Not only that, but you should also display the work most innovatively and beautifully.

Work Experience

Work experience is not always applicable. However, it is compulsory for some subject areas, e.g., MBA. When filling out your application, even if a work experience is not asked, you can mention a professional experience that is closely related to your interests and subject. By mentioning your work experience, you will display your ability to solve real-life problems and adjust to the real world.

CV or Resume

A CV or resume includes your achievements in the following order:

  • Most recent to Oldest

All these achievements or key events should display your capabilities and potential for success. With a well-itemised CV to show, the admission committee will give you an edge over the other students.

Where to Study in Sydney?

Let us look into the top universities in Sydney and their admission criteria. All the information provided below will help you decide the university you want to attend.

Why Should You Study at the University of Sydney?

The University of Sydney is the oldest in Australia with a standard of education that speaks for itself. With some recent amends to their approach to courses, they have added:

  • Critical thinking
  • Inventiveness
  • Cross-cultural competencies

This means that the students passing out from the University of Sydney will have these attributes. Hence, the university makes sure that its students excel in both academic and professional life. As a result of their ability to succeed in the real world, the students are ranked 1st in the world in employability rate.

To be better informed, look at some general facts about the University of Sydney.

 

University of Sydney
General Information
Acceptance Rate (%) Total Students International Students Student to Staff Ratio Female to Male Ratio
30% 72,585 24,662 23:1 58:42

 

If you feel like the University of Sydney aligns with your interests and goals, here are the top-ranked courses at the university that you can pursue.

University of Sydney
High Ranking Courses
Course Name Endocrinology & Metabolism Electrical & Electronic Engineering Arts & Humanities Oncology Artificial Intelligence
Subject Ranking 9 10 12 13 16

Furthermore, the admission criteria for your chosen degree can vary depending on the programme.

Given below are the academic criteria to secure admission to an undergraduate programme at the University of Sydney.

 

University of Sydney
Academic Criteria (Undergraduate)
IB (International Baccalaureate) ATAR SAT ACT IELTS TOEFL
35+ 70+ 1050+ 28+ 6.5+ 85+

Given below are the academic criteria to secure admission to a postgraduate programme at the University of Sydney.

University of Sydney
Academic Criteria (Postgraduate)
GPA GMAT SAT ACT IELTS TOEFL
3+ 600+ 1200+ 28+ 6.5+ 85+

 

Why Should You Study at the University of New South Wales (UNSW)?

The University of New South Wales (UNSW) is famous for its research contributions. Furthermore, the teaching standards they have continued to maintain over the years contribute to its high ranking.

With content focused on the real world, UNSW produces highly employable students with the highest salaries.

Furthermore, its university population of over 15,000 international students provides an unmatched university experience on campus. Learn more about the university from the table below.

University of New South Wales (UNSW)
General Information
Acceptance Rate (%) Total Students International Students Student to Staff Ratio Female to Male Ratio
60% 45.133 18,143 36.3:1 47:53

If the university interests you, you should know about its highest-ranking subjects. The ranking and subjects given below will help you make an informed decision.

University of New South Wales (UNSW)
High Ranking Courses
Course Name Polymer Science Water Resources Electrical & Electronic Engineering Psychiatry/ Psychology Energy & Fuels
Subject Ranking 10 17 18 19 20

The best way to securing admission to a university is by fulfilling its academic criteria. If you want to pursue a degree in Bachelor’s, compare your academics to the criteria given below.

University of New South Wales (UNSW)
Academic Criteria (Undergraduate)
IB (International Baccalaureate) ATAR SAT ACT IELTS TOEFL
35+ 75+ 1130+ 24+ 6.5+ 90+

You can also compare your academic criteria to the table below if you want to secure a place in postgraduate degree programmes at UNSW.

University of New South Wales (UNSW)
Academic Criteria (Postgraduate)
GPA GMAT SAT ACT IELTS TOEFL
3.3+ 550+ 1370+ 27+ 6.5+ 90+

Why Should You Study at the University of Technology?

The University of Technology produces high-performance individuals by focusing on:

  • Internships
  • Practical Skills
  • Real-life Performance
  • Volunteering, etc

Through the exposure from these experiences, students studying at this university get to be well-rounded. Furthermore, the approach used for teaching is task-based i.e., learn by doing.

All in all, the university focuses on helping its students succeed in the real world.

However that is not all, for international students, the university provides the following facilities:

  • English Language Support
  • Career Development
  • Clubs and Societies
  • On-Campus Housing Options

For more information regarding the University of Technology, refer to the table below.

University of Technology
General Information
Acceptance Rate (%) Total Students International Students Student to Staff Ratio Female to Male Ratio
19% 44,615 11,000 37.4:1 50:50

You should not only choose a good university but also an equally developed course. For that purpose, you should look at a university’s top-ranking subjects. 

The courses of the University of Technology with the highest subject ranking are:

University of Technology
High Ranking Courses
Course Name Water Resources Artificial Intelligence Electrical & Electronic Engineering Computer Science Engineering
Subject Ranking 1 3 8 15 22

You should also check if you meet the undergraduate academic criteria for the University of Technology by referring to the table below.

University of Technology
Academic Criteria (Undergraduate)
IB (International Baccalaureate) ATAR SAT ACT IELTS TOEFL
24+ 70+ 1090+ 23+ 6+ 60+

 

For a postgraduate degree from the University of Technology, you can check if you meet the academic criteria from the table below.

University of Technology
Academic Criteria (Postgraduate)
GPA GMAT SAT ACT IELTS TOEFL
2.6+ 550+ 1250+ 29+ 6.5+ 79+

Why Should You Study at Macquarie University?

