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Bachelor of Environmental Science

2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018

About this course

The Bachelor of Environmental Science produces graduates who can manage the environment for future generations and focuses on building scientific knowledge and practical skills in land, water, and flora and fauna conservation.

As well as lectures and tutorials, students undertake classes in the School’s scientific laboratories equipped with advanced analytical equipment and supported by technical staff.

Field trips feature in many units offered in this course, with the University located near a variety of unique study environments, including significant wetlands and estuaries, forests, coastal and inland national parks, and urban and rural development. Students gain first-hand knowledge of a range of hands-on skills and environments through the field trips run throughout the course.

Career opportunities

Graduates are employed in national parks and protected area management, environmental protection, environmental impact assessment and monitoring, environmental education and interpretation, sustainable forestry, fisheries management, aquaculture, ecotourism, and land/river/coast care programs, and in the private sector and all tiers of government.

Professional recognition

Graduates are eligible for membership of the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand.

Professional placement

Students can elect to complete an eight-week industry internship for practical experience, to supplement the theory and field work components of the course. Students gain industry experience in organisations across the environmental science spectrum including local, state or federal government agencies; private consultancies; or business enterprises in Australia or overseas.

Major areas of study

Bachelor of Environmental Science students can choose from a relevant range of environmental science Majors, including:

  • Coastal Management provides insights into processes that affect our use of the coastal zone. Students explore the impact of climate change, land use planning, protected area management, economics, and people in the coastal environment.
  • Environmental Resource Management prepares graduates to work in areas such as protected area management, catchment management and environmental restoration. Students learn how to conduct wildlife surveys, conserve fauna and flora and rehabilitate degraded land for future generations.
  • Fisheries and Aquaculture Management integrates fisheries biology, stock management, habitat protection, and aquaculture studies with environmental management. Students focus on developing strategies to maintain a sustainable fishery/ aquaculture enterprise. Some third year subjects for this major will be taught as intensive residential courses at the National Marine Science Centre in Coffs Harbour.

Assessment methods

Assessments vary for each unit and may comprise a mix of assessment types, including laboratory and readings-based assignments, seminar presentations, field and investigation reports, and formal practical and written examinations.

Teaching methods

On-campus students experience a variety of teaching approaches including lectures, tutorials, workshops, laboratory classes, field trips, online activities and video-linked or podcast virtual classes. The method of teaching may vary from unit to unit.

Our distance education study option is highly interactive and strives to promote collaboration and a sense of community. Students may receive a combination of podcast or video-linked lectures, electronic study materials, workshops, online discussion forums and virtual classes. The method of teaching may vary from unit to unit.

Please note: Distance education students attend compulsory residential workshops at Lismore campus for specific units that can include lectures, tutorials, laboratory classes and field trips.

Advanced standing

Your previous learning experiences relevant to one or more units in this course may help you reduce the duration of your degree.

  • Recognition of formal and non-formal learning
    Credit may be awarded to a student for formal learning (gained through full or partial achievement of an accredited qualification or course) or non-formal learning (that takes place through a non-accredited course or program of learning) completed at Southern Cross University or in other learning settings in Australia and/or overseas.
  • Recognition of informal learning
    Credit may be awarded on the basis of current informal learning (that takes place through work, social, family or leisure activities).

To help you identify how much credit you may receive for your related prior learning visit SCU Pathways.

An application for advanced standing must be submitted so we can assess your prior learning. Please apply for advanced standing at the same time as you apply for admission into this course, because the amount of credit awarded will determine the sequence of units you will study.

 Go to course structure to see if specific advanced standing rules also apply to this course.

Learning support

Learning resources

MySCU is a student's point of entry to a range of online services and resources that support study and student life. The portal includes unit learning sites and information sites where students can access resources, communication tools and useful links that are integral to their studies.

The web-based study environment Blackboard Learn delivers an advanced online learning environment for students and lecturers to communicate and collaborate through virtual meeting spaces, classrooms, and discussion boards. They can share files, presentations and applications. If a tutorial or lecture is recorded, students can view it afterwards.

Learning materials include the provision of unit information guides, study guides and readings. Students may need to purchase or access prescribed text books.

