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University of Adelaide, Faculty of Medicine

Region: Adelaide Country: Australia

About The University
Since its establishment in 1874 the University of Adelaide has been amongst Australia's leading universities. Its contribution to the wealth and wellbeing of South Australia and Australia as a whole - across all fields of endeavour - has been enormous.Studying at the University of Adelaide means being part of a rich tradition of excellence in and with world-class academic staff and a vibrant student life.

Adelaide has a fine tradition of exemplary scholarship and ground-breaking research, and its unique relationship with industry and other organisations ensures that our research expertise is translated into tangible benefits for the global community.

Adelaide's research is at the leading edge of knowledge, with research earnings consistently the highest per capita of any university in Australia. Analysis of the impact of publications and citations shows that the University of Adelaide is ranked in the top 1% in the world in 11 research fields.

An innovative and forward-looking University, Adelaide has in wine and food, health sciences, biological sciences, physical sciences, information technology and telecommunications, environmental sciences and social sciences.

At the heart of the University's vision, achievement and impact is our commitment to excellence, our sense that a focus on the experience of the student is fundamental, and our belief that research intensity and innovative, high quality teaching have a symbiotic relationship that underpins and characterises the finest universities in the world.

We are committed to producing graduates recognised worldwide for their creativity, knowledge and skills, as well as their culture and tolerance. Our graduates make an impact on the world.


To be recognised internationally as a great research university and an Australian leader in research and teaching excellence, committed to the positive impact we can have on the lives of our students, staff and alumni as well as the local, national and international communities.


The University of Adelaide will build upon its tradition of innovation through high-impact research and excellent teaching across a broad range of disciplines and professions. It will be a growing, internationally focussed and financially sustainable institution, enterprising in its approach to new opportunities as they arise, and clear and consistent in its essential directions. It will provide a vibrant intellectual environment that will be satisfying for staff, rewarding for students, and engaging of the community, engendering a sense of pride in our contribution to contemporary society.


  • We will pursue excellence in all that we do.
  • The achievement of the vision will require that the whole University community remains committed to the highest intellectual and ethical standards in teaching and learning, in research and research training, and in the conduct of all our professional activities.
  • We will act with fairness, integrity and responsibility.
  • The University supports social justice, equality of opportunity and cultural diversity, and seeks to implement these in the conduct of its activities and relationships. We have reaffirmed our commitment to a vision for a united Australia, expressed in our July 2003 Statement of Reconciliation
  • We will respect the rights and responsibilities of freedom of inquiry and expression.
  • Dispassionate, rigorous and honest intellectual inquiry is at the core of academic traditions, and should be reflected throughout our research, scholarship, education and management.
  • We will encourage innovation, creativity and breadth of vision.
  • The University's core characteristics of research intensity and high-quality education, across a broad range of disciplines, depends on a shared commitment to encourage the creation of new knowledge and to prepare our students to make a positive impact on the community. Universities exist by the will of the communities of which they are a part. Shaping, recognising, and responding to community needs and expectations are essential to the mutual obligations that ensue from this relationship.
  • We will be engaged with the local, national and international communities.
  • Universities exist by the will of the communities of which they are a part. Shaping, recognising, and responding to community needs and expectations are essential to the mutual obligations that ensue from this relationship, whether domestically or internationally. We will provide leadership and service in equal measure, pursuing common goals with government, industry and community. We will ensure that our activities are responsive and relevant to State, national and global priorities and that they are pursued within an environment of scholarship, discovery and good citizenship.
Welcome to the Faculty of Health Sciences
Our focus on education excellence and innovative research is reflected by the academics and researchers across our seven Schools, Disciplines, Centres, and Institutes. Our strengths are the depth and dedication of our teams who work to promote better health, wellbeing and disease prevention in Australia and the world.

With 3,000 students, 700 staff and 1400 participating clinical and affiliate practitioners, we have been educating successful students and producing relevant research for over a century.

Health Sciences learning and teaching programs develop highly skilled and compassionate professionals in their chosen careers who aspire to the highest standards of integrity and ethical behaviour.

Our graduates and researchers are making a significant impact in health sciences - helping people lead healthier lives.

The beginnings

In 1872, the Baptist, Congregational and Presbyterian churches in the province of South Australia founded a Union College "to provide young men with an education beyond school level". Courses were offered in Classics, Philosophy, English Literature, Mathematics and Natural Science.

That same year, a wealthy grazier and copper miner, Walter Watson Hughes, proposed a donation of 20,000 pounds to the new college - an immense sum in those days, and more than enough to found a university.

