The University has experienced significant growth at the Parkville campus over the past two decades, with over 40% of the University’s students and staff now based south of Grattan Street.

In response to this, plans for a new Student Precinct are underway ­– one that will improve the student experience by concentrating student services and activities closer to the heart of the campus.

The Precinct will be a vibrant centre of activity where all students have access to social, cultural and community opportunities. It will also be the home of student-led organisations the University of Melbourne Student Union (UMSU) UMSU International and the Graduate Student Association (GSA) and their associated services, spaces and activities, providing students with greater ease of access to events and facilities.

The Student Precinct will be defined by Monash Road to the north, Grattan Street to the south, Swanston Street to the east and the Melbourne School of Engineering (MSE) Precinct to the west; and incorporates ten University of Melbourne buildings. It will neighbour Carlton Connect and will be easily accessible to the Metro Rail upon its completion.

Co-creation will be the cornerstone of this exciting initiative, with the end-user ­­– our students – partnering with the University as active contributors, decision makers and owners of the Student Precinct Project.

Have your say

We will be seeking input from students throughout the Project. Find updates on the co-creation process here.

Co-creation updates

31 May 2017

In the little time we've been apart, the Student Precinct Project Team has been busy preparing for a dynamic year ahead.

In addition to collaborating with students and key stakeholders, conducting surveys and planning for the next phase of the design process, we've also been supporting the upcoming launch of both the Outdoor Gallery and Fair Food UniCycle, two fantastic student-led initiatives set to enliven the Precinct.

Please read on and enjoy the Student Precinct March Update.

Sensor placed in garden undergrowth

Co-creation update

Quantitative Survey

A big thank you to students who completed the Student Precinct survey in February. This survey, conducted by Nature Research, was designed to confirm the co-creation feedback gathered through the online Co-creation Community in 2016. Almost 900 students responded to questions about the facilities and amenities they would like to see in a new student-centred space at Parkville and to design concepts developed by the Co-creation Community.

A detailed report outlining the results will be presented to the Steering Committee, alongside a combined qualitative and quantitative report, in April. These findings will then be used to inform the architectural design briefs for the Project.


We’re excited to be moving into the conceptual design phase of the Project, with designs being informed by feedback, suggestions and data collated via co-creation surveys, face-to-face consultations and student-led research projects. The concept design phase involves the development of initial design ideas by architects and will build on the aspirations of the urban design framework. This phase is then followed by schematic design, where designers further develop the concept, taking on board more functional and practical considerations. We look forward to sharing these initial designs in the coming months and seeking your feedback via varied channels to ensure the design of the Precinct is aligned with the aspirations of our students.


Nestled amongst the foliage in the proposed Student Precinct site, micro-climate sensors are working hard to assess the temperature changes of this varied landscape.

Landscape Architecture PHD student, Wendy Walls, is using the Student Precinct as a testing ground to analyse the various micro-climates in the space. Wendy’s research investigates temperature behaviour in micro-climates and how designers can use this information to create external space for use all year round. The Student Precinct is an architecturally complex site exhibiting various solar, wind and material characteristics. The challenge for design is to address the multiple applications and intensive use by the University’s large student population in all seasons, which Wendy’s research is seeking to inform. Additionally, Wendy’s research will provide some interesting data about the Parkville campus that we will be sharing with you in the months to come.

FUN FACT: These sensors were originally created to ensure food delivery trucks kept their cargo refrigerated. Brr!


Nine design studio and elective briefs, prepared chiefly for postgraduate Architecture students, are currently in development for Semester 2. The multidisciplinary briefs will ask students to develop hypothetical design solutions for real-world elements of the Student Precinct redevelopment. Design solutions will inform the Precinct design, build and planning and provide invaluable opportunities for students to contribute to this major infrastructure project.

Students sit on bean bags next to a sign about the Student Precinct


Destination Melbourne

The Student Precinct Project Team was fortunate to be part of Destination Melbourne in February, a pre-orientation program for new students who have been accepted to the University of Melbourne (UoM). As part of the three-day program, the Team presented an overview of the Project, focusing on our co-creation work in 2016 and the opportunities available to students in 2017. It was affirming for the team to hear feedback from the newest students at the University that they too value ‘connection’ as a core to their anticipated student experience – aligned to the sentiments shared by students during co-creation activities last year.

Orientation Week

The Graduate Welcome Fair, presented by the Graduate Students Association (GSA) was held during O Week with the Student Precinct team joining in the festivities. This was a fantastic opportunity to not only introduce students to the Project, but also to gain valuable insights into their campus needs through our quantitative survey. We were also fortunate to connect with new and returning students at the first University of Melbourne Student Union (UMSU) barbeque for the year, complemented by a vibrant backdrop of bands, good food and cheer.

2017 EcoCity World Summit

We are delighted to be presenting on the development of the Student Precinct at the 2017 EcoCity World Summit, specifically on the Project’s approach to user-centred design and co-creation within the theme of Culturally Vibrant Cities. Presented in Melbourne from 12- 14 July, the Summit’s focus, Changing Cities: Resilience and Transformations, seeks to highlight the need for all cities to deploy expert knowledge – academic, professional, civic – to make cities resilient in the face of rapid change. Former US Vice President, Hon Al Gore, will be the Principal Speaker at the Summit, providing insights on the role of cities in meeting the global climate challenge.

