Marine Science courses in Australia

Online and Distance Education courses

Southern Cross University (external online studies)

About Southern Cross University:

Southern Cross University is a progressive, young and connected regional research university, with vibrant campuses in northern New South Wales and the southern Gold Coast. We offer undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and many are available in a dynamic online form. Whether studying on-campus, online, or both, we deliver exciting, contemporary and high quality learning experiences.

The course combines marine science with contemporary management concepts and has a strong focus on conservation issues that challenge both coastal and marine ecosystems. There is an emphasis on developing practical skills, and it is taught in a range of tropical and subtropical environments including the Solitary Islands, Cape Byron and Great Barrier Reef marine parks.

Queensland Marine Science and Marine Biology courses

University of Queensland

The University of Queensland (UQ) is one of Australia’s leading research and teaching institutions. We strive for excellence through the creation, preservation, transfer and application of knowledge. For more than a century, we have educated and worked with outstanding people to deliver knowledge leadership for a better world.

Marine science is the scientific study of our oceans and coastal habitats, and includes a wide range of disciplines in the biological, chemical, physical and Earth sciences. Students can pursue a general study plan or a more specialised plan in an area such as marine biology or marine geology. With an increasing focus on the role of our oceans to provide food and resources for our growing populations, the next generation of UQ marine scientists will play a major role in ensuring that we protect and profit from our oceans.


This major will allow you to focus on the biology of marine organisms rather than on the physical aspects of marine science such as currents, waves and physical processes of marine environments. It draws on disciplines such as marine ecology, zoology, botany and genetics to study life in the oceans and other salt water environments such as estuaries and wetlands.

You will develop a breadth of specialized knowledge of marine biological systems and the application of ecological and environmental strategies to protect these systems. With one of the largest marine research groups in Australia, your studies will be enriched by the input of researchers at the forefront of this dynamic discipline.

Marine science is the scientific study of our oceans and coastal habitats, and includes a wide range of disciplines in the biological, chemical, physical and Earth sciences. Students can pursue a general study plan or a more specialised plan in an area such as marine biology or marine geology. With an increasing focus on the role of our oceans to provide food and resources for our growing populations, the next generation of UQ marine scientists will play a major role in ensuring that we protect and profit from our oceans.

James Cook University

James Cook University is defined by the tropics. We are unique among Australian universities, woven into the intellectual, economic and social fabric of our tropical location and set amid irreplaceable ecosystems and cultures that fire our intellects and imaginations. Our aims are challenging but attainable. Marshalling our broad intellectual strengths, we seek knowledge-based ways to help the world’s tropical regions prosper. We do this through shaping our teaching, research and engagement around four themes:

  • Tropical Ecosystems and Environment
  • Industries and Economies in the Tropics
  • Peoples and Societies in the Tropics
  • Tropical Health, Medicine and Biosecurity

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.

James Cook University (JCU) pioneered the study of Marine Biology in Australia and the University has been the world leader in tropical Marine Biology ever since. As a JCU student you'll study the living resources of the world from the beauty of North Queensland, home of some of the most diverse and precious marine ecosystems in the world - especially the Great Barrier Reef. You'll gain knowledge and practical skills that are recognised internationally and will equip you to make a difference in your world.

JCU is proud to be the only dedicated, industry-focused Aquaculture teaching and research discipline in Australia and New Zealand. We're recognised as a world leader in both research and teaching of aquaculture, particularly tropical species - which brings students from around the world. JCU aquaculture has led the development of large and successful commercial aquaculture projects globally, and you can benefit from these. High achieving students have the option to enrol in JCU's prestigious Bachelor of Advanced Science.

If you'd like to be part of this fast-growing industry, studying with JCU is a very wise choice.  You could take your place as a leader in an industry that has high economic growth, whilst at the same time can help feed the world.

Griffith University

At Griffith, we believe in, strive for and celebrate the Remarkable.

We are a progressive and highly respected university dedicated to learning, leadership and innovation.

Today, we are known for our high impact research, an outstanding student experience, our commitment to social justice and our welcoming environment.

