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Master of Marine Science and Management

2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018

About this course

For 2015 please refer to the 2015 Master of Marine Science and Management.

The Master of Marine Science and Management is designed for university graduates wanting to pursue specialist expertise in marine science with a focus on sustainability and management.

The curriculum is strongly influenced by the needs of industry and potential employers.  It has both a theoretical and a practical focus, with field studies in a range of coastal and marine environments, including the Solitary Islands Marine Park.

Students can enrol in research training units to undertake detailed research on marine subjects to enhance their learning, academic and career opportunities. The research component develops students’ higher order research skills and can provide a pathway into a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) research degree.

The Master of Marine Science and Management is delivered from the University’s National Marine Science Centre teaching and research facility in Coffs Harbour, which is equipped with purpose-built laboratories and field equipment.

Career opportunities

The degree enables students to integrate studies with their existing employment and focuses on quality science and best practice professional skills. The degree is ideal for those seeking to develop careers in fields such as:

  • Marine management and ecology
  • Marine park management
  • Industry research into sustainable practices
  • Marine-based tourism.

Major areas of study

The course focuses on the sustainability and management or a range of marine ecosystems. Specialist marine units include marine ecosystem management, survey design, marine communities, marine mammals, global climate change, marine pollution, coral reefs and marine research projects.

Assessment methods

Assessment varies for each unit and generally comprises a mix of assessment types, including laboratory- and readings-based assignments, seminar presentations, field and practical investigation reports, and formal practical and written examinations.

Teaching methods

Units at the National Marine Sciences Centre in Coffs Harbour are taught in intensive mode, usually over a three-week session which includes a residential period for face-to-face lectures, practicals and field trips to put theory into practice.

The Coral Reefs unit is taught intensively with a residential period for face-to-face lectures, practicals and field trips at the Heron Island Research Facility on the Great Barrier Reef.

Technical support is provided to students in the specialist laboratories and for the use of field equipment.

Please note: Distance Education students attend compulsory residential units taught at the National Marine Science Centre in Coffs Harbour, or the Heron Island Research Facility on the Great Barrier Reef for the Coral Reefs unit.

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.

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

Students have access to science laboratories across a range of scientific disciplines. The laboratories are fully equipped with advanced analytical equipment, especially for geochemistry, microscopy and genetic analysis. The University also provides a large collection of general sampling and field equipment including; several boats and 4WD vehicles, fish and animal sampling equipment, sediment samplers, diving equipment and underwater video recorders, geotechnical and geochemical data collection equipment, and a portable weather station and data logger.

The National Marine Science Centre in Coffs Harbour has a state-of-the-art flow-through marine aquarium and other research and teaching facilities. Students have access to computer laboratories for individual study purposes. All enrolled students in Australia have borrowing rights to the University's considerable library collection.

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 shall have satisfied the requirements of Rule 2 Section 3 of the University’s Rules Relating to Awards.

Course requirements

To be eligible for the award of Master of Marine Science and Management a candidate shall successfully complete any eight (8) units listed in the Schedule of Units.

Advanced standing

Candidates may be granted advanced standing in accordance with Rule 2 Section 4 of the University’s Rules Relating to Awards.

Schedule of units

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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'