Bachelor of Marine Science

James Cook University (JCU) introduced marine science studies to Australia, and today we continue to break new ground in the field. You will too when you study with us.

At JCU you will study with the best marine scientists in the world. We rank number one in Marine and Freshwater Biology out of 26,000 degree-granting institutions in the world on the Centre for World University Ranking scale. With six of the world's top ten tropical marine biologists on staff you will be right there as new discoveries that impact the marine world are made. JCU introduced Marine Science studies to Australia, and continues to take the lead by redeveloping the Marine Science course to focus on developing skills in sensor technology –exciting new tools enabling marine science research into the future.

JCU's Bachelor of Marine Science focuses on developing the high-level skills technologically enabled professionals need if they are to address the challenges facing the world’s oceans over coming decades. A diversity of rapidly evolving technologies are providing marine scientists with increasingly powerful ways to collect diverse data from above and below the waves; data that support and direct solutions to previously insoluble problems. These methods include: water quality sensors, seabed mapping and fish assessment sonar, sensors for detecting underwater mineral deposits and wrecked ships, oceanographic sensors, acoustic tagging and tracking equipment, sensors for monitoring the activity and physical environment of marine mammals, reptiles and fish.

Campus
Townsville
Start dates
February, July
Duration
3 years full-time
Study mode
On campus
CRICOS code
056552E

Career opportunities

JCU’s Marine Science degree has been developed in consultation with private corporations and federal, state and local government marine professionals from disciplines as diverse as marine geologists, physical and biological oceanographers, marine biologists and marine chemists. That means that the technological skills you develop with be broadly applicable in addressing today's and tomorrow’s challenges facing the world’s oceans. So your field-leading Marine Science qualification will give you a head-start in an exciting career locally or internationally in a diversity of fields including:

  • Fisheries Science and Management
  • Marine Conservation Research and Conservation Policy
  • Environmental Research and Management
  • Marine Geoscience and Hydrography
  • Physical and Biological Oceanography
  • Marine Technology
  • Marine Data Acquisition and Analysis
  • Marine Impact Assessment

Completing the JCU Bachelor of Marine Science can also open career options in:

  • Tourism
  • Education

You will also automatically become a member of the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST).

Course highlights

This inspiring JCU course will see you studying with a university that is recognised as a world leader in marine science research. While you study, you'll be doing practical work and using up-to-the-minute research and real data. And choosing JCU means you'll be studying right at the doorstep of the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef and among some of the world's most pristine waterways. For example, at JCU you will learn about

  • Managing human impacts on marine environments
  • Protecting Australia's marine reserves
  • Safeguarding the world's largest natural resource - the ocean.

The practical nature of the course will allow you to

  • Use advanced marine technology to measure aspects of the marine environment
  • Gain experience with a wide range of marine sensors in field work at sea
  • Learn how to analyse large marine data sets to extract important information
  • Work on Orpheus Island Research Station and the spectacular Hinchinbrook Channel
  • Participate in practical work aboard research vessels
  • Research on-site at coral reefs, islands, seagrass beds and mangroves
  • Study in JCU's advanced research aquariums and laboratories.

You may also have opportunities to undertake an exchange program with an international university.

Course overview

This is a degree that focuses on giving you practical skills in advanced marine science and technology. It is different from most other marine biology or marine science degrees as there is an additional focus on technology and its application. You'll learn from JCU's experts how to manage human impacts and preserve dynamic marine environments. Among the fascinating and very relevant core subjects and options available to you are:

  • Fundamentals of Biological Processes
  • Environmental Processes and Global Change
  • Marine Measurement Technology
  • Sensors and Sensing
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Physical Oceanography
  • Functional Ecology
  • Chemistry of the Ocean
  • Marine Geology
  • Managing Coastal and Marine Environments
  • Conserving Marine Wildlife: Sea Mammals, Birds, Reptiles
  • Biological Oceanography
  • Fisheries Science.

Professional Recognition

When you graduate, you will automatically become a member of the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST). You'll also become a Registered Marine Scientist, with the opportunity to become a Chartered Marine Scientist. As well, you will be eligible to apply for membership of professional organisations including the Australian Marine Science Association and the Australian Coral Reef Society.

Honours

An 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.

What you need to know before applying

You will need to supply the following with your application:

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

Advanced Standing (credit for prior learning)

If you wish to seek credit for previous studies, you can submit the course syllabi (subject outline) for each relevant subject you have already studied. You will need to ensure that previous subjects, that you wish to gain credit for, correspond to a similar JCU subject. View JCU subject outlines and Course Enrolment Planners to assist in this process.

Certified copies and original documents

Posted, faxed, scanned or uploaded copies can be used during the assessment process. However once your application is approved you will need to supply original certified documents. These may be posted to:

James Cook International
James Cook University
Townsville QLD 4811, AUSTRALIA

If documents are written in a language other than English you will need to provide certified translations and a certified copy of the original document.

An acceptable certified document is a photocopy of an original document that has been certified as a true copy and signed by the certifier - public notary, registered agent of James Cook University or a representative of the institution. The certification must be original; photocopies or facsimiles of certified copies are not acceptable.

How to apply

Take note of the duration, cost and campus availability of your selected course.
You may wish to include a second course preference.
  1. Register using your full legal name as it appears on your passport.
  2. Gather electronic copies of your documentation including advanced standing application if relevant. You will need to provide original certified copies of your documents once your application has been approved.
  3. Complete all the questions and upload all your documents. You can save and continue the application later if you need to.
  4. Submit your application.
Apply now

Subjects

Course Structure

CORE SUBJECTS

Level 1

BS1007:03 Introduction to Biodiversity

CH1001:03 Chemistry: A Central Science

EA1110:03 Evolution of the Earth

MA1000:03 Mathematical Foundations

MB1110:03 Introductory Marine Science

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

EV2502:03 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

PH2006:03 Marine Physics

PH2222:03 Sensors and Sensing for Scientists

CH2042:03 Marine Chemistry and Chemical Ecology

MB2050:03 Functional Biology of Marine Organisms

Level 3

MB3050:03 Biological Oceanography

EV3406:03 Coral Reef Geomorphology

EA3110:03 Sedimentology and Stratigraphy

EA3640:03 Advanced Environmental and Marine Geoscience Technologies and Applications

MB3270:03 Coastal, Estuarine and Mangrove Ecosystems

SC3232:03 Marine Sensor Technologies and Applications

OPTIONS

Applicants who have not completed high school intermediate level Mathematics B (or equivalent) must select MA1020 Preparatory Mathematics as part of their study plan to successfully complete the Bachelor of Marine Science.

MA1020:03 Preparatory Mathematics or any Level 1, 2 or 3 of AQ, BC, BM, BS, BZ, CH, CL, CP, CS, EA, EE, EV, MA, MB, ME, MI, PH or SC subjects

Applicants who have not completed high school Chemistry (or equivalent) must select CH1020 Preparatory Chemistry as part of their study plan to successfully complete the Bachelor of Marine Science

CH1020:03 Preparatory Chemistry or any Level 1, 2 or 3 of AQ, BC, BM, BS, BZ, CH, CL, CP, CS, EA, EE, EV, MA, MB, ME, MI, PH or SC subjects

PLUS

Select 12 credit points of subjects from List 2 or a Minor from Table A or an Inter-disciplinary Minor

List 2

Note: Streams listed below are for guidance only

Streams

  • Chemistry
  • Earth Science
  • Environmental Science
  • Fisheries
  • Marine Biology
  • Maths
  • Physics

Chemistry

CH1002:03 Chemistry: Principles and Applications

CH2310:03 Syntheses and Mechanism in Organic Chemistry

CH2103:03 Analytical Chemistry

CH3041:03 Environmental Chemistry

Earth Science

EA2404:03 From Icehouse to Greenhouse

EA2900:03 Introductory Field Geology

EA3800:03 Earth and Environmental Geochemistry

EA3210:03 Structural Geology Tectonics or EA3650:03 Sedimentary Environments and Energy Resources

Environmental Science

Select 4 subjects from:

EV1005:03 Environmental Processes & Global Change

EV2401:03 Australian Landscape Processes and Evolution

EV3401:03 Coastal and Catchment Geomorphology

EV3502:03 Advanced Geographic Information Systems

EV3506:03 Remote Sensing

Fisheries

MB2060:03 Marine Ecology & Environmental Assessment

MB2080:03 Invertebrate Biology

EV3014:03 Managing Tropical Fisheries

MB3150:03 Fisheries Science

Marine Biology

Select 4 subjects from:

MB2060:03 Marine Ecology and Environmental Assessment

MB2070:03 Marine Biogeography

MB2080:03 Invertebrate Biology

MB3160:03 Ecology and Evolution of Reef Fishes

MB3190:03 Coral Reef Ecology

MB3260:03 Ecological Dynamics: An Introduction to Modelling

Maths

MA1003:03 Mathematical Techniques

Plus select 3 subjects from:

MA2000:03 Mathematics for Scientists and Engineers

MA2201:03 Numerical Mathematics

MA2405:03 Advanced Statistical Modelling

CP2404:03 Database Modelling

MA3405:03 Statistical Data Mining for Big Data

Physics

PH1005:03 Advanced Stream Physics 1

PH3006:03 Oceanography and Meteorology

Plus select 2 subjects from:

PH2002:03 Classical Mechanics and Quantum Physics 1

PH2019:03 Introduction to Electromagnetism Optics and Early Quantum

PH2240:03 Atomic and Nuclear Physics

TABLE A (SCIENCE MINORS)

Type of Minor

Single, Optional

Credit points in minor

12 credit points

MINOR

AVAILABLE AT

NOTES

Advanced Chemistry

Townsville

 

Advanced Mathematics

Townsville

 

Advanced Physics

Townsville

 

Chemistry

Townsville

 

Environmental Geochemistry

Townsville

 

Exploration

Townsville

 

Field Studies in Earth Sciences

Townsville

 

Fisheries

Townsville

 

Marine & Environmental Science and Sensors

Townsville

 

Mathematics

Townsville

 

Physical Geography

Townsville

 

Physics

Townsville

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.

Handbook

Bachelor of Marine Science

Course code

50110M

Course type

Bachelor Degree (AQF Level 7)

Division

Tropical Environments and Societies

Award Requirements

Admission Requirements

Course pre-requisites

Assumed Knowledge: English (4,SA); Maths B (4,SA); Chemistry (4,SA)

Recommended Study: At least one of Biology, Earth Science, Geography, Maths C or Physics

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

Applicants who have not completed high school intermediate level Mathematics B (or equivalent) must select MA1020: Preparatory Mathematics as part of their study plan to successfully complete the Bachelor of Marine Science.

Applicants who have not completed high school Chemistry (or equivalent) must select CH1020: Preparatory Chemistry as part of their study plan to successfuly complete the Bachelor of Marine Science.

Students should undertake the above subject/s in block 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. These subjects typically start earlier than the standard course commencement date. Contact JCU on 1800 246 446 for more information.

This course involves mandatory field work and any costs associated with that field work will be at the student’s expense.

Academic Requirements for Course Completion

Credit points

72 credit points as per course structure

Additional course rules

Must complete a minimum of 18 credit points of level 3 subjects.