As a student you will address and manage complex issues to ensure that marine industries prosper sustainably in healthy marine ecosystems. As a graduate, you will be equipped to tackle problems that affect our oceans, tourism, fisheries and food production, climate change, maritime pollution and waste management. With cutting-edge teaching and research strengths, Griffith University is an ideal location to study marine science. Located within easy access to a variety of extensive natural and artificial waterways, iconic surf beaches and the diverse wetlands and coastal biodiversity of Moreton Bay, the Gold Coast is the perfect natural laboratory. You will be offered a marine industry placement, through the Industry Affiliates Program and/or a capstone experience that will expose you to professional activities in fisheries, aquaculture, marine conservation, coastal management and/or coastal engineering. In your first year, you will take core courses that provide the necessary foundations in the basic sciences. In second and third years, you focus on your chosen area of specialisation.

With this degree, you will be equipped with specialised skills and practical knowledge for a career in the biological, clinical, chemical, computing, physical, mathematical, and environmental sciences. After studying core science courses in your first year, you will have the freedom to choose a major that suits your interests and career plans from your second year onwards. You can undertake laboratory work in state-of-the-art facilities or fieldwork, depending on the major you choose. In your final year, you can participate in industry internships to gain employment-relevant experience. You will have access to experts from renowned research centres such as the Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery (GRIDD), the Centre for Quantum Dynamics, Queensland Micro and Nanotechnology Centre, the Institute for Glycomics, the Australian Rivers Institute and the Environmental Futures Research Institute.

New South Wales  Marine Science and Marine Biology courses

MacQuarie University 

Uniquely located in the heart of Australia’s largest high-tech precinct, Macquarie University brings together 40,000 students and 2000 staff in one thriving hub of discovery. Our campus spans 126 hectares, with open green space that gives our community the freedom to think and grow. Over AU$1 billion has recently been invested in our facilities and infrastructure so our students and staff can thrive in an environment that is inspiring and switched on to the latest digital technologies. Like a miniature city, Macquarie has a vast array of amenities on campus including a bookshop, a bar and several cafés. And, the University is within walking distance to a major shopping precinct. Our sports facilities are some of the best university facilities in the country – the Sport and Aquatic Centre features swimming pools, a state-of-the-art health club, squash and basketball courts, and a martial arts area. It’s a diverse campus, with a strong focus on equity, diversity and inclusion. Staff and students from more than 100 countries study and work here. A range of services support students from culturally diverse backgrounds, Indigenous Australians, students who identify as GLBTIQ and those with a disability. Also, with over 300 leading companies located on or around the Macquarie campus, our students are able to tap into industry connections that give them an edge in their future careers, while our staff have access to outstanding research and innovation opportunities with some of the world’s leading organisations. Such opportunities will only grow in the coming decades, as the neighboring high-tech precinct grows exponentially. Currently home to 45,000 jobs, in 15 years’ time that figure is expected to increase to 90,000 on the back of a comprehensive land redevelopment. Already Sydney’s second largest business district, by 2035 Macquarie Park is tipped to be the fourth largest CBD in Australia behind Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Such infrastructure requires outstanding transport options, and Macquarie is one of the easiest universities to get to by public transport. There are more than 4000 car spaces on campus, regular buses and an on-campus train station.  

Ice-cream. Strawberry milk. Antibiotics. Toothpaste. Shampoo. Air. None of these would exist without reserves found in our oceans. Oceans support life at every level and, as they cover 70 per cent of the Earth's surface, they're vital for the supply of food, water and medicine, as well as for transportation and trade. As concerns over the protection and sustainable use of our marine resources grow at a significantly rapid rate, the skills and knowledge you acquire in this course will help you play a key role in protecting this resource for generations to come.

University of Newcastle

The University of Newcastle stands as a global leader distinguished by a commitment to equity and excellence. Our degree programs are internationally recognised. Our research is world-class and diverse and our partnerships and collaborations drive innovation. UON is ranked 214th of the world's universities.


Bachelor of Science with major in Marine and Coastal Science


Bachelor of Environmental Science and Management with major in Marine Science

University of New South Wales

The University of New South Wales is one of Australia's leading research and teaching universities. At UNSW, we take pride in the broad range and high quality of our teaching programs. Our teaching gains strength and currency from our research activities, strong industry links and our international nature; UNSW has strong regional and global engagement. 

