UNSW Australia (The University of New South Wales) - Canberra


Working at the intersection of a leading university and a military academy, UNSW Canberra at the Australian Defence Force Academy has been educating defence leaders for half a century.  UNSW Canberra graduates shape Australia, the region and the international community as leaders in defence, government, and industry.

Through our experience in education and our achievements in research, we excel in teaching undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral research students across arts, business, cyber security, engineering, IT, logistics, management, space and science.  Our undergraduate programs are tailored to the educational needs of members of the Australian Defence Force, while our graduate and doctoral research programs are available to all students. Since 2016, entry to undergraduate study in all Engineering specialisations has been opened up to civilian students.

UNSW Canberra is the only national academic institution with an integrated defence focus. Its strength is in defence related, security and engineering research. UNSW Canberra has the highest teacher to student ratio in Australian higher education. UNSW Canberra graduates almost double of postgraduate students compare to undergraduate students, reflecting our growth and strength as an excellent, full service university campus.

Approximately 46% of UNSW Canberra undergraduates are the first in their immediate family to study at a university. For UNSW as a whole the figure is 42%- both figures are higher than typical for Go8 universities, demonstrating the real impact of education in social change.

UNSW Canberra has a number of Research Centres:

  • The Australian Centre for the Study of Armed Conflict and Society (ACSACS) brings together expertise in history, ethics, politics and business to study armed conflict and society.  ACSACS is not just about the lessons of war, but about identifying lessons to better understand how nations can successfully re-build after conflict.
  • The Australian Centre for Cyber Security (ACCS) is a unique, interdisciplinary cyber-security research and teaching centre that provides cutting-edge, long-term, international thought-leadership in cyber security through research, education and external engagement.
  • The Capability Systems Centre is an industry Centre that undertakes research and education in a range of disciplinary areas relevant to the delivery of capability systems and systems acquisition: systems science, systems thinking, complex systems, system of systems, systems engineering, requirements engineering, and project management.
  • The Sino-Australian Research Centre for Coastal Management (SARCCM) is a Research Centre of the University of New South Wales with a multidisciplinary/multi-faculty focus. It works closely with the Ocean University of China in collaborative research on coastal management. The UNSW Canberra campus and several faculties of UNSW in Sydney contribute to the Research Centre.
  • Space Research - UNSW Canberra is investing heavily to develop a sustainable university-led program to undertake research in space. A capability is being established to routinely conceptualise, develop and fly affordable responsible in-orbit missions.


UNSW Canberra has unique state of the art facilities and resources:

  • a cyber range that provides war gaming, training and exercising - with our own state of the art equipment unique in the Australian university system. The cyber range was co-designed with CSIRO for teaching, training and research.
  • UNSW Canberra is the first place in Australia and the second in the Southern Hemisphere to house one of 12 telescopes as part of the Falcon Telescope Network for monitoring fast moving space debris and satellites for space situational awareness.
  • The Academy Library Special Collections are of national significance. They include the papers of former Prime Minister John Howard; the largest collections of historical ship photographs in Australia; personal papers and literary manuscripts of modern and contemporary Australian writers; and a significant military history collection.
  • the fastest two-stage gas-gun in the Southern Hemisphere, able to fire projectiles to 4.5 km/s.
  • host of the T-ADFA hypersonics laboratory: A unique combination of a free-piston driven shock tunnel with multi-mode laser-based flow diagnostics.
  • one of the largest indoor UAV flight laboratories in Australia.
  • the most developed Mössbauer spectroscopy laboratory in Australia.
  • hosts unique and comprehensive historical military databases:
    • ‘Australian at War Film Archive’ consists of approximately 12,000 hours of taped interviews with 2,000 Australians and their experience of the wars, conflicts and peacekeeping missions in which this nation has been engaged. Records include accounts ranging from World War 1 to currently serving members of the Australian Defence Force - http://australiansatwarfilmarchive.unsw.edu.au
    • ‘Australia’s Vietnam War’ showing the locations and other details of every battle and firefight between Australian (and New Zealand) forces and the Viet Cong and People’s Army of Vietnam between 1965 and 1972 - https://vietnam.unsw.adfa.edu.au/
    • ‘Australian ANZACS in the Great War 1914 – 1918’ shows who embarked from Australia in the First World War - http://aif.adfa.edu.au/index.html.
    • ‘New Zealand ANZACS in the Great War 1914 – 1918’ shows NZ personnel who served overseas in WWI http://nzef.adfa.edu.au/index.html.

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