International Students The Vice-Chancellor’s Welcome

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Undergraduate Prospectus


International Students

The Vice-Chancellor’s Welcome

At The University of Western Australia you will enjoy an outstanding all-round student experience, encompassing both academic excellence and social and cultural opportunity.

This is an exciting time to be studying at UWA, as we celebrate both 100 years of achievement and our ranking as one of the world’s top 100 universities. With our international reputation for excellence in teaching and learning, you can be assured of leaving university with one of the most highly regarded degrees in Australia and beyond.

Our graduates are highly competitive internationally, achieving success in further study and in wide-ranging fields of employment. Many have risen to prominence in leadership roles in industry, government, education and the professions, both nationally and overseas.

At The University of Western Australia you will enjoy an outstanding all-round student experience, encompassing both academic excellence and social and cultural opportunity.

This is an exciting time to be studying at UWA, as we celebrate both 100 years of achievement and our ranking as one of the world’s top 100 universities. With our international reputation for excellence in teaching and learning, you can be assured of leaving university with one of the most highly regarded degrees in Australia and beyond.

Our graduates are highly competitive internationally, achieving success in further study and in wide-ranging fields of employment. Many have risen to prominence in leadership roles in industry, government, education and the professions, both nationally and overseas.

The University of Western Australia offers more than just a world-class learning environment. We encourage you to take advantage of all the opportunities available during your time here. Study overseas, volunteer in a remote location or travel with an award-winning debating team; join societies, act, sing, play sport. Enjoy socialising with your fellow students on our beautiful garden campus in its magnificent riverside location.

By choosing UWA, you will be working towards a qualification with international recognition and developing the skills and personal attributes to succeed in a global society.

Professor Paul Johnson



10 reasons to choose UWA 03

Western Australia—the big picture 05

The City of Perth 05

The University of Western Australia 07

Get away with UWA 09

UWA graduates get great jobs 11

Campus and facilities 13

Support and services 14

Finding a home away from home 17

Money matters 19

Courses for a changing world 22

Undergraduate scholarships 24

Study Area Index 25

Bachelor of Arts 26

Bachelor of Commerce 28

Bachelor of Design 30

Bachelor of Science 32

Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours) 34

Majors 36 – 178

Postgraduate professional courses 179

Pathways to UWA 199

Academic entry requirements 202

English language requirements 203

Help with English language skills 204

Admissions process 207

Download the details 209

The University of Western Australia acknowledges that it is situated on Noongar land and that Noongar people remain the spiritual and cultural custodians of their land and continue to practise their values, languages, beliefs and knowledge.

10 reasons to choose UWA


Your lecturers will be some of the best in the country. With such talented staff, classes are designed to ensure that all students receive an outstanding education.

2. New courses

UWA implemented an innovative new course structure in 2012 which provides our students with a cutting-edge, world-class education with maximum flexibility.

3. Friends and fun

There is always something happening on campus and with over 25,000 students from Australia and around the world, there are plenty of people to make friends with. In fact, WA has the most diverse student population of all the states of Australia.

4. Study overseas

Our student exchange program offers the opportunity to study at renowned universities around the world, for one or two semesters. See page 9.

5. UWA graduates get great jobs

UWA graduates consistently gain full-time employment at a higher rate than graduates from other Australian universities. See page 11.

6. Industry partnerships

We have strong relationships with a wide range of organisations that help us provide strong theoretical understanding with practical, real-world application.

7. Practical experience

UWA offers many practical learning experiences both within and outside the classroom! Check out our courses and majors for more information.

8. High calibre students

At UWA, you’ll be mixing with some of Western Australia’s highest achieving students. In 2011 UWA enrolled 76.8 per cent of the top five per cent of school leavers in the State.

9. Excellent facilities

Western Australia’s largest academic library is housed here. In addition, UWA has a new AUD$30 million Science library as well as number of subject area libraries.

10. Help and support

The University offers you all the support and help you need to ensure you complete your studies successfully. See page 14.

