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Course summary

The Bachelor of Science at Southern Cross University is a flexible, multi-dimensional degree that allows you to incorporate a wide range of subjects with career-focused science disciplines.

You can effectively design your own science degree. All students study seven core units that provide a strong foundation in science, socio-ecological systems and critical thinking. Core skills and knowledge are reinforced and expanded across the three-year program, finishing with capstone research projects in Impactful Science and Practice.

You can focus on an area of professional practice by choosing a specialisation in Earth and Environmental Systems, Marine Systems, Forestry Systems or Regenerative Agriculture. These specialisations are identified on your graduating testamur. Alternatively, you can choose a major from Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics, Environmental Solutions or a Shared Major from disciplines across the University. 

The Bachelor of Science is characterised by a high level of practical and field experience in all years, making use of our easy access to a variety of subtropical terrestrial, coastal and marine ecosystems.



Lismore1, 2
National Marine Science Centre Coffs Harbour1, 2
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National Marine Science Centre Coffs Harbour1



Specialisations are a group of units which develop specialist skills and knowledge. All specialisations provide capstone units that reinforce your chosen field via research and applied practice.

  • Earth and Environmental Systems Specialisation develops your skills in and understanding of environmental science to address how we interact with Earth systems in the Anthropocene. You will study units covering ecology, ecosystem regeneration, biogeochemistry, modelling and resource management (including water, catchments and waste/resources in the circular economy). You can choose a shared major as part of this specialisation or choose from a range of elective units, including ecological economics, wildlife conservation, and protected area management.
  • Marine Systems Specialisation builds on introductory earth systems knowledge by studying units at our National Marine Science Centre adjacent to the Solitary Islands. These cover oceanography, marine ecology, fish and aquaculture, reefs, fisheries and marine parks management. You can choose a shared major as part of this specialisation or choose from a range of elective units including marine megafauna, ocean change biology, drone technology and special analysis, and coastal fluvial hydrodynamics.
  • Forestry Systems Specialisation covers the vital roles forest play in natural and managed systems. Building on core science principles you will study units addressing native forest silviculture, fire ecology and management, planted trees and forests, wood science and utilisation, forest operations and technology. You can choose a shared major as part of this specialisation or choose eight from a range of elective units including modelling natural systems, plant and disease management, agriculture and forest value chains, and plant biology.
  • Regenerative Agriculture Specialisation is the only undergraduate specialisation addressing regenerative agriculture in Australia and globally. You will study human ecology, soil processes, regenerative strategies and soil management as well as the planning of rural landscapes, developing specialist knowledge and taking a holistic approach to food production and farm management. A key aspect of this practice specialisation are on-farm residential schools. You can choose seven units from any other specialisation.

Course Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a course. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes.

Graduate AttributeCourse Learning Outcome
Intellectual rigour

Use complexity thinking and critical analysis in relation to scientific methods of inquiry.


Respond creatively to complex intellectual, professional, practical and societal challenges in the Anthropocene.

Ethical practice

Apply professional judgement based on ethical behaviour, academic integrity, professional standards, regulatory frameworks, and respect for principles of social justice to support adaptability.

Knowledge of a discipline

Select and apply appropriate practical and theoretical scientific methods, techniques and tools to collect and accurately record data through systematic inquiry.

Demonstrate broad and well-developed knowledge of the theory and application of scientific principles, system knowledge and associated practices

Lifelong learning

Synthesise, critically evaluate, and interpret scientific data and other information to draw rigorous conclusions and solve problems with intellectual independence

Reflect on the role of self in the context of learning, professional development and ethical practice in science.

Communication and social skills

Effectively communicate science and practice in a systems approach using a variety of modes to engage with a range of audiences.

Work collaboratively, responsibly and safely as part of a team.

Cultural competence

Incorporate diverse cultural perspectives and Indigenous ways of knowing to inform understandings of complex and interconnected physical, social and economic systems.

Assessments vary for each unit and may comprise a mix of assessment types, including laboratory and readings-based assignments, seminar presentations, field and investigation reports, and formal practical and written examinations.

On-campus students experience a variety of teaching approaches including lectures, tutorials, online activities and video-linked or podcast virtual classes. The method of teaching may vary from unit to unit.

Our online study option is highly interactive and strives to promote collaboration and a sense of community. Students may receive a combination of podcast or video-linked lectures, electronic study materials, workshops, online discussion forums and virtual classes. The method of teaching may vary from unit to unit.

The Bachelor of Science prepares students for employment or further study in the sciences, developing graduates who can apply science in the context of broader systems to address complex intellectual, professional, practical and societal challenges in the Anthropocene.

Career opportunities are diverse, including natural resource management in local council, state Commonwealth Government or not-for-profit organisations, consulting, as an industry adviser or practitioner, research technician, quality control/quality assurance officer, data analyst or science communicator.

Specialisations allow students to develop expertise in an area of practice such as Marine, Forest, Earth and Environmental Science or Regenerative Agriculture.

Graduate outcomes for specialisations might include:

Earth and Environmental Systems
Career opportunities exist in public and private sectors, national park and protected area management, environmental protection, waste management, environmental impact assessment and monitoring, environmental education and interpretation, ecotourism, land/river/coast care programs; and in environmental science research.

Marine Systems
Career opportunities exist in marine park management, fisheries and aquaculture, reef restoration, marine monitoring, marine-based tourism, state or federal government, marine consulting, or marine research and technical assistance.

Forestry Systems
Changes in the industry drive a continuing demand for degree-qualified foresters able to work in production, conservation and restoration forestry, in plantation establishment and management; native forest management, fire prevention and control; forest resource assessment; policy development; pest and disease management; agroforestry and farm forestry advisory services; forest growth modelling and yield prediction; protected area management and forestry research.

Regenerative Agriculture
Career opportunities exist in public and private sectors as a regenerative agriculture specialist/consultant, farmer, resource manager, regenerative agronomist, sustainability advisor and planner, policy developer, biologist, ecologist, soil health scientist, or in scientific research. Combined with our education course, graduates may also be prepared for roles in high school agricultural science.


Graduates may be eligible for membership of professional associations such as the Institute of Foresters of Australia, depending on the specialisation or major studied.


The information on this page may be subject to change over time. Please check this web page again before acting and see our disclaimer

From the 1st of June, 2017, the term 'Distance Education' has been replaced with 'Online'