Make History

There are all kinds of ways to make your mark. It could be as big as changing the world. As complex as changing minds. Or as fundamental as changing yourself. Whatever big things lie before you, we’re all about helping you make it happen. This is where you make history.

History in the making

150 years of research excellence

Discover the areas where our research makes the greatest impact.

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Top 100

We have 16 subject areas ranked in the global top 100 of the 2023 US News Best Global Universities Subject Area Rankings. 

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Research institutes

Our eight institutes bring together world leading researchers.

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The facts

If our make history video has left you wanting to know more, you can find all the facts relating to each and every snippet right here on this page.

  • Top 100 University

    The University of Adelaide is ranked #89 in the QS World University Rankings 2024.

  • Eight World Class Research Institutes

    The Research Institutes at the University of Adelaide provide unique opportunities for our staff and students to use a multi-disciplinary approach in response to global and local challenges. They are a key resource in our collaboration with a diverse range of experts both within the university and through our industry partnerships. 

    The University of Adelaide is home to eight research institutes, spanning across disciplines:

    • Australian Institute for Machine Learning (AIML)
    • Environment Institute 
    • Waite Research Institute (WRI)
    • Robinson Research Institute
    • Institute for Photonics and Sensing (IPAS)
    • Institute for Sustainability, Energy and Resources (ISER)
    • South Australian immunoGENomics Cancer Institute (SAiGENCI)
    • Defence and Security Institute (DSI).

    These institutes can proudly proclaim world-class standards in their connections to industry and government, their research returns, state-of-the-art facilites, awards and acclaim received by their associated academics, and their contributions to the teaching and study resources at the University.

  • Roseworthy campus

    The Roseworthy campus is located approximately 50 kilometres north of the city. It is an internationally recognised centre for excellence in dryland agriculture and animal production. This campus is also home to the only veterinary school in South Australia that provides teaching and research in animal and veterinary sciences.

  • World-leading road safety research

    The University of Adelaide’s Centre for Automotive Safety Research (CASR) is a leading road safety research organisation with global outreach, pioneering life-saving research activity that can be traced back 50 years. CASR’s experienced, versatile team conducts quality research with significant real-world impact, enabling informed decision-making in the development and implementation of road safety countermeasures and policies for government and private sector organisations.

  • Biomedical research

    Across the faculty, the University conducts fundamental, biomedical, translational and population health research with consistent rankings in the top 1% of Universities internationally. Our research activities fall under 17 key areas, including cancer biology, neuroscience, fertility and conception, immunology, innovative therapeutics, and indigenous health.

    The South Australian immunoGENomics Cancer Institute (SAiGENCI) is an independent cancer-focused medical research institute located in South Australia, focusing on cancer research and clinical trials, which will include new cutting-edge technologies in immunotherapies and genomics.

    Jointly resourced by the Federal Department of Health, CALHN and the University of Adelaide, SAiGENCI is the focal point for cancer research in South Australia within a national network of cancer institutes. This is made possible by $80 million in Commonwealth funding secured with the support of South Australian Senator Stirling Griff.

  • Waite campus

    Waite campus is located approximately seven kilometres south of Adelaide. It is the home of the internationally renowned Waite Research Institute. The campus is the leading plant and agricultural science research site in the Southern Hemisphere. Our research encompasses crop and farming systems, viticulture and oenology, food science and nutrition.

  • Barr Smith Library Reading Room

    The Barr Smith Library features the Reading Room, one of the most beautiful scholarly spaces in Australia. Generations of students have spent many hours studying in the Library, poring over its extensive academic resources and collections.

  • Graduations

    Graduation ceremonies are held in Adelaide in April/May and September each year.

  • Australia’s first female Prime Minister

    Julia Gillard studied Law and Arts at the University of Adelaide from 1979 to 1981 and went on to become Australia’s first female Prime Minister. The Honourable Julia Eileen Gillard AC was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters honoris causa by the University of Adelaide in 2019.

  • Australia’s Foreign Ministers

    Senator, the Honourable Penny Wong, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws with Honours from the University of Adelaide in 1993. She was awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of the University of Adelaide in 2017 for her service to society.

    The Honourable Julie Bishop graduated from the University of Adelaide with a Bachelor of Laws in 1979, and was awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of the University in 2017 for her exceptional contribution to Australian politics.  

