Best Universities in Australia: What are the Ranking Criteria?

Australia is a hotspot for international students. The country is home to numerous top ranking international universities. These universities not only offer highly recognised degrees, they also provide access to a greater network of industries, employers and of course a great higher education experience. Based on research we at FES have compiled a list of disciplines and the respective highly ranked universities in Australia. The rankings are based on research and student feedback. 

Accounting & Finance

This year, the University of New South Wales (UNSW), which is now rated 20th overall, is Australia’s top university for accounting and finance. In this list, 17 additional elite Australian universities are included.

Agriculture & Forestry

This year’s agriculture ranking includes 24 Australian universities, with the University of Queensland (UQ) maintaining its top status in Australia by placing joint-16th.

Anatomy & Physiology

The University of Sydney, which is now ranked 12th in the world, has surpassed the University of Melbourne to become the top institution in Australia for studying anatomy and physiology. This year, eight additional Australian institutions are featured.


Eight additional Australian colleges are listed among the top 100 universities in the world for anthropology, including the Australian National University (ANU), which remains tied for sixth place.


The Australian National University (ANU), which rose two positions globally to take the 11th spot this year, is once again the finest university in Australia to study archaeology. Twelve Australian institutions are represented in this year’s ranking, with ANU being one of them. The University of Sydney is also among the top 40 universities in the world.


The University of Melbourne, which is now ranked in 24th place, is one of four Australian universities that made this year’s top 50 list for architecture. There are a total of 16 Australian institutions included.

Art & Design

With 12 additional universities joining it in this year’s list, RMIT University is still the top-ranked Australian institution for art and design, coming in at number 15 overall.

Biological Sciences

The University of Melbourne, which is ranked joint-fortieth in the biological sciences ranking this year, is ranked higher than 23 other Australian universities. The Australian National University and the University of Queensland are both among the top 50 universities.

Business & Management Studies

In Australia, the University of Melbourne is the top school to study business and management. It is ranked ahead of 22 other Australian universities in the international rankings, at joint number 34.

Chemical Engineering

In the 34th position for chemical engineering, Monash University takes first place for Australia, followed by nine other Australian universities.


Monash University, which is ranked joint-37th among the 22 Australian universities this year, is at the top of the heap.

Civil & Structural Engineering

The University of New South Wales (UNSW), now ranked 13th in the world, is the top institution in Australia for civil engineering. There are rankings for 13 further Australian institutions.

Classics & Ancient History

For classics & ancient history, two Australian universities were placed this year, with Macquarie University placing 44th overall, ahead of the University of Sydney.

Communication & Media Studies

The best Australian university for communication and media studies remains to be Queensland University of Technology (QUT). QUT is one of 18 universities that were included in this year’s list, which has it currently rated 15th in the globe.

Computer Science & Information Systems

This year, 22 Australian institutions are included in the top 500 universities in the world for computer science. Although it dropped four spots to claim 43rd place, The University of Melbourne can still boldly proclaim to be the finest of the group.


This year’s rankings for dentistry only include four Australian universities. The University of Adelaide wins the top slot, moving up nine positions from last year to 25th.

Development Studies

With a ranking of 13, the University of Melbourne replaces the Australian National University (ANU) as the top university in Australia for development studies. A total of seven universities are ranked.

Economics & Econometrics

The Australian National University (ANU) is the top-ranked institution among the 20 Australian universities listed for economics. This year, ANU is ranked 33rd globally, one spot higher than the University of Melbourne.

Electrical & Electronic Engineering

Only two of the 20 Australian universities listed in this year’s electrical and electronic engineering ranking—the University of New South Wales (UNSW), which is ranked 37th, and the University of Melbourne, which is ranked joint-40th—are among the top 50 universities in the world.

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