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Bachelor of Forest Science and Management

2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018

About this course

Forest management is a science concerned with the nature of forest ecosystems and best management of these systems — not only for timber but for biodiversity conservation, protection of catchments, storage of carbon and other essential functions.

The Bachelor of Forest Science and Management has been designed in consultation with a range of forestry stakeholders to meet a shortage of degree-qualified foresters.

Forestry graduates develop skills and an understanding of the multi-faceted aspects of sustainable resource management. They have the opportunity to specialise in small or large-scale plantations, restoration forestry, provision of environmental services, wood utilisation, forest inventory and planning, and international forestry.

Changes in the industry drive a continuing demand for degree-qualified foresters able to work in production, conservation and restoration forestry. Native forests continue to be important sources of high-value wood and require managers in public forest agencies and national parks where the focus is on fire management, weed and feral animal control and other important issues.

The course places an emphasis on field work and many trips to native and planted forest types. These provide an opportunity for students to learn key skills in forest science, in evaluating vegetation and planning management options. The Northern Rivers region offers a variety of accessible subtropical environments close to the Lismore campus.

Most lectures and tutorials are taught via online activities and video-linked or podcast virtual classes. The course includes compulsory residential teaching periods at Lismore campus that all students must attend. These occur toward the middle of sessions 1 and 2, and comprise approximately one to four days of lab classes and field work.

Career opportunities

Forestry graduates are typically employed in the following fields: field forestry in plantation establishment and management; use of geographic information systems; natural resource management and environmental planning; native forest management, fire prevention and control; forest resource assessment; policy development; pest and disease management; agroforestry and farm forestry advisory services; forest growth modelling and yield prediction; protected area management; international forestry focused on developing countries, reserve management; and forestry research.

Professional recognition

Graduates are eligible for membership of the Institute of Foresters of Australia.

Professional placement

Students complete 16 weeks of practical workplace experience in a forestry-related area during their studies including in plantation and forested regions across Australia. Many students have found paid work experience through trainee positions with public or private forestry agencies.

Major areas of study

The course is distinctive for providing graduates with a strong foundation in forest science and incorporates field-based practicums and interactive tutorials. It also focuses on the business aspects of industrial forest management, while acknowledging the importance of alternatives such as small-scale farm forestry, mixed-species plantations and managed private native forests.

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

This course places an emphasis on field work and many trips to native and planted forest types. Most lectures and tutorials are taught via online activities and video-linked or podcast virtual classes.

The course includes compulsory residential teaching periods at Lismore, which include lab and field work that all students must attend. These occur in the middle of sessions 1 and 2.

Please note: Distance education students must attend the compulsory residential workshops at Lismore.

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. 

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 the Bachelor of Forest Science and Management degree a candidate shall successfully complete 16 weeks approved work experience and not less than thirty-two (32) units (384 credit points) comprising:
    1. all units listed in Part A;
    2. seven (7) units from Part B, or other approved units
  2. A candidate who, while enrolled for the Bachelor of Forest Science and Management:
    1. has successfully completed eight (8) units, with no more than four (4) units 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 from the Bachelor Degree.

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'