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Bachelor of Advanced Science

Townsville; Cairns
3 years full-time
Attendance mode
Entry Requirements
English (4,SA) or (Units 3/4,C), Maths B (4,SA) or Mathematical Methods (Units 3/4,C).
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Pursue excellence with JCU’s Bachelor of Advanced Science program. Learn from world-renowned lecturers, meet experts in their field and conduct hands-on research in North Queensland’s unique tropical environment.

Develop your passion for discovery and choose from nine different majors. You will also choose from a set of core advanced skill subjects to develop analytical and modelling skills that are highly sought-after by future employers.

Apply your skills and knowledge to real-world research projects and have the opportunity to be published in international scientific journals. Go on overseas exchange programs and study natural environments in other parts of the world. Use your degree as a pathway to other health professions or higher research.

Become a science and research leader. JCU Advanced Science graduates are elite, innovative professionals who are equipped for the future.
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JCU's Bachelor of Advanced Science

Are you ready to join an elite team passionate about becoming the next generation of scientific leaders? Do you have what it takes to meet the environmental and scientific challenges of the 21st century and find innovative and effective solutions? If this sounds like you, the Bachelor of Advanced Science at James Cook University could be your path to excellence.

Be in high demand with your advanced skills and practical, hands-on experience with JCU’s advanced science degree. You will be leading the way in addressing modern society’s most pressing scientific needs.

A Comprehensive Background

Become an elite, innovative professional with a world-class education that develops highly adept conceptual and analytical thinkers. Your advanced science degree from JCU gives you a firmer grasp on what you know, challenges your thinking, inspires your creativity, and provides a wealth of hands-on experience.

Develop a broad perspective and participate in seminars conducted by leading scientists. Study advanced subjects to gain specialised skills in quantitative methods and mathematical techniques. Engage in research that matters; research designed for publication in some of the most prestigious international scientific journals.

Experience has no substitute. Study in some of the most interesting places on Earth participating in hands-on experiments. Explore unrivalled research locations as you put theory into practice. Access World Heritage natural environments and state-of-the-art learning facilities.

Expand your scientific knowledge with international academic exchange programs. Develop personally, as you learn from other cultures’ scientific perspectives and diverse landscapes and professionally, as you build global networks. Be exposed to other natural ecosystems and have the opportunity to make your own contribution.

Gain real-world skills that set you apart for a distinguished career. You will learn how to collaborate with colleagues making significant scientific progress, articulate questions and arguments in constructive ways, and critically appraise your work and the role of science.

A Personal Perspective

What sets you apart, what motivates and inspires you? As you work towards your Bachelor of Advanced Science, thrive off the inspiration that comes from studying your passion.

Choose the major that appeals most to you, and prepare yourself for the places you want your career to take you. Work in data science, earth science, marine biology, aquaculture science and technology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, molecular and cell biology, or zoology and ecology.

Your  advanced science degree also offers you the option of choosing between a second major or a minor with classes in advanced scientific fields. Choose a second major to complement your first. Choose a minor that opens up new possibilities.

An Advanced Science Degree for the Forward Thinking

Take the first step towards a career that makes a difference to people and societies, the natural world and the built environment with an advanced science degree. Be prepared for tomorrow’s challenges with JCU’s world-class education.

Gain the Bachelor of Advanced Science Honours degree with an additional year of study. This is your capstone year as you develop a research project from start to finish.

Work with the world’s oceans and help to conserve precious marine life in marine biology, or set the tone for society’s interactions with the natural world with an emphasis in zoology and ecology. Help discover new and innovative ways of preserving natural resources while protecting vulnerable people as you work in earth science or chemistry.

Whatever field you choose, your greatest contribution to the natural world and people and societies will be the highly transferable skills you develop. With an agile mind, critical thinking skills, and an interdisciplinary outlook, be poised to lead in the fast-paced scientific world.

Ready Today for Tomorrow with Your Advanced Science Degree

Build on your intellectual capabilities, ethical convictions, and professional passion with a Bachelor of Advanced Science degree.

Develop a solid foundation of technical knowledge to advance your skills and the analytical thinking to apply that knowledge and think outside the box to solve important questions.

Systematically collect data and design testable hypotheses based on your findings. You will know how to draw the right inferences from what you see.

Understand the ethics that have governed scientific advancement for centuries and why they are important in the context of modern-day science. Differentiate yourself with your ability to work effectively, but also responsibly and safely and with consideration for cultural frameworks.

Differentiate Yourself With JCU's Bachelor of Advanced Science

The world needs scientists that are ready and willing to meet the problems of designing a sustainable future. Step up to meet the challenge with us and graduate with an advanced science degree from JCU.
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  • View the Handbook for a detailed overview of available subjects.

