Master of Science in Fisheries Biology and Management

Courses and Study Australian courses Master of Science in Fisheries Biology 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, please contact Dr Naomi Gardiner.

How to apply

Complete an online application through our Online Application Portal.


MSc – Fisheries Biology and Management Major

Major code


Credit points

36 credit points

Major Structure


MB5003:03 Fisheries Science

MB5300:03 Sampling and Experimental Design

MB5310:03 Marine Reserves as Fisheries Management Tools or EV5014:03 Managing Tropical Fisheries

SC5055:03 Research and Communication Skills in the Natural Sciences


Select 6 credit points of specified level 5 subjects

AQ5007:03 Aquatic Animal Ecophysiology

BZ5001:03 Quantitative Methods in Science

BZ5450:03 Ecological and Conservation Genetics

EV5014:03 Managing Tropical Fisheries

EV5210:03 Management of Marine Protected Areas

EV5701:03 Managing Coastal and Marine Environments

MB5055:03 Biological Oceanography

MB5230:03 Design and Analyses in Ecological Studies

MB5260:03 Ecological Dynamics: An Introduction to Modelling

MB5270:03 Wetland and Estuarine Ecosystems

MB5300:03 Sampling and Experimental Design

MB5310:03 Marine Reserves as Fisheries Management Tools

MB5450:03 Molecular Approaches to Marine Ecology and Evolution


Select 18 credit points of any level 5 AQ, BC, BZ, EV, MB, MI, SC, TO or TV science subjects.  This list includes research electives.

Pathway into course

Please consult the admission requirements section in the Handbook for prerequisites and pathways into this course.

The Diploma of Higher Education is a one-year course (or two years, part-time) designed to help people who may not meet the academic requirements for entry into a Bachelor degree course. The course is also designed to help students develop the necessary skills to be successful university students.

The Diploma consists of a combination of introductory and first year degree subjects.  Successful completion of the Diploma will give you a recognised qualification in its own right.

Graduating with the Diploma will also allow you to enter many JCU Bachelor degree programs and may give you credit, for some of the subjects you successfully complete.

Please contact if you have any questions or call Anne Chatelain (07) 47815740 in Townsville or Gabi Newman (07) 4232 1155 in Cairns.


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, graduates will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an advanced level of scientific knowledge from with their chosen major

  • Critically analyse scientific theory, models, concepts and techniques from within their chosen major

  • Critically read and evaluate quantitative and qualitative research findings from within their chosen major

  • Apply analytic tools and methodologies to define and describe scientific problems from within their chosen major

  • Communicate effectively and persuasively, both orally and in writing.

Course Structure


Select a discipline area (major)


Type of major



Credit points in major

36 credit points




Aquaculture Science and Technology



Environmental Earth Science




Environmental Marine Science

Townsville (Suspended 2015-2017)


Fisheries Biology and Management



Marine Biology and Ecology



Natural Resource Management


Cairns (Suspended 2017)


Protected Area Management


Cairns (Suspended 2017)

Tropical Biology and Conservation







Not all majors available in 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 the appropriate number of credit points, may, depending on the subjects studied, be eligible to receive the award of either the Graduate Certificate of Science or the Graduate Diploma of Science.

Course articulation

Not applicable

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.