Master of Science, majoring in Fisheries Science and Management

Courses and Study Australian courses Master of Science, majoring in Fisheries Science and Management

Study tropical, shallow water marine systems, and learn from staff who are experts in their field.

Start dates
February, July
1.5 years full-time
Part time available
Study mode
On campus

Course highlights

James Cook University is a leading education and research centre for biology in the tropics.

  • Internationally-recognised undergraduate, postgraduate and research programs in biological sciences
  • dedicated research vessel, and research stations at Orpheus Island and Paluma
  • more tropical courses and subjects than any other institution in the world
  • teaching and research facilities including the Advanced Analytical Centre and the Aquaculture Research Facility.

Course overview

JCU’s programs in tropical marine ecology and fisheries biology are dedicated to the study of tropical, shallow water marine systems. There is an emphasis on whole organism biology, the ecology and biogeography of tropical marine organisms, and the evolutionary mechanisms that underlie their diversity.

Proximity to the Great Barrier Reef provides unparalleled opportunities for investigating ecological and evolutionary questions for reef fish, corals, and other marine organisms.

Students will develop their knowledge and skills in quantitative marine ecology, conservation biology, and the biology, life history and taxonomy of tropical marine organisms. Preliminary coursework subjects consist of semester-long offerings. More advanced subjects are offered by block mode, which are 2-week intensive sessions on campus. The courses are flexible, with a range of electives available. Students devise a study program to meet their professional goals, in consultation with the course coordinator.  Programs may include a research component if approved.

For more information regarding this course, contact Dr Naomi Gardiner.

How to apply

Complete an online application through our Online Application Portal.


MSc – Fisheries Science and Management Major

Major code


Credit point value

48 credit points

Other details

Available part-time

Major Structure


MB5300:03 Sampling and Experimental Design or SC5502:03 Design and Analyses in Ecological Studies

MB5003:03 Fisheries Science

MB5610:03 Fishing Gear and Technologies

EV5014:03 Managing Tropical Fisheries

EV5020:03 Human Dimensions of Nature, Environment and Conservation


Select 9 credit points of subjects from List 1

List 1


AQ5004:03 Aquaculture:  Stock Improvement

AQ5012:06 Aquaculture:  Hatchery Techniques

BC5203:03 Introduction to Bioinformatics

BS5260:03 Modelling Ecological Dynamics

BS5470:03 Evolution

BZ5001:03 Quantitative Methods in Science

BZ5450:03 Ecological and Conservation Genetics

BZ5990:03 Toolkit for the Field Biologist

EA5018:03 Field Studies in Tropical Water and Soil Science

EV5502:03 Advanced Geographic Information Systems

EV5505:03 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

EV5506:03 Remote Sensing

MA5405:03 Data Mining

MB5450:03 Molecular Approaches to Marine Ecology and Evolution

SC5232:03 Marine Sensor Technologies and Applications

SC5502:03 Design and Analyses in Ecological Studies


Select any 24 credit points of subjects from List 1 and/or List 2

List 2

Note: Subjects have been grouped by themes for guidance only


MB5055:03 Biological Oceanography

MB5380:03 Invertebrate Biology

MB5620:03 Grand Challenges in Fisheries

MB5270:03 Coastal, Estuarine and Mangrove Ecosystems

MB5004:03 Marine Conservation Biology

MB5190:03 Coral Reef Ecology

MB5001:03 Tropical Marine Ecology & Coastal Impacts

AQ5006:03 Aquaculture:  Principles and Practices

AQ5007:03 Aquatic Animal Ecophysiology

AQ5009:03 Aquaculture of Tropical Species

EV5203:03 Conserving Marine Wildlife: Sea Mammals, Birds and Reptiles

MI5003:03 Advanced Marine Microbiology


AQ5015:03 Sustainable Aquaculture

MB5310:03 Marine Reserves as Fisheries Management Tools

EV5701:03 Managing Coastal and Marine Environments

EV5209:03 Principles and Practices of Protected Area Management

Research and Placement

SC5009:12 Professional Placement

SC5901:03 Special Topic 1

SC5902:03 Special Topic 2

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

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

SC5008:03 Professional Placement

Other choices: Students wishing to study a Level 5 subject not included in the options lists should consult with their course adviser.

Pathway into course

For prerequisites and pathways into this course visit the admission requirements section in the Handbook


Master of Science

Course code


Course type

Masters Degree (Coursework) (AQF Level 9)


Tropical Environments and Societies

Award Requirements

Admission Requirements

Course pre-requisites

Completion of an AQF level 7 bachelor degree in science; 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.

Post Admission requirements

Some majors require attendance at block mode 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

36 credit points as per course structure

Course learning outcomes

On successful completion of the Master of Science, 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.
  • Reflect on current skills, knowledge and attitudes to manage their professional learning needs and performance, autonomously and in collaboration with others.
  • 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.

Course Structure


Select a discipline area (major) from Table A


Type of major

Mandatory, Single

Credit points in major

36 credit points




Aquaculture Science and Technology



Environmental Earth Science




Fisheries Science and Management



Marine Biology



Natural Resource Management

Cairns (Suspended 2017-2018)



Protected Area Management

Cairns (Suspended 2017-2018)



Tropical Biology and Conservation







Not all majors available at Cairns




Expected time to complete

18 months full-time or equivalent part-time

Maximum time to complete

5 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

Not applicable

Advanced Standing


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

Maximum allowed

12 credit points, unless part of an approved articulation process.


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


Advanced standing gained for any subject shall be cancelled 15 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


Award Details

Award title


Approved abbreviations


Inclusion of majors on testamur

The major studied shall appear on the testamur.

Exit with lesser award

Students who exit the course prior to completion and have 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 receive the award of Graduate Certificate of Science.

Course articulation

Students who complete the requirements for the Master of Science are eligible for direct entry into the 48 credit point Master of Science (Professional) and may be granted advanced standing for all subjects completed under this course.

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.