The SCU Library provides a wide range of services that include face-to-face and online help, and access to print and electronic resources. To find out more, see the Library Toolbox.

The Academic Skills team supports student learning by offering online and on-campus academic skills workshops, assignment reviews and small group or one-on-one face-to-face, phone or Skype consultations during business hours 9am to 4.30pm. Appointments can be made via the MySCU Hub ‘Connect Now’ button or on the Academic Skills home page. Students can also book appointments online in Career Hub.

The YourTutor service provides online after-hours study support for SCU students. This service is available from 4pm to midnight Sunday to Friday via the 'Connect Now' button on MySCU Hub or from a link in nominated unit learning sites. The YourTutor service offers generic writing feedback and live online chat assistance for foundational concepts and study skills.

Equipment and facilities

Southern Cross University provides students with modern well equipped teaching spaces such as lecture theatres, classrooms, and studios or laboratories tailored to meet the needs of specific study disciplines. Contemporary audiovisual equipment is standard in most teaching venues, and students have access to computer labs for individual study purposes.

Environmental Science students have access to laboratories on Lismore campus across a range of scientific disciplines that feature advanced analytical equipment, especially for geochemistry, microscopy, aquaculture, genetic analysis and wood science. Field equipment includes boats and 4WD vehicles, fish and animal sampling equipment, sediment samplers, diving equipment, underwater video recorder, geotechnical and geochemical data collection equipment, portable weather station and data loggers.

Course structure

See the University’s Rules Relating to Awards, in conjunction with the Specific Award Rules listed below.

Table of contents

Course requirements

  1. To be eligible for the award of Bachelor of Environmental Science a candidate shall successfully complete not less than twenty-four (24) units comprising:
    1. all units listed in Part A of the Schedule of Units attached to these Rules; and
    2. for candidates undertaking a major in either Coastal Management, Environmental Resource Management or Fisheries and Aquaculture Management, the relevant eight (8) unit major sequence from Part B and seven (7) elective units, which may include units from Parts B and C of the Schedule of Units, or other approved units.
  2. To be eligible for the award of Bachelor of Environmental Science with a double major a candidate shall successfully complete not less than twenty-eight (28) units comprising:
    1. twenty-four (24) units as defined in Course Requirement Rule (a) above; and
    2. four (4) units from a major not already completed, listed in Part B of the Schedule of Units.
  3. A candidate who, while enrolled for a Bachelor of Environmental Science:
    1. has successfully completed eight (8) units from Part A of the Schedule of Units, with no more than four (4) units awarded as Advanced Standing may elect to be awarded the Diploma of Environmental Science following withdrawal from candidature for the Bachelor Degree; or
    2. has successfully completed the requirements for the Associate Degree of Environmental Science may elect to be awarded the Associate Degree of Environmental Science following withdrawal from candidature for the Bachelor Degree.

Advanced standing

  1. Candidates who, within three months of:
    1. successfully completing all the requirements for the Associate Degree of Environmental Science elect to enrol for the Bachelor of Environmental Science may be granted advanced standing for up to sixteen (16) units; or
    2. successfully completing the requirements for the Diploma of Environmental Science, elect to enrol for the Bachelor of Environmental Science may be granted advanced standing for eight (8) units.
  2. Candidates who have vocational, employment or other relevant work experience may be granted advanced standing for up to four (4) units provided that the work, units or experience so completed are considered to be equivalent to a unit or units in the Schedule attached to these Rules.
  3. Candidates who, within three months of completing all the requirements for the bachelor of Environmental Science, elect to enrol for the Bachelor of Environmental Science with a double major may be granted advanced standing for up to twenty-four (24) units.

Schedule of units


How to apply

Domestic students

International students

Confirm you meet the entry requirements including English language and academic entry and any specific pre-requisites.

Southern Cross University accepts applications directly through the International Application for Admissions form.

Additional information on how to apply is available at SCU International. Please note applicants from some countries need to go through an Education Agent.

The information on this page may be subject to change over time. Please check this page again before acting and see our disclaimer.

From the 1st of June, 2017, the term 'Distance Education' has been replaced with 'Online'