The University of Adelaide

The University of Adelaide

The University of Adelaide Details

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The University of Adelaide is a world-class tertiary education and research institution committed to delivering high quality and distinct learning, teaching and research experiences.

The University of Adelaide is centred on:

  • discovering new knowledge
  • pursuing innovation
  • preparing the educated leaders of tomorrow who are independent, creative thinkers with an international perspective.

The University of Adelaide draws strength from its founding values as it fulfils its future research and teaching aspirations.

The University is an international institution that distinctively embraces the ideal of the research university, where the excitement, vitality and passion of the search for new knowledge is one in which all students participate; as an enlightened and tolerant community where able students can find support, whatever their background or circumstances; and as a place where the Kaurna people, original custodians of the land on which the campuses now rest, are acknowledged and their culture respected.

The University of Adelaide distinctive features

  • A student body of democratic breadth
  • A staff of international distinction
  • A spirit of freedom to investigate new fields
  • A sense of importance to the community
  • A goal to prepare educated leaders.

The University of Adelaide commits to a distinctive approach that recaptures the ideal of the research university, and seeks an internationally-focused staff and a tolerant, progressive student mix, which will prepare students for global citizenship in an increasingly borderless world. It will be a university true to its historical roots, yet passionately committed to its role in producing graduates designed to play leading parts in the Asian Century.

Learning and teaching encompasses the broad range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees offered at the University.

Students are provided with a unique and holistic education experience and graduate attributes are aligned to career outcomes. Our degrees are relevant to the changing requirements of employers and the needs of industry and the community.

Schools / Colleges / Departments / Courses / Faculties

  • Faculty of Arts
    • Elder Conservatorium of Music
      • Centre for Aboriginal Studies in Music (CASM)
    • School of Education
    • School of Humanities
      • Classics
      • English
      • European Studies
      • French Studies
      • German Studies
      • History
      • Linguistics
      • Media
      • Philosophy
      • Spanish
    • School of Social Sciences
      • Anthropology
      • Asian Studies
      • Gender Studies and Social Analysis
      • Geography, Environment and Population
      • Politics & International Studies
  • Faculty of Engineering, Computer & Mathematical Sciences
    • Australian School of Petroleum (ASP)
    • Centre for Automotive Safety Research (CASR)
    • School of Chemical Engineering
    • School of Civil, Environmental & Mining Engineering
    • School of Computer Science
    • School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering
    • School of Mathematical Sciences
      • Applied Mathematics
      • Pure Mathematics
      • Statistics
    • School of Mechanical Engineering
  • Faculty of Health Sciences
    • Yaitya Purruna
    • School of Dentistry
      • Dental Simulation Clinic
      • ARCPOH
      • Colgate
    • School of Medicine
      • Acute Care Medicine
      • Anatomy and Pathology
      • General Practice
      • Medicine
      • Medicine Learning & Teaching Unit
      • Obstetrics & Gynaecology
      • Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences
      • Orthopaedics & Trauma
      • Paediatrics
      • Pharmacology
      • Physiology
      • Psychiatry
      • Rural Health
      • Surgery
      • Ray Last Laboratories
      • Robin Warren Simulation Laboratory
      • Robinson Institute
      • Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies
    • School of Nursing
    • School of Public Health
      • Adelaide Health Technology Assessment
      • Data Management & Analysis Centre
      • Joanna Briggs Institute
    • School of Psychology
  • Faculty of the Professions
    • School of Architecture and Built Environment
    • Business School
    • Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation & Innovation Centre (ECIC)
    • Executive Education Unit
    • School of Economics
    • Law School
  • Faculty of Sciences
    • School of Agriculture, Food & Wine
    • School of Animal & Veterinary Sciences
    • School of Biological Sciences
    • School of Physical Sciences


The University of Adelaide was established on 6 November 1874 after a £20,000 donation by grazier and copper miner Walter Watson Hughes, along with support and donations from Thomas Elder.

The first Chancellor was Sir Richard Hanson and the first vice-chancellor was Dr Augustus Short. The first degree offered was the Bachelor of Arts and the university started teaching in March 1876. John Davidson was the first Hughes professor of English literature and mental and moral philosophy.

The University has a long history of championing the rights of women in higher education. It was the second University in the English-speaking world (after the University of London, 1878) to admit women on equal terms with men (1881), though women studied alongside men from the commencement of classes in 1876, and were equally eligible for all academic prizes and honours. Its first female graduate was Edith Emily Dornwell, who was also the first person in Australia to receive the degree of Bachelor of Science (BSc., 1885). The university also graduated Australia’s first female surgeon Laura Fowler (MB, 1891). Ruby Davy (B. Mus., 1907; D. Mus., 1918) was the first Australian woman to receive a doctorate in music. The University was also the first to elect a woman to a University Council in Australia, Helen Mayo (MBBS, 1902).

The great hall of the University, Bonython Hall, was built in 1936 following a donation from the owner of The Advertiser newspaper, Sir John Langdon Bonython, who left £40,000 for a Great Hall for the University.

University graduates include prominent individuals who have made significant contributions to their fields nationally and internationally, and include Howard Florey, Lawrence Bragg,Mark Oliphant and Hugh Cairns.

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