Areas of research

Areas of research

At Macquarie, we're proud of our international research reputation.

Our commitment to world-leading research with world-changing impact has been recognised in the results we achieved under the Australian Government’s most recent Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) evaluation, which ranked 85 per cent of our research as ‘performing at world standard’ or higher.

Macquarie’s Strategic Research Framework: 2015–2024 has firmly established the University’s commitment to world-leading research with world-changing impact.

The framework ensures our considerable research expertise focuses on our priority areas of healthy people, resilient societies, prosperous economies, secure planet and innovative technologies. These priorities are buttressed by four research objectives:

  • to accelerate world-leading research performance
  • to prepare world-ready higher degree research candidates
  • to engage as a world-recognised collaborator of choice, and
  • to deliver research with world-changing impact.

Our areas of research strength include:

Biological sciences

From research into bionic brains and superbugs to invasive fruit flies and lead-contaminated drinking water, Macquarie’s biological sciences researchers are working in the areas of animal behaviour, conservation genetics, ecology, evolutionary biology, microbiology, palaeobiology, plant biology and zoology. A significant focus is on international networking that builds global research collaborations. Find out more.


From research into the gender pay gap, portable long service leave and corporate moral responsibility to the Australian self-medication industry, aviation safety and retail therapy, Macquarie’s business researchers are actively engaged in research that responds to Macquarie’s five future-shaping research priorities. Find out more.

Chemical and biomolecular sciences

From research into anti-cancer drugs and photosynthetic bacteria to the rapid detection of disease pathogens and the effects of chronic caffeine and sucrose consumption, Macquarie’s chemical and biomolecular sciences researchers are driving major advances in basic and commercial research in analytical spectrometry, glycochemistry, quantitative proteomics, and separation science and instrumental methods. Our researchers are also pioneering new methods in laser spectroscopy, catalysis and organic geochemistry. Find out more.

Creative arts, communication and culture

From research into Australasian cinema, Japanese techno-culture and cartoon music to video games and culture, social media and state violence, Macquarie’s creative arts, communication and culture researchers are recognised internationally for their work in film, television, radio, digital media, music, literary studies, children’s literature, creative writing, critical theory, media and communication studies, and performance. Find out more.

Earth sciences

From research into the early evolution of life to Earth’s deep plumbing system and the eruption of volcanoes, Macquarie’s Earth sciences research spans a wide range of topics in Earth and planetary sciences, with concentrations in the following five areas: geodynamics, geochemical and isotope tracers in Earth processes, geobiology, the evolution of the crust and mantle, and planetary evolution. Find out more.


From research into the use of ICT in learning, bilingual education and students with challenging behaviour to services for children who have experienced emergency situations, Macquarie is recognised internationally as a leader in early childhood, primary, secondary and higher education; educational leadership; special and inclusive education; and technology-based learning and teaching. Find out more.


From research into wi-fi and robots to wearable antennas for medical applications and next-generation cellular systems, Macquarie’s engineering researchers are dedicated to creating technological solutions to problems relevant to society’s health and environment – solutions that expand the capability of people to achieve their goals.

We have research strengths in electromagnetic and antenna design, energy conversion and management, integrated wireless communication systems, nonlinear electronics, guided-wave optics and photonics, very-large-scale integration, and wireless communications and networking. We also have a strong research program in mechanical engineering related to precision manufacturing with an emphasis on medical devices and applications. Find out more.

Environmental sciences

From research into tropical cyclones, toxic dust and natural hazards to Antarctic contamination and invasive species, Macquarie’s environmental sciences researchers operate at the interdisciplinary interface between environmental and Earth sciences, ecology, and social and policy implications. We undertake cross-departmental and cross-institutional collaborative research with colleagues in the fields of biology, climate science, Earth system sciences and geochronology. Find out more.

Health sciences

From research into paediatric physiotherapy, sporting injuries and chronic pain to the relationship between hearing loss, ageing and dementia, Macquarie’s health sciences researchers are experts in the fields of allied health, chiropractic, clinical audiology, environmental health, physiotherapy, public health, and speech and language pathology. Find out more.

History and archaeology

From research into the CT scanning of ancient artefacts, Egyptian mummification and ancient spells to the Gallipoli campaign and war brides, Macquarie’s history and archaeology researchers are undertaking research spanning periods from Eurasian and Australian prehistory to the present, utilising diverse archival and archaeological materials and varying approaches from Big History to micro-studies, including reflection upon the nature of historical inquiry. Find out more.

