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Bachelor of Marine Science and Management

2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018

About this course

This course develops practical skills in managing a range of tropical and subtropical coastal and marine environments focusing on the Solitary Islands, Cape Byron and Great Barrier Reef marine parks.

First year general science and most second year environmental science units are based at Lismore campus. Some second year and most third year units are based at the University’s National Marine Science Centre (NMSC) in Coffs Harbour, situated near the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Units taught at the NMSC are usually run as intensive courses with a compulsory six-day on-campus period for all students. In these units, students study specialist topics such as ocean change biology, marine community biology, marine pollution and marine ecosystem management.

The National Marine Science Centre is part of the School of Environment, Science and Engineering. It provides students, academic and professional researchers practical opportunities in the study of marine science and management.

Other highlights of this degree include units in marine mammal conservation and coral reef ecology. The coral reefs unit integrates the skills taught throughout the course and includes an extended residential period on a Great Barrier Reef island.

Career opportunities

In public and private environmental sectors as a consultant, marine park planner, marine biologist and ecologist, marine reserve officer, aquaculturalist, fisheries manager, project officer, technical officer, state coordinator; and in marine research. 

Professional recognition

Graduates are eligible for membership of the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand. During the course, students will have the option to gain a nationally recognised qualification in scientific scuba diving.

Professional placement

Students can complete an eight-week professional placement to gain industry experience. Interns can work with organisations across the marine science spectrum including local, state or federal government agencies; private consultancies; or business enterprises in Australia or overseas. 

Major areas of study

While this course has no majors, it combines marine science with contemporary management concepts. The course includes the units Marine Mammals and Coral Reef on the Edge with a strong focus on conservation and management issues that challenge the marine environment. Additional specialist marine science units include Ocean Change Biology, Pollution of the Marine Environment, Successful Sampling and Marine Systems Science and Management.


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 online 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, study materials, workshops, online discussion forums and virtual classes. The method of teaching may vary from unit to unit.

Please note: 

Lismore students complete the final-year units at the National Marine Science Centre in Coffs Harbour, which are delivered in intensive mode. 

Online students attend compulsory residential workshops at the Lismore campus and the final-year units at the National Marine Science Centre in Coffs Harbour, which are delivered in intensive mode.

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. 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. The National Marine Science Centre in Coffs Harbour has state-of-the-art flow-through marine aquarium facilities.

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 Marine Science and Management a candidate shall successfully complete not less than twenty four (24) units (288 credit points) comprising:
    1. all units listed in Part A; and
    2. at least seven (7) units from Part B, and up to five (5) elective units, which may include units from Part B and C, or other approved units.
  2. A candidate who while enrolled for a Bachelor of Marine Science and Management:
    1. has successfully completed eight (8) units from Part A, 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.
    2. has successfully completed all the requirements for the Associate Degree in 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. completing all the requirements of the Associate Degree of Environmental Science, elect to enrol for the Bachelor of Marine Science and Management may be granted advanced standing for sixteen (16) units; or
    2. completing all the requirements for the Diploma of Environmental Science, elect to enrol for the Bachelor of Marine Science and Management 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.

Schedule of units


How to apply

Domestic students


On-campus applications for this course are made through the NSW Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) or Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC).

Online (external)

Applications for this course to study online are made directly to SCU via our online application service.

International students

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

Apply OnlineSouthern Cross University accepts applications directly through the International Application for Admissions form or via our online application services.

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'