Let your studies in marine and environmental sciences fuel the change generation

Do you have a passion for the environment and sustainable management of our natural resources? Our marine, forest and environmental science degrees are taught by equally passionate academics, from our School of Environment, Science and Engineering, and have a focus on developing practical skills. Gain your scientific diving licence as part of a marine science degree or learn to use drones and GIS equipment for resource mapping and data collection. Fieldtrips are a feature of all our degrees, with living laboratories at our doorstep – World Heritage rainforests, reefs and rivers are all within easy reach of our campuses.

Career opportunities include:

  • Marine biology
  • Natural parks and marine reserves
  • Aquaculture
  • Environmental policy and planning
  • Sustainable resource management
  • Ecological research
  • Waste management and recycling


What makes Southern Cross different to other universities

  • 84% of graduates are employed shortly after graduation – Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching 2018
  • Outstanding research informs cutting-edge curriculum
  • National Marine Science Centre at Coffs Harbour a hub for scientific excellence
  • Extensive field trips for hands-on tuition, specialist scientific laboratories
  • Drones, GIS mapping and advanced analytical facilities
  • Option to gain scientific diving licence (marine science)
  • Ranked No.1 in Australia for median starting salary in environmental studies, 5-star ranking for learning resources – Good Universities Guide 2019.

Meet our graduates

Lucas Handley

Marine Science

Lucas has always been a wild child. Growing up on the border of the Booyong rainforest in northern NSW, his playground was the creek and bushland around the family home.

When the family moved to a nearby coastal suburb, his boyhood interest in the natural world shifted towards the ocean. Marine science was a natural progression for Lucas and it became the backbone for his exploration of science and conservation through film and photography.

“I was already involved in work around the ocean, but the degree I think legitimised what I was doing in film,” he says.

Read more on Lucas, the whale and the big blue sea

Video Transcript

I remember diving at Broken Head, like going out as a kid going snorkeling and, you know, seeing sharks and big schools of fish.

That was really intriguing to feel part of something, that was a bit wild and untamed and I think, yeah, that's where the love of the ocean came from.

My name's Lucas Hadley. I am a free dive instructor, marine scientist and filmmaker.

I wanted to become a marine scientist. I sort of looked at the different universities around where I wanted to be in my life. You know I wanted a beautiful community around me and Southern Cross University just sort of fitted that mould perfectly. They're in a beautiful location with access to some of the most amazing oceans that Australia has.

The classes are small and the lecturers become friends. They were so flexible; you could study online, you have the support of the lecturers to be able to do that from a place that wasn't just in the classroom.

It was about getting out there and getting your hands dirty. So you can understand things not just from a book but by seeing it and being part of the study.

Since leaving Southern Cross we did a film called Blue which then went around the world. It opened the UN conference on the oceans and that came from having supportive people guiding you through how to make that difference.

If you want something and you think that it is achievable go out there and make it happen. Get your degree and chase the things that matter to you. I've achieved some incredible things now and I'm looking forward to seeing where else that can go.