Western Australia

Western Australia covers one-third of the Australian continent. Spanning over 2.5 million square kilometres (1 million square miles), Western Australia extends into two different climatic zones. When it is warm and dry in the north of the State, it is cool and wet in the south. Bordered largely by desert to the east, Western Australia is bounded by 12,500 kilometres (7813 miles) of the world’s most pristine coastline to the west.

Western Australia is a land blessed with some of the world’s most precious natural phenomena including the dolphins of Monkey Mia, the 350-million-year-old Bungle Bungle range and the towering karri forests of the South West.

Venture beyond Perth to see a vast country of big experiences. Be in awe of landscapes carved by nature over millions of years. Immerse yourself in Aboriginal culture. Get up close and personal with the unique flora and fauna of Australia.

Situated in the far north is the Kimberley region, an ancient landform of rugged ranges with deep, spectacular gorges and pristine sandy beaches. The Pilbara region is the heartland of Western Australia and offers thrilling adventure and ecotourism opportunities. The north is contrasted by the natural forests and vineyards of the South West. Wherever you go, the memories will last forever.

The City of Perth

Perth is one of Australia’s best-kept secrets. Located on the southwest coast of the State of Western Australia (WA), Perth boasts some of the most magnificent coastline in the country. The city is situated along the banks of the Swan River and bordered to the west by the stunning white sandy beaches of the Indian Ocean.

Australia’s fourth largest city, Perth is known for its clear blue skies, sunny climate and clean white beaches. It is the perfect environment for a relaxed and healthy lifestyle, yet it is also a sophisticated and modern multicultural city.

Perth is a gateway between east and west, and shares the same time zone with 60 per cent of the world’s population. It has a high standard of living and the Economist Intelligence Unit has voted it one of the top 10 cities in the world in which to live.1

The city centre offers excellent shopping, as well as a vast range of restaurants, nightlife, entertainment and cultural venues. Enjoy a break from studying and visit the historic Fremantle area and join a tour of the old sites. Travel on Perth’s excellent public transport system is subsidised for international students. Head east to the Swan Valley and see how some of Western Australia’s most popular wines are made, or if cheese and chocolate are more to your taste, we have that too.

Fast facts


Capital City of Western Australia


1.75 million


2.5 million sq km




GMT + 8 hours


Complete religious freedom

Perth weather


Month: December to February

Weather: Dry and hot

Temperature: 20° to 32°C | 68° to 90°F


Month: March to May

Weather: Some rain

Temperature: 12° to 25°C | 54° to 77°F


Month: June to August

Weather: Rain

Temperature: 8° to 18°C | 46° to 65°F


Month: September to November

Weather: Some Rain

Temperature: 10° to 22°C | 50° to 72°F

Try something new

  • Go for a swim at Cottesloe Beach

  • Cycle around the Swan River

  • See a movie under the stars – visit the Somerville Auditorium at UWA, the Joondalup Pines Outdoor Cinema or the Moonlight Cinema in Kings Park

  • Enjoy a day in Fremantle – visit the museums, admire the historic buildings, shop at unique stores and markets, have a picnic or dine at restaurants offering multicultural foods

  • Take a ferry to Rottnest Island

Perth International Arts Festival

Australia’s oldest performing arts festival is held over the summer months. The Festival offers some of the best international and contemporary drama, theatre, music, film, art, literature and comedy entertainment in Australia.

The University of Western Australia

The University of Western Australia (UWA) is one of Australia’s leading universities and has an international reputation for excellence in teaching, learning and research.

The University is celebrating its centenary in 2013, and as the state’s first university, is proud to have supported the social and economic development of Western Australia. During our centenary year, the University will showcase its successful heritage as we look ahead to the next 100 years of achieving international excellence.

UWA Research

The University has a strong commitment to excellence and this underpins all its activities, particularly in the areas of research and teaching. UWA is responsible for the majority of university-based research and development in Western Australia, attracting researchers of international standing.

UWA Staff

Our students benefit from the strong knowledge base and experience of our research and teaching staff. These academic leaders pass on their knowledge and enthuse their students, who then leave with a respected qualification as well as the skills sought by employers in today’s challenging global job market.