You can choose from nine different Science majors.

Aquaculture Science and Technology

Benefit from access to the Marine and Aquaculture Research Facility for the hands-on discovery of the sustainable practices of aquaculture.

Students explore the scientific and practical applications of breeding, rearing and harvesting of plants and animals in all types of water environments. JCU graduates have a deep understanding of the biodiversity of species, the design of aquaculture systems and the basics of nutrition.


With award-winning laboratories at the JCU Science Place and access to industry leaders, students benefit from small class sizes and the personalised approach of lecturers.

Accredited by the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI), a JCU Chemistry major provides skills in analytical chemistry, synthetic, organic and inorganic chemistry, and kinetics and mechanisms of chemical reactions.

Data Science

Experience the power of data visualisation, Big Data and machine learning. Learn how to develop sophisticated algorithms and create innovation solutions to contemporary problems.

Mastermind database systems, programs, models and projects. Learn from experts in the field and become part of the exponentially growing field of Data Science. Be at the forefront of the Data Science revolution with a Data Science major.

Earth Science

With access to state-of-the-art facilities like JCU Fletcherview Field Station, JCU students gain practical skills studying and assessing the unique biodiverse region of North Queensland.

Build your understanding of the effect of humans on the natural environment and build skills to develop solutions to lessen the impact. Graduates have a thorough understanding of how to develop cost-effective and innovative techniques for environmental management.

Marine Biology

Benefit from access to one of the most diverse and fragile marine ecosystems in the world, the Great Barrier Reef. With opportunities to do hands-on research at world-class JCU Orpheus Island Field Station, You will learn from expert lecturers and benefit from researchers’ strong links with industry.

Be equipped to address critical challenges facing marine and coastal ecosystems. Graduates deeply understand humans’ impact on the marine environment and how the oceans and atmosphere interact.


Develop highly sought after problem-solving, analytical and quantitative reasoning skills. You will gain a thorough understanding of various mathematical techniques, data analysis, and multivariate statistical methods.

JCU graduates have the skills to formulate mathematical models, illustrating science and engineering problems, and use various techniques to help find solutions.

Molecular and Cell Biology

Gain hands-on experience using cutting-edge equipment and techniques. Develop an in-depth understanding of molecular genetics. Learn how to amplify and edit DNA sequences and conduct laboratory-based and field-based projects.

JCU students study the basis of health and disease at a molecular level and analyse the functions of a whole cell. Graduates have the foundations needed to work towards developments of modern medicine and biotechnology.


Develop the expertise to explore some of the universe’s most challenging questions. Accredited by the Australian Institute of Physics, a Physics major at JCU provides you with knowledge and skills across multiple physics disciplines.

Students learn the fundamentals of energy, quantum mechanics, relativity, antimatter, weather, and climate. The ability to think critically and be experimental is built by exploring biophysics, molecular electronics, and organic solar cells. You will study the structure of matter, atomic and nuclear physics, quantum physics, oceanography and meteorology, and thermodynamics.

Zoology and Ecology

Study amazing rainforests and diverse species. Go on field trips to Borneo or the Galapagos Islands. Access the JCU Daintree Rainforest Observatory to learn about biosecurity, behavioural ecology, conservation biology and ecological modelling. Perform research in one of the most biodiverse regions in Australia.

JCU students learn from world experts, studying the science of the biology of plants and animals and the natural world that they live in.


An Honours degree is an additional one-year study program (full-time or equivalent) that includes the development of a personal research project and thesis. The three-year Bachelor of Advanced Science is ideal preparation for the rigours of an Honours year, and Advanced Science students are encouraged to consider this option. Honours is especially recommended for students who wish to pursue a career with significant involvement in scientific research. An Honours degree is usually essential for entry to research higher degrees.

Career Opportunities

JCU Advanced Science graduates are highly-skilled professionals who find employment in a variety of industries.

Graduates pursue careers in areas including marine biology, aquaculture, earth science, chemistry, mathematics, molecular and cell biology, physics, and zoology and ecology.

You could find employment as a research assistant, laboratory technician, scientific journalist, environmental scientist, physicist, teacher, or patent lawyer. Or you could continue onto further studies with the Bachelor of Advanced Science (Honours).

Advanced Science graduates may also choose to apply for graduate entry into science, medicine, veterinary science, physiotherapy, dentistry, or other health sciences.

Graduates who major in Chemistry may be eligible to register for non-corporate membership of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI). With an additional three years of Chemistry experience, you may be eligible to register as a Chartered Chemist with Corporate Membership of RACI.

