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Marine and Freshwater Science Major


Designed for students with an interest in aquatic environments.

Students study biological and physical processes that occur in both marine and freshwater systems, and develop skills to enable them to contribute to management and understanding of water-based ecosystems. There is an emphasis on the continuity of these environments across the transition from fresh water to estuarine and marine systems.

Why ECU?

  • QILT logo

    ECU top in teaching quality

    For the fifth year in a row, ECU has received the top undergraduate teaching quality ranking of all 37 public universities in Australia.

    ECU was also the top-ranked public university in Australia for undergraduate skills development for the sixth year in a row.

    View QILT results.

  • The Good Universities Guide 2021

    Good Universities Guide

    In the 2021 Good Universities Guide, ECU graduates have given us a 5-star rating for teaching quality, skills development, student support, learning resources, learner engagement and overall student experience.

    The 5-star rating for undergraduate teaching quality has now been achieved for 14 straight years.

    Read more about the Good Universities Guide.

  • THE Impact Rankings 2020

    THE Impact Rankings

    ECU has been ranked number 9 in the world for Quality Education and is in the top 100 overall in the 2020 Times Higher Education (THE) Impact rankings, showing how the global higher education sector is working towards the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.

    Read more about the THE Impact Rankings

  • THE World University Rankings 2020 Top 100 Young

    THE Young University Rankings

    ECU has been ranked in the world's top 100 universities under 50 years old in the 2020 Times Higher Education (THE) Young Universities Rankings, THE World University Rankings.

Unit set overview



Availability & Campus

JO - Joondalup BU - South West ML - Mount Lawley OL - Online



Unit Code Unit Title Credit Points
SCI1187Form and Function in Biology15
SCM2110Marine and Freshwater Processes15
SCI2111Marine and Fisheries Biology15
SCI2371Sustainable Water15
SCI3113Freshwater Ecosystems15
SCI3210Marine and Coastal Ecosystems15
Plus 1 unit from:
SCB3201 ^Studies in Ecology15
SCI3150 ^Science Project15
SCM2201 ^Soil and Land Processes15
SCI3453 ^Sustainable Natural Resource Management15

^ Core Option

For more detailed unit information for this Major take a look at our Handbook. To organise your life for next semester visit the Semester timetable.

Student handbook


Learning Outcomes

  1. Apply broad discipline knowledge to a range of theoretical and practical marine and/or freshwater science situations.
  2. Think critically to analyse, interpret complex marine and/or freshwater science problems and devise strategies for their solutions.
  3. Think creatively to anticipate challenges and design strategies to address marine or freshwater problems.
  4. Apply ecological and digital literacies to access, evaluate and synthesise relevant information from multiple sources.
  5. Communicate disciplinary knowledge and values in professional and public contexts.
  6. Demonstrate a global outlook on organismal diversity.
  7. Work collaboratively and demonstrate initiative to implement social, sustainable, and ethical values, including Indigenous cultural competence.
  8. Demonstrate autonomy, accountability and judgement for own learning and professional practice.

Career Opportunities

Possible future job titles

Marine Biologist, Marine Scientist, Environmental Officer, Water Manager, Marine Park Manager, Marine Park Ranger

This Major can be studied in the following courses

Need some help deciding what to study?

Our future student events include a mix of on-campus and online sessions designed to help you decide what to study at ECU.

Become World Ready

Explore your options

Environmental Science and Marine and Biology student Holly Winkle talks about having the flexibility to study across disciplines.

Student stories

  • Kendra Campbell

    Kendra Campbell

    ECU Science (Marine and Freshwater Biology) student

    "I've always had an interest in the environment and chose ECU because it offers hands-on, job-ready degrees"

    I have learnt so much from being out in the field and putting lecture content into practice. I've been lucky enough to get the opportunity to go on a two-week study tour in the Gascoyne region of WA.

    I have also been involved in a number of volunteering opportunities, with Fisheries and Parks and Wildlife and these have been valuable learning experiences.

    I found the lecturers really passionate and knowledgeable about their study area. As part of our third year of study, we have field trips with government departments, such as the Department of Parks and Wildlife. This will also be very useful when applying for jobs in the future.

  • Holly Winkle

    Marine and Freshwater Biology student

    "Field experience and flexibility"

    Environmental Science and Marine and Biology student Holly Winkle talks about having the flexibility to study across disciplines.