In developing new ideas and promoting lasting knowledge we are creating an academic environment where outstanding students and scholars from around the world can be inspired to excel in their programs of study and research. Partnerships with both local and global communities allow UNSW to share knowledge, debate and research outcomes. UNSW’s public events include concert performances, open days and public forums on issues such as the environment, healthcare and global politics. We encourage you to explore the UNSW website so you can find out more about what we do. 

Marine Science looks at all aspects of the marine environment from sea-bed currents to dolphin communication. It encompasses many sciences from geology and physics to engineering and food technology.

Marine Science can be studied with an emphasis on biology, earth sciences, environmental chemistry, oceanography or physical oceanography. Marine Scientists look at life on the shore and in the oceans and estuaries, often working along side other marine scientists. For example, marine biologists work with geologists who study the topography of the ocean floor, sediments and marine resources; with physical oceanographers who study the waves, currents and tides; or with chemists who study the chemical composition of seawater, including the concentrations of pollutants and nutrients. At an undergraduate and postgraduate coursework degree level, Marine Science can be studied as a major or specialisation.  

At a Research Level, all aspects of Marine Science can be explored in our School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences Postgraduate Research Degrees. If you are interested in pursuing a research degree in Marine Science, you can click here to look for potential supervisors.

University of Sydney

Education for all, leadership for good

Progressive thinking, breaking with convention, challenging the status quo and improving the world around us are in our DNA.

Leading to improve the world around us

Since our inception, we have believed in education for all and leadership that makes lives better. The same values continue to inform our policy of inclusion and underpin our long-term strategy for growth.

The Marine Science major can be taken as part of any BSc or BSc combined degree. This major can also be taken within other degrees (for example, Bachelor of Arts). Please check with your Faculty regarding your degree requirements.

Victoria Marine Science and Marine Biology courses

Deakin University

A global perspective to teaching and learning

No matter what course they study, all Deakin students develop eight key skills that are highly valued by employers and prepare students for any career path they choose to go down.

At Deakin, we're continuously advancing education through progressive teaching, innovative research and global engagement. Our cutting-edge technologies, communications and environments provide an enriching experience for the Deakin community.

This major sequence provides you with comprehensive training in fisheries resource management, aquaculture management, and fisheries biology, with a focus on environmental sustainability, particularly renewable resource exploitation and culture of marine and freshwater species. You will learn about fisheries and aquaculture from a global perspective, including topics such as fish markets, nutrition and farm certification processes, the history of Australian fisheries, fisheries methods and impacts of fishing.

Gain extensive hands-on experience exploring coastal ecosystems and marine environments with some of the highest biological diversity in Australia.

University of Melbourne

Established in 1853, the University of Melbourne is a public-spirited institution that makes distinctive contributions to society in research, learning and teaching and engagement. It’s consistently ranked among the leading universities in the world, with international rankings of world universities placing it as number 1 in Australia and number 32 in the world (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2017-2018).

Marine biology is much more than just swimming with dolphins – it is the key to understanding and responding to important issues facing our planet, like global warming and the impact of tourism and pollution on our oceans. You’ll become an expert in marine biological systems, and in the application of ecological principles and environmental management strategies. You’ll also develop a breadth of knowledge across many disciplines, from biological sciences such as botany and zoology to the physical sciences of chemistry, geography and oceanography. You may then decide to explore careers in commercial aquaculture, environmental monitoring, research or tourism (and yes, that may include swimming with dolphins).

University of Wollongong

University of Wollongong is a research-intensive university with an outstanding reputation for its learning environments across a broad range of disciplines. Our commitment to our students is evident in our graduates, who are recognised for their capability, quality and success in the global workplace. UOW is an international network of campuses and regional learning centres. Together with our partners, we make a strong and connected presence in our communities. We are a young and vibrant university with undiminished ambitions. We value our research capacity to work on complex interdisciplinary problems. Our spirit of inquiry drives our research and learning environments and our objective of earning a place in the top 1% of the world's universities.

