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 Macquarie University (MQ) and University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) are two of the most popular and similarly competitive 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.


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 MQ's and UTS' course search websites?



The ranking of a university may be an indication of their reputation and performance. Both are two of the highest ranked universities in New South Wales (other than UNSW and USYD - have a look at their comparison here!), 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
Macquarie University229301+201+322
University of Technology, Sydney218201+301+448

Have a look here for other NSW universities' rankings!

As you probably can tell, both universities are ranked relatively the same, with only US News ranking MQ considerably higher.


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 train stations (with MQ even having their own!), UTS is located basically right on the southern side of the city (in Ultimo) and is only around a 9 minutes walk from Central Station, so it's relatively convenient for most people who live in Sydney. MQ on the other hand is located in Macquarie Park in Northern Sydney, which can be quite a long way to get to if you don't live near there. Use the "Plan Your Trip" page on Transport NSW's website if you want to figure how long it will take you to get there (remember, if you’re a local student you're eligible to use the Concession Opal card so the prices shown on that page would not be what you would pay (yay savings!! :D)).



Both universities are relatively well regarded by employers. While measuring the employability of different universities is not easy, there have been studies done on the average salaries of different universities' graduates. By no means are they a perfectly accurate indicator of employability as many factors such as the average ability of the students in a university, the types of degrees completed and the job market conditions are not taken into account. This aside, here are the average graduate salaries of both MQ and UTS graduates:

UniversityAverage Graduate Salary
Macquarie University$43,694
University of Technology, Sydney$44,881

Have a look here for other NSW universities' average graduate salaries!


Remember though,  you yourself largely determines how attractive you are as a potential employee, rather than whether you went to MQ or UTS.


ATAR Cut-Offs

Of course, you have to first be able to get into both universities! Although it varies from degree to degree, MQ and UTS have relatively similar ATAR cut-offs.

It may be important for you to know that 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.

Lastly, remember that both universities' undergraduate degrees are of a high level and if you're currently in the position of having to decide between the two, just remember, both universities are of a relatively similar standard so don't pressure yourself too hard to make the correct decision!


Jack Zheng | N° 42