UWA Relationships

UWA is the only Western Australian university to belong to the Group of Eight, a collaboration of the top research universities in Australia.

It is a member of the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN), a partnership of 19 research-led universities from Europe, North America, North Asia and Australia.

UWA is a foundation member of a new international network of high-quality universities across seven nations, the Matariki Network of Universities (MNU). These leading research-intensive universities, which pride themselves on the quality of the university experience, are among some of the oldest institutions in their respective countries.

Academic ranking

  • Ranked 96th in the Academic Ranking of World Universities 2012.

  • Ranked 1st in Australia for Life and Agriculture Sciences. Academic Ranking of World Universities, 2012.

  • Ranked 79 in the QS World University Rankings.

  • Ranked 5th out of 19 in Australia. 2012 Academic Ranking of World Universities.

  • Ranked in the 51st – 75th band for Clinical Medicine and Pharmacy, 2012. Academic Ranking of World Universities.


Research at UWA contributes to the development of Western Australian society and the wider global community. Some examples of the University’s research output that has directly benefited the community include:

  • UWA was chosen as the first Australian university to have a Confucius Institute—a joint venture with the National Office of Chinese as a Foreign Language (NOCFL), Beijing. The Institute promotes teaching Chinese language and culture in Australia, particularly Western Australia.

  • An artificial cornea created by the UWA Lions Eye Institute that has the potential to help millions of sufferers of corneal scarring and blindness.

  • UWA and Xcell Diagnostics Ltd’s work on a joint venture to develop innovative technologies for the detection of skin cancer.

  • UWA researchers dominated the 2012 Western Australian Science Awards including WA Scientist of the Year, Professor Peter Quinn, and Early Career Scientist of the Year, Associate Professor Ajmal Mian. UWA student David Erceg-Hurn was named Student Scientist of the Year.

  • Research led by Winthrop Professor Assen Jablensky, Director of the Centre for Clinical Research in Neuropsychiatry at The University of Western Australia, has led to the discovery of a new genetic link for schizophrenia. A team of researchers from the University of Western Australia and the Western Australian Institute for Medical Research (WAIMR) have shown that a common version of the MTHFR gene – carried by about half the population – increases a person’s chance of developing colon cancer by nearly a third. They also found that by boosting their folate intake, people with the high-risk version of the MTHFR gene might be able to lower that 70 per cent risk down to nothing.

  • Professor Barry Marshall, a UWA graduate and researcher, together with Emeritus Professor Robin Warren, was awarded the 2005 Nobel Prize in Medicine for the discovery of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori and its role in gastritis and peptic ulcer disease.

  • The UWA Business School is one of only six schools in Australia to hold both AACSB and EQUIS accreditation.

Get away with UWA

The program is a great way to learn more about the world and other cultures and is open to international students. You would continue to be enrolled at UWA, so do not pay tuition fees at the host institution, however you will need to pay airfares, accommodation and other living expenses while you are away. Scholarships, bursaries and loans are available.

Academic Benefits

You can take units (subjects) related to your degree which are not available at UWA. For example, the University of Otago offers courses in International and Native Title Law.

You can study at other outstanding universities that are also international leaders in their chosen research fields.
Employment Benefits

Your achievement in a different academic and cultural environment will show to employers that you are flexible, adventurous and a self-starter.

You may be able to gain invaluable experience for future employment through vacation internships in your area of study offered by some universities.

By undertaking overseas study during your UWA degree, you will be satisfying the University’s requirements to study for broadening units from outside your degree area. For more information, see page 22.

Personal Benefits

Travel within the host country and further afield with local students or other international students.

Meet people from around the globe and develop new friendships.

Gain independence and confidence.

Develop an understanding of other cultures and a global perspective.