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 Marine Science at James Cook University will be able to:

  • Integrate and apply a coherent body of theoretical and technical knowledge of the marine environment and sustainable management of marine and coastal resources, with depth in the underlying concepts and principles in at least two science disciplines

  • Critically appraise the role and relevance of marine sciences in the creation of sustainable futures, particularly in the tropics, worldwide

  • Demonstrate broad understanding of the methods of science, particularly as applied to marine sciences, 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 investigations, by selecting and applying appropriate methods, techniques and tools

  • Organise, analyse and interpret scientific data using mathematical, statistical and/or 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 relating to the behaviour and management of marine systems by applying 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 and interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary teams

  • Reflect on current skills, knowledge and attitudes to manage their professional learning needs and performance, autonomously and in collaboration with others.

Course Structure

CORE SUBJECTS

Level 1

BS1007:03 Introduction to Biodiversity

CH1001:03 Chemistry: A Central Science

EA1110:03 Evolution of the Earth

MA1000:03 Mathematical Foundations

MB1110:03 Introductory Marine Science

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

EV2502:03 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

PH2006:03 Marine Physics

PH2222:03 Sensors and Sensing for Scientists

CH2042:03 Marine Chemistry and Chemical Ecology

MB2050:03 Functional Biology of Marine Organisms

Level 3

MB3050:03 Biological Oceanography

EV3406:03 Coral Reef Geomorphology

EA3110:03 Sedimentology and Stratigraphy

EA3640:03 Advanced Environmental and Marine Geoscience Technologies and Applications

MB3270:03 Coastal, Estuarine and Mangrove Ecosystems

SC3232:03 Marine Sensor Technologies and Applications

OPTIONS

Applicants who have not completed high school intermediate level Mathematics B (or equivalent) must select MA1020 Preparatory Mathematics as part of their study plan to successfully complete the Bachelor of Marine Science.

MA1020:03 Preparatory Mathematics or any Level 1, 2 or 3 of AQ, BC, BM, BS, BZ, CH, CL, CP, CS, EA, EE, EV, MA, MB, ME, MI, PH or SC subjects

Applicants who have not completed high school Chemistry (or equivalent) must select CH1020 Preparatory Chemistry as part of their study plan to successfully complete the Bachelor of Marine Science

CH1020:03 Preparatory Chemistry or any Level 1, 2 or 3 of AQ, BC, BM, BS, BZ, CH, CL, CP, CS, EA, EE, EV, MA, MB, ME, MI, PH or SC subjects

PLUS

Select 12 credit points of subjects from List 2 or a Minor from Table A or an Inter-disciplinary Minor

List 2

Note: Streams listed below are for guidance only

Streams

  • Chemistry
  • Earth Science
  • Environmental Science
  • Fisheries
  • Marine Biology
  • Maths
  • Physics

Chemistry

CH1002:03 Chemistry: Principles and Applications

CH2310:03 Syntheses and Mechanism in Organic Chemistry

CH2103:03 Analytical Chemistry

CH3041:03 Environmental Chemistry

Earth Science

EA2404:03 From Icehouse to Greenhouse

EA2900:03 Introductory Field Geology

EA3800:03 Earth and Environmental Geochemistry

EA3210:03 Structural Geology Tectonics or EA3650:03 Sedimentary Environments and Energy Resources

Environmental Science

Select 4 subjects from:

EV1005:03 Environmental Processes & Global Change

EV2401:03 Australian Landscape Processes and Evolution

EV3401:03 Coastal and Catchment Geomorphology

EV3502:03 Advanced Geographic Information Systems

EV3506:03 Remote Sensing

Fisheries

MB2060:03 Marine Ecology & Environmental Assessment

MB2080:03 Invertebrate Biology

EV3014:03 Managing Tropical Fisheries

MB3150:03 Fisheries Science

Marine Biology

Select 4 subjects from:

MB2060:03 Marine Ecology and Environmental Assessment

MB2070:03 Marine Biogeography

MB2080:03 Invertebrate Biology

MB3160:03 Ecology and Evolution of Reef Fishes

MB3190:03 Coral Reef Ecology

MB3260:03 Ecological Dynamics: An Introduction to Modelling

Maths

MA1003:03 Mathematical Techniques

Plus select 3 subjects from:

MA2000:03 Mathematics for Scientists and Engineers

MA2201:03 Numerical Mathematics

MA2405:03 Advanced Statistical Modelling

CP2404:03 Database Modelling

MA3405:03 Statistical Data Mining for Big Data

Physics

PH1005:03 Advanced Stream Physics 1

PH3006:03 Oceanography and Meteorology

Plus select 2 subjects from:

PH2002:03 Classical Mechanics and Quantum Physics 1

PH2019:03 Introduction to Electromagnetism Optics and Early Quantum

PH2240:03 Atomic and Nuclear Physics

TABLE A (SCIENCE MINORS)

Type of Minor

Single, Optional

Credit points in minor

12 credit points

MINOR

AVAILABLE AT

NOTES

Advanced Chemistry

Townsville

 

Advanced Mathematics

Townsville

 

Advanced Physics

Townsville

 

Chemistry

Townsville

 

Environmental Geochemistry

Townsville

 

Exploration

Townsville

 

Field Studies in Earth Sciences

Townsville

 

Fisheries

Townsville

 

Marine & Environmental Science and Sensors

Townsville

 

Mathematics

Townsville

 

Physical Geography

Townsville

 

Physics

Townsville

Campus

COURSE AVAILABLE AT

NOTES

Townsville

Mid-year entry may have an early start date. Students who enrol mid-year and need to complete the preparatory Maths subject must take MA1020 in Study Period 7 if they wish to complete the course within 3 years.

Candidature

Expected time to complete

3 years full-time or equivalent part-time

Maximum time to complete

9 years

Maximum leave of absence

3 years

Progression

Course progression requisites

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

Course includes mandatory professional placement(s)

No

Course includes mandatory fieldwork

Yes

Special assessment requirements

Nil

Accreditation requirements

Nil

Maximum allowed Pass Conceded (PC) grade

Nil

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

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 19 years after the date of the examination upon which the advanced standing is based if, by then, the student has not completed this course.

Other restrictions

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

Advanced standing will not be granted for CH1020, MA1020 or PH1001.

Award Details

Award title

BACHELOR OF MARINE SCIENCE

Approved abbreviation

BMarSc

Inclusion of majors on testamur

Not applicable - this course does not have majors

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

Not applicable

Honours

Honours availability

Honours is available as a separate graduate entry course.

Eligibility

Students must satisfy the college requirements relating to the standard of academic achievement necessary to proceed to the honours degree.

Application deadlines

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

Entry requirements

As well as having studied the subjects listed in the prerequisites for this course you also need to meet the following requirements:

English band level 1 - the minimum English Language test scores you need are:

  • IELTS – 6.0 (no component lower than 6.0), OR
  • TOEFL – 550 (plus minimum Test of Written English score of 4.0), OR
  • TOEFL (internet based) –79 (minimum writing score of 19), OR
  • Pearson (PTE Academic) – 57

If you meet the academic requirements for a course, but not the minimum English requirements, you will be given the opportunity to take an English program to improve your skills in addition to an offer to study a degree at JCU. The JCU degree offer will be conditional upon the student gaining a certain grade in their English program. This combination of courses is called a packaged offer.

Costs

Courses are charged per year of full-time study. Fees are subject to change. Visit fees and costs for details.

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 Belgium citizens). Costs depend on the length of study and the number of dependants accompanying the student. Get a quote online from JCU’s preferred provider.

Help with your application

If you need help with your application, would like to change your preferences (course, campus, commencing semester or major) after you have submitted your application please contact International Admissions:

Email: InternationalAdmissions@jcu.edu.au

Phone: +61 7 4781 5601

Helpful links

Education agents and representatives
Scholarships and Financial Aid

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.