Master of Science (Professional)
Take your undergraduate degree in science further and work in leadership roles within public or private organisations. With the advanced knowledge gained throughout this professional master’s program, you will be equipped to address many of the world’s current environmental issues.
Get practical experience in world heritage listed reef and rainforest environments. You will learn from lecturers who are experts in their field and will challenge you to develop your problem solving skills.
Choose to specialise in one of seven majors; Aquaculture Science and Technology, Environmental Earth Science, Environmental Management, Fisheries Science and Management, Geology, Marine Biology or Tropical Biology and Conservation.
Part time available
Have the opportunity to work as a science professional nationally and internationally with this postgraduate science course.
Advance your career in the public or private sector with organisations concerned with the management and use of environmental resources.
You could work in non-government organisations specialising in international aid and development, or focus on addressing environmental planning and educational issues.
Alternatively, get a job working in environmental consulting firms or become a science communication expert.
Diversify your knowledge studying the unique environments of North Queensland such as coral reefs, seagrass beds, mangroves, dry savannahs and tropical rainforests.
Receive advanced research training that you can apply to an industry-based project. You can also choose to conduct an independent research project, which could lead into future, post doctorate studies.
Enhance your studies with access to world-renowned research facilities such as:
- Marine & Aquaculture Research Facilities Unit (MARFU)
- Centre for Tropical Water and Aquatic Ecosystem Research (TropWATER)
- Centre for Sustainable Tropical Fisheries and Aquaculture
- Orpheus Island Research Station
- The ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
- The Cairns Institute
- Advanced Analytical Centre (AAC)
Learn how to apply the advanced analytical skills necessary for leadership positions within the industry.
You will have the chance to study subjects from outside of your chosen discipline, or further your knowledge of your chosen field.
Apply your advanced skills gained throughout the degree to your minor research projects, professional placement, or choose to conduct a major research project.
If you choose to select a major in the same field of study as your undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree, you may be eligible to receive up to six months advanced standing. This means that you could complete this master’s degree in 1.5 years.
Students choose from seven majors and can select elective subjects within the same major, or from another discipline to enhance their learning.
Aquaculture Science and Technology
Students learn the principals of tropical aquaculture and gain technical skills in the world’s fastest-growing food production sector. Focusing on fish, shellfish and pearls, students develop a theoretical and practical understanding of the science of fish farming.
Build professional skills for working in research, stock improvement, and the harvesting and processing of product. Experience learning in the state-of-the-art JCU Marine Aquaculture Field Station and participate in placements with industry partners.
Environmental Earth Science
Students access world-class lecturers and researchers to develop knowledge of the impacts of land use, land management, and climate change on the earth surface. Using current techniques, students investigate methods to control or minimise the harmful effects of human activity on the environment.
Learn from the diverse environments of the Tropics. Work in the Daintree Rainforest, fertile agricultural regions, the vast savannah outback, magnificent tropical rivers and diverse coastlines.
Develop knowledge of how natural environments function and change over time. Students build an understanding of how societies can conserve, use and modify these environments and the resources they provide.
Benefit from gaining specialised technical skills such as remote sensing, Geographic Information Systems, and Environmental and Social Impact Assessment. JCU graduates comprehensively understand the interconnected ecological and social aspects of managing national and international ecosystems.
Fisheries Science and Management
Develop an understanding of how to protect and manage marine resources. Gain practical experience in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and build skills in stock assessments, subsistence industrial fishing practices and technology development.
Learn from leading researchers and engage with JCU’s local and international partners in research, industry practice and governance. Graduates have an interdisciplinary perspective and understand marine resource management processes.
Students develop an advanced understanding of global issues including mining, energy and ground water resources, environmental problems and climate change. Build practical experience studying rocks and minerals in the Great Artesian Basin, the Savannah and the areas surrounding the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
Learn to find feasible and sustainable ways to extract resources, or evaluate geologic natural hazards that may threaten communities. JCU graduates create innovative solutions using natural resources to develop sustainable energy solutions.
JCU students learn from lecturers and researchers who are global leaders in their field. Understand how to inform best practice outcomes for communities, industry and resource management agencies globally, particularly in the Tropics.
Access the JCU Orpheus Island Field Station and award-winning laboratories. Participate in practical activities on the Great Barrier Reef’s coral reefs, coastal and oceanic environments. JCU graduates explore and deliver scientific, innovative solutions for the marine environment and its dependent communities.
Tropical Biology and Conservation
Integrate diverse disciplines such as zoology, ecology, botany, behaviour and evolution biology with a range of terrestrial and marine habitats. Students observe, explore and understand the diversity of the biological world.
Analyse the theoretical and applied ecological aspects of rainforests, the savannah, desert landscapes and tropical wildlife. Students benefit from the surrounding environments including savannahs, the World Heritage Daintree Rainforest, and coastal marine habitats.
View the handbook for detailed subject information.
Consult the admission requirements section in the Handbook for prerequisites and pathways into this course.
Credit may be available upon completion of the Graduate Certificate of Science or Graduate Diploma of Science. The Master of Science degree is a pathway for direct entry into the Master of Science (Professional).
Students can undertake a substantive research project, or professional project aligned to an industry or management partner within the JCU Master of Science (Professional).
The Master of Science (Professional) is the pathway towards a JCU PhD.
Master of Science (Professional)
Masters Degree (Coursework) (AQF Level 9)
Division of Tropical Environments and Societies
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 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
48 credit points as per course structure
Course learning outcomes
On successful completion of the Master of Science (Professional), graduates will be able to:
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
Credit points in major
36 credit points
COURSE AVAILABLE AT
Not all majors available at Cairns
Expected time to complete
2 years full-time or 4 years part-time
Maximum time to complete
Maximum leave of absence
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.
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.
Studies and/or professional experiences undertaken to fulfil the entry requirements to JCU awards may not be used for credit.
MASTER OF SCIENCE (PROFESSIONAL)
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.
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.