Universities in Melbourne, Australia

skyscraper buildings with trees in the foreground

Melbourne is a diverse and multicultural city located on the south east coast of Australia

Melbourne is Australia’s largest city and is also home to many of the top universities in Australia. Melbourne boasts a combination of high living standards with relatively low costs of living. With nearly 40% of Melbourne residents being immigrants, the city is very diverse and can be an ideal destination for you to pursue a university degree as an international student. You will have plenty of opportunities to make friends from different backgrounds at one of Melbourne’s many universities and cultural spaces.

Top Universities in Melbourne

Deakin University

Founded in 1974, Deakin University has since merged with two major universities in Australia’s Victoria state to become one of Melbourne’s top universities. Deakin University is primarily located in Burwood, Melbourne. 

It also comprises three satellite campuses as well as an extensive online cloud campus, making it convenient for you to pursue your studies either in-person in Melbourne or remotely. Deakin University offers a large number of undergraduate degrees, as well as highly-respected graduate programs in Psychology, Nursing and Urban Policy.

La Trobe University

La Trobe University has six campuses across Victoria state, with its primary campus located 15km north of Melbourne city centre. La Trobe University is well-known for its excellent arts & humanities facilities both inside and outside the classroom; the university has two art museums on campus.

La Trobe University comprises nearly 35,000 students. The La Trobe University business programs are among the best in Melbourne, and the La Trobe business school’s location in the heart of Melbourne’s financial district allows for great networking and professional opportunities to assist your academic career.

Monash University

Monash University is one of Australia’s largest universities with a total student population nearing 75,000. Founded in 1958, Monash has quickly become one of Melbourne’s top universities and is located across four campuses in the Melbourne region. 

Monash University also has a strong network of international campuses located in Malaysia, India, China and Italy, among others. With a worldwide presence and large international student population, Monash is a preferred choice for many international applicants seeking universities in Melbourne. Monash University’s Victorian College of Pharmacy is globally reputed and regularly ranks in the top 10 pharmacology programs across the world.

University of Melbourne

The University of Melbourne is consistently ranked as one of the top universities in Australia and the world with nearly 40,000 enrolled students. Founded in 1853, the University of Melbourne is also a member of the ‘Group of Eight’, a group of Australia’s top research universities. 

The university aims to provide students with a high-quality education through both world-class faculty and research facilities. The University of Melbourne is conveniently located in the Parkville suburb near the Melbourne business district as well as major tourist attractions such as the Melbourne Zoo. Some of the popular courses offered include undergraduate programs such as Bachelor of Fine Arts and Diploma in General Studies. 

Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT)

RMIT is one of Australia’s top universities for design and technology, and has a large overall student body of nearly 75,000 students. It is one of Melbourne’s oldest universities and was founded as the Working Men’s College of Melbourne in 1887. 

RMIT is world-renowned for its advanced research facilities and hosts high-end research material including a wind tunnel for automotive design research. RMIT offers programs in three primary areas:

  • Design and Social Context
  • Business
  • Science, Engineering and Health

Swinburne University of Technology

Swinburne University is a public research university with nearly 60,000 enrolled students across six campuses. The primary Swinburne University campus is located close to the Melbourne city centre. The university specialises in technical disciplines such as architecture, aviation, civil engineering and design theory, alongside work-oriented programs in various areas such as plumbing.

Victoria University

Victoria University offers top-quality education in a range of courses and program options, from short apprenticeships to comprehensive programs in fields such as business and law. Victoria University currently enrols nearly 40,000 students every year and supports its teaching faculty in their educational goals with top-ranked practical training facilities in many disciplines such as a full-fledged training hospital on campus and a newly-built sports complex.

Melbourne University Rankings 2023

Below is a list of the top Melbourne universities in 2023, according to QS world rankings and Times Higher Education:

UniversityQS World Ranking 2023Times Higher Education Ranking 2023
University of Melbourne3334
Monash University5744
La Trobe University316251-300
Victoria University701-750501-600

It is important to note that two Melbourne universities, the Swinburne University of Technology and Deakin University, are also featured on the QS World Rankings but not on the Times Higher Education List. While Swinburne University has a global QS rank of =296, Deakin University has a global QS rank of 266.

Melbourne TAFE Institutes 

TAFE (Technical and Further Education) institutes, an Australian government initiative, are Registered Training Organisations (RTOs). Studying at a TAFE institute provides you with a vocationally-oriented degree that trains you adequately for semi-skilled as well as skilled occupations and is nationally recognised across Australia. TAFE qualifications range from certificates to diplomas and advanced diplomas. The best benefit of TAFE programs is high-quality on-the-job training with an employer in Melbourne. TAFE programs in Melbourne are offered in a wide variety of industrial areas – trade, business, healthcare and many more.

Melbourne TAFE institutes include Box Hill Institute and Melbourne Polytechnic, as well as TAFE institutes operated by universities such as Victoria University Polytechnic, RMIT, and the Holmesglen Institute.

List of Specialist Universities in Melbourne

In addition to the top Melbourne universities, below is a list of specialist universities in Melbourne which offer courses with a focus on a high-quality vocational training-based curriculum.

  • Collarts
  • Cambridge International College (CIC)
  • Melbourne Language Centre Private Limited
  • Stotts Colleges
  • Australian Centre of Further Education (ACFE)
  • Navitas College of Public Safety (NCPS)
  • William Angliss Institute (WAI)
  • Holmesglen Institute
  • South Pacific Institute
  • Southern Cross Education Institute (SCEI)
  • Melbourne Institute of Technology

Public versus Private Universities in Melbourne

The main difference between private and public universities in Melbourne is the source of their funding. Private universities are owned and operated by privately-owned companies and organisations, while public colleges receive funding from the Australian government.

Private universities typically have smaller class sizes, whereas public universities in Melbourne benefit from large-scale and diverse student bodies and more affordable tuition costs. Australia has only 5 private universities, and only one of them – Torrens University Australia – has a campus in Melbourne. All of the top ranked universities in Melbourne are public universities.

Life in Melbourne Universities for International Students

Melbourne universities have an exciting and accessible lifestyle in store for international students. Of Australia’s 20 million population, nearly a million are international students, showing the level of comfort immigrants and students feel in cities like Melbourne. From natural spaces like the Royal Botanical Gardens to the Melbourne Zoo, as well as historical areas such as Federation Square and popular art museums across Melbourne, the city has a wide variety of attractions which will engage you outside of academic areas. A vibrant nightlife makes the city an even bigger draw for international students.

In order to support your lifestyle as an international student in Melbourne universities, you can always find part-time work in the bustling city. Popular choices for international students’ part-time occupations include tutoring jobs as well as retail jobs such as cafes, hospitality and university venues. Melbourne universities are sure to satisfy your demands for academic and personal growth as an international student.

See our Studying in Australia directory for more information about being an international student in the country, as well as other cities, tuition fees and a full list of courses/subjects available.

The latest articles from institutions in Australia

The latest articles on StudyLink

StudyLink recommends

Sign Up to StudyLink

Sign up to StudyLink, the home of quality study abroad advice.

Click Here to Sign Up Now
  • Receive the StudyLink News newsletter
  • Save your favourite courses to build a shortlist
  • Be the first to find out about exciting new study opportunities

Join Our Newsletter


Sign up to StudyLink.com today for free and be the first to hear about any new study abroad opportunities

Subscribe Now