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Bachelor of Science (Marine and Freshwater Biology)

Course code G87

Designed for students with an interest in aquatic ecosystems, the course introduces the biological and physical processes that occur in both marine and freshwater systems.

There is an emphasis on the continuity of these environments across the transition from freshwater to estuarine and into marine systems. Students develop skills that are required to understand and manage such systems. Students benefit from a learning environment inspired by world class research academics with strong industry and government links.

Why ECU?

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    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.

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    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.

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  • 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.

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    THE Young University Rankings

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Course overview

Choose student type

Entry requirements

70 Indicative ATAR

ECU admission and English language requirements apply.

See Course Entry for further information.

Course code

G87

Fees

Commonwealth supported - estimated 1st year indicative fee AUD $7,950

See Fees and Scholarships for further information.

Duration

3 years full-time or part-time equivalent

See Course Details for further information.

Availability & Campus

Semester 1 Semester 2
Joondalup FT PT FT PT
Mount Lawley
South West
Online
FT - Full-time PT - Part-time

Entry requirements

ECU admission and English language requirements apply.

See Course Entry for further information.

Course code

G87

CRICOS code

057984F

Fees

International students - estimated 1st year indicative fee AUD $35,000

See Fees and Scholarships for further information.

Duration

3 years full-time

See Course Details for further information.

Availability & Campus

Semester 1 Semester 2
Joondalup FT FT
Mount Lawley
South West
Online
FT - Full-time PT - Part-time

Course Entry

Admission requirements you'll need to meet for this course.

  • All applicants must meet the academic admission requirements for this course. The indicative or guaranteed ATAR is as published (where applicable) or academic admission requirements may be satisfied through completion of one of the following:

    • AQF Cert IV;
    • Successfully completed 0.25 EFTSL of study at bachelor level or higher at an Australian higher education provider (or equivalent);
    • Special Tertiary Admissions Test;*
    • University Preparation Course;*
    • Indigenous University Orientation Course;*
    • Aboriginal University Readiness Assessment; or*
    • Experience Based Entry Scheme.*

    * Further information can be found on the Study course entry page.

    For international students, requirements include your secondary school results.

  • English competency requirements may be satisfied through completion of one of the following:

    • Year 12 English ATAR/English Literature ATAR grade C or better or equivalent;
    • Special Tertiary Admissions Test;*
    • IELTS Academic Overall band minimum score of 6.0 (no individual band less than 6.0);
    • Successfully completed 1.0 EFTSL of study at bachelor level or higher in the UK, Ireland, USA, NZ or Canada;
    • University Preparation Course;
    • Indigenous University Orientation Course;*
    • Aboriginal University Readiness Assessment;*
    • AQF Diploma, Advanced Diploma or Associate Degree;
    • Successfully completed 0.375 EFTSL of study at bachelor level or higher at an Australian higher education provider (or equivalent); or
    • Other tests, courses or programs defined on the English Proficiency Bands page.

    * Further information can be found on the Study course entry page.

Course Details

Choose student type

Semester availability

Semester 1: Study full-time at Joondalup

Semester 1: Study part-time at Joondalup

Semester 2: Study full-time at Joondalup

Semester 2: Study part-time at Joondalup

Semester availability

Semester 1: Study full-time at Joondalup

Semester 2: Study full-time at Joondalup

Course Structure

Year 1 - Semester 1
Unit Code Unit Title Credit Points
SCI1125Professional Science Essentials15
SCI1187Form and Function in Biology15
SCI1193Introduction to Environmental Science15
Select 1 unit from:
SCC1123 ^Chemistry for the Life Sciences15
SCC1111 ^General Chemistry15

Note: Students who have completed Chemistry ATAR or equivalent should enrol in SCC1111 General Chemistry, while those that have not completed Chemistry ATAR should enrol in SCC1123 Chemistry for the Life Sciences.

