Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology

Courses and Study Australian courses Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology

Why study Marine Biology at JCU?  

JCU pioneered the study of Marine Biology in Australia and the University has been the world leader in tropical Marine Biology ever since.

As a JCU student you'll study the living resources of the world from the beauty of North Queensland, home of some of the most diverse and precious marine  ecosystems  in  the  world - especially the Great Barrier Reef.

You'll gain knowledge and practical skills that are recognised internationally and will equip you to make a difference in your world.

With JCU's long-established and world-leading research and teaching, there are so many important reasons to choose JCU for your Marine Biology studies:

  • High achieving students have the option to enrol in JCU's prestigious Bachelor of Advanced Science
  • Four of the world's top 20 Marine Biology researchers are on staff at JCU
  • You'll feel the thrill of studying with JCU's practising world-class lecturers and researchers who take great pleasure in sharing their knowledge and experience with you
  • You'll have access to no less than three Tropical Marine Biology institutions that are based in North Queensland
  • You will have opportunities to participate in JCU's exceptional applied studies and benefits from the University's research links to Social-Ecological workers across the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic regions
  • You can build networks with Study Abroad students and students who have transferred to JCU from universities around the world, in order to participate in JCU's Marine Biology program
Campus
Townsville, Cairns
Cairns - 1st year only
Start dates
February, July
Duration
3 years full-time
Part time available
Study mode
On campus
Prerequisites
English, Maths B, Chemistry
OP/Rank
16/65

Career opportunities

When you choose to study at JCU, you'll benefit from your association with Australia's leading Marine Biology research community.  Your qualifications will equip you to become involved in conservation biology and policy, environmental and resource management, impact assessment, fisheries biology, ecosystem restoration, improving the world’s food security and developing sustainable livelihood alternatives, lobbying, tourism or education.

Or perhaps you may choose to work in Australia or internationally as a Marine Biologist in government or private agencies conducting research, preparing scientific reports, teaching and advising managers, politicians, primary producers and the public.

You can apply to join a variety of professional organisations including the Australian Marine Science Association, and the Australian Coral Reef Society.

Course highlights

You'll have opportunities to:

  • Access diverse marine habitats - reefs, estuaries, wetlands, mangroves, sandy beaches, mudbanks and seagrass beds - all within 1-2 hours from campus
  • Take amazing field trips that complement lecture material and provide hands-on experience in data collection and fieldwork
  • Study live or freshly collected material in our practical  sessions - not just preserved specimens or videos of organisms
  • Volunteer your help on real research projects bound for publication in primary journals
  • Assist in research projects and industry practice through JCU's involvement with the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (ARC-CoE), which is based on our Townsville campus
  • Benefit from JCU's strong links with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), TropWater and CSIRO in Townsville
  • Work in premium research facilities like Orpheus Island Research Station
  • Explore the oceans on JCU's own vessels
  • Go on international exchange programs to study distinctive marine habitats.

Course overview

At JCU, you will participate in active learning experiences, and you'll have freedom to choose the scope of your studies - from general to specialist. For example, you will learn:

  • How marine plants and animals interact with their environment
  • How living marine resources are affected by human-introduced variables
  • How oceans and atmosphere interact
  • Functions of and the processes operating within diverse marine environments - from coastal systems such as  seagrass beds, mangroves and coral reefs to the depths of the ocean
  • Practical Marine Biology field techniques.

Fascinating subject areas you will explore include:

High-achieving JCU students can enrol in a Bachelor of Advanced Science, which explores Marine Biology in more depth and increases your academic knowledge and research skills.

Joint degree options

Joint degrees give students expertise in a complementary discipline in reduced time and can enhance their career prospects. At JCU, the Bachelor of Science degree can be combined as a joint degree in:

How to apply

Check the QTAC information and apply by clicking on the relevant link below depending on where you wish to study.

Take note of the QTAC code for this course in the location you've chosen because you'll need to enter it as part of your QTAC application.

Townsville (316061) - Apply now
Cairns (326061) - Apply now

OP Score/Rank is representative of 2016 entry requirements and is therefore indicative only. Entry scores for 2017 will be finalised in the major offer round.

Subjects

BSc – Marine Biology Major

Major code

BSC-MBY

Credit point value

24 credit points for single major

Major Structure

CORE SUBJECTS

Level 1

BS1007:03 Introduction to Biodiversity

BS1001:03 Introduction to Biological Processes

Level 2

BS2460:03 Fundamentals of Ecology

BS2470:03 Evolution

MB2050:03 Functional Biology of Marine Organisms

Level 3

MB3050:03 Biological Oceanography

MB3190:03 Coral Reef Ecology or MB3270:03 Wetland and Estuarine Ecosystems

MB3210:03 Life History and Evolution of Reef Corals or MB3160:03 Evolution and Ecology of Reef Fishes

Pathway into course

On successful completion of the Diploma of Higher Education you may be eligible to continue into this degree, and you may be able to receive some credit for successfully completed subjects.