What you need to know before you apply

Certified copies of supporting documents

You must supply the following information with your application:

  • Previous and current certificates and academic transcripts
  • The Grading Scale used at the institution(s) where you have undertaken your studies
  • English proficiency test results (if required and available at time of application)
  • Your passport to confirm your name and citizenship (if available at time of application)

You can speed up the application process by emailing copies of your documents to If your application is approved you must then post certified copies and/or documents to:

James Cook International
James Cook University
Townsville QLD 4811, AUSTRALIA

If your documents are in a language other than English, you must provide both certified translations and a certified copy of the original document.

An acceptable certified document is a photocopy of the original document, signed and certified as a copy of the original by a public notary, registered agent of JCU, or a representative of the institution. Copies of certified copies are not acceptable.

Credit and Articulation

Before applying for credit for previous studies you should read the Credit and Articulation Procedure. You can review any possible credits you may have with our Credit Calculator. When you apply for credit you must submit the course syllabi (subject outline) for each relevant subject and ensure the subject corresponds to a similar JCU subject.

Entry requirements

As well as having the prerequisites for this course, you must also meet minimum academic and language requirements.

Check the minimum English language proficiency requirements for this course in the Course Handbook.

If you meet the academic requirements for this course, but not the minimum English requirements, you will receive a packaged offer. This includes the opportunity to take an English language program as well as an offer to study a degree at JCU. Your JCU degree offer will be conditional on you gaining a certain grade in your English program.

Application deadlines

  • 31 January for commencement in teaching period 1 (semester 1)
  • 30 June for commencement in teaching period 2 (semester 2)

Our campuses in Singapore and Brisbane operate on a trimester system – application deadlines vary for Singapore and Brisbane. View academic calendars.

How to apply

Gather electronic copies of your documentation, including an Application for Credit form, if relevant.

Register using your full legal name as it appears on your passport.

Complete all questions, upload all documents, and submit your application. You may wish to include a second course preference.

Ready to apply? Apply now.

Help with your application

If you need help with your application, or would like to change your preferences (e.g. course, campus, commencing semester) after you have submitted your application please contact JCU International Admissions at or phone: +61 7 4781 5601

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Bachelor of Advanced Science

Handbook year


Course code


Course type

BAC – Bachelor Pass (AQF level 7)

Professional accreditation status

The Physics major for the Bachelor of Advanced Science is accredited by the Australian Institute of Physics (AIP). Graduates are automatically eligible for membership of the Australian Institute of Physics.

The Chemistry major for this course is currently going through a reaccreditation process with the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI).  Once accredited, graduates will be 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.


Tropical Environments and Societies

Award Requirements

Admission Requirements

Course Pre-requisites

Required: English (4,SA); Maths B (4,SA)

Recommended Study: At least one of Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Maths 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.

Additional Course Requirements

Students who do not have Chemistry to Year 12 and wish to undertake the Chemistry major or the Molecular and Cell Biology major will be required to undertake the preparatory subject, CH1020: Preparatory Chemistry in their first year of study.

Students should undertake this subject 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. This subject typically starts earlier than the standard course commencement date. Contact JCU on 1800 246 446 for more information.

Special admission requirements

JCU students who have completed the first year of the BSc (including receiving a pass result in SC1109: Modelling Natural Systems-Advanced) and who have a GPA greater than 5.5 (excluding MA1020, CH1020 and PH1001) may apply to transfer to the Bachelor of Advanced Science.

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 more than one level 5 subject.

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 Advanced Science at James Cook University will be able to:

  • Integrate and apply a coherent body of theoretical and technical knowledge, including underlying concepts, principles, and models, 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, using advanced quantitative approaches.
  • Identify and articulate important, unresolved questions, problems, or knowledge gaps in the graduate’s chosen field of expertise.
  • Create and analyse models of natural processes, in order to generate testable hypotheses about natural phenomena.
  • Design 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, applying an advanced, conceptually integrated understanding of the available methods.
  • Draw appropriate inferences from the outcomes of modelling, laboratory experiments, or field observations, taking account of the strengths and weaknesses of the data or models, and the methods of analysis employed.
  • Convey scientific ideas, arguments and conclusions clearly and coherently through well-developed written and oral communication skills and a variety of media.
  • 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


Level 1

MA1000:03 Mathematical Foundations

MA1003:03 Mathematical Techniques

SC1101:03 Science, Technology and Truth

SC1109:03 Modelling Natural Systems-Advanced

Level 2

SC2209:03 Quantitative Methods in Science-Advanced


Select 3 credit points of subjects from List 1 (Skill Subjects)

Level 3

SC3003:03 Science Research Internship or SC3008:03 Professional Placement


Select 3 credit points of subjects from List 2 (Advanced Skill Subjects)


Select a major from Table A


Select one of the following Options

Option 1 (Second Major)