Macquarie University is one of the top universities in Sydney that excels in:

  • Graduate Employability
  • Teaching
  • Research

The university has one of the largest research communities that investigates the issues of the present day. All in all, the university is recognised for producing graduates who are the best both academically and professionally.

For some other key features of the university, look at the table below.

Macquarie University
General Information
Acceptance Rate (%) Total Students International Students Student to Staff Ratio Female to Male Ratio
40% 30,561 8,281 51.7:1 52:48

For further guidance on which courses to get into at Macquarie University, see its highest-ranking courses given below.

Macquarie University 
High Ranking Courses
Course Name Arts & Humanities Education & Educational Research Environment/ Ecology Psychiatry/ Psychology Economics & Business
Subject Ranking 32 59 79 89 108

However, to make your dream of studying at Macquarie come true, you must fulfil their admission criteria. 

For undergraduate programs, refer to the table below:

Macquarie University 
Academic Criteria (Undergraduate)
IB (International Baccalaureate) ATAR SAT ACT IELTS TOEFL
26+ 75+ 1050+ 20+ 6.5+ 83+

For postgraduate programs, refer to the table below:

Macquarie University
Academic Criteria (Postgraduate)
GPA GMAT SAT ACT IELTS TOEFL
3+ 680+ 1140+ 22+ 6.5+ 83+

 

Why Should You Study at Swinburne University of Technology?

Swinburne University of Technology has been constantly recognised for its commitment to quality education and teaching. With its research-focused courses, the teachers at Swinburne have helped students get involved in high-impact global research. 

Furthermore, the courses at Swinburne are developed by collaborating with industry experts. Their input helps form courses that make the students well-rounded professionals.

Some more prominent features of Swinburne University of Technology are given below.

Swinburne University of Technology
General Information
Acceptance Rate (%) Total Students International Students Student to Staff Ratio Female to Male Ratio
66% 15,327 4,522 25 49:51

With the focus of the institution on its courses, it is no surprise that many of their courses rank high. Five of their top-ranking courses are:

Swinburne University of Technology
High Ranking Courses
Course Name Electrical & Electronic Engineering Civil Engineering Space Science Computer Science Optics
Subject Ranking 43 62 67 83 87

All in all, if you meet the academic criteria given below, you can secure admission to their bachelor’s programmes.

Swinburne University of Technology
Academic Criteria (Undergraduate)
IB (International Baccalaureate) ATAR SAT ACT IELTS TOEFL
24+ 75+ 1090+ 25+ 6+ 76+

For postgraduate programmes, you have to meet the following academic requirements.

Swinburne University of Technology
Academic Criteria (Postgraduate)
GPA GMAT SAT ACT IELTS TOEFL
28+ 600+ 1200+ 27+ 6+ 75+

How Much Does It Cost to Study in Sydney?

Since Sydney is a prominent city of Australia, the living cost is almost the same as the tuition fee. It is, hence, important for the students to manage their finances beforehand. The students aspiring to study in Sydney can arrange their finances by:

  • Arranging money themselves
  • Arranging money through part-time jobs
  • Arranging money by getting scholarships
  • Arranging money by taking loans

Regardless of the route you take, make sure that the arrangements for your finances are done before you go to Sydney. 

An overview of the expenses for an international student studying in Sydney is provided below. 

Annual Finances (in AUD)
University Name Application Fee Total Expense
Tuition Living Cost Total
University of Sydney $150 $45,500 $24,505 $70,005
UNSW University $150 $26,995 $24,505 $51,500
University of Technology $100 $21,400 $16,610 $38,010
Macquarie University Free $25,440 $17,000 $42,440
Swinburne University of Technology Free $25,572 $25,000 $50,572

What Scholarships Can Help My Finances?

Four types of scholarships can help your finances.

  1. Scholarships by the government of your home country
  2. Scholarships by the government of your destination country
  3. Scholarships by individual universities/ departments
  4. Scholarships via funding, organisations, and trusts

Some of the scholarships given by the government of Australia to the students of Sydney are:

  • Australia Awards
  • Endeavour Scholarship
  • Global Excellence Scholarship
  • Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP)

Australia Awards

Australia Awards is a scholarship programme introduced by the government of Australia. These scholarships are long-term awards given by the Department of Foreign Affairs. The students of undergraduate, masters and doctorate can apply for this scholarship.

Endeavour Scholarship

The Endeavour Scholarship is introduced by the government of Australia to facilitate international students. The scholarship is merit-based and awarded to students who showcase exceptional academics. Furthermore, students pursuing studies, research or professional development can apply for this scholarship. 

Global Excellence Scholarship

The Global Excellence Scholarship is a merit-based programme. The scholarships are awarded to students from all walks of life if they have displayed competitive scores. Hence, only top-of-the-class students mostly get this scholarship via their preferred universities. 

Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP)

The Australian Government Research Training Program is an initiative taken by the government of Australia to improve research quality and resources. Students in master’s and doctorate can apply for this programme to help facilitate their course research. 

How Will You Be Able to Get to Syndey?

Once you have all the information needed, all you need is proper guidance. With an expert by your side, you will not only secure admission but also have safe options for your finances. However, finding that expert can be a tricky process.

What does one do in this situation? Trust a reliable platform to help you. 

A trustworthy platform, like CounsellingX, can provide you with reliable counsellors. These counsellors can provide you with specific services or end-to-end counselling, as per your liking. To better understand how our platform works, you can find a counsellor of your choice and have a free 15-minute consultation with them. 

Key Considerations

  • Work on your English language proficiency and score well
  • Excel academically and get a good overall GPA
  • Start working on your supporting documents early 
  • Add a work experience that relates to your course and interests
  • List down your key experiences in your CV
  • Check if your academics match the academic requirements of your preferred university
  • Decide on how you will handle your finances as an international student
  • Apply for scholarships to lessen your expenses.
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