Bachelor of Science (Marine Systems)



Course overview

A flexible, multi-dimensional degree that allows you to incorporate a wide range of subjects in an integrated way with career-focused science disciplines. The Marine Systems specialisation incorporates units at Southern Cross University’s National Marine Science Centre, which is adjacent to the Solitary Islands, and covers topics such as oceanography, marine ecology, fish and aquaculture, reefs, fisheries and marine parks management.

Career opportunities

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.

Entry pathways

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

Course structure

The Bachelor of Science (Marine 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 Marine 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.

9 specialisation core units:

Commencing in year 1 and built upon through the degree program to develop specialist skills and knowledge in marine science and management. The specialisation provides capstone units such as Reefs and Fisheries and Marine Parks Management that reinforce the student’s chosen field via research and applied practise aspects. 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 spatial analysis, and ecosystem regeneration.

7 foundation core units
  • 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
Plus 9 specialisation core units
  • Organisms and Environments
  • Chemistry
  • Cells and Molecules
  • Invertebrate Life
  • Ecology for Natural and Managed Systems
  • Fish Ecology and Aquaculture
  • Oceanography
  • Fisheries and Marine Parks Management
  • Reefs
Plus choose a further 8 units from the list of recommended elective units below:
  • Marine Megafauna
  • Ocean Change Biology
  • Protected Area Management
  • Aquatic Pollution and Catchment Management
  • Drone Technology and Spatial Analysis
  • Genetics
  • Introduction to GIS: Mapping
  • Ecological Economics
  • Pest and Disease Management


Choose elective units from any other specialisation in the Bachelor of Science (Forest Systems, Earth and Environmental 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*)
  • Top 3% of universities worldwide in Forestry and Agriculture (QS rankings 2020**)
  • A world leader in marine science teaching and research. Learn from our marine experts who are tackling the big challenges of ocean climate change, sustainable fisheries and reef restoration
  • Study at the National Marine Science Centre (NMSC), Coffs Harbour, which is a purpose built teaching and research facility
  • The NMSC is located on the doorstep of the Solitary Islands Marine Park and has a state-of-the art flow-through seawater supply system, an aquaculture farm and hatchery

2021 Start:   February, June
Location:  National Marine Science Centre Coffs Harbour, Lismore, Online
Duration:  3 years FT/6 years PT
Admission requirements: ATAR 60 or equivalent

* Good Universities Guide 2021

** QS World Rankings 2020