Select a second major from Table A


Option 2 (Minors and/or Electives)

Select a primary Science Minor from Table B that is different to your major


Select 9 credit points of any Level 2, 3 or 5 Science subjects PLUS 3 credit points of any Level 3 or Level 5 Science subjects


Select 6 credit points of any* Level 1, 2, 3 or 5 subjects PLUS 6 credit points of any Level 2, 3 or 5 subjects


Select a Minor from Table B

*Students who wish to complete the Chemistry or Molecular and Cell Biology Majors and have not completed high school level Chemistry must undertake CH1020 Preparatory Chemistry

NOTE: Students choosing the Physics Major must select 3 credit points of a Level 3 or Level 5 subject

List 1 (Skill Subjects)

Select a subject which is not already in your Major

BC2013:03 Principles of Biochemistry

CH2103:03 Analytical Chemistry

CP2404:03 Database Modelling

EV2502:03 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

MA2000:03 Mathematics for Scientists and Engineers

MA2210:03 Linear Algebra

List 2 (Advanced Skill Subjects)

BC5203:03 Advanced Bioinformatics

BS5260:03 Modelling Ecological Dynamics

CH5002:03 Research Skills and Communication in Chemistry (Advanced)

EA5409:03 Mineralogy and Geophysics

PH5014:03 Research Skills and Communication in Physics (Advanced)

SC5502:03 Design and Analyses in Ecological Studies


Type of major

Mandatory, single or double

Credit points in major

24 credit points




Aquaculture Science and Technology


The first year of study may be completed in Cairns

Not permitted as a double major with Marine Biology or Zoology and Ecology however students may select these as minors (see Table B)



Students undertaking this Major will have successfully completed senior Chemistry or equivalent or will need to complete the preparatory subject within this course structure

Data Science




Earth Science




Marine Biology


The first year of study may be completed in Cairns

Not permitted as a double major with Aquaculture Science and Technology or Zoology and Ecology however students may select these as minors (see Table B)




Molecular and Cell Biology


Students undertaking this Major will have successfully completed senior Chemistry or equivalent or will need to complete the preparatory subject within this course structure



The Advanced Mathematics minor is compulsory for students studying the Physics major

Zoology and Ecology



Not permitted as a double major with Aquaculture Science and Technology or Marine Biology  however students may select these as minors (see Table B)


Type of Minor

Single or Double

Credit points in minor

12 credit points




Advanced Chemistry


Advanced Mathematics


This minor is compulsory for students studying a Physics major

Advanced Physics


Aquaculture Science & Technology


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



Not available as a primary Science minor

Environmental Geochemistry




Field Studies in Earth Sciences




Marine and Environmental Science and Sensors


Marine Biology


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



Not available as a primary Science minor

Physical Geography





Not available as a primary Science minor

Zoology and Ecology



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

Inter-Disciplinary Minors



Please refer to list for details of all minors available for selection

Please note - this minors list includes a Biodiversity Assessment minor and an Introduction to Marine Biology minor.





Not all majors and minors are available in Cairns




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

Should successfully complete 18 credit points of level 2 science subjects before attempting any level 5 science subject.

Course includes mandatory professional placement(s)


Special assessment


Professional accreditation


Maximum allowed Pass
Conceded (PC) grade


Supplementary exam for
final subject

Not applicable



Students may apply for a credit transfer for previous tertiary study or informal and non-formal learning in accordance with the Credit Transfer Procedure.

Maximum allowed

48 credit points


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

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

Credit will not be granted for MA1020 or CH1020 or PH1001

Award Details

Award title


Approved abbreviation


Inclusion of majors on

Any major may appear on the testamur

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

Students who complete this course may be eligible for entry to the Masters of Science.


Honours availability

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


By invitation of the College Dean

Normally an overall grade point average of 5.5 is required across the bachelor (pass) 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.

Annual Tuition Fee: AUD$37,680 (Estimate only)

Courses are charged per year of full-time study. International course fees are reviewed annually and subject to change.

A Student Services and Amenities Fee is payable per subject up to a maximum amount per year.

Student Visa holders must have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the duration of their Student Visa (except Norwegian, Swedish and Belgian citizens). Costs depend on the length of study and the number of dependants accompanying the student. For more information see Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC).

Scholarships and financial aid are also available for international students.

JCU offers pathway study options if you don't meet the academic of English language requirements for direct entry into your preferred JCU degree, or if you want to enhance your career prospects. Contact us for more information.

Experience has no substitute

What better way to learn about coral than getting hands-on with the subject on the Great Barrier Reef? Experience JCU's Orpheus Island Research Station with our JCU Science degrees.

What is Advanced Science?