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What will I learn?

What to expect

In this flexible, 2 year full-time course, you will complete advanced coursework subjects and then undertake your own independent research project or choose to apply your skills in an industry-based project. The research project is a pathway towards a PhD by research program.

Enhance your employability and advance your career in Australia and globally through the Masters Employability Program. Complete a structured co-curricular employability skills and development program, which runs for the duration of the degree. This includes a tailored plan to support individual employment objectives, beginning from semester one through to graduation.

Masters of Science (Professional) graduates are well equipped to evaluate global environmental challenges and driven to design innovate, sustainable and holistic solutions.

Choose one of seven majors, and take specialised elective subjects from the same discipline or broaden your skills with subjects from a complementary discipline. You will also have the opportunity to study subjects in Singapore, the Galapagos Islands, Thailand or Vietnam.

If you choose to major in the same field of study as your undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree, you may be eligible to receive up to six months advanced standing.


Students choose from seven majors and can select elective subjects within the same major, or from another discipline to enhance their learning.

Aquaculture Science and Technology

Students benefit from practical, experience based learning in JCU’s Marine and Aquaculture Research Facility and on location with industry partners. You will explore the science of aquaculture and learn about the husbandry and nutrition of various species.

Environmental Earth Science

Learn from world-class lecturers about the impacts of land use, land management, and climate change on the earth surface. Investigate the latest techniques to minimise the harmful effects of human activity on the environment.

Environmental Management

Reap the benefits of hands-on fieldwork experience to develop your capability in natural resource management. Work with research and industry experts and deepen your understanding of how natural environments function and change over time.

Fisheries Science and Management

Explore the fundamentals of fisheries science and its application in tropical environments. Gain knowledge, technical skills and experience in fisheries assessments, sustainable development and management approaches.


Develop your knowledge of geological structures, mineralogy and plate tectonics. Benefit from practical experience studying rocks, sediments and soils in the Great Artesian Basin, the Savannah and the areas surrounding the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Marine Biology

Study one of the most diverse and fragile marine ecosystems in the world, the Great Barrier Reef. Evaluate the impact of human society on tropical marine populations, species, habitats and ecosystems.

Tropical Biology and Conservation

Benefit from access to natural environments in close proximity to JCU campuses, including savannahs, the World Heritage Daintree Rainforest, and coastal marine habitats. Your studies will integrate a range of disciplines such as zoology, ecology, botany, and behaviour and evolution biology across an array terrestrial and marine habitats.


Not all majors available at Cairns, only Environmental Earth Science and Tropical Biology and Conservation majors available at Cairns.


  • Aquaculture Science and Technology
  • Environmental Earth Science
  • Environmental Management
View 4 more

Which department am I in?

Division of Tropical Environments and Societies



Study options

Full Time (2 years)

Tuition fees
A$39,120.00 (21,28,400) per year

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Application deadline

31 July 2022, 26 February 2023

More details

Start date

25 July 2022, 20 February 2023


Townsville City Campus

City Arcade, 383 Flinders Street,



4810, TOWNSVILLE, Australia

Full Time (2 years)

Tuition fees
A$39,120.00 (21,28,400) per year

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Application deadline

31 July 2022, 26 February 2023

More details

Start date

25 July 2022, 20 February 2023


James Cook University

Douglas campus,

1 James Cook Drive,



4814, TOWNSVILLE, Australia

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Completion of an AQF level 7 bachelor degree in science with a minimum GPA of 5.5 (70%); or equivalent.

For international students

Completion of an AQF level 7 bachelor degree in Science with a minimum GPA of 5 (65%) or equivalent.

IELTS - 6.0 (no component lower than 6.0); TOEFL (internet based) - 74 (no component less than 18); Pearson (PTE Academic) - 52 (no component less than 52); C1 Advanced / C2 Proficiency: 169 (no component less than 169).

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


About James Cook University

James Cook University (JCU) is ranked among the top 2 per cent of universities in the world by the Academic Ranking of World Universities, 2020.

  • Ranked in the top 300 universities in the world
  • Rated world-class or better in 83 per cent of research areas
  • Top 100 universities in the world for UN SDG
  • Rated 5 stars for employment, student support and skills