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Course summary

Keen to delve deeply into the study of ocean and marine sciences with leading researchers, in state-of-the-art facilities and in some of the most beautiful and fascinating marine ecosystems in the world? 

The Master of Marine Science and Management is delivered from the University’s National Marine Science Centre teaching and research facility in Coffs Harbour, on the shores of the Solitary Islands Marine Park.

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 and a focus on sustainability and management. You will move between the classroom and the water as you study marine management and ecology, conservation and biodiversity, and strategies towards environmental sustainability and pollution mitigation.

Graduates may go on to become scientists, science communicators, policy makers across the private and public sectors, or to consider other fields connected with the marine environment.



Depending on unit availability, previous study or work experience, students may be able to complete their degree in a shorter duration than indicated.

National Marine Science Centre Coffs Harbour1, 2


National Marine Science Centre Coffs Harbour1, 2

The course focuses on the sustainability and management of a range of marine ecosystems. Specialist marine units include ocean change biology, pollution of the marine environment, sustainable use of the marine environment and marine research projects that can be tailored to meet your needs or interests.

Students who have completed a relevant Bachelor degree may receive four units of advanced standing towards the Masters degree.

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

Exercise knowledge of research principles and methods applicable to investigating marine science and management

Make decisions and exercise informed judgement in relation to marine science and management issues


Apply knowledge and skills with initiative and creativity with new challenges or in new situations

Ethical practice

Apply sustainability principles to relevant research and professional contexts

Demonstrate highly developed judgement and use of ethical framework(s) in scholarly, research and professional contexts

Knowledge of a discipline

Demonstrate an advanced, integrated understanding of a complex body of knowledge in marine science and management

Apply disciplinary knowledge and research skills of marine science and/or management in professional and community settings

Lifelong learning

Reflect on, assess and regulate their own learning and research capabilities and performance with personal autonomy and accountability

Locate, evaluate, manage and use information in order to create new information

Communication and social skills

Communicate arguments, theory, complex knowledge and ideas to specialist and non-specialist audiences in marine science and management contexts

Work collaboratively with individuals and teams to achieve research outcomes

Cultural competence

Demonstrate cultural competence in local, Australia-wide and where applicable global settings

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.

Students experience a variety of teaching approaches including live and pre-recorded lectures, tutorials, workshops, laboratory classes, field trips, and online activities such as online discussion forums and virtual classes.

The method of teaching may vary from unit to unit, although many require both on campus and online students to attend 3-6 day residential workshops at the National Marine Science Centre in Coffs Harbour.

The degree is designed so that students can integrate studies with their existing employment. Graduates of this course will have opportunities to work as scientists, science communicators and policy makers across private and public sectors.

The degree is ideal if you are seeking to develop careers in marine research, marine management and ecology, fisheries and aquaculture, marine park management, human impacts mitigation, marine-based tourism, biodiversity conservation, carbon accounting or governmental policy development.


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'