University of Vienna

Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration


Laval University

University of Calgary

University of Alberta

McGill University

University of Montreal

McMaster University

University of Ottawa

Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada (International Study Centre at Herstmonceux Castle, UK)

Simon Fraser University

University of British Columbia

University of Waterloo


Pontifical Catholic University of Chile


Dalian University of Technology

Harbin Institute of Technology

Tsinghua University

Zhejiang University

Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Nanjing University


University of Århus

Copenhagen Business School

University of Copenhagen


Burgundy School of Business

Charles de Gaulle University (Lille III)

University of Evry/Val of the Essonne (UEVE)

ESSEC Business School

Grenoble Institute of Political Studies

Galileo Institute—University Paris 13

University of Limoges

Louis Pasteur University (Strasbourg I)

University of Montpellier 2 (UM2)

Paris-South II, University

Paul Cézanne University (Aix-Marseille III)

University of Poitiers

The University of Rouen

University of Science and Technology (Lille I)

Sciences Po, Paris

University of Sorbonne Nouvelle (Paris III)


Albert-Ludwigs University, Freiburg

Clausthal University of Technology

Eberhard-Karls University Tübingen

Free University Berlin

RWTH Aachen

Koblenz-Landau, University

Stuttgart, University

WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management


Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Hong Kong University of Science Technology

University of Hong Kong


Bocconi University

University of Bologna

University of Milan

Catholic University of the Sacred Heart

Polytechnic of Milan


Himeji Dokkyo University

Kansai Gaidai University

Kobe University

Oita University

Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University

Sophia University


University of Science Malaysia


Maastricht University

Utrecht University

Vrije University


University of Otago


University of Bergen

Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration (NHH)

Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB)

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)

University of Oslo

University of Stavanger

University College Bergen


Wroclaw University of Technology


Nanyang Technological University

National University of Singapore

Singapore Management University


Seoul National University


Comillas Pontifical University


Lund University

Mälardalen University

Stockholm University

Uppsala University


University of St Gallen


University of Bristol

University of Glasgow

International Study Centre, Herstmonceux Castle,UK (Queen’s University, Canada)

University of Nottingham

University of Leeds

University of Leicester

University of Loughborough

Royal Holloway University of London

University of Sheffield

University College London

Cardiff University


University of Arizona

Boston College

University of California Berkeley

University of California Davis

University of California Irvine

University of California Los Angeles

University of California Riverside

University of California San Diego

University of California Santa Barbara

University of California Santa Cruz

Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Indiana University

Iowa State University

University of Michigan

Montana State University

University of New Mexico

North Carolina State University

Penn State University

University of Pennsylvania

Purdue University

University of Texas at Austin

University of Vermont

Willamette University

Bellarmine University Kentucky

UWA graduates get great jobs

The 2013 edition of the Good Universities Guide gives UWA four or five stars in all three areas of graduate achievement, including getting a job, positive graduate outcomes and graduate starting salaries.

A UWA degree will link you with an international reputation of graduates who are creative, original and enterprising.

  • It is a great investment for your future—both financially and intellectually.

  • Over the past several years UWA graduates have consistently been the best at gaining full-time employment when compared to graduates from other Western Australian universities. See for yourself

  • With the help of our Careers Centre, you will not be alone in your job search whether you are interested in part-time work while studying or developing a long-term career plan.

  • Through online job advertisements, recruitment presentations and employment fairs, mentoring, interviews and targeted mail outs, the University can help you connect with employers from across Australia.

Graduate skills

UWA graduates have many of the skills that employers want:

  • Written and oral communication

  • Analytical

  • Problem solving and critical thinking

  • Decision making

  • Creative thinking

  • Cooperation and teamwork

  • An openness to new ideas

  • An ability to work independently

  • The capacity to apply knowledge to new situations

Our Graduates
The Honourable Robert Hawke

Former Prime Minister of Australia 1983–1991

His Excellency, Dr Ken Michael

Governor of Western Australia

The Honourable Kim Beazley

Former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia 1995–1996

Leader of the Opposition 1996–2001 and 2005–2006

Australian Ambassador to the United States of America 2009 to current

The Honourable Robert French

Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia

Dr Michael Chaney

Chairman of the National Australia Bank

Former director of BHP Billiton Limited

The Chancellor of UWA

Lee Hunter

Head of Consumer and Partner Marketing, Europe, Middle East and Africa at YouTube

Elizabeth Shaw

Australian Youth Representative to the United Nations

Peter Pang

President of Bosch China

The Honourable Stephen Smith

Minister of Defence, Australian Federal Government

Shaun Tan

83rd Academy Awards, Best Animated Short Film Oscar winner.

