Marine Science courses in Australia

Online and Distance Education courses

Murdoch University (external studies)

About Murdoch University:

At Murdoch University in Perth, Australia, we're proud to have more than 22,000 students and 2,000 staff from across 90 different countries with a desire to discover, use their imaginations and ultimately make a difference.

Bachelor of Science with major in Marine Science

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


Bachelor of Science with major in Marine Biology

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.


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 New South Wales

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

University of Melbourne

University of Wollongong

South Australia Marine Science, Marine Biology and Aquaculture courses

Adelaide University

Flinders University

Tasmania Marine Science and Marine Environment courses

University of Tasmania

Western Australia Marine Science, Marine Biology and Coastal Science courses

Curtin University

Edith Cowan University

Murchoch University

University of Western Australia

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Marine Science facts

  • 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.