Students are encouraged to undertake the Tertiary Access Course if they have not studied recently and/or want assistance making the transition to University studies.

The Bachelor of Science – General also gives you a pathway into our other Science majors.

Get prepared - Bridging subjects

Bridging subjects are designed to fill any gaps in your knowledge. We offer maths and chemistry bridging subjects that can be studied on-campus in Cairns and Townsville. You may need to enrol in a bridging subject if you have not achieved the grade of ‘Sound Achievement or better’ in Queensland Year 12 maths or chemistry.

Handbook

Bachelor of Science

Course code

115810

Course type

BAC – Bachelor Pass (AQF level 7)

Professional accreditation status

The Physics major for the Bachelor of Science is seeking accreditation by the Australian Institute of Physics (AIP). Graduates will be automatically eligible for membership of the Australian Institute of Physics.

The Chemistry major for this course is seeking accreditation by the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI).  Graduates will be immediately eligible for non-corporate membership of RACI and, with an additional three years’ experience in chemistry, may be eligible to register as a Chartered Chemist with Corporate Membership of RACI.

Division

Division of Tropical Environments and Societies

Award Requirements

Admission Requirements

Course pre-requisites

English, Maths B and Chemistry for all majors except:

Preparatory Science (General major) (English only)

Physics major (English, Maths B, Chemistry and (Physics OR Mathematics C))

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

Academic Requirements for Course Completion

Credit points

72 credit points as per course structure

Additional course rules

A maximum of 30 credit points may be taken at level 1.

A minimum of 18 credit points of science subjects must be taken at level 3 or higher.

Students may seek permission to enrol in one or more level 5 subjects.

Additional completion
requirements

The Preparatory Science Minor is mandatory for all students who do not meet the course entry requirements of Maths B and Chemistry from high school.

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 Science at James Cook University will be able to:

  • Integrate and apply a coherent body of theoretical and technical knowledge, including underlying concepts and principles, in one or more science disciplines
  • Critically appraise the role and relevance of science in society, particularly in creating sustainable futures in the tropics, worldwide
  • Demonstrate broad understanding of the methods of science, 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 experiments by selecting and applying methods, techniques and tools, as appropriate to one or more science disciplines
  • Organise, analyse and interpret scientific data using mathematical, statistical and 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 by applying scientific 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
  • Reflect on current skills, knowledge and attitudes to manage their professional learning needs and performance, autonomously and in collaboration with others

Course Structure

Course Structure - Preparatory Science

CORE SUBJECTS

Level 1

SC1101:03 Science: Nature, Knowledge and Understanding

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

Level 3

SC3008:03 Professional Placement

SC3010:03 Wicked Problems in Science

CORE OPTIONS

Select 6 credit points of specified Level 1 subjects from List 1

Select 3 credit points of specified Level 2 subjects from List 2

PLUS

Select the  Preparatory Science Minor from the Inter-Disciplinary Minors list

PLUS

Select a Major from Table A

PLUS

Select a second Minor from either Table B or the Inter-Disciplinary Minors list, or 12 credit points of any undergraduate subjects

Course Structure - Science Majors

CORE SUBJECTS

Level 1

SC1101:03 Science: Nature, Knowledge and Understanding

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

Level 3

SC3008:03 Professional Placement

SC3010:03 Wicked Problems in Science

CORE OPTIONS

Select 6 credit points of specified Level 1 subjects from List 1

Select 3 credit points of specified Level 2 subjects from List 2

List 1

BS1007:03 Introduction to Biodiversity or BZ1006:03 Diversity of Life

BS1001:03 Introduction to Biological Processes or BZ1005:03 Introduction to Ecology

CH1001:03 Chemistry: A central Science or CH1011:03 Chemistry for the Natural Sciences

CH1002:03 Chemistry: Principles and Applications

CP1401:03 Fundamentals of Problem Solving and Programming

EV1005:03 Environmental Processes and Global Change

EA1110:03 Evolution of the Earth

MA1000:03 Mathematical Foundation

MA1003:03 Mathematical Techniques

PH1005:03 Advanced Stream Physics 1

PH1007:03 Advanced Stream Physics 2

List 2

CH2103:03 Analytical Chemistry

CP2404:03 Database Modelling

EV2502:03 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

MA2201:03 Numerical Mathematics

PH2222:03 Sensors and Sensing for Scientists

OPTIONS

Select a single or double Major

Single Major

Select a major from Table A

PLUS

Select a science minor that is different to your major from Table B or 12 credit points of any level 2 or 3 science subjects

PLUS

Select a second minor that is different to your major either from Table B or the Inter-Disciplinary Minors list, or 12 credit points of any undergraduate subjects