Human society

From research into reproductive and sexual health, infectious disease and contemporary religion to urban regeneration, climate adaptation and social housing, Macquarie has a long and distinguished record of contributions in social theory, geographies of environment–human relations, contemporary sociology, and applied social research and policy. Our research is driven by a critical approach to social theory and to the policy and social problems confronting Australian and global societies. Find out more.

Information and computing sciences

From research into cybersecurity, intelligent virtual agents and malware to data mining and controlled languages, our location in the heart of Australia’s largest high-tech precinct facilitates collaborative research projects with industry that seek bold solutions for national and global challenges. High-profile industry partners include Atlantek Vision, Australian Signals Directorate, BCS Online, CSIRO, Datacom, Defence Science and Technology Organisation, EMC, Holocentric, Honeywell, Huawei, IBM, Microsoft and Optus. Find out more.

Languages and linguistics

From research into the reporting of war, open-plan classroom acoustics and language learning resources for the deaf to manga and the origins of language, Macquarie’s languages and linguistics research spans a range of topics from intercultural communication to language sciences and child language disorders. We are world leaders in language acquisition research, and are home to renowned researchers in applied linguistics, TESOL and professional communications. Find out more.

Law and legal studies

From research into human rights, social justice and genocide to assisted reproduction, surrogacy and cloning, Macquarie’s law and legal studies researchers are pioneers of interdisciplinary law study in Australia, and provide you with unparalleled opportunities to explore some of the globe’s most pressing and diverse legal issues. Find out more.

Mathematical sciences and statistics

From research into the security of e-passport systems and the design of randomised clinical trials to arithmetical properties of musical rhythms and risk management in electricity markets, Macquarie’s mathematical sciences and statistics researchers are undertaking research in pure and applied mathematics (with strengths in applied mathematics, category theory, harmonic analysis and number theory) and statistics (with strengths in biostatistics, epidemiology and medical statistics, image processing, stochastic finance and time series analysis). Find out more.

Medicine and health sciences

From research into robotic limbs, melanoma and breast cancer to medical tourism, prostate cancer screening and electronic medication management, Macquarie is setting new national benchmarks in medical research through the establishment of Australia’s only academic health sciences centre.

Macquarie University Health Sciences Centre (MUHSC) is a partnership between the University, Macquarie University Hospital and healthcare providers. MUHSC delivers an integrated approach to research, clinical services, education and training.

This research and healthcare model is used by many of the world’s leading academic institutions and hospitals, and it ensures that medical research breakthroughs directly lead to improving patients’ lives. Find out more.

Macquarie Graduate School of Management

As Australia's number one MBA school*, the Macquarie Graduate School of Management (MGSM) has an international reputation for excellence in management education. MGSM’s approach to research ensures that theoretical advancements inform and relate to practical knowledge and techniques. MGSM undertakes research projects with a network of partners that include some of the world’s most influential businesses.

Corporate relationships are a cornerstone of MGSM, and our partners include leading global businesses such as Australian Securities Exchange, Pfizer, Siemens Healthcare, Datacom, CoreLogic, Australian Lions Childhood Cancer Research Foundation, Johnson & Johnson, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, Australian Business Foundation, Be Learning, and NSW Trade and Investment. Find out more.

* According to the world’s seminal rankings indicator – the Financial Times, January 2015.


From research into the ethics of surgical interventions, organ donation and reproductive cloning to post-adoptive parental obligation and the live sheep export trade, the philosophy program at Macquarie also has long-standing research strengths in European philosophy, ethics, philosophical psychology, philosophy of mind and social philosophy. More recently, it has also developed specialisations in bioethics, medical ethics and moral cognition. Find out more.

Physics and astronomy

From research into granny galaxies and supermassive black holes to nano-optical tweezers and SuperDots, Macquarie’s physics and astronomy researchers work on fundamental and applied physics in optics, photonics and lasers; astronomy and astrophysics; or quantum information science. They enjoy outstanding international collaborative links and publish their research in high-impact journals. Find out more.

Psychology and cognitive science

From research into neurodevelopmental disorders and how brain function in recipients of cochlear implants is measured to human eating behaviour, and anxiety and depression, Macquarie is home to some of the best national and international psychology and cognitive science academics and researchers.

The internationally respected research conducted by these experts is backed by first-class facilities, including the Centre for Emotional Health, the Cognition Clinic for Reading and the Australian Hearing Hub. Find out more.

Urban and regional planning

From research into sustainable urbanism, energy justice and Indigenous water rights to life in the Anthropocene, alternative food pathways and native title, urban and regional planning research at Macquarie is characterised by interdisciplinary perspectives. Research among our team intersects with the fields of human geography, demography, environmental science and management, geographic information systems, law, and resilience to climate change. Find out more.

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