- Townsville: February, July
- Cairns: February, July
- Singapore: March, July, November
3 years full-time
English (Units 3/4,C), Mathematical Methods (Units 3/4,C)
One of Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Science, Geography, Marine Science, Specialist Maths or Physics (Units 3/4,C)
English language requirements
If your native language is not English, you must meet the minimum English language requirements for this course.
Undertake real-world research in unrivalled locations including the World-Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree Rainforest and dry savannahs. Tailor your degree to suit your interests right from the start of your studies, with nine majors to choose from when you enrol in the Bachelor of Science at JCU.
Experience a leading-edge education from the world’s best university for marine and freshwater biology studies and ranked in the top two universities worldwide for biodiversity conservation*. Access state-of-the-art research and teaching facilities, like JCU’s The Science Place during your study and graduate with confidence, JCU is number one in Queensland for graduate full-time employment**.
JCU students have the opportunity to tailor their degree to suit their interest and goals. Learn the fundamentals of science in your first year, then select one or two specialisations to continue to build knowledge and skills in your chosen discipline.
Expand your knowledge by choosing to study a minor or include elective subjects in your degree. Throughout your degree, you will develop key employability skills and professional networks in your chosen science discipline.
Graduate with valuable hands-on experience and distinguish yourself with your breadth of knowledge and skills.
About JCU's BSC Bachelor of Science in Queensland
Work alongside world leaders in their scientific fields to discover solutions for pressing problems within the physical world. Be a force for positive change and a leader in discovering innovative solutions by studying a Bachelor of Science degree from JCU.
Study Science at University and be Ready Today for Tomorrow
Learn the skills and specialisations you need to excel in your chosen field, from earth science to marine biology, chemistry to aquaculture through your Bachelor of Science courses.
Work in government, advising on policies that affect us all. You might work with private research facilities developing cutting-edge medical techniques. You could go on into academia, preparing others for their future, or work as a consultant to private corporations to help them develop sustainable economic solutions.
A Bachelor of Science Course with World-Class Education
Be inspired by living laboratories with your BSC (Bachelor of Science) degree from JCU. Your world-class education begins here, with state-of-the-art facilities and lecturers at the top of their research fields.
Access some of the most unrivalled research locations in the world at the Daintree Rainforest, the Great Barrier Reef, and JCU's the Science Place. Build your practical skills at the JCU Daintree Rainforest Observatory, JCU Orpheus Island Research Station and the JCU Fletcherview Research Station.
Grow your professional network and make valuable peer connections as you work alongside world leaders in biodiversity, aquaculture, and sustainability.
Envision a Future of Diversity with a BS Degree at JCU
Experience some of the Earth’s most diverse areas – right on your doorstep. Study science where rainforest meets the reef and put theory into practice in world-class facilities with your Bachelor of Science in Queensland.
Work in award-winning chemistry laboratories and research stations, benefiting from small class sizes supported by lecturers committed to student success. Through your Bachelor of Science in Queensland you will learn how to communicate and collaborate with people from diverse cultural backgrounds.
Experience Has No Substitute
Excel in your field with well-developed practical experience. As you study with JCU, build on your knowledge and skills through extensive hands-on practical work.
Take the theoretical and technical knowledge you learn in the classroom and apply it in the field, in the lab, and in research settings of every type. Understand first-hand how scientific methods apply in the real world and how to use those methods to gather and analyse data effectively.
Launch a Successful Career With a JCU Bachelor of Science Degree
Your science studies at JCU will help you develop into an organised, creative, critical and analytical thinker. Be ready to enter the workforce with a foundation of knowledge and theory, extensive experience in practical skills, and the ability to use the latest technology.
As you develop your communication skills and ethical judgment, you will learn how to work with others, collaborating while making independent judgements when necessary. JCU graduates are in demand and leaders in their fields.
Hide additional information
View the handbook for a detailed overview of available subjects.
Inherent requirements are the identified abilities, attributes, skills, and behaviours that must be demonstrated, during the learning experience, to successfully complete a course. These abilities, attributes, skills, and behaviours preserve the academic integrity of the University’s learning, assessment,and accreditation processes, and where applicable, meet the standards of a profession. For more information please review the inherent requirements for the Bachelor of Science.
*Centre for World University Rankings 2017
** Good Universities Guide 2022
A major is your area of expertise. There are nine majors within the Bachelor of Science, and you can choose to study one or two majors. Not all majors are available at all campuses.
Aquaculture Science and Technology
With lecturers who are world-leaders in tropical aquaculture research and Australia’s largest university research aquarium facilities you will explore the science behind the large-scale production of aquatic species.
Throughout this major, you will explore the scientific, technological, and practical applications of domesticating, breeding, rearing, and harvesting of aquatic animals and plants for food, aquarium, pearl and pharmaceutical applications.
Through course work, supplemented with field trips to aquaculture enterprises and work experience, you will understand how a diverse range of species are farmed and the science and biotechnology approaches to support improved production including physiology, nutrition and diet optimisation, genetic selection and disease management. You will get hands-on experience in handling animals, systems design and the rearing of various live organisms to feed class-spawned larval fish.
With a focus on tropical species, our researchers’ strong links to industry will give you a strong professional network when you graduate. Career opportunities include jobs in hatcheries, stock nutrition programs and management, fresh water and marine farming, professional scientific advisory services, NGOs, government policy or aquaculture research to ensure secure protein sources into the future.
Study in award-winning laboratories and experience excursions to local companies in the chemistry industry. You will benefit from small class sizes and the personalised approach of our lecturers.
Gain current skills and explore the many areas of chemistry including analytical chemistry, synthetic, organic and inorganic chemistry, and kinetics and mechanisms of chemical reactions. In your third year, you will learn a number of instrumental techniques widely used in the industry.
Accredited by the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI), this chemistry major will open up career opportunities both nationally and internationally. Working across a number of industries, you could work as an analytical chemist, research chemist, clinical diagnostician, forensic scientist or environmental scientist.
Please note: mid-year entry is not available for the Chemistry major.
Data and analytics capabilities have accelerated in recent years. The volume of available data has grown exponentially, more sophisticated algorithms have been developed and computational power and storage have steadily improved.
Data scientists work in every industry – from defence departments to internet start-ups and financial institutions – and tackle big data projects on every level. Skills in data science, big data and analytics are among the most sought-after jobs in the tech world today.
The Data Science major packages existing data science subjects together with new subjects on Data Visualisation, Big Data and Machine Learning.
Study earth science and gain practical skills relevant to a variety of careers related to managing the Earth’s ecosystems and resources.
Gain a thorough understanding of rocks, soils, rivers, coasts and climate and how they affect people and are influenced by human activities. With access to the diverse environments of North Queensland, including JCU Fletcherview Research Station, JCU Orpheus Island Research Station, the Daintree Rainforest Observatory, and the Environmental Research Complex, your learning will be grounded in real-world applications.
With an understanding of earth surface processes and practical skills in field work, analysis of data and report writing, job opportunities exist in many sectors. You can work as a consultant, in government or industry. You could pursue a career as a geologist, geographer, hydrologist, soil scientist, climatologist, environmental scientist or oceanographer.
Learn from lecturers who are world-leaders and be equipped to address critical challenges facing marine and coastal ecosystems. You will study in a location that gives you access to one of the most diverse and fragile marine ecosystems in the world, the Great Barrier Reef.
By studying the surrounding habitats of the Great Barrier Reef, you will discover the impact that humans have on the marine environment and how the oceans and atmosphere interact. You will gain valuable employability skills through practical experiments and opportunities to visit the JCU Orpheus Island Research Station.
Benefit from our researchers’ strong links with industry including the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), TropWater and CSIRO Townsville. As a marine biologist, you could work in conservation biology and policy, environmental and resource management, fisheries biology, ecosystem restoration and marine impact assessments.
Develop the problem-solving, analytical and quantitative reasoning skills that are highly sought-after by employers worldwide. With small class sizes, you will receive the one-on-one support required to excel as a mathematician.
Understand advanced mathematical techniques, data analysis and multivariate statistical methods. You will learn how to formulate mathematical models to illustrate science and engineering problems and use various techniques to help find solutions.
To enhance your employability skills, you have the flexibility to combine this major with another science major. As a mathematician, you can work in many sectors such as information technology, animated films, business and finance, astronomy and space exploration, climate study or meteorology, cryptography and applied research.
Molecular and Cell Biology
Learn how to amplify and edit DNA sequences and conduct laboratory-based and field-based projects. Throughout your degree, you will study the basis of health and disease at a molecular level and analyse the functions of a whole cell.
Benefit from hands-on experience using cutting-edge equipment and techniques. Study biochemistry, microbiology, biotechnology and bioinformatics and gain an in-depth understanding of molecular genetics. These structures and processes form the basis of all living matter and provide insights into complex biological interactions.
Develop the foundations needed to work towards developments of modern medicine and biotechnology. You will have the knowledge to work across a breadth of industries — job opportunities include working in research laboratories, hospital and diagnostic departments and biotech or pharmaceutical companies.
Explore some of the universe’s most challenging questions. Accredited by the Australian Institute of Physics, this major will give you a broad range of practical and theoretical skills across various physics disciplines.
Physicists study the laws of nature; you will learn the fundamentals of energy, quantum mechanics, relativity, antimatter, weather and climate. Develop your ability to think critically and explore biophysics, geophysics, molecular electronics, organic solar cells or astrophysics. You will study the structure of matter, atomic and nuclear physics, quantum physics, oceanography and meteorology and thermodynamics.
As a physicist, your skills are relevant to a diverse number of careers. Job opportunities exist in industrial, scientific and educational occupations in fields such as health, meteorology, mining, environmental monitoring, energy production, telecommunications and aerospace.
Please note: mid-year entry is not available for the Physics major.
Zoology and Ecology
Learn from academics with global standing, with JCU Ecology ranked #9 in the world for produced publications*. Study amazing rainforests and diverse species and go on field trips to Borneo or the Galapagos Islands. Offered at both our JCU Townsville, Bebegu Yumba, Douglas and JCU Cairns, Nguma-bada campuses, Smithfield you will study in one of the most biodiverse regions in Australia.
Study the biology of plants and animals and their natural habitats. Discover many of the environmental threats to the Tropics by studying the effects of deforestation, infrastructure expansion, habitat fragmentation, over-hunting and invasive species.
You will access the various environments of the Wet Tropics and our Daintree Rainforest Observatory to learn about biosecurity, behavioural ecology, conservation biology and ecological modelling. You could find work as a wildlife or environmental consultant, zoologist or ecologist for a conservation, quarantine or biosecurity organisation.
Refer to the handbook for a detailed overview of each major and minor available.
The Bachelor of Science (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. Please refer to the Bachelor of Science (Honours) Handbook for eligibility information.
JCU Science graduates are broadly skilled and equipped to work across a variety of fields. They have the advanced analytical skills needed to enter the workforce and make a meaningful impact on the world.
Depending on your area of specialisation, you could work in a growing number of fields including aquaculture, fisheries management, agriculture, chemistry, pharmaceuticals, mining, or biotechnology. The connections you make during placements and internships or with academics, researchers, and organisations that facilitate your field trips provide opportunities to connect with experts in your area of specialisation and allow you to leverage professional networking for future employment.
You could be employed in roles such as geologist, environmental scientist, oceanographer, mathematician, marine or molecular and cell biologist, physicist, ecologist, conservationist or rehabilitation scientist, environmental and policy consultant, wildlife consultant or chemist.
Information valid for students commencing in 2023
Bachelor Degree (AQF level 7)
Professional accreditation status
The Physics major for the Bachelor of 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 accredited with the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI). 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.
Science and Engineering
Assumed Knowledge: English (Units 3/4,C), Mathematical Methods (3/4,C); or equivalent
Recommended: At least one of Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Science, Geography, Marine Science, Specialist Maths or Physics (Units 3/4,C); 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.
Some majors require attendance in intensive or mixed mode attendance subjects on either the Townsville or Cairns campus. If students must attend intensive mode classes at a campus other than the one they are enrolled at, they are responsible for their own expenses.
Academic Requirements for Course Completion
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.
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 Science at James Cook University will be able to:
Inherent requirements are the identified abilities, attributes, skills, and behaviours that must be demonstrated, during the learning experience, to successfully complete a course. These abilities, attributes, skills, and behaviours preserve the academic integrity of the University's learning, assessment, and accreditation processes, and where applicable, meet the standards of a profession. For more information please visit: Bachelor of Science.
All JCU students have the opportunity to demonstrate, with reasonable adjustments where applicable, the inherent requirements for their course. For more information please visit: Student Disability Policy and Procedure.
CH1020:03 Preparatory Chemistry (or any Level 1, 2, 3 or 5 subject if already satisfied via previous study)
MA1020:03 Preparatory Mathematics (or any Level 1, 2, 3 or 5 subject if already satisfied via previous study)
SC1101:03 Science, Technology and Truth
Select 3 credit points of subjects from List 2 (Skill Subjects)
SC3008:03 Professional Placement
Select a Major from Table A
Select one of the following Options
Option 1 (Second Major)
Select a second major from Table A
Select 3 credit points of any Level 1, 2, 3 or 5 subjects
Option 2 (Single Major with Electives)
Select 6 credit points of subjects from List 1 (Breadth Subjects)
Select 9 credit points of any Level 2, 3 or 5 Science subjects
Select 6 credit points of any Level 1, 2, 3 or 5 subjects
Select 6 credit points of any Level 3 or Level 5 subjects
Lists of elective subject combinations grouped according to career aspirations can be accessed here
List 1 (Breadth Subjects)
Select subjects which are not already in your major
BM1000:03 Introductory Biochemistry and Microbiology
BS1001:03 Introduction to Biological Processes
BS1007:03 Introduction to Biodiversity
CH1001:03 Chemistry: A Central Science
CH1002:03 Chemistry: Principles and Applications
CP1401:03 Problem Solving and Programming I
CP1404:03 Programming II
EA1110:03 Evolution of the Earth
EG1000:03 Engineering 1
EV1005:03 Environmental Processes and Global Change
MA1000:03 Mathematical Foundation
MA1003:03 Mathematical Techniques
MA1580:03 Foundations of Data Science
PH1005:03 Advanced Stream Physics 1
PH1007:03 Advanced Stream Physics 2
List 2 (Skill Subjects)
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
MA2830:03 Data Visualisation
SC3010:03 Sensors and Sensing for Scientists
TABLE A (MAJORS)
Credit points in major
24 credit points
The first year of study may be completed in Cairns. Students must then transfer to Townsville.
Students studying this as a single major must select CP1401 and CP1404 as List 1 subjects.
Students studying this major as a second major must, prior to commencing this course, either i. have satisfied both MA1020 and CH1020 subject material in order to undertake this major in conjunction with the Physics major, or ii. have satisfied either MA1020 or CH1020 subject material for other major combinations. Students must select CP1401 and CP1404 as undergraduate elective subjects
Students studying this as a single major must select MA1000 as a List 1 subject and MA2000 as a List 2 subject.
Students studying this as a second major must select MA1000 as an undergraduate elective subject and MA2000 as a List 2 subject.
The first year of study may be completed in Cairns. Students must then transfer to Townsville.
The first year of study may be completed in Cairns. Students must then transfer to Townsville.
Students studying this as a single major must select MA1000 and MA1003 as List 1 subjects, and MA2000 as the List 2 subject
Students studying this major as a second major must either i. undertake this major in conjunction with the Mathematics major; or prior to commencing this course; ii. have satisfied both MA1020 and CH1020 subject material in order to undertake this major in conjunction with the Data Science major, or iii. have satisfied either MA1020 or CH1020 subject material for other major combinations. Students must select MA1000 and MA1003 as undergraduate elective subjects and MA2000 as the List 2 subject.
COURSE AVAILABLE AT
Not all majors are available in Cairns
Not all majors are available in Singapore
|Not all majors are available in Townsville|
Expected time to complete
3 years full-time or part-time equivalent
Maximum time to complete
Maximum leave of absence
Must successfully complete 18 credit points of Level 1 and 2 science subjects before attempting any Level 3 science subject
Course includes mandatory professional placement(s)
Supplementary exam for
Students may apply for credit transfer for previous tertiary study in accordance with the Credit Transfer Procedure
48 credit points
Except 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 studies 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 the course of study prescribed for the degree.
A maximum of 6 credit points of credit may be granted at level 3.
A maximum of 12 credit points of credit may be granted for subjects outside the Science Schedule of Subjects.
Credit will not be granted against MA1020, CH1020 or PH1001 where these subjects are available as options.
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE
Inclusion of majors on
Majors will 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.
Students may receive an Award of Recognition in accordance with the Recognition of Academic Excellence Procedure
Available as an additional 24 credit points of study [end-on]
By invitation of the College Dean
Normally a minimum overall GPA of 5.5 (i.e. credit average) is required across the bachelor 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.
Estimated annual tuition fee: $AUD37,960.00
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.
Application dates vary between courses, whether they're delivered in semester, trimester or carousel study modes. View our Application due dates page for more information.
Bachelor of Science, majoring in Zoology and Ecology
I chose to pursue a career in science to satisfy my curiosity about the natural world. I am looking forward to using my creative problem-solving skills and analytical tools to answer some of the burning questions ecologists have about conservation and how we can better balance the needs of people and wildlife.
Bachelor of Science (Honours), majoring in Chemistry
JCU has a great range of facilities which have allowed me to collect research data and gain hands-on experience in a variety of relevant skills and techniques. I’ve had many great opportunities, whether it be attending conferences to present my research to spending time overseas to collaborate on research projects.
International student – USA
Bachelor of Science, majoring in Zoology and Ecology
JCU provided me with the best location possible in the Tropics, along with a great research reputation. It also allowed me to take courses that let me fully learn and explore topics that I was passionate about. I loved it so much that I transferred to finish my degree here!
Dr Tasmin Rymer
College of Science and Engineering
JCU is recognised globally for its excellence in research in several areas. Our small class sizes provide students with access to lecturers who genuinely care about their progress and their studies. Our courses are also embedded with work-integrated learning, making JCU graduates highly sought after in the workforce.
Dr. Lyndon Llewellyn
Australian Institute of Marine Science
JCU students are of a like mind to us. They want to make the world a better place and they bring that desire into their work with us. They are practical, passionate and willing to tackle challenging problems through science.