Master of Science (Professional)

Master of Science (Professional)

Handbook year


Course code


Course type

Masters Degree (Coursework) (AQF Level 9)


Division of Tropical Environments and Societies

Award Requirements

Admission Requirements

Course pre-requisites

Completion of an AQF level 7 bachelor degree in Science with a minimum GPA of 5 (65%) or equivalent.

Entry requirements for this course are consistent with the Pathways to Qualifications in the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF level 9) Guidelines for Masters degrees.

Minimum English language proficiency requirements

Applicants of non-English speaking backgrounds must meet the English language proficiency requirements of Band 1 Schedule II of the JCU Admissions Policy.

Post Admission requirements

Some majors require attendance in intensive mode subjects on either the Townsville or Cairns campus.  Students may be required to attend intensive mode classes at a campus other than that at which they are enrolled, at their own expense.

Academic Requirements for Course Completion

Credit points

48 credit points as per course structure

Course learning outcomes

On successful completion of the Master of Science (Professional), graduates will be able to:

  • Integrate and apply an advanced body of theoretical and technical knowledge, including an understanding of recent developments, in one or more science disciplines.
  • Retrieve, analyse, synthesise and evaluate complex information, concepts and theories from a range of sources.
  • Plan and conduct reliable, evidence-based laboratory and/or field experiments/practices by selecting and applying   methods, techniques and tools, as appropriate to one or more science   disciplines.
  • Organise, analyse and interpret complex scientific data using advanced mathematical,   statistical and technological skills.
  • Communicate theoretical propositions, methodologies, scientific data, arguments and conclusions clearly and coherently to specialist and non-specialist audiences through advanced written   and oral English language skills and a variety of media.
  • Identify, analyse and generate solutions to unpredictable or complex problems, especially related to tropical, rural, remote or Indigenous contexts, by applying scientific knowledge and skills with initiative and expert judgement.
  • Critically review regulatory requirements, ethical principles and, where   appropriate, cultural frameworks, to work effectively, responsibly and safely in diverse contexts.
  • Critically reflect on current skills, knowledge and attitudes to manage professional learning needs and performance, autonomously and in collaboration with others within a professional workplace environment.
  • Apply knowledge of research principles, methods, techniques and tools to plan and execute a substantial research-based project, capstone experience and/or piece of scholarship within a professional workplace environment.

Course Structure


Select a major from Table A


Select  Option 1, 2 or 3

Option 1 – Research Stream

SC5912:06 Minor Project, Seminar and Literature Review (1 of 2)

SC5913:06 Minor Project, Seminar and Literature Review (2 of 2)


Option 2 – Professional Project Stream

SC5009:12 Professional Project


Option 3 – Research and Professional Project Stream

Select 12 credit points of subjects from:

SC5007:06 Professional Project

SC5008:03 Professional Placement

SC5900:06 Special Topic

SC5901:03 Special Topic 1

SC5902:03 Special Topic 2


Type of major

Mandatory, Single

Credit points in major

36 credit points




Aquaculture Science and Technology



Environmental Earth Science




Environmental Management



Fisheries Science and Management






Marine Biology



Tropical Biology and Conservation







Not all majors available at Cairns




Expected time to complete

2 years full-time or 4 years part-time

Maximum time to complete

6 years

Maximum leave of absence

2 years


Course progression requisites


Course includes mandatory professional placement(s)


Special assessment requirements


Professional accreditation requirements


Maximum allowed Pass Conceded (PC) grade


Supplementary exam for final subject

A student who has failed the final subject towards the award and who gained 40% or more of the marks for that subject, may be granted a supplementary examination in that subject.



Students may apply for credit transfer for previous tertiary study in accordance with the Credit Transfer Procedure.

Credit will only be granted for subjects aligned to the current course’s learning outcomes and if the applicant demonstrates sufficient prior knowledge and skills to achieve the course learning outcomes in the time available in the course.

Up to 12 credit points may be granted for an AQF Level 7 qualification in a Cognate* Science discipline as determined by the College of Science and Engineering.

Up to 24 credit points may be granted for an AQF Level 8 qualification in a Cognate* Science discipline as determined by the College of Science and Engineering.

*Cognate discipline: Applicants must have degree qualifications for a discipline that is closely aligned or related with the major being undertaken.

Maximum allowed

24 credit points

Where a student transfers from one JCU award to another, then credit may be granted for more than two-thirds of the new award, where there is subject equivalence between the awards.


Credit will be granted only for subjects completed in the 10 years prior to the commencement of this course.


Credit gained for any subject shall be cancelled 16 years after the date of the examination upon which the credit is based if, by then, the student has not completed this course.

Other restrictions

Studies and/or professional experiences undertaken to fulfil the entry requirements to JCU awards may not be used for credit.

Award Details

Award title


Approved abbreviation

MSc (Prof)

Inclusion of majors on

Majors will appear on the testamur

Exit with lesser award

Students who exit the course prior to completion, and have successfully completed 36 credit points of appropriate subjects, may be eligible for the award of Master of Science.

Students who exit the course prior to completion, and have successfully completed 24 credit points of appropriate subjects, may be eligible for the award of Graduate Diploma of Science.

Students who have completed 12 credit points of appropriate subjects may be eligible to exit with the Graduate Certificate of Science.

Course articulation

Not applicable

Special Awards

Not applicable