Double Major

Select a major from Table A

PLUS

Select a second major from Table A

TABLE A (SCIENCE MAJORS)

Type of major

Mandatory, single or double

Credit points in major

24 credit points

MAJOR

AVAILABLE AT

NOTES

Aquaculture Science and Technology

Townsville

The first year of study may be completed in Cairns

Not available to students wanting to complete prior to the end of 2019

Chemistry

Townsville

Not available to students wanting to complete prior to the end of 2019

Earth Science

Townsville

Cairns

Not available to students wanting to complete prior to the end of 2019

Marine Biology

Townsville

The first year of study may be completed in Cairns

Not available to students wanting to complete prior to the end of 2019

Mathematics

Townsville

The first year of study may be completed in Cairns

Not available to students wanting to complete prior to the end of 2019

Molecular and Cell Biology

Townsville

Not available to students wanting to complete prior to the end of 2019

Physics

Townsville

The Mathematics minor is compulsory for those students studying the Physics major in the Bachelor of Science.

Not available to students wanting to complete prior to the end of 2019

Zoology and Ecology

Cairns

Townsville

Not available to students wanting to complete prior to the end of 2019

TABLE B (SCIENCE MINORS)

Type of Minor

Single

Credit points in minor

12 credit points

MINOR

AVAILABLE AT

NOTES

Advanced Chemistry

Townsville

Advanced Mathematics

Townsville

Advanced Physics

Townsville

Aquaculture Science & Technology

Townsville

Due to prerequisites, this minor is only available to those students studying a biological sciences major (Marine Biology or Zoology & Ecology)

Chemistry

Townsville

 

Environmental Geochemistry

Townsville

Exploration

Townsville

 

Field Studies in Earth Sciences

Townsville

 

Fisheries

Townsville

Marine Biology

Townsville

Due to prerequisites, this minor is only available to those students studying a biological sciences major (Aquaculture or Zoology & Ecology).

Marine & Environmental Science and Sensors

Townsville

Mathematics

Townsville

This minor is compulsory for those students studying a Physics major in the Bachelor of Science.

Physical Geography

Cairns

Townsville

Physics

Townsville

Zoology and Ecology

Cairns

Townsville

Due to prerequisites, this minor is only available to those students studying a biological sciences major (Aquaculture or Marine Biology).

Campus

COURSE AVAILABLE AT

NOTES

Cairns

Not all Majors and Minors available in Cairns

Townsville

 

Candidature

Expected time to complete

3 years full time or equivalent part time

Maximum time to complete

10 years

Maximum leave of absence

3 years

Progression

Course progression
requisites

Must successfully complete 18 credit points of level 1 and 2 science subjects before attempting any level 3 science subject

Course includes mandatory professional placement(s)

No

Special assessment
requirements

Nil

Professional accreditation
requirements

Nil

Maximum allowed Pass
Conceded (PC) grade

3 credit points

One PC grade only may be awarded with approval of College or Division examiners meeting, to allow a student to graduate, and that PC grade must not contribute to a core subject or a major.

Supplementary exam for
final subject

Not applicable

Advanced Standing

Eligibility

Students may apply for advanced standing for previous tertiary study in accordance with the Advanced Standing and Articulation policy and associated procedures

Maximum allowed

48 credit points

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

Currency

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

Expiry

Advanced standing gained for any subject shall be cancelled 20 years after the date of the examination upon which the advanced standing is based if, by then, the student has not completed the course of study prescribed for the degree.

Other restrictions

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

A maximum of 12 credit points of advanced standing may be granted for subjects outside the Science Schedule of Subjects.

Award Details

Award title

BACHELOR OF SCIENCE

Approved abbreviation

BSc

Inclusion of majors on
testamur

Any major may appear on the testamur

(Minors do not appear on the testamur)

Exit with lesser award

Students who exit the course prior to completion, and have completed 24 credit points of approved subjects may be eligible to receive the award of Diploma of Higher Education Majoring in Science

Course articulation

Not applicable

Honours

Honours availability

Available as an additional 24 credit points of study [end-on]

Eligibility

By invitation of the College Dean

Normally a minimum overall GPA of 5.5 (i.e. credit average) is required across the bachelor degree, with credits or better in the discipline specific areas.

Quota restrictions on the number of honours places available may apply from time to time as determined by the College Dean.

Honours

The Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree is available for high-achieving students. It consists of extra study and the development of a personal research project and thesis. An Honours degree is usually essential for entry to research higher degrees. Please refer to the Bachelor of Science (Honours) Handbook for eligibility information.

What is Marine Biology?

This website is intended as general guide. Prospective students should contact the university to confirm admission requirements and the availability of courses. James Cook University reserves the right to alter any course or admission requirement without prior notice.