University of New South Wales (UNSW) Australia
About School

University of New South Wales (UNSW)

UNSW is a leading Australian university committed to making a difference through pioneering research and preparing the next generation of talented global citizens for career success with a unique focus on the scientific, technological and professional disciplines. Established in 1949, UNSW offers an extensive range of undergraduate, postgraduate and research programmes, with over 50,000 students from 128 countries. The main UNSW campus is located on a 38-hectare site at Kensington, seven kilometres from the centre of Sydney. Other major campuses are Art & Design in Paddington and UNSW Canberra at the Australian Defence Force Academy.

For more information, a “Study Abroad and Exchange Guide” and the “UNSW Exchange Fact Sheet” can be found here and here!

School's main website | International/Exchange student website


GPA requirement:

3.00 / 4.00

Language of instruction:



A list of courses available can be found here!

The timetable lists all course codes and course names. Students can use it to check the semester availability of courses.

Flying Chalks’ tips:

  • There are only one or two exams / assignments that make up your grade in any one course so do prepare well for it!
  • Course outlines are available for some courses, which may be useful in helping you prepare for the workload to come.

Course registration process:

More information about the course registration process can be found here!

Attendance policy:

Attendance policy varies across professors and depends highly on the course. Most courses do not take attendance for lectures, so attendance is not mandatory. However, students are expected to know the information presented during lectures for tests and assignments. Tutorials and other similar courses often have attendance taken, but they are usually helpful in contributing towards the completion of assignments and preparation for tests.

Flying Chalks’ tip: Lectures are usually available online on Echo360 depending on the course. If you are unable to attend class, you can listen to the lecture later at home. However, as recordings start 5 minutes after the hour and end 5 minutes before the allocated lecture time, it is good to attend lectures whenever possible – tips are usually given out for exams and other assignments.

My Campus

Campus map:
You can find virtual tours and interactive map of the university here

Selected facilities:

1. UNSW Fitness and Aquatic Centre
Managed by YMCA, the UNSW Fitness and Aquatic Centre houses a variety of aquatic and fitness facilities along with programs for all ages and abilities. It is available for all UNSW members, including students and staff, and is open to general public as well. You can find out more on its fees and charges here!

2. UNSW Roundhouse
UNSW Roundhouse is Sydney’s roundest live music venue that can hold 2,200 people. It is used to host various events ranging from major dance parties, comedy, theatre, conferences, private parties, as well as sold out gigs for Aussie and international acts.

Food on campus:

UNSW's Kensington Campus has a large variety of food places, including bars, cafes and convenience stores. For a complete list, click here!

Flying Chalks’ tips:

  • Students generally eat at the Stock Market which sells pasta, salad, soup, juice, and many more. 
  • Free food on campus is very common – just join the UNSW Free Food Facebook page to stay updated on its notifications

Campus transportation:

Within the campus, you can get from one building to another easily on foot. If you live nearby, you can go to campus easily. However, if you live somewhere farther away, there are a few bus stops that service the university.

  • UNSW Express Bus routes (890, 891, 892 and 895) run to and from Eddy Avenue, Central Station. These routes are pre-pay only (i.e. you need an OPAL card, refer to section on Transportation), are fast and high in frequency. Please refer to the UNSW Express timetable here! Note that a reduced timetable (different timetable) may operate over Christmas and the New Year. If you are traveling during this period, you might want to check the updated timetable at
  • UNSW 895 Express bus services pick up passengers from Stand C opposite UNSW on Anzac Pde. Stand A (outside NIDA) is not in service during semester breaks.
  • During exam periods, the 891 UNSW Express bus service diverts via Randwick Racecourse for student examinations as it is an exam venue. Bus drivers will have prior notice of the compulsory stop. There will be no change to the route from campus back to Central Station, but drivers will be required to stop at the Alison Road stop to pick up students leaving exams.
  • A courtesy shuttle bus operates between Paddington Campus (UNSW Art and Design, commonly known as COFA) and UNSW Kensington Campus during the academic year. The shuttle bus stop is located at the Gate 8 entrance on High Street (UNSW Kensington) and at the Greens Rd entrance (Paddington). However, the primary purpose of the shuttle bus is to operate as a night shuttle bus. Hence it has limited capacity and relatively low frequency. The 2016 UNSW Art and Design-Kensington Shuttle Bus timetable can be found here!

Alternative services:

  • From Central Station on Foveaux St just east of Elizabeth St: 339
  • From Central Station: 372, 374, 391, 393, 395
  • From Museum Station: 373, 376, 377

Other key bus services to UNSW:

  • Metrobus 10 (M10) – Leichhardt to Maroubra Junction via Anzac Parade
  • Metrobus 50 (M50) – Drummoyne to Coogee via the City, Anzac Parade and High Street
  • 370 - Leichardt to Coogee via Anzac Parade and High Street
  • 400 - Burwood to Bondi Junction via High Street
Student Life

Arc @ UNSW is run by students, for students, and its sole mission is to provide services to its members. Social events, volunteering, information on job vacancies, the list goes on! For more information, check out here!

Orientation program:

Orientation is a big five-day festival called O-Week which starts one week before the semester begins. There are meet-and-greet sessions, enrolment advising, as well as exhibitions by the various clubs and societies where you can also get lots of freebies!

Buddy program:

UNSW has its own buddy program where “Cultural Mentors” are matched to international students to help them better integrate into life in Sydney. There are also other peer mentoring programmes are available within faculties.

Student clubs:

Arc supports over 300 different Clubs and Societies at UNSW. Hence, whether your passion is in cooking or catching a Golden Snitch, there's bound to be one for you! If not, you can always start your own. For more information, check out here!