So the University of Adelaide came into being, with a Bill "for an act to incorporate and endow the University of Adelaide" receiving the Governor's assent on 6 November 1874. The University began teaching in March 1876, with the Bachelor of Arts the first degree offered. The University was formally inaugurated on 25 April 1876, and fully constituted on 2 May 1877, when the admission of 73 graduates of other universities to degrees ad eundem gradum of the University of Adelaide enabled the Senate to be established.

A progressive institution

Adelaide is the third-oldest university in Australia and older than all but a handful of universities in England.

From the start, it was a progressive institution. It was the first Australian university to admit women to academic courses - in 1881, ahead of Oxford (1920) and Cambridge (1948). It was the first Australian university to grant degrees in Science - its first science graduate was also its first woman graduate, Edith Emily Dornwell. It was the first Australian university to establish a Conservatorium of Music, a Chair of Music, and a Doctor of Music, and the first to grant that degree to a woman (Ruby Davy in 1918).

Adelaide graduated Australia's first woman surgeon (Laura Margaret Fowler), the first woman elected to a university Council in Australia (Helen Mayo), and the first Australian woman to be a Queen's Counsel, South Australian Supreme Court Judge, Deputy Chancellor and then Chancellor of an Australian university, and Governor of an Australian State - the redoubtable Dame Roma Mitchell.

A reputation for excellence

The University of Adelaide was quick to establish a reputation for excellence in education and research. Teachers and graduates soon made an impact that was felt not only in South Australia but also in national and international arenas.

An early Professor of Mathematics and Physics was Sir William Bragg, who went on to win the Nobel Prize in 1915 for his work on X-ray crystallography. He shared the honour with his son, Sir Lawrence, a graduate of the University.

Another graduate honoured with a Nobel Prize (1945) was Lord Howard Florey, who pioneered the application and manufacture of penicillin.

The early Antarctic explorer, Sir Douglas Mawson, had a 50-year association with the University, including 31 years as Professor of Geology and Mineralogy.

In more recent times, mechanical engineering graduate Dr Andy Thomas was Payload Commander aboard the space shuttle Endeavour on its 10-day mission in 1996. He was also chosen by NASA for the Shuttle-Mir research project, and is now Deputy Chief of the Astronaut Office.

Today, the University's Creative Writing students have the opportunity to benefit from the advice of Nobel Laureate for Literature 2003, JM Coetzee, who in 2002 accepted appointment as an Honorary Visiting Research Fellow within the University.

The Nobel Prize in Medicine 2005 was awarded to Dr J. Robin Warren, who graduated MB BS from the University of Adelaide in 1961. He shares the prize with Barry Marshall "for their discovery of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori and its role in gastritis and peptic ulcer disease," and becomes the fifth person directly associated with the University of Adelaide to win a Nobel Prize.

An international institution

The University of Adelaide has built a rich tradition of excellence to become a leader in Australian higher education and research. Since its foundation, it has produced 103 Rhodes Scholars, and the University is now known internationally for the quality of its programs and its high-calibre graduates, whose skills go beyond the workplace to make an impact on the world.

The University of Adelaide extends across four main campuses around Adelaide (and a Singapore presence) and has more than 23,000 students, including around 5,500 from 95 countries. The 1,353 high-quality teaching and research staff come from all parts of the globe.

The academic enterprise, by its nature, is not limited by national boundaries, and the University works to ensure that the many informal linkages that exist between its academic staff and their colleagues worldwide are complemented by a series of formal relationships with other universities, as well as non-university institutions, government bodies, NGOs and industry groups, to benefit both its research programs, and the learning and teaching experience of its students. At the time of writing, the University of Adelaide had in place formal linkages with 138 universities in 25 countries.

Good governance

The University of Adelaide is governed by its which is established by the University of Adelaide Act. The Council's responsibilities are to oversee the management and development of the University, devise or approve strategic plans and major policies, and monitor and review the operation of the University. Council has 21 members, is chaired by the Chancellor, and is advised by seven standing committees. Other Management Committees advise the Vice-Chancellor and President and senior managers.

Research at the University of Adelaide

The University of Adelaide is one of the most research-intensive universities in Australia. As such we are committed to investing in research excellence in and delivering the highest quality results for our local and global community. We have an outstanding track record spanning basic research to commercial outcomes and continue to produce real results at home and overseas.

In the highly competitive funding environment, our researchers continue to attract strong support across a broad range of fascinating and compelling fields including agriculture, health sciences and engineering.As a leading research University, we are committed to providing unique opportunities for graduates and researchers, who are recognised as worldwide leaders for their vision and capacity to address global research challenges.

Video Presentation

Impressions of the University of Adelaide

Contact Details

Address: Plaza Building, Level 2, North Terrace Campus, THE UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE, SA 5005 AUSTRALIA


61 8 8303 5336

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