Every Premier of the State of Western Australia from 1988 to 2013—including the first woman Premier of a state in Australia

Campus and Facilities

UWA’s distinctive mix of heritage architecture and contemporary buildings contain state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities, lecture and performance theatres, tutorial spaces, studios and subject-specific laboratories, creating the perfect learning environment.

Nestled on the Swan River in Crawley just minutes from the centre of Perth, UWA is often described as one of Australia’s most picturesque campuses. At UWA you are surrounded by leafy green spaces with open courtyards and plenty of room to study, catch up with friends or just relax outdoors in Perth’s moderate climate.

UWA consistently rates highly in student feedback surveys as offering an exciting, vibrant atmosphere on campus. Shop, play, eat and be entertained—there’s a whole village on campus.

Located only a few minutes from the main Crawley campus is the University’s Claremont site, home to Taylors College which teaches The University of Western Australia’s Foundation Program, the Confucius Institute and UWA Extension, the University’s lifelong learning program.

Regional Teaching Centres

UWA also has a regional education centre in the South West town of Albany. Situated on the south coast of Western Australia, Albany is a five-hour drive from Perth. Here you can experience all that regional Western Australia has to offer while studying at university. For more information, visit

Fast facts


5km from Perth CBD | 20km from the international airport


65 hectares

Total student enrolments


Number of international students (including offshore) in 2013


Undergraduate enrolments in 2013


Postgraduate coursework enrolments in 2013


Higher degree research enrolments in 2013


Support and Services

UWA’s comprehensive range of student support services will help you settle into university life by supporting you both academically and personally, from before you have arrived until long after you have settled in.


  • Assistance with arranging initial temporary accommodation in a hall of residence.

  • Airport reception and transfer to accommodation for new students.

  • Pre-departure information online providing information on how to prepare for your move to Perth.

  • Register for our ConnectMe@UWA program before you arrive. We’ll contact you prior to arrival and support your journey to study at UWA by providing general information on life at UWA and the promotion of ConnectMe social events.

Your first days in Perth

  • A comprehensive orientation program that includes campus and city tours, advice on practical issues such as banking, shopping and transport, cultural adjustment, meeting other students and enrolment.

  • The UniStart program will help you connect with others before university begins.

  • UniSkills can help you settle into studying and enjoying life on campus. This program gives you the chance to join study groups in a more informal environment, enjoy free lunches and events where you can meet other students and gain the skills you need to succeed at UWA.

Your first year

  • A great way to get settled is to team up with an older student who will be your mentor.

  • Programs such as Study Smarter can show you how to maximise your learning experience by studying smarter, not harder.

The student experience

  • The UWA Student Guild is the heartbeat of campus life. The Guild is the centre of activity for clubs, societies, bands and a wide range of services such as catering, sporting activities, medical facilities and a second-hand bookshop. The Guild also brings students annual activities such as Orientation Week, end-of-semester parties, the Guild Ball (formal dance) and the National Campus Band competition.

  • The Guild represents students’ interests at all levels of university life, often advocating on behalf of students with the University. The staff and student representatives of the Guild can help you make the most of your time at UWA.

  • The International Students’ Service (ISS) is part of the Student Guild and looks after the welfare of international students studying at the University. If you need help along the way, you only need to ask.

During your studies and beyond


UWA has on-campus medical staff who provide convenient, comprehensive and confidential medical care to students.

Disabilities and medical conditions

Services for students with disabilities or medical conditions are also available. The University is committed to ensuring that students with disabilities have the chance to participate fully in university life.

Child care

The UWA Early Learning is licensed to provide long day care for children on a full-time and regular part-time basis.


Experienced psychologists are available to help you with strategies to manage many of your day-to-day concerns. Referral to other specialist services, both on- and off-campus, is also available.

Online information


An online question and answer portal.

Future students can look through questions that have been asked by other prospective students or ask their own questions. Visit us online and ask a question.

