Master of Science (Environmental Science and Management)

Protect the future

Protection of our marine ecosystems is a mighty challenge, one that our dedicated team of researchers is tackling every day.

In this era of climate change, rising water temperatures and threatened species and ecosystems, the health of our oceans is fundamental to a sustainable future.

Southern Cross University campuses are a stone's throw from world heritage rainforests, reefs, beaches, estuaries, large rivers, mountains and national parks, all of which are living laboratories for learning and research.

Join our research team by studying a Master of Science (Environmental Science and Management) with the Faculty of Science and Engineering.

Academic staff in the Faculty of Science and Engineering can provide supervision for various discipline areas. Please search for a supervisor on our Find a Supervisor page.

Meet your supervisors

Man with safety glasses examining a specimen in a vial

Research Highlight: Communities continue to embrace the underwater treasure hunt that is Southern Cross University’s Sea Slug Census program. Launched in 2013, the census has grown to document more than 400 species over 10 locations along Australia’s east coast. In 2018, the initiative spread to Indonesia.


Faculty Duration Location CRICOS Code Contact
Faculty of Science and Engineering 2 years Lismore, National Marine Science Centre 051066D A/Professor Renaud Joannes-Boyau


A Masters by Thesis work must show evidence of competence in research and scholarship including:

  1. Reviewing literature in a critical and focused manner
  2. Deploying analytic, comparative and critically reflective skills as appropriate
  3. Gathering and analysing material and interpreting results in an informed and competent manner
  4. Utilising and justifying appropriate methodologies, techniques and processes.

The Thesis must be clearly, accurately and cogently written and suitably documented. The work must demonstrate originality and a thorough understanding of the field of study.

From knee-deep in mangroves to receiving the Chancellor’s Medal, Rachel's research has gleaned insights into an important greenhouse gas. 

Rachel Murray

PhD candidate

Course fees

Domestic students:

Eligible applicants can apply for a Research Training Program-supported place. This will provide a tuition fee offset funded by the Australian Government's Research Training Program. Southern Cross University will then supplement this cost to cover the full program tuition fees.

If unsuccessful in obtaining a Research Training Program place, students may be required to pay fees.

Applications are considered on a case by case basis and the process can be highly competitive.

International students:

Course fees for International Students are $30,000 per annum, unless a tuition fee waiver has been approved as per the below detailed information. 

A request for a tuition fee offset can only be approved by the Dean, Graduate School providing there is support from the Principal Supervisor, DHDRT and Associate Dean (Research). For a request to be considered, the following criteria need to be taken into account:

  • Academic quality of the student is of high standing
  • Appropriate level of English proficiency (International English Language Test Score (IELTS) Academic (or equivalent) equal to or above 7.0, with a minimum 7.0 in Writing and no other band less than 6.5)
  • Expected research outcomes, quality of project and how it fits with the Supervisory team research areas
  • Whether the Faculty and Supervisory team have the resources and facilities to support the project
  • If the HDR applicant is not on a scholarship, evidence must be provided that they can support themselves during their candidature.

The Dean, Graduate School, will assess the request according to these criteria together with the application for admission to candidature and will seek further clarification if the above-mentioned criteria are not satisfied. If the tuition fee offset is approved by the Dean, this is recorded in the Student Administration System and conveyed to the student in the letter of offer for admission to candidature.

Tuition Fee Offsets that are not approved will mean the applicant will be required to pay full fees. If it is not obvious that the HDR applicant’s project will enhance the research output of the University and that of the Supervisory team, fees will apply.

Admission requirements

An application may be submitted at any time.

Admission is subject to availability of facilities and supervision.

Applicants must:

  • Possess a degree equivalent to a Bachelor's degree from the University
  • Satisfy additional requirements, if any, that may be prescribed by the Dean (Graduate Studies).

All candidates are expected to be proficient in English comprehension and expression.

Apply online now

Research proposal

Research in the Faculty of Science and Engineering is supported by its three key research centres:

Centre for Coastal Biogeochemistry Research: This is the only research group in Australia specifically dedicated to understanding how physical, geological, chemical and biological processes (biogeochemistry) impact on coastal ecosystems.

Marine Ecology Research Centre: Builds on the internationally recognised marine research reputation of the Faculty of Science and Engineering by incorporating Whale Research and Coral Reef Research.

Forest Research Centre: Researchers investigate the ecology of native forests both in Australia and overseas, as well as studying how native forests and plantations can sustainably produce wood products, environmental services and carbon. 

Contact the Graduate School


T: +61 2 6620 3219

T: +61 2 6626 9186