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Study at the #1 university in Queensland for graduate starting salary1

Are you passionate about pioneering innovative solutions to the world’s emerging problems, making new discoveries, and shaping the future?

Whether you are a school leaver or mature student looking to take the first steps towards a career in science, or a professional seeking to specialise in a particular field, JCU has a wide-range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses available, many of which can be tailored to match your interests through a choice of majors.

As a JCU Science student you can look forward to:

  • Unique hands-on practical experiences in the rainforest at JCU Daintree Rainforest Observatory (DRO) and on the reef at JCU Orpheus Island Research Station.
  • Dedicated, state-of-the-art research facilities such as Engineering & Innovation Place, JCU Science Place and the JCU Ideas Lab.
  • Small class sizes with individual support, and the opportunity to connect with world-renowned lecturers, and research experts.

1. 2024 Good Universities Guide, UG Sciences | 2. 2023 QS World University Rankings | 3. 2022 ShanghaiRanking Global Ranking of Academic Subjects

Why Science at JCU?

  • Exceptional hands-on practical experiences

    Develop key employability skills and professional networks in your chosen science discipline.

  • Small class sizes

    Our small class sizes provide students with access to lecturers who genuinely care about their progress and their studies.

  • Dedicated, state-of-the-art facilities

    Study your degree in innovative buildings such as The Science Place and The Ideas Lab.

Undergraduate options

Bachelor of Environmental Science and Management

Pursue a career in environmental conservation, research, communication and management. Learn how the biological, physical, social, economic and political spheres interact with and impact our environment.

Fast facts

Location: Cairns, Townsville
Starts: February, July
Entry requirements:**
ATAR: 63

Recommended knowledge: English (Units 3/4,C), Chemistry (Units 3/4,C), General Maths or Mathematical Methods (Units 3/4,C)

**This web page is intended as a general guide for domestic students commencing 2024 or later. Prospective domestic students and all international applicants should contact the University to confirm admission requirements and the availability of courses. Information is correct at the time of publishing. James Cook University reserves the right to alter any course or admission requirement without prior notice.


Majors

This unique course offers the opportunity to specialise in one or two of the following three majors:

Biodiversity Assessment and Management

Location: Cairns, Townsville


Environmental Practice

Location: Cairns, Townsville


Land and Water Management

Location: Cairns, Townsville

Note: Students studying the Biodiversity Assessment and Management and the Land and Water Management majors at JCU Townsville will be required to attend some intensive mode classes at the JCU Cairns campus at their own expense.


What career possibilities are there?

Career options include roles within organisations that manage social and environmental issues, including government departments, mining and construction companies or environmental consultancies. Alternatively, you may want to work in renewable energy industries, tourism businesses, local governments or non-government organisations (NGOs).

Depending on your choice of major (or majors), you could perform roles such as environmental manager, sustainability adviser, project manager, or urban environments and landscape designer.


How do I find out more?

Chat to us, we’re here to answer your questions if you need help.

Contact us by:
Email - study@jcu.edu.au
Phone - 1800 246 446
Or, visit the Bachelor of Environmental Science and Management course page on our website.

Bachelor of Marine Science

Learn how to manage human impacts and preserve dynamic marine environments. Gain valuable, hands-on experience through fieldwork at JCU Orpheus Island Research Station and on coral reefs along the Great Barrier Reef. Develop high-level skills in evolving technologies and build your capabilities in the use of seabed mapping and fish assessment sonar, and oceanographic sensors.

Fast facts

Location: Townsville
Starts: February, July
Entry requirements:**
ATAR: 75

Recommended knowledge: English (Units 3/4,C), Chemistry (Units 3/4,C), and General Maths or Mathematical Methods (Units 3/4,C)

**This web page is intended as a general guide for domestic students commencing 2024 or later. Prospective domestic students and all international applicants should contact the University to confirm admission requirements and the availability of courses. Information is correct at the time of publishing. James Cook University reserves the right to alter any course or admission requirement without prior notice.


