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Graduate Diploma of Forest Science and Management

2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018

About this course

The Graduate Diploma of Forest Science and Management  is suited to graduates with a background in general or environmental sciences who wish to seek careers in forest management.

The size of Australia's plantation estate  is twice what it was a decade ago requiring large areas of native forest to be under management - not just for wood, but also for biodiversity conservation, catchment protection, fire management, carbon storage and other purposes.

Career opportunities

The Graduate Diploma of Forest Science and Management opens up a range of career opportunities in forest work. Graduates are suited to employment in the following fields:

  • Government forest services
  • Fire fighting
  • Land use and parks management
  • Mine site rehabilitation
  • Restoration forestry.

Eligible graduates can complete further study to attain the Master of Forest Science and Management.

Professional recognition

Graduates of this degree are eligible for associate membership with the Institute of Foresters of Australia.

Major areas of study

The course provides targeted forest science and management education and training. It includes studies in natural resource management, measuring trees and forests, fire ecology and management, plant physiology and ecology, wood science, forest operations, silviculture, forest health and pest management. Students undertake fieldwork in eucalypt forests, rainforests, plantation forests and on farms. 

Assessment methods

Assessment varies for each unit. It generally comprises 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

The majority of coursework units involve a lecture (two hours) and a laboratory session or tutorial (two-three hours) per week, for on-campus students. For units that are delivered online, students are typically provided with a study guide, together with readings from relevant text books and journals.

Some units may be offered as intensive short courses to enable participation by professional foresters and may include formal lectures, tutorials, workshops, laboratory sessions and field trips for hands-on experience to put theory into practice.

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.

Forest Science students have access to fully-equipped scientific laboratories, including environmental analysis laboratories, a wood science laboratory and field forestry equipment, and geographic information systems (GIS).

Course structure

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

Table of contents

Admission requirements

Applicants for admission to candidature in the Graduate Diploma of Forest Science and Management shall be admitted if they:

  1. have satisfied the requirements of Rule 2 Section 3 of the University’s Rules Relating to Awards; and
  2. have completed at least sixteen (16) weeks work experience in the forest industry; or
  3. hold qualifications, professional or otherwise, that in the opinion of the Head of School are equivalent to (a) and/or (b) above.

Course requirements

  1. To be eligible for the award of Graduate Diploma of Forest Science and Management a candidate shall successfully complete not less than eight (8) units (96 credit points) comprising:
    1. all units in Part A; and
    2. four (4) units from Part B
  2. A candidate who while enrolled for a Graduate Diploma of Forest Science and Management has successfully completed four (4) units comprising at least two (2) units from Part A and up to two (2) units from Part B may elect to be awarded the Graduate Certificate of Forest Science and Management following withdrawal from candidature for the Graduate Diploma Degree.

Advanced standing

Advanced standing is not granted in this course. Where a candidate’s record demonstrates competence in one or more units in the course by virtue of undergraduate study, an approved alternate program of study will be negotiated with the Head of School.

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'