UWA website

All of your course, admission and fees information can also be found at


Be connected 24/7

  • The University has numerous computer laboratories throughout the campus which are accessible, carrying the latest in general and subject-specific software.

  • The University’s Learning Management System (LMS) allows students to access unit information online in a variety of streamed and/or download formats. You can also submit your assignments and see your grades.

  • The University has a wireless network called Unifi that is fast, reliable and easy to use.

Finding a home away from home

UWA understands how important it is to international students (and their parents) to find good quality accommodation close to the campus. There are many accommodation options open to international students, designed to suit different needs.

UWA residential colleges

The five UWA residential colleges—Currie Hall, St Catherine’s College, St George’s College, St Thomas More College and Trinity—offer a vibrant combination of living and learning on-campus, which so uniquely defines your time at UWA and adds a valuable dimension to your degree.

Situated adjacent to the main UWA Crawley campus, each college has its own style and feel, but all focus on providing a safe and secure environment and convenient living.

The colleges have comfortable, private, fully furnished bedrooms, along with common rooms, study areas, libraries, resource/computer rooms and various social and recreational spaces. Each college is fully catered, offering students three prepared meals, seven days a week. A range of dietary needs, cuisines and tastes are catered for including vegetarian meals and other special requirements.

As well as being great places to live, each college offers a broad range of cultural and social programs and activities. To support your academic pursuits, the colleges foster a thriving academic culture and offer onsite tutorials and/or tutoring.

With people studying different degrees, from all around Australia and the world and of all faiths and cultures, the colleges are diverse, vibrant centres of friendship and networking.

Living off Campus

Renting an apartment, unit or house may be on your own or sharing with others. You take responsibility for the property and sign a rental contract. The approximate cost of renting a room in a house near the University is AUD$280 (one bedroom) to AUD$700 per week (three bedrooms), but this depends on the size, location and quality. Other costs such as electricity and/or gas, telephone and food are usually not included and are shared with housemates. Accommodation close to the University is in high demand and good accommodation can be found all over Perth for less. It is important to realise that most rental leases will require a commitment of at least 12 months and you should bring character references with you to support your rental applications.

The University’s Housing Office has an online housing database for UWA students. International students who have been offered a place at UWA but have not yet enrolled can still create an account and access the database. To find out how to create an account, visit This searchable database includes lists of people looking to share a property or who have a vacant property to rent.

College placements

Places at college are subject to accepting an offer to study at UWA. While there is no deadline for applications, students are advised to apply as soon as possible and before being offered a place at UWA.

Overview of 2013 residential college fees and charges

University Hall

St Catherine’s College

St George’s College

St Thomas More College



Student numbers







3Weekly fee

AUD $337

AUD $410

AUD $435

AUD $390

AUD $404

42013 standard year fee

AUD $14,154

AUD $15,990

AUD $16,970

AUD $15,210

AUD $14,140

5Number of weeks in a standard year






This overview should be read in conjunction with each college’s fee schedule, located on their websites. Prices quoted are for 2013 and are meant to give an indication of costs only. 2014 fees will be available late 2013. Check the college websites for this information.
For more information:
UWA residential colleges

For more information, and access to links to the individual colleges, visit the website.

Living off campus

Housing Officer, Student Services

Tel: +61 8 6488 3547

Fax: +61 8 6488 1119


Money matters
The cost of attending university involves more than just paying tuition fees. You will need to find accommodation, travel to and from campus, buy books, pens, paper, and think about food and entertainment (such as joining clubs).
Cost of living

The annual cost of living in Perth depends on your lifestyle and the type of accommodation you chose, however AUD$450–$550 per week is generally sufficient for most single students to live comfortably. (This does not include tuition fees or medical cover). In addition you may need extra funds to cover various items such as airfares and textbooks. There may also be ancillary fees applicable to your course. To find your faculty information visit

Tuition fees increase each calendar year and are not fixed for the duration of the chosen program.
The comparative table below gives an indication of the type of expenses and average costs you will need to meet. Students with a family (spouse and one child) should budget a minimum of AUD$900 per week (AUD$46,800 per annum) for living expenses. Please use it as a guide only.

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