Streams

Tailor your degree to match your interests with options to specialise in the following streams:

Chemistry

Earth Science

Environmental Science

Fisheries

Marine Biology

Maths

Physics


What career possibilities are there?

  • Aquatic veterinarian
  • Environmental manager
  • Fisheries manager
  • Marine and biotech scientist
  • Marine conservation officer
  • Marine educator
  • Marine environmental consultant
  • Marine planner
  • Oceanographer


How do I find out more?

Chat to us, we’re here to answer your questions if you need help. Contact us by:

Email - study@jcu.edu.au
Phone - 1800 246 446

Or, visit the Bachelor of Marine Science course page on our website.

Bachelor of Science

Kickstart your career in science with hands-on learning in unrivalled locations including the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree Rainforest, and dry savannahs. Contribute to sustainable and innovative practices that secure a better future for people and communities in the Tropics.

Fast facts

Location: Cairns, Townsville
Starts: February, July
Entry requirements:**
ATAR: 66.5

Recommended knowledge: English (Units 3/4,C), Chemistry (Units 3/4,C), General Maths or Mathematical Methods (Units 3/4,C) – Mathematical Methods is recommended for the Majors in Maths, Physics, and Data Science.

*Not all majors are available in all locations, please see the 'Majors' section below for more information.

**This web page is intended as a general guide for domestic students commencing 2024 or later. Prospective domestic students and all international applicants should contact the University to confirm admission requirements and the availability of courses. Information is correct at the time of publishing. James Cook University reserves the right to alter any course or admission requirement without prior notice.


Majors

In the first year of your studies you will learn the fundamentals of science before proceeding to develop your knowledge in your chosen major(s) in year two. Click on the majors below to learn more about each subject area.

Aquaculture Science and Technology

Location: Townsville


Chemistry

Location: Townsville


Data Science

Location: Cairns, Townsville


Earth Science

Location: Cairns, Townsville


Marine Biology

Location: Townsville


Mathematics

Location: Townsville


Molecular and Cell Biology

Location: Townsville


Physics

Location: Townsville


Zoology and Ecology

Location: Cairns, Townsville


What career possibilities are there?

Depending on the major you choose, you could find employment as a:

  • Biologist
  • Chemist
  • Conservationist or rehabilitation scientist
  • Ecologist
  • Environmental scientist
  • Environmental and policy consultant
  • Geologist
  • Marine, molecular or cell biologist
  • Mathematician
  • Oceanographer
  • Physicist
  • Wildlife consultant

How do I find out more?

Chat to us, we’re here to answer your questions if you need help. Contact us by:

Email - study@jcu.edu.au
Phone - 1800 246 446

Or, visit the Bachelor of Science course page on our website.

Postgraduate options

Master of Marine Biology

Collaborate with world-leading researchers in Coral Reef Science and Management and work with emerging technologies for marine ecosystem monitoring. Access JCU’s research vessels, JCU Orpheus Island Research Station, and the Marine and Aquaculture Research Facility (MARF). Benefit from real-world practical experience at coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrass meadows in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Fast facts

Location: Townsville
Starts: January, July
Entry requirements:**
An AQF level 7 bachelor degree in science with a minimum GPA of 5.0, or equivalent

**This web page is intended as a general guide for domestic students commencing 2024 or later. Prospective domestic students and all international applicants should contact the University to confirm admission requirements and the availability of courses. Information is correct at the time of publishing. James Cook University reserves the right to alter any course or admission requirement without prior notice.


Majors and streams

Click on the major titles below to learn more about the teaching outcomes and assessment criteria.

Majors

Professional

Research


Streams

Coral Reef Science

Marine Conservation and Management

Marine Genomics

Fisheries Science


What career possibilities are there?

Highly regarded by employers, JCU Master of Marine Biology graduates are sought after within a range of private and public sector organisations, both in Australia and internationally.

You could go on to find employment within an environmental management and consultancy agency, a government department, a scientific research institute, a commercial venture, education, tourism or even a global environmental media group.


How do I find out more?

Chat to us, we’re here to answer your questions if you need help. Contact us by:

Email - study@jcu.edu.au
Phone - 1800 246 446

Or, visit the Master of Marine Biology course page on our website.

Master of Science

Expand your knowledge and understanding of the problems facing natural environments as well as their solutions. Learn from research and industry experts and diversify your knowledge studying the unique environments of North Queensland, including coral reefs, seagrass beds, mangroves, dry savannahs and tropical rainforests.

Fast facts

Location: Cairns, Townsville
Starts: February, July
Entry requirements:**
An AQF level 7 bachelor degree in science with a minimum GPA of 5.0, or equivalent

*Not all majors are available in all locations, please see the 'Majors' section below for more information.

**This web page is intended as a general guide for domestic students commencing 2024 or later. Prospective domestic students and all international applicants should contact the University to confirm admission requirements and the availability of courses. Information is correct at the time of publishing. James Cook University reserves the right to alter any course or admission requirement without prior notice.


Majors

Click on the major titles below to learn more about the teaching outcomes and assessment criteria.

Aquaculture Science and Technology

Location: Townsville


Environmental Earth Science

Location: Cairns, Townsville


Environmental Management

Location: Townsville


Fisheries Science and Management

Location: Townsville


Geology

Location: Townsville


Global Change Biology

Location: Cairns, Townsville


Tropical Biology and Conservation

Location: Cairns, Townsville


What career possibilities are there?

JCU Master of Science graduates are highly regarded and find employment in a range of organisations within Australia and around the world. Depending on the major you choose, you could find employment as a:

  • Biologist
  • Conservation agent
  • Ecologist
  • Environmental manager or specialist
  • Teacher or academic

How do I find out more?

Chat to us, we’re here to answer your questions if you need help. Contact us by:

Email - study@jcu.edu.au
Phone - 1800 246 446

Or, visit the Master of Science course page on our website.

Take your next step with confidence

Frequently Asked Questions

JCU’s Marine Science degree has a focus on the sustainability of oceans and is ideal for students interested in physical and chemical science, or an oceanography degree.

Marine science students are trained to work with developing oceanography technologies. They use seabed mapping technology, tagging and tracking equipment and high-precision sensors to track activity in the ocean. They will also cover ocean fundamentals such as understanding biological processes, the chemistry of the ocean, marine geography and fisheries science.

Similar to studying marine biology, marine science students learn how to collect data and assess the health of marine life populations; however, marine biologists may be more focused on the creatures and plants themselves – and their ecosystem interactions – rather than the geographical elements.

Yes, absolutely! Students can have double majors within the Bachelor of Science. 

Studying zoology and ecology, and veterinary science are both related to the field of biology, but they focus on different aspects of the animal kingdom and have distinct career paths and applications. Here's a brief overview of the key differences between the two:

Focus and Scope:

  • Zoology and Ecology: Zoology is the scientific study of animals, encompassing their behaviour, physiology, evolution, genetics, ecology, and classification. Ecology is the study of the interactions between organisms and their environment, including other species and their physical surroundings. Studying zoology and ecology involves understanding the diversity and behaviour of animals as well as their role in ecosystems and the broader environment.
  • Veterinary Science: Veterinary science focuses on the medical care, health, and well-being of animals. Veterinarians are trained to diagnose, treat, and prevent diseases and injuries in animals. Their primary aim is to promote animal health and welfare and ensure the health of individual animals or entire populations.

Career Paths:

  • Zoology and Ecology: Graduates in zoology and ecology can pursue various career paths, such as research scientists, wildlife biologists, ecologists, conservationists, environmental consultants, or educators. They may work in universities, research institutions, government agencies, zoos, wildlife reserves, or non-governmental organizations (NGOs) dedicated to conservation efforts.
  • Veterinary Science: Veterinarians primarily work as clinical practitioners treating animals in private veterinary clinics, animal hospitals, or other veterinary healthcare facilities. They can specialize in specific animal groups (companion animals, livestock, exotic animals, etc.) or areas such as surgery, radiology, pathology, or public health. Additionally, they may also work in research, food safety, public health, or government roles related to animal health.