  • Moon to Mars – Plants for Space

    The ARC Centre of Excellence in Plants for Space, led by the University of Adelaide, focuses international expertise on finding ways to provide the next generation of space explorers with an on-demand supply of high-efficiency plants with zero-waste production processes. 

    While the initiative aims to achieve ambitious goals for living sustainability in space, it will also contribute to rapid advancements in engineering, law and psychology, and produce bioresources to meet rapidly expanding global demand for efficient food resources.

    Plants for Space is a major global collaborative transdisciplinary venture partnering 15 academic institutions, five space agencies and enablers, five Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) companies, six education providers, and seven government and technology partners that collectively harness a global fit-for-purpose critical mass not found elsewhere. This research is expected to drive advancements in science and teaching at the University, and position us as a global leader in research for space habitation.

  • Echidna Conservation Initiative

    The University of Adelaide has assembled a team of top-tier echidna researchers who are connecting with an integrated community of volunteers across Australia to learn more about these unique creatures. 

    With the help of thousands of Australians through the Echidna CSI (Citizen Science Initiative) application, we are collecting a broad sample of captured images of echidnas in their living environments. Australians have even collected faeces samples for our researchers to use for molecular analysis.

    Thanks to this inspired approach in joining with the nation to proceed with our research, the Echidna Conservation Initiative continues to make ground-breaking achievements, including:

    • assembling the largest sighting data of echidnas Australia-wide in the past 5 years
    • collecting the largest and most geographically spread material collection for echidnas in history 
    • identifying that echidnas are living in highly urbanised areas (even in major cities like Sydney and Adelaide)
    • discovering new information on wild echidna diet and health
    • partnering with Taronga and Perth Zoos to assess the diet and health of echidnas in captivity
    • actively monitoring data on echidna survival and health after the Kangaroo Island bushfires
    • engaging with thousands of Australians, ranging from young children to retirees
    • spreading awareness nationwide of the conservation concerns for echidnas
    • providing a platform for echidna research and conservation to thrive.
  • Green Urban Futures

    Green Urban Futures is a multidisciplinary team of researchers at the University of Adelaide who have united to provide significant solutions to major climate challenges now and for the future. 

    Adelaide’s future climate is projected to be increasingly hot and dry, with the temperatures rising and rainfall declining. Extreme temperatures can adversely impact public health, ecosystems and biodiversity. It is crucial to future-proof Adelaide against these changes as quickly as possible.

    Our researchers have a wide range of expertise and can establish South Australia as a global leader in providing ‘green urban futures,’ such as trees, green walls and roofs, cool surfaces, and the infrastructure required to enable these solutions. 

    The research team will identify problems and deliver integrated, actionable solutions to:

    • better understand how to maximise the benefits of urban greening while minimising public expense
    • assess the ecological behaviours and needs of different tree species, along with how they respond in various urban environments
    • increase Adelaide’s capacity to implement greening strategies and assess the potential co-benefits (such as flood control or water quality improvement)
    • understand the drivers of public acceptance and promote public participation
    • evaluate scenarios that stress-test the performance of potential solutions under a range of critical and plausible future conditions.
  • Adelaide University Sport

    The University has even more to offer students to enjoy their lifestyles outside their studies. There is a complete range of recreational activities, competitive sport, representative opportunities, and leadership development to enjoy through Adelaide University Sport.

  • Goodman Lawns

    A favoured spot for photographs of our historical sandstone buildings and lovely jacarandas, the Goodman Crescent Lawns is a gorgeous location for any outdoor event.

  • #7 in the World for AI

    The University of Adelaide is ranked #7 in Best Universities for Artificial Intelligence by US News’ Best Global Universities.

  • #25 in the World for Electrical and Electronic Engineering

    The University of Adelaide is ranked #25 in Best Universities for Electrical and Electronic Engineering by US News’ Best Global Universities.

  • #1 in SA for Graduate Employability

    The University of Adelaide is South Australia’s #1 university for graduate employability per the QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2022.

    The University of Adelaide (ranked 171-180) is head of The University of South Australia (ranked 301-500), and Flinders University (not ranked).

Make History Speaker Series

The Make History Speaker Series will feature high-profile alumni speakers across four events in 2023. These not to be missed panel discussions will explore the challenges of the past, present and future and unlock the mystery of space, cancer cells, equality and more. 

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