Year 1 - Semester 2
Unit Code Unit Title Credit Points
SCI1182Case Studies in Science15
SCI1183Origins and Evolution of Life15
SCI1185Ecology15
SCI1192Physical Environments15
Year 2 - Semester 1
Unit Code Unit Title Credit Points
MAT1114Introductory Statistics15
SCM2110Marine and Freshwater Processes15
SCM2201Soil and Land Processes15
Elective Unitx115
Year 2 - Semester 2
Unit Code Unit Title Credit Points
SCI2111Marine and Fisheries Biology15
SCI2116Diversity of Life15
Elective Unitx 230

For students who are NOT undertaking a Work Integrated Learning Placement

Year 3 - Semester 1
Unit Code Unit Title Credit Points
SCI3210Marine and Coastal Ecosystems15
Elective Unitx 345
Year 3 - Semester 2
Unit Code Unit Title Credit Points
SCB3201Studies in Ecology15
SCI3150Science Project15
SCI3113Freshwater Ecosystems15
Elective Unitx 115

For students who ARE undertaking a Work Integrated Learning Placement

Year 3 - Semester 1
Unit Code Unit Title Credit Points
SCI3210Marine and Coastal Ecosystems15
Elective Unitx 115
Year 3 - Semester 2
Unit Code Unit Title Credit Points
SCB3201Studies in Ecology15
SCI3113Freshwater Ecosystems15
Year 3 - Summer
Unit Code Unit Title Credit Points
CSI3345Work Experience Project60
RECOMMENDED ELECTIVES
Unit Code Unit Title Credit Points
SCI2118Australian Biota15
SCI2371Sustainable Water15
ISS3101International Science Project15
SCI3114Ecophysiology15
SCI3206Environmental Investigation and Monitoring15
SCI3453Sustainable Natural Resource Management15
SCM2104Geographical Information Systems15
ACS2122Aboriginal Perspectives on the Environment15
MAT2110Applied Statistics15

^ Core Option

G87|7

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

Student handbook

Course notes

Important course notes

  • Students have the opportunity to seek a semester long Work Integrated Learning placement with an industry partner relevant to the Marine and Freshwater Biology discipline.

    Attendance requirements

    Students are required to complete a placement which is equivalent to one semester of full-time study, or approximately 450 hours. Whilst attendance is negotiated with the WIL host organisation, typically students will be expected to attend 5 days a week for 12 weeks.

    Clearances and/or Risk Management Protocols Required

    Students, the WIL host organisation and the school's WIL Coordinator must complete a WIL documentation pack (which includes all required OSH and Risk Assessment documents) before the placement can commence.

Course 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 solution.
  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 marine and freshwater science 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.

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.

Fees and Scholarships

Choose student type

AUD $7,950 *

* Commonwealth supported - estimated 1st year indicative fee

The 'Estimated 1st year indicative fee' is provided as a guide only, based on a typical enrolment of students undertaking the first year of this course. At ECU, you pay for the individual units you enrol in, not an overall course fee, so the total cost of your course will vary, depending on what units you choose. An indicative fee will be provided with your course offer, however you can use our Course Fee Calculator to estimate the actual amount you'll need to pay. ECU fees are adjusted annually.

AUD $35,000 *

* International students - estimated 1st year indicative fee

The 'estimated 1st year indicative fee' is provided as a guide only, and has been calculated based on a typical enrolment of students undertaking the first year of this course. At ECU, you pay for each individual unit you enrol in, not an overall course fee, so the total cost of your course will vary, depending on what units you choose. An indicative fee will be provided with your course offer, however you can use our Course Fee Calculator to estimate the actual amount you'll need to pay. ECU fees are adjusted annually.

Scholarships

ECU has a scholarship program that provides many opportunities each year to students undertaking studies here.

Find a scholarship

Career Opportunities

Graduates of Marine and Freshwater Biology will possess skills that are applicable in a wide range of aquatic science professions in research, industry, teaching and government agencies. These may include careers in marine and coastal management, fisheries research and management, marine biology, wetland ecology and water resource management.

Possible future job titles

Marine Scientist, Aquatic Biologist, Marine Park Manager, Marine Biologist, Environmental Officer, Water Manager, Catchment Coordinator, Aquatic Scientist, Natural Resource Manager, Fisheries Officer

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  • Applied and Analytical Chemistry student Samantha Ridgway talks about the ease of returning to study as a mature age student.

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

Student stories

  • Rebecca MacMillan, ECU Science graduate

    Rebecca MacMillan

    ECU Science