USYD or UNSW? Which one's better? How do I pick? Should I go to the University of Sydney or University of New South Wales?


If you've looked at our blog post on how to choose a university, you'll know that some of the factors about the different universities that you should consider in your decision making process are their locations, degrees offered, rankings, employment prospects, and the ATAR cut-off of their degrees. Naturally, as the University of New South Wales and the University of Sydney are two of the most competitive, prestigious and popular universities in Sydney, we just had to do a comparison between them! We couldn't resist, and we know students would love it as well. We're not going to say which university is better, that is up for you to decide. However, we are going to show the various aspects of both universities in each category.

Interested in Macquarie University or the University of Technology, Sydney as well? Have a look here!

Degrees Offered

Both universities offer a very wide range of degrees, with many offered by both of them. However, even for the same degree, there may still be some key differences between them (such as the variety of majors, the courses available, etc.). Of course, there are still some degrees which only one of them may offer. Why not have a browse on USYD's and UNSW's course search websites?



The ranking of a university may be an indication of their reputation and performance. Both USYD and UNSW are two of the highest ranked universities in Australia, with some differences depending on the field of study. Remember though, rankings are usually influenced by many factors other than the quality of their undergraduate programs; they probably should  not be used as definite indicators of which university is better for you.

UniversityQSTimesARWUUS News

Click here for other NSW universities' rankings and graduate salaries!


As you probably can tell, the University of Sydney is ranked at a higher position by most institutions.


Location & Public Transport

Do not underestimate how important this is! You'll be travelling to your university nearly every week for many years to come. Although both universities are relatively close to Sydney CBD, University of Sydney is accessible by train via Newtown or Redfern station while getting to UNSW would usually require most of us to catch an express bus from Central station. Hence, getting to UNSW may take a bit longer. Fortunately, by 2019, there will be a light rail connecting UNSW to Central (you may have realised from the road closures in the city!).



Both universities have substantial amounts of industry connections and are highly regarded by employers. A global employability ranking had placed UNSW 55th and USYD 42nd in 2015.

Just as an interesting point though, UNSW has the highest amount of CEOs who head ASX 100 companies (seven to be exact) out of any Australian university. On the other hand, only two CEOs have graduated from USYD. Additionally, UNSW has produced the most millionaires out of any Australian university, with USYD coming in second (not saying that you should be basing your decision off this though!).

In saying all this, it's important to remember that you yourself largely determines how attractive you are as a potential employee, rather than whether you went to UNSW or USYD.


ATAR Cut-Off

Obviously, you have to first be able to get into both universities! As we all know, although it varies from degree to degree, USYD and UNSW are two of the most prestigious universities in Sydney with some of the highest ATAR cut-offs (look here for last year's ATAR cut-offs).

It may be important for you to know that UNSW has a minimum ATAR cut-off of 80 for all degrees (USYD does not have a similar requirement). Additionally, both universities have bonus point schemes so even if you do not make the ATAR cut-offs, you might still be able to get in! Furthermore, there are alternate entry methods to both universities if you are truly unable to reach the ATAR cut offs or decide to enrol into university later on in life.

Want to know what are the ATAR equivalents of your raw exam marks? Click here.

Lastly, remember that both universities are of the highest regard in Australia and if you're currently in the position of having to decide between the two you're already in a very good position; there's no need to be too disappointed if you preferred one but were only accepted by the other.


Jack Zheng | N° 28