A vibrant yellow, pop-culture artwork displayed on a dark brick walll


An important feature of our work this year will be activating the Precinct space, to familiarise the student population with the Project, and providing students with a space to showcase their creativity, passions and research.

Outdoor Gallery

The unveiling of the first exhibition in the Student Precinct’s Outdoor Gallery will take place in May, celebrating student creativity in a student-centred space. The Outdoor Gallery will provide Parkville students with a permanent creative space that will reference the energy and activity of Melbourne’s creative laneway culture. The Outdoor Gallery – located on the North Western corner of 747 – will open with an exhibition during National Reconciliation Week from 29 May.

Fair Food UniCycle

Cruising onto campus Semester Two will be a mobile kitchen in the shape of the Fair Food UniCycle. The Fair Food UniCycle is a cargo-bike designed to make fair and sustainable on-campus catering and cooking easier, whilst also providing opportunities for food education, skills development and outreach programs for students and the broader community.

This kitchen on wheels will provide staff, students and student groups with opportunities to come together to cook, eat, share and connect through food while learning about the practice and principles of ‘fair-food’. As part of this initiative, PhD candidate and founder of the Fair Food Challenge, Sophie Lamond is collaborating with the University to develop fair-food principles and policies for the Student Precinct and the campus more broadly, in line with the University’s broader sustainability agenda.

Illustrated image of a Parkville Campus map



Have you visited the Our Campus 21 (OC21) website? The OC21 site provides an opportunity to learn more about the significant development projects and conversations happening across University campuses, including our very own Student Precinct Project.

In addition to this, the Student Precinct Project will be launching a dedicated website in mid-April which will be your go-to site for event information, co-creation opportunities and interactive ways you can contribute to the design of this student-centre village. Stay tuned!


…stay tuned for more news on our Student Precinct Engagement Office, we are on the move!

We are committed to sharing and involving as many students, staff and stakeholders with the Student Precinct Project as possible so drop us a line if you would like us to present at your next meeting, event or forum.

30 March 2017

In our most recent survey you were invited to share your thoughts about our proposed new Student Precinct and go in the running to win one of five $100 visa gift cards.

This 10-minute survey sought your feedback to ensure that a new precinct for student-focused services, activities and facilities is co-created with the people that will use it most – our students.

This survey is now closed.

The survey: Independent Market Research company Nature have developed this survey to understand what our students currently do on the Parkville campus and what they would like to do in a new Student Precinct. This survey is also an anonymous chance for students to have their say about proposed design concepts for a new Student Precinct.

Eligibility: To be eligible to complete this survey you must be a current University of Melbourne student.

Prizes: Students who complete this survey will go in the running to win 5 x cash prizes of $100.

6 March 2017

We will be seeking input from students throughout the Project. Here's a snapshot of what you've told us so far.

"A sense of connection leads to a sense of belonging and community. The University has a really good opportunity to develop this idea within the new Student Precinct.”

“We need natural light and nature integrated. It’s really important for my mental health.”

“As a leading global university we need to show we’re sustainable”

“The Precinct should be a place where everyone feels welcome… with warm, relaxed options for public and private existence.”

“You always know where to go next. There would be clear directions – signs and marks on the ground - and a cohesive flow throughout the buildings.”

“It’s a great idea to have somewhere relaxing… Sometimes I just want to rest between lectures.”

“We need places to showcase the talent of students around the campus!”

20 February 2017

Our Campus in the 21st Century

Our Campus in the 21st century (OC21) was developed by the University community in a series of workshops that explored the qualities wanted across all campuses and precincts. It is the formal response to the University of Melbourne’s strategic plan Growing Esteem and is integral to how the University will plan for the future, and to developing high-quality campus-based experiences for diverse communities.

The Student Precinct Project will support our campus in the 21st century through the following:


World-class facilities will complement existing heritage buildings, while mobile and digital technology – tailored to student’s needs – will be integrated into the Precinct space.


The new Student Precinct location was carefully thought through to ensure that the student experience will be optimised. The Precinct will be flanked by Carlton Connect and the Science Gallery, the Metro Rail and existing University services like Stop 1. In addition to this, University services, clubs, associations and societies will call the Precinct home.


The Student Precinct will boast food and beverage facilities that students can enjoy at their own convenience. Communal spaces and a suite of activities, events and initiatives will encourage interaction and provide an outlet for student wellbeing.


A key feature of the Precinct will be simplifying the way students navigate the space. Navigating easily through the Precinct to access services and facilities will be a key design feature. In addition to its primary audience the Precinct will invite the community in; providing cultural events, experiences and interactions.


Outdoor and green spaces will be central to the design of the new Student Precinct, responding to both OC21 commitments and students aspirations for the space. Co-creating these spaces with students from faculties including Horticulture, Architecture and Urban Design will be central to the planning process. The refurbishment of existing buildings to better cater to today’s students needs will also be a core aspect of the Student Precinct Project.



View frequently asked questions about the project below: