COVID-19 Advice for the JCU Community - Last updated: 6 December 2021, 10am (AEST)

Bachelor of Marine Science

Handbook year


Course code


Course type

Bachelor Degree (AQF Level 7)


Division of Tropical Environments and Societies


Science and Engineering

Award Requirements

Admission Requirements

Course pre-requisites

Assumed Knowledge: English (Units 3/4,C); Mathematical Methods (Units 3/4,C); Chemistry (Units 3/4,C); or equivalent

Recommended: at least one of Biology, Earth and Environmental Science, Geography, Marine Science, Specialist Maths or Physics (Units 3/4,C); or equivalent

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.

Additional course requirements

Applicants who have not completed high school intermediate level Mathematics B (or equivalent) must select MA1020: Preparatory Mathematics as part of their study plan to successfully complete the Bachelor of Marine Science.

Applicants who have not completed high school Chemistry (or equivalent) must select CH1020: Preparatory Chemistry as part of their study plan to successfully complete the Bachelor of Marine Science.

Students should undertake the above subject/s in intensive mode where available and be aware that restrictions may apply to electives if they wish to complete in the normal three (3) year time frame. These subjects typically start earlier than the standard course commencement date. Contact JCU on 1800 246 446 for more information.

This course involves mandatory field work and any costs associated with that field work will be at the student’s expense.

Academic Requirements for Course Completion

Credit points

72 credit points as per course structure

Additional course rules

Must complete a minimum of 18 credit points of Level 3 subjects.

Course learning outcomes

The graduates of James Cook University are prepared and equipped to create a brighter future for life in the tropics world-wide.

JCU graduates are committed to lifelong learning, intellectual development, and to the display of exemplary personal, professional and ethical standards. They have a sense of their place in the tropics and are charged with professional, community, and environmental responsibility.  JCU graduates appreciate the need to embrace and be acquainted with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples of Australia. They are committed to reconciliation, diversity and sustainability. They exhibit a willingness to lead and to contribute to the intellectual, environmental, cultural, economic and social challenges of regional, national, and international communities of the tropics.

Graduates of the Bachelor of Marine Science at James Cook University will be able to:

  • Integrate and apply a coherent body of theoretical and technical knowledge of the marine environment and sustainable management of marine and coastal resources, with depth in the underlying concepts and principles in at least two science disciplines

  • Critically appraise the role and relevance of marine sciences in the creation of sustainable futures, particularly in the tropics, worldwide

  • Demonstrate broad understanding of the methods of science, particularly as applied to marine sciences, including the creative processes involved in developing scientific knowledge and its contestable and testable nature

  • Retrieve, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information from a range of sources

  • Plan and conduct reliable, evidence-based laboratory and/or field investigations, by selecting and applying appropriate methods, techniques and tools

  • Organise, analyse and interpret scientific data using mathematical, statistical and/or technological skills

  • Convey scientific ideas, arguments and conclusions clearly and coherently through well-developed written and oral communication skills and a variety of media

  • Identify, analyse and generate solutions to unpredictable or complex problems relating to the behaviour and management of marine systems by applying knowledge and skills with initiative and well-developed judgement

  • Critically review regulatory requirements, ethical principles and, where appropriate, cultural frameworks, to work effectively, responsibly and safely in diverse contexts and interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary teams

  • Reflect on current skills, knowledge and attitudes to manage their professional learning needs and performance, autonomously and in collaboration with others.

Course Structure


Level 1

BS1007:03 Introduction to Biodiversity

CH1001:03 Chemistry: A Central Science

EA1110:03 Evolution of the Earth

MA1000:03 Mathematical Foundations

MB1110:03 Introductory Marine Science

SC1102:03 Modelling Natural Systems or SC1109:03 Modelling Natural Systems - Advanced

Level 2

SC2202:03 Quantitative Methods in Science or SC2209:03 Quantitative Methods in Science-Advanced

EV2502:03 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

PH2006:03 Marine Physics or PH2009:03 Advanced Marine Physics

CH2042:03 Marine Chemistry and Chemical Ecology

MB2050:03 Functional Biology of Marine Organisms

Level 3

MB3050:03 Biological Oceanography

EV3406:03 Coral Reef Geomorphology

EA3110:03 Sedimentology and Stratigraphy

EA3640:03 Advanced Environmental and Marine Geoscience Technologies and Applications

MB3270:03 Coastal, Estuarine and Mangrove Ecosystems

SC3010:03 Sensors and Sensing for Scientists

EV3401:03 Coastal and Catchment Geomorphology


MA1020:03 Preparatory Mathematics or any Level 1, 2 or 3 science subjects*

CH1020:03 Preparatory Chemistry or any Level 1, 2 or 3 science subjects**

*Applicants who have not completed high school intermediate level Mathematics B (or equivalent) must select MA1020 Preparatory Mathematics as part of their study plan to be able to successfully complete the Bachelor of Marine Science.

**Applicants who have not completed high school Chemistry (or equivalent) must select CH1020 Preparatory Chemistry as part of their study plan to successfully complete the Bachelor of Marine Science


Select 6 credit points of any undergraduate subjects (List 1 below provides streams guidance information)


Select 6 credit points of any Level 2 or 3 subjects (List 1 below provides streams guidance information)

Lists of subjects grouped according to potential career aspirations and interests can be viewed in List 1 below or a more general list can be accessed here.

List 1

  • Chemistry
  • Earth Science
  • Environmental Science
  • Fisheries
  • Marine Biology
  • Maths
  • Physics

CH1002:03 Chemistry: Principles and Applications

CH2310:03 Syntheses and Mechanism in Organic Chemistry

CH2103:03 Analytical Chemistry

CH3041:03 Environmental Chemistry

Earth Science

EA2404:03 From Icehouse to Greenhouse

EA2900:03 Introductory Field Geology

EA3800:03 Earth and Environmental Geochemistry

EA3210:03 Structural Geology Tectonics or EA3650:03 Sedimentary Environments and Energy Resources

Environmental Science

EV1005:03 Environmental Processes & Global Change

EV2401:03 Australian Landscape Processes and Evolution

EV3502:03 Advanced Geographic Information Systems

EV3506:03 Remote Sensing


BS2460:03 Fundamentals of Ecology

MB2080:03 Invertebrate Biology

MB3014:03 Managing Tropical Fisheries

MB3150:03 Fisheries Science

Marine Biology

Select 4 subjects from:

BS2460:03 Fundamentals of Ecology

MB2070:03 Marine Biogeography

MB2080:03 Invertebrate Biology

MB3160:03 Evolution and Ecology of Reef Fishes

MB3190:03 Coral Reef Ecology


MA1003:03 Mathematical Techniques

Plus select 3 subjects from:

MA2000:03 Mathematics for Scientists and Engineers

MA2210:03 Linear Algebra

MA2405:03 Advanced Statistical Modelling

CP2404:03 Database Modelling

MA3405:03 Statistical Data Mining for Big Data


PH1005:03 Advanced Stream Physics 1

PH3006:03 Oceanography and Meteorology

Plus select 2 subjects from:

PH2002:03 Classical Mechanics and Quantum Physics 1

PH2019:03 Introduction to Electromagnetism Optics and Early Quantum

PH2240:03 Atomic and Nuclear Physics




JCU Townsville



Expected time to complete

3 years full-time or equivalent part-time

Maximum time to complete

9 years

Maximum leave of absence

3 years


Course progression requisites

Must complete 18 credit points of Level 1 and 2 science subjects before attempting any Level 3 science subjects.

Course includes mandatory professional placement(s)


Course includes mandatory fieldwork


Special assessment requirements


Accreditation requirements


Maximum allowed Pass Conceded (PC) grade


Supplementary exam for final subject

Not applicable



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

Maximum allowed

48 credit points


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


Credit gained for any subject shall be cancelled 19 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

A maximum of 6 credit points of credit may be granted at level 3.

Credit will not be granted for CH1020, MA1020 or PH1001.

Award Details

Award title


Approved abbreviation


Inclusion of majors on testamur

Not applicable - this course does not have majors

Exit with lesser award

Students who have completed 24 credit points of their course award requirements, and withdraw from or fail to meet the requirements for progression in the later years, may be eligible for the award of Diploma of Tertiary Studies.

Course articulation

Not applicable


Honours availability

Honours is available as a separate graduate entry course.


Students must satisfy the college requirements relating to the standard of academic achievement necessary to proceed to the honours degree.