Bachelor of Science (Earth and Environmental Systems)



Course overview

A flexible, multi-dimensional degree that allows you to develop a career-focused in applied science. Building on core science principles you will learn how to integrate discipline specific knowledge to understand complex Earth systems. Your studies will be capped by a real-life impactful project research.

You will be empowered to find solutions to challenging environmental problems we face now and will face into the future.

Career opportunities

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.

Graduates are ready for a wide variety of science careers in that address natural, urban, to agricultural and forest systems, and the science-based industries that focus on solving environmental problems and advising on best practices.

Entry pathways

Graduates of the Diploma of Science are guaranteed entry into this course and receive up to 8 units of credit.

Course structure

The Bachelor of Science (Earth and Environmental Systems) is comprised of 24 units.

7 foundational core units:

Throughout the degree all students study seven core units that provide a strong foundation in science, socio-ecological systems and critical thinking, with introductions into Earth and Environmental Systems within the first year. Core skills and knowledge is reinforced and expanded across the three-year program finishing with capstone research projects in Impactful Science and Practice.

  • Earth Systems
  • Science and Global Challenges
  • Scientific Data Management and Analysis
  • Data Collection and Quantitative Analysis
  • Caring for Country
  • Impactful Science and Practice I
  • Impactful Science and Practice II
9 specialisation core units:
  • Chemistry
  • Organisms and Environments
  • Ecosystem Regeneration
  • Waste as a Resource
  • Aquatic Pollution and Catchment Management
  • Ecology for Natural and Managed Systems
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Ecosystem Modelling for Managemwent
  • Soil Processes
Plus choose 8 elective units selected from the following recommended units:
  • Ecological Perspectives: Human Ecology
  • Fire Ecology and Management
  • Invertebrate Life
  • Oceanography
  • Cells and Molecules
  • Drone Technology and Spatial Analysis
  • Water and Wastewater Engineering
  • Coastal and Fluvial Hydrodynamics
  • Principles of Stormwater and Drainage Management
  • Rainfall-Runoff Modelling
  • Internship Study
  • Wildlife Conservation
  • Genetics
  • Humanitarian Projects
  • Protected Area Management
  • Analysis of Food, Soils and Water
  • Ecological Economics
  • Plant Biology
  • Pest and Disease Management
  • Introduction to Geographic Information Systems and Mapping


You can choose elective units from any other specialisation in the Bachelor of Science (Forest Systems, Marine Systems, Regenerative Agriculture) or from the Bachelor of Engineering Systems (Civil, Mechanical, Coastal Systems), or you can choose a shared major or a combination of elective units from other disciplines across the University.

Why choose Southern Cross University?
  • Ranked number 1 in Australia for graduate salary, overall experience and learning resources in agriculture and environmental studies (GUG 2021*)
  • Strong focus on practical fieldwork in a variety of environments.
  • Top 3% of universities worldwide in Forestry and Agriculture (QS rankings 2020**)

2021 Start:   February, June
Location:  Lismore
Duration:  3 years FT/6 years PT
Admission requirements: ATAR 60 or equivalent

* Good Universities Guide 2021

** QS World Rankings 2020