Education and Training:

  • Zoology and Ecology: Students interested in zoology and ecology typically pursue a bachelor’s degree in Science majoring in Zoology and Ecology, or related fields. To advance in research or specialized careers, a Master's or PhD degree may be necessary.
  • Veterinary Science: Becoming a veterinarian requires completion of a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree.

Approach to Animals:

  • Zoology and Ecology: This field involves studying animals in their natural habitats, understanding their behaviours, interactions, and ecological roles within ecosystems. Research is often focused on broader species-level studies and conservation efforts.
  • Veterinary Science: Veterinarians work directly with individual animals, providing medical care, diagnosing illnesses, performing surgeries, and ensuring their well-being. Their approach is more focused on the health and treatment of individual animals.

In summary, while both fields involve the study of animals, zoology and ecology is more focused on understanding animal diversity, behaviour, and ecosystems, while veterinary science focuses on the medical care and well-being of individual animals. The career paths and educational requirements for these fields differ significantly, so it's essential to consider your interests and long-term goals when choosing between them.

Studying zoology and ecology, and animal science are related fields, but they have distinct focuses and applications. Here's a brief overview of the key differences between the two:

Focus and Scope:

  • Zoology and Ecology: Zoology is the scientific study of animals, encompassing their behaviour, physiology, evolution, genetics, ecology, and classification. Ecology, on the other hand, is the study of the interactions between organisms and their environment, including other species and their physical surroundings. When studying zoology and ecology, the emphasis is on understanding the diversity and behaviour of animals, their ecological roles within ecosystems, and how they interact with their environment and other species.
  • Animal Science: Animal science, on the other hand, is a field that focuses on the scientific study of domesticated animals, primarily livestock species (e.g., cattle, sheep, poultry, pigs) and companion animals. It includes the study of animal breeding, nutrition, physiology, genetics, health, behaviour, and management practices related to animal husbandry and production.

Applications and Career Paths:

  • Zoology and Ecology: Graduates in zoology and ecology can pursue various career paths, such as research scientists, wildlife biologists, ecologists, conservationists, environmental consultants, or educators. They may work in universities, research institutions, government agencies, zoos, wildlife reserves, or non-governmental organizations (NGOs) dedicated to conservation efforts and understanding natural ecosystems.
  • Animal Science: Animal science graduates often work in the agriculture industry, focusing on livestock production, breeding, nutrition, and health management. They may become livestock farmers, animal nutritionists, animal breeders, animal health technicians, or work in agribusinesses and organizations related to livestock production and management.

Education and Training:

  • Zoology and Ecology: Students interested in zoology and ecology typically pursue a Bachelor's degree in Zoology and Ecology, or related fields. To advance in research or specialized careers, a Master's or PhD degree may be necessary.
  • Animal Science: Those interested in animal science can also pursue a Bachelor's degree in Animal Science or a related field. Postgraduate education, such as a Master's or PhD degree, can open up more advanced research or academic opportunities within the field.

Approach to Animals:

  • Zoology and Ecology: This field involves studying animals in their natural habitats, understanding their behaviours, interactions, and ecological roles within ecosystems. Research is often focused on broader species-level studies and conservation efforts.
  • Animal Science: Animal science focuses on domesticated animals and involves research and practical applications related to improving the production and management of livestock for agriculture and food production.

In summary, while both fields involve the study of animals, zoology and ecology focus on understanding animals and their interactions in natural ecosystems, while animal science is more directed towards the management and scientific study of domesticated animals, particularly those used in agriculture and production settings. Students interested in these fields should consider their specific interests and career goals to choose the most suitable path.

How to apply

Apply today via the link below using the QTAC or course code on the relevant course page.


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