Our School

At the School of Built Environment, we shape future cities, cities that are resilient, informed, connected, healthy, smart, liveable and inclusive.

Our vision is to be a global leader through high impact research and education that are vital to cities, their built environments and inhabitants. Our research responds to pressing urban challenges through academics and industry professionals who are leaders in their fields, Scientia Fellows and Scholars, higher degrees scholarships, practice-based PhDs, cross-school research, industry partnerships and consulting.


We provide education that is broad and deep. Through interdisciplinary education, cross-school initiatives, internships, online courses, flexible pathways, dual awards, internationalised and research projects, our students will shape their own paths to global careers.

We focus on the challenges of our cities at every scale, from industrial designed products and services, to buildings through to policy and planning at the urban and territorial scales. We interrogate environmental challenges such as urban heat and urban health, through to the socio-economic inequity borne out of the spatial divide of our cities.

We explore these challenges through multiple lenses including high performing built environments that are sustainable and resilient anticipating our future ecological needs; and human-centred design ethos that respond to the needs of the individual as well as society and our cultural landscape.

We build an agile platform for education, research and exchange that can respond to the changing needs of the professions while also anticipating the unknown; by developing skilled and enquiring graduates, with conscience, that can positively engage, adapt and shape our future cities for the benefit of all people and the planet firmly in mind.

Why the School of Built Environment
  • The only school in Australia with an international Pritzker Prize winner (regarded as the Nobel Prize equivalent in architecture) Professor Glenn Murcutt on our teaching staff.

  • The only school in Australia endowed with three Chairs, the Seidler Chair in the Practice of Architecture, the Judith Neilson Chair in Architecture and the Anita Lawrence Chair in High Performance Architecture. The Seidler Chair aims to deliver excellence in design studio education and is held by Pritzker prize winner Glenn Murcutt AO. The Judith Neilson Chair is held by Professor David Sanderson and aims to lead research and education to support disadvantaged communities displaced by natural disasters, geopolitical conflicts, socio-economic exclusion and environmental factors. Professor Mattheos Santamouris holds the Anita Lawrence Chair.

  • Unique interdisciplinary subjects.

  • QS international rankings by subject position the School of Built Environment in the top 25 in the world and the top 4 in Australia (QS World University Rankings, 2019). 

  • UNSW Sydney ranks in the top 100 universities worldwide (Times Higher Education World University Ranking 2019).

  • UNSW graduates are the most hired by LinkedIn's top 30 most in-demand employers in 2015.

  • UNSW has invested over $1.2 billion in student facilities and accommodation.

  • Member of prestigious Group of Eight (Go8).

  • Strong industry links and partnerships.

  • In the 2015 Excellence for Research in Australia (ERA), UNSW was rated as the equal-top university nationally in Built Environment and Design. Its rating in Urban Planning research was also the joint highest in Australia.

  • World's top 50 university (QS Ranking).
  • Part of a vibrant city - ranked 4th in the world for students.
  • Member of Prestigious Group of Eight (Go8).
  • $1 billion invested in new facilities for students and research over the past five years.
  • UNSW graduates are the most hired by LinkedIn's top 30 in-demand employers from 2015.
  • 1st in innovation - the recently built Michael Crouch Innovation Centre is the first of its kind in Australian universities.
  • One of Australia's largest research communities.
  • Village life on campus.
  • Over 250 clubs and societies.
  • Dedicated staff for international students.