A complete list of Arc Clubs and Societies is available on OrgSync once you sign up and join as a member (which can be done during O-Week to get your membership sticker). Membership comes with many other perks as well!

University events:

The University hosts a wide range of events both on and off-campus throughout the year. They range from concert performances to open days and free public lectures on contemporary issues such as the environment, healthcare and global politics. You can access the complete list of events here!

Surrounding Environment

UNSW is located in Kensington – a suburb of eastern Sydney. It is mainly a residential area with many federation style homes and a place for many overseas international students.

For food:

Flying Chalks’ recommendations:

  • For food places near campus, head out to The Spot @ Randwick (about 20-30 minutes’ walk from campus). Randwick – Soul Burger, Isabella’s, Four Frogs are some recommendations
  • For more budget meals, NoodleInn has $8.90 noodles on Mondays, and SushiInn Express (in Randwick Plaza) has $5 lunch boxes daily, and $2 sushi rolls every Tuesday
  • Head towards Lower Campus if you are craving for some Asian food – Anzac Parade is home to Manpuku (ramen), Time for Thai, Albee’s (Singaporean/Malaysian food), Ayam Goreng 99, Sushi Tengoku, Niji Sushi (lunch sets)
  • Should you be craving for fastfood, Macca’s is located along Barker Street, Oporto is located along Anzac Parade, Subway can be found near the Central Lecture Block on campus, while KFC is found along Belmore Road near the Randwick Asian Mart and Woolies (Woolworths)

For nightlife and entertainment:

There are always parties being organized at our very own Roundhouse! If you’re heading out, Scubar and Three Wise Monkeys near Central are decent bars with live music and dancing. Of course, look out for all the pubcrawls being organized by colleges and other societies.

Flying Chalks’ tip: Remember to note the lockout time as you do not want to turn up at a party too late and get turned away!

Alternatively, bring the party to where you are! Liquor in Australia is pretty affordable, so you can just grab a couple of mates and do some (responsible) drinking/partying of your own in your room.

Flying Chalks’ tip: Liquor laws prevent you from buying liquor past 10pm, so do plan beforehand!

If the party life is not for you, head up to the Ritz Cinema at Randwick – student tickets are $9 on Tuesdays, and $13-15 on other days.

For daily necessities and groceries:

For initial shopping when you are first moving in, take bus 400 from school to Westfield Eastgardens – everything you need can be found there. It has Target, Kmart, Big W, Coles, Woolworths, an Asian Mart, etc., most of which close late. It might be better to take a taxi back afterwards if you are getting many things. However, for toiletries and the like, the Discount Chemist at Randwick is a better budget option. It will be good to check their catalogue online prior to making the trip down.

For daily necessities, most students tend to head towards Randwick – Coles (Randwick Plaza), Woolworths (Royal Randwick Shopping Centre), Randwick Oriental Supermarket, and other smaller grocery shops are found there. WHSmith and IGA can be found on campus. For students who choose to live at Kingsford, those might be better options, though it is likely that it is more expensive than the places at Randwick.

There is also Hidaka Asian Supermarket along Anzac Parade in Kingsford, and an IGA – although it is unlikely you would visit this place if you were staying on campus.

For shopping:

1. Birkenhead Point
Birkenhead Point is an affordable shopping place. It is just a short bus ride away from school and boasts a decent range of shops.

2. World Square
For shopping in the city, places like World Square are more affordable and appeal more to students. However, Australian brands aren’t exactly the cheapest.

3. Online Shopping
Online shopping is an alternative to this, with an incentive from UNIDAYS in the form of student discounts. The Iconic and ASOS are popular sites with discounts of 10-15% from UNIDAYS.

4. Others
Other places you can consider for shopping include markets such as The Rocks, Paddington Markets, and Paddy’s Markets (Market City, Haymarket). The Rocks and Paddington Markets probably have more handicraft items, while Paddy’s Markets offers cheap souvenirs which you can get for your friends and family back home. Newtown and Glebe are also alternatives for hipster, vintage, and thrift shops.

For leisure:

Flying Chalks’ recommendations:

  • You can always catch the sunrise from Coogee Beach, a 30 min walk from school or a 10 min bus ride.
  • If you choose not to do the Coogee-Bondi Coastal Walk, there is a direct bus that heads from campus to Bondi as well.
  • Surry Hills, famous for its cafes, is about a 20 min bus ride or less. Many buses that pass by Surry Hills head towards the city as well, making it about a 30 min commute.
  • Newtown and Alexandria are nearby as well, with cafes and food that appeal to many people.

1. Jervis Bay

2. Royal National Park

3. Port Stephens

4. North Bound Drive

5. Blue Mountains


Getting from Sydney Kingsford Smith International Airport to UNSW:

1. Hostel/Hotel Pick-up Service
Sydney Kingsford Smith International Airport is about 10 km from the campus. You will probably be heading to your temporary accommodation – check if your hostel or hotel offers any airport transfer services. These are usually group shuttles that will take you straight to your hostel for about AUD$16-18.

2. School Pick-up Service
An airport pickup service provided by the school which costs about AUD $25 is available during certain periods (generally around a week before O-Week). More information, including booking of the service, can be found here!

3. By Taxi
Getting to UNSW from the airport by taxi costs about AUD$50 from the airport to the Kensington campus – this is a better option for larger groups.

4. By Train and Bus
You can also take the train from the airport to Central Station before changing to a bus. The entire journey will cost about AUD $21 (~$17 from International Terminal to Central Station, $3.50 for bus ride) due to the fee which is charged as you leave the airport. However, there is a bus that runs from the airport straight to the campus, which would cost you $3.50. This ride takes about 30-45 min (sometimes longer), but saves you money if you do not have much luggage or have enough time to spare before the semester starts (both of which would probably not apply to you if you are an international student).