What will I learn?

What to expect

JCU students study in the diverse environmental region of North Queensland. You will gain advanced theoretical and practical knowledge in a range of specialised scientific fields, through practical workshops, projects and directed study.

This flexible one year full-time course is offered at JCU’s Townsville and Cairns campuses and is designed for you to expand your knowledge in your chosen science specialisation. Choose from one of seven discipline streams described below, plus choose from a range of elective subjects to complement your training.


Aquaculture Science and Technology

Students benefit from laboratory and field based learning in JCU’s Marine and Aquaculture Research Facility. You will explore the science of aquaculture and learn about the husbandry and nutrition of various aquaculture species.

Learn to maintain your own organisms in an intensive aquaculture system. Investigate the scope and role of aquaculture as a food source and critically assess the environmental sustainability and suitability of existing and developing aquaculture industries.

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.

Apply your learnings to the diverse environments of the tropics, including the Daintree Rainforest, fertile agricultural regions, the vast savannah outback, magnificent tropical rivers and diverse coastlines.

Environmental Management

Reap the benefits of hands-on fieldwork experience to develop your capability in natural resource management. Work with research and industry experts to deepen your understanding of the impacts of human activities on our natural resources.

Become an expert in best practice approaches to the sustainable management of terrestrial landscapes and natural resources in the tropics.

Fisheries Science and Management

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

Tackle the grand challenges in fisheries across small scale and industrial contexts, to ensure the best possible outcomes for human communities, fish stocks, and ecosystems globally.


Develop your knowledge of geological structures and plate tectonics. Build a core understanding of mineralogy as applied to rocks, sediments and soils. Learn about the distribution of earth resources and the mechanisms by which metalliferous ores, industrial minerals and fossil fuels are formed.

Students gain a practical appreciation of global environmental change and develop an informed perspective of global natural resources.

Marine Biology

Access one of the most diverse and fragile marine ecosystems in the world, the Great Barrier Reef. Students undertake field trips to study the impact of human society on tropical marine populations, species, habitats and ecosystems.

Study corals, fish, turtles, marine mammals, fisheries, marine reserve design, conservation biology and genetics, biodiversity and more. Attain the technical skills and knowledge necessary for working in the marine education, science and conservation sector.

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.


  • Environmental Earth Science
  • Tropical Biology and Conservation
  • Fisheries Science and Management
View 4 more

Which department am I in?

Division of Tropical Environments and Societies



Study options

Full Time (1 year)

Tuition fees
A$39,120.00 (US$ 29,207) per year

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

Start date

21 February 2022, 25 July 2022


Smithfield Campus

14-88 McGregor Road,



4878, CAIRNS, Australia

Full Time (1 year)

Tuition fees
A$39,120.00 (US$ 29,207) per year

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

Start date

21 February 2022, 25 July 2022


Cairns City campus

36 Shields Street,



4870, CAIRNS, Australia

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants require a degree equivalent to an Australia Bachelor degree. English Language Requirements: Academic IELTS: 6.0 (no component lower than 6.0); TOEFL (internet-based): 74 (minimum writing score of 18); Pearson (PTE Academic): 52 (no component less than 52); C1 Advanced/C2 Proficiency: 169 (no component less than 169).

For international students

Students must have completion of an AQF level 7 bachelor degree in science 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% of universities in the world by the Academic Ranking of World Universities, 2020.

  • Ranked in the top 250 of universities in the world
  • Rated as “world-class or better” in 83% areas of research
  • Top 100 universities in the world for UN SDG
  • Rated 5 stars for employment, student support and skills