Marine Science is the study of the ocean. Marine scientists look into the biological nature and capacity of oceans, their impact on human society, and the conservation and environmental management of marine and coastal resources and regions. They spend their time observing, defining and experimenting with coastal processes, biodiversity and climate change, as well as using emerging technologies to ensure the sustainable management of these environments.

The Bachelor of Marine Science takes advantage of the diverse NSW South Coast environment, which is an ideal location to undertake specialist marine training. This setting provides substantial fieldwork opportunities in addition to the extensive laboratory-based learning you will undertake during the course. The specialist marine training, combined with a broad background in biology and geosciences opens up a range of employment opportunities in government and industry organisations such as State Fisheries, CSIRO, museums, local councils and environmental organisations.


You will study common core science subjects early in this degree before focusing on subjects fundamental to your understanding of marine science:

Biodiversity of Marine and Freshwater Organisms



Conservation Biology

Marine and Terrestrial Ecology

Coastal Environments

Fisheries and Aquaculture


On completion, high performing students considering further study or a career in research should consider the Bachelor of Science (Honours) program. This one-year degree offers students a pathway to expand their knowledge in marine science and achieve their research aspirations.

South Australia Marine Science, Marine Biology and Aquaculture courses

University of Adelaide

The University is an international institution that distinctively embraces the ideal of the research university, where the excitement, vitality and passion of the search for new knowledge is one in which all students participate; as an enlightened and tolerant community where able students can find support, whatever their background or circumstances; and as a place where the Kaurna people, original custodians of the land on which the campuses now rest, are acknowledged and their culture respected. The University of Adelaide draws strength from its founding values as it fulfils its future research and teaching aspirations.

Marine Biology is all about the largest and most diverse ecosystem on the planet - the sea.

This program prepares graduates for careers in marine biology via training in the use of coherent, logical procedures and rigorous experimental planning for practical work in the field and laboratory.


Students will have access to staff who are nationally and internationally acclaimed for research excellence.

There is a strong emphasis on providing students with field experience, and the use of the same equipment that is used in pioneering research across the northern and southern hemispheres.

Flinders University

For over 50 years, Flinders has been a centre of inspiring achievement: from our pioneering research and excellence in teaching to the positive impact we have in the communities we serve. Inspiration leads to innovation. But innovation is more than just a buzzword at Flinders. It extends from our founding Vice-Chancellor Peter Karmel’s entreaty to ‘experiment and experiment bravely’ through to the creative, trailblazing work of our staff, students and alumni. As we enter an era of disruptive change and remarkable technological innovation, Flinders is well prepared for this unpredictable, exciting future. Our strong network of external links keeps our work dynamic, enabling us to connect across barriers to create enterprising solutions for the future, to make a difference by changing lives and, ultimately, the world.

Get a broad understanding of the biology of marine organisms, their relationships with the physico-chemical marine environment, and their potential responses to changes. The degree provides you with the ability to acquire extensive knowledge in marine biodiversity, ecology, genetics, conservation, fisheries and related areas, and builds transferable skills.

Combine studies in aquacultural production technologies and business skills with scientific study of the diversity of life in the sea. This double specialisation will equip you to take up positions in either the research or applied science sectors.

Tasmania Marine Science and Marine Environment courses

University of Tasmania

As a gateway to Antarctica and with a natural marine laboratory on your doorstep, the University of Tasmania provides an ideal base to study for a career in marine biology and the fisheries and aquaculture industries.

The Bachelor of Marine and Antarctic Science is the only degree of its kind in Australia, offered at the greatest place in the world for temperate marine studies. It gives you the skills and knowledge for a career in the exciting, growing, and globally critical marine and Antarctic sectors.

This is the only masters degree in the world which uniquely combines marine science with a focus on the southern ocean and Antarctica. You’ll have access to industry-leading facilities at the Institute for Marine & Antarctic Studies (IMAS) and internationally recognised experts to help you kick-start your career.

Western Australia Marine Science, Marine Biology and Coastal Science courses

Curtin University

If you join us as a student or staff member, you can expect to build life skills, join an international community and become part of a forward-thinking culture committed to sharing innovative ideas. Our research has become increasingly prominent on the international stage, which has resulted in us being ranked in the top one per cent of universities worldwide in the Academic Ranking of World Universities 2017. Our teaching is delivered to a high standard across all our locations. Our campuses in Australia, Dubai, Malaysia, Mauritius and Singapore are viewed as equally important, and we try to emphasise connections and collaborations as much as possible in our daily practices.

The need to sustain Australia's marine environment is more important than ever as we face an uncertain future driven by climate change, increasing resource extraction and coastal development. Coastal and marine scientists are essential to ensuring the sustainable management of this environment.

It has been designed with industry input to deliver a learning experience focused on developing scientific and marine research skills. The course is delivered by staff actively researching a variety of fields, including fish ecology, coral reef ecology, marine pollution, coastal geomorphology, sustainable fisheries and aquaculture. The result is a dynamic and engaging learning environment in which teaching is informed by current research.

Edith Cowan University

At ECU we are guided by our values of integrity, respect, rational inquiry and personal excellence. Our focus on teaching and research is inspired by engagement and partnerships with those in the many communities we were established to serve. Research at ECU extends knowledge and improves the quality of life for Australians and people across the globe. Our research priorities focus on solving real world problems across social, economic, physical and environmental domains.

Designed for students with an interest in aquatic ecosystems, the course introduces the biological and physical processes that occur in both marine and freshwater systems. There is an emphasis on the continuity of these environments across the transition from freshwater to estuarine and into marine systems. Students develop skills that are required to understand and manage such systems.

Murchoch University

From our beginnings as a free-thinking university to the global centre for learning, teaching, research and industry we are today, we have never lost sight of our purpose. With more than 23,000 students and 1,700 staff from across 90 different countries, we are proud to be recognised for the impact that our free-thinking graduates, life-changing research, and innovative campus and industry developments have made – both in Western Australia and around the world.

In this course you will explore marine biology, oceanography and management, examining the complex physical, chemical and biological interactions within the ocean.

Learn about oceanography, the diversity of marine life, interactions between species and the aquatic environment as you explore the biological foundations of the ocean and how they underpin successful marine management.

University of Western Australia

As a research-intensive university, we’re part of the Group of Eight (a coalition of top research universities in the country) and one of only two Australian members of the Worldwide Universities Network. We’re also a foundation member of the Matariki Network of high-quality, research-intensive universities with a particular focus on student experience. Over the years, we’ve continued to attract high-calibre, globally recognised staff, researchers and students, including our Nobel Laureate Professor Barry Marshall, and we receive about 80 per cent of all research funding to WA universities annually.

Western Australia’s marine environment is a biodiversity hot spot with up to 80 per cent of fish, invertebrates and other organisms found nowhere else in the world, making WA an ideal living laboratory for your studies.

Marine Science News

Masses of scalloped hammerheads have returned to one of Australia’s busiest beaches. But we don’t need to panic

How clouds protect coral reefs, but will not be enough to save them from us

Six Supertrawlers in Antarctica Fishing for Krill Near Proposed Marine Park

Could seaweed help save the planet? Blue carbon solution to be investigated by AIMS

The secret lives of silky sharks: unveiling their whereabouts supports their protection

Marine Science facts

The vampire squid gets its name not because it has a taste for blood but from the dark skin on its arms that makes it look like it’s wearing a Dracula-esque cape?


The oceans provide 99% of the living space on the planet containing 50-80% of all life.


The Oceans cover 70% of the earths suface


The deepest part of the ocean is called the Mariana Trench, which is around 7 miles deep and is located in the South Pacific Ocean.



The water pressure at the bottom of the Mariana Trench is eight tons per square inch. This means the pressure there is enough to crush you.


The largest mountain range is found underwater and is called the Mid-Oceanic Ridge that is around 65,000 kilometres long.


Sponges are older than dinosaurs.


Half the Oxygen we breath is produced in the Ocean.


 Irukandji jelly fish, with just a brush of venom leaves almost no mark. But after about a half hour you develop Irukandji syndrome, a debilitating mix of nausea, vomiting, severe pain, difficulty breathing, drenching sweating and sense of impending doom. You get so sick that your biggest worry is that you’re not going to die.


The most remote point in the oceans is called Point Nemo.


The Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian oceans are known as the three major oceans.