Why Southern Cross?

Southern Cross University is a multi-campus university on Australia’s east coast. We are proud of our reputation as a progressive institution, engaging with the communities we serve to create change that has impact around the world.

Our campuses are located in southeast Queensland adjacent to the Gold Coast Airport, in New South Wales at Lismore and in Coffs Harbour, where the University’s National Marine Science Centre is also located. Branch campuses in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth operate in collaboration with EduCo and the University operates The Hotel School Sydney and Melbourne in partnership with Mulpha Australia. We also deliver degrees with collaborators in China and Papua New Guinea.

The regions we call home all have unique characteristics as study locations – from cosmopolitan cities, thriving industries and coastal lifestyles to living laboratories of great natural beauty and ecological diversity, right next to the campus.

Our locations have a profound influence on our teaching and academic programs, from business degrees that examine ecological tourism to marine science that is helping to regenerate the reef and engineering to make our urban environments smarter and more sustainable. We celebrate our cultural diversity with a festival every year because it is diversity that makes us bold, and pushes us to challenge the status quo.

Southern Cross delivers degrees on campus and online, with a rich academic portfolio covering a wide range of disciplines. Professional placements are a feature of most degrees.

The University is home to nine research centres, all with deep connections to the communities they serve and a commitment to research output that has global relevance, be it marine ecology, organic agriculture, plant and geoscience, adolescent development or flood mitigation.

In the latest Excellence in Research for Australia report, Southern Cross achieved outstanding ratings of ‘at world standard’ or above in 23 research fields. In 14 research fields the University was evaluated at the highest possible classification of ‘well above world standard’. This was achieved in the fields of Earth Sciences, Geochemistry, Oceanography, Environmental Science and Management,Ecology, Zoology, Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences, Crop and Pasture Production, Fisheries Sciences, Forestry Sciences, Civil Engineering, Resources Engineering and Extractive Metallurgy, Nursing, Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

Southern Cross has been ranked in the top 100 young universities in the world by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. It’s an accolade we don’t take lightly – we are constantly reviewing our degrees and pathway programs to make sure you are equipped with the skills and knowledge you need to forge your twenty-first century career.

Year Founded


Student Population


Top Asia-Pacific University

TOP 110 in Asia-Pacific

Social Equity

5-STAR Social Equity 2019

“#1 in Australia for overall international student support.”


Southern Cross University offers a range of scholarships to support international students. Scholarships are available for future international students during their first year of study, and some are designed for international students currently studying at Southern Cross University. The scholarships are designed to recognise academic excellence, promote cultural diversity and to provide financial support to international students.

Top Gen Y University

TOP 50 Gen Y Universities

Above world standard

SCU has met the World Standards or above in 23 key research areas


Southern Cross University’s Lismore campus occupies 75 hectares of lush, sub-tropical grounds including landscaped gardens and rainforest walkways that are home to a variety of native wildlife.

At the heart of student life is the Learning Centre, a state-of-the-art facility with individual and collaborative learning spaces and library resources. The adjacent Goodman Plaza is home to food and beverage outlets, Co-op bookshop, banking facilities and a range of student services.

SCU Fitness for You – the gym and pool complex – features modern equipment and facilities including a heated indoor swimming pool; while the Southern Cross University Health Clinic provides allied health services to the general public, students and staff, and clinical experience for students in allied health disciplines.

Health and human sciences labs cater for studies such as anatomy and physiology, chemistry, biochemistry, sport and exercise science, manual therapies, and nursing with state-of-the-art simulation equipment. Student also access the weights room, indoor court, and sports field.

The science and engineering precinct has world class facilities for civil and mechanical engineering and a range of scientific laboratories with advanced analytical equipment for studies in biology, chemistry, geology and more.

Creative studios for visual arts students include painting, printmaking, 3D and digital art and design. Studio One29 is an industry standard teaching and performance space and along with other specialist music and media facilities contribute to an atmosphere of creativity on campus.

Lismore’s vibrant arts, culture and music scene includes signature Byron Bay events such as the Byron Writers Festival, Splendour in the Grass, Fall Music and Arts Festival and Byron Bay Blues Fest.

Southern Cross University’s Gold Coast campus is located at Coolangatta just 400 metres from North Kirra Beach, and adjacent to the Gold Coast Airport. Views of the Pacific Ocean can be seen from many vantage points in the campus buildings.

The campus includes a student services hub, designed to provide a one-stop shop for student support and enquiries. The library offers stunning views of the ocean and Gold Coast hinterland. Other facilities include innovative learning spaces, health science laboratories, lecture theatres with live video broadcasting, computer labs and student lounges.

The public Southern Cross University Health Clinic, clinical laboratories for nursing and midwifery, laboratories for occupational therapy students and physiology, anatomy and biomechanics laboratories are also located at the campus.Degrees on offer include arts, nursing, midwifery, occupational therapy, podiatry and pedorthics, speech pathology, social science and social welfare, business, education, information technology, law and tourism.

The Gold Coast is Australia’s sixth largest city, with a population of just under half a million people. Attractions include 70 kilometres of beaches, tropical rainforest hinterland and numerous bush walks, parklands, major shopping centres, markets and entertainment.

Set on 30 acres of rolling hills and bushland in close proximity to beaches and the city centre, our Coffs Harbour campus is a welcoming environment equipped with contemporary teaching facilities. The University is part of an education and technology precinct and is co-located with North Coast TAFE (a technical and further education facility) a senior high school, and the Coffs Harbour Innovation Hub.

More than 1,200 Southern Cross students study on-campus at Coffs Harbour. The gathering space is the heart of the campus, where students meet and socialise. Campus services include eateries and cafés, the Co-op bookshop, library and Student Services – a one-stop shop for student support and enquiries. The recreation hall and fitness centre is a great venue for personal training and sports science activities.

Resorts, hotels and tourist attractions in the local area provide opportunities for business and tourism students to learn the ropes on internships, while the proximity to the Solitary Islands Marine Park and the University’s National Marine Science Centre provides an ideal learning environment for marine science students.

A new allied health building, with advanced laboratories and teaching spaces will open in 2019, adding to the University’s expanding portfolio of health sciences facilities and courses.

The National Marine Science Centre (NMSC) is part of the School of Environment, Science and Engineering. It is located in Coffs Harbour on the east coast of Australia and adjacent to the Solitary Islands Marine Park, where both tropical and temperate currents meet. This interesting setting provides practical opportunities in the study of marine science and management for both students and researchers.

Our focus is to produce high impact research that addresses issues relating to the resilience of marine ecosystems and resources. To achieve this, our team of researchers foster extensive collaboration with industry and academia, nurture and encourage graduate students and foster engagement with the public and policy makers. Research at the NMSC is enhanced by state-of-the-art marine laboratory and field facilities.

Courses at the NMSC have been designed to meet a range of student needs, focusing on the expanding career opportunities in marine science and management in Australia and overseas. Students gain first-hand experience in their chosen field, with an emphasis on utilising the protected marine environment in the region.

The NMSC also offers innovative field and laboratory activities to Primary and Secondary students. Working alongside enthusiastic scientists, students get to participate in hands-on interactive curriculum-based activities.

The NMSC is home to the Solitary Islands Aquarium. The Aquarium is open on weekends and during the NSW school holidays for visitors to discover what makes the Solitary Islands Marine Park special – through a series of aquariums, visual displays and guided tours. To find out more about the Aquarium and the school programs available, please visit Solitary Islands Aquarium.

Hear from SCU students

Rony Moon

“I chose to study at SCU Gold Coast because I liked the idea of studying in a new, modern facility that was also situated in a beautiful part of the world, just across the road from the beach. We have the best of both worlds – access to a great education, resources and connectivity as well as being perfectly located to experience the vibrant lifestyle of the Gold Coast. What could better complement hours of studying than looking up from your books to a panoramic view of white sand and turquoise ocean.”

Frequently asked questions

Tuition fees can differ based on a variety of factors such as course studied, fee help and scholarships. If you would like to find out the cost of a specific course, please contact one of our friendly GSP councillors.

Yes! Through using our platform you are able to search, compare and apply to your desired course.

SCU International is committed to assisting international students and have been recognised for their outstanding support in the International Student Barometer (ISB).

Our dedicated team will assist you with:

  • pre-departure information
  • settling in
  • orientation
  • student visa advice and health insurance advice
  • dedicated advisers
  • wellbeing and welfare.
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