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The Australian Catholic University – Is ACU Right For You?

Are you considering the Australian Catholic University in Brisbane for your tertiary education?

The Australian Catholic University (ACU) is a not-for-profit national university ranking in the top 3% of universities worldwide. They welcome students and staff of all beliefs, nationalities, abilities and backgrounds.

Where is the Australian Catholic University in Brisbane?

The University has seven campuses across Australia (and one in Rome), with Brisbane being home to the university’s McAuley Campus.

You can find the McAuley Campus at 1100 Nudgee Road, Banyo, just 12km north of the Brisbane CBD and close to the Brisbane International Airport.

History of the ACU Brisbane campus

The Australian Catholic University has a long tradition in Brisbane, undergoing several changes along the way before arriving at its present location and university status.

The McAuley campus sits on 40 hectares of natural bushland in what had previously been, since 1941, the Pius XII Provincial Seminary. In 1955 the Sisters of Mercy opened the McAuley College on the same site to prepare the Sisters of Mercy for their roles as teachers in Catholic schools. The college soon began to include teachers and theologians from other religious orders, and in the 1973 the first lay-students were welcomed through its doors.

The following years saw the college achieve many accreditions and awards to become one of the top institutes of higher education in Queensland, and in 1990 the McAuley College was formally handed over to the Australian Catholic University.

Subjects taught at the Australian Catholic University

The subjects offered at the ACU cover as broad a range as you would expect from any non-denominational higher education institution.

As an undergraduate the ACU you can study in the areas of

• Arts and Humanities
• Business
• Creative Arts and Communication
• Teaching and Professional Education
• Sport and Exercise Science
• Health Sciences and Allied Health
• Information Technology
• International Studies
• Law
• Management
• Nursing and Midwifery
• Paramedicine
• Philosophy
• Physiotherapy
• Psychology
• Science
• Social Work
• Theology

There are also Postgraduate study courses, Doctor and Master research courses, short courses for personal professional development, and pathways to further study.

Costs to study at Australian Catholic University

The costs and tuition fees at the ACU are on a par with other local universities – some courses are cheaper, and some more expensive, so it pays to take a look at the bigger picture and consider the additional advantages of studying with ACU over other local Australian universities.

As with any university study in Australia, you may be eligible for fee assistance in a number of forms. Click here for more information.

The ACU also offers a large number of scholarships each year with a broad entry criteria.

Why choose to study at the ACU?

The ACU is one of the smaller satellite universities in Brisbane (around 6000 students), creating a strong sense of community and offering more individual support and tuition. The community experience extends outside the univeristy environment too, with regular opportunites to volunteer in local and regional Community Engagement activities.

The Australian Catholic University offers students the option to study part-time or full-time, with flexibility around studying online or on campus. You can gain real industry experience with practical placements and internships to enhance your studies. The ACU also offers the opportunity to study overseas on short-term programs or exchanges without interrupting your degree.

The McAuley Campus in Brisbane has its own medical centre offering comprehensive bulk-billed health care services to its students and staff.

There is free parking on campus for those who like the convenience of their own transport, and a free shuttle bus running from Toombul, Chermside and Northgate several times daily for those without. The Brisbane campus is well serviced by public transport.

Facilities at ACU

The recreational amenities at the Brisbane ACU include on-site cafés, a modern gym, sports ovals, a 25m swimming pool, and a student social room with a pool table. You can join a number of university sports clubs (including quidditch!) and national sporting teams to compete against other universities in team and individual sports.

The university offers purpose built fully furnished student accommodation – Iglu – in the Brisbane CBD. Iglu gives students an off-campus lifestyle close to shops, cafés and all the wonderful sights and entertainment Brisbane has to offer. Each apartment has six bedrooms with all the social benefits afforded by communal living and dining areas. Iglu also runs a program of free student events. There are alternative accommodation options at other nearby colleges, through the Homestay program, and via private rentals.

If you’re looking for a university that will support and encourage your Christian and Catholic faith, then the ACU is ideal. The university offers a Campus Ministry dedicated to the wellbeing of staff and students. The Campus Ministry will help you make like-minded friends, offers prayer, reflection and mass, and invites you to engage in community events and retreats throughout the year.

Studies show that the ACU ranks in the top ten nationally for student satisfaction and learner engagement, with the university awarded five stars for overall experience in the Good Universities Guide 2018.

The ACU is committed to reducing its environmental impact to become a sustainable and ‘green’ learning environment. They have ambitious targets in place to reduce energy and water consumption and improve their waste recycling and management. Achieving these targets will see the ACU rank in the top 5 Australian universities for waste management and low environmental impact, and that’s great news for all Australians!

Is the Australian Catholic University for you?

There are lots of things to consider when choosing the right university for you, and it’s not just about the courses offered and location. With that in mind, the ACU offers a try-before-you-buy University Experience. The University Experience is a free program that runs every June and July allowing you the opportunity to sample the degree of your choice and meet with staff and students before committing.

To see if the ACU is right for you, take a tour on one of their Open Days or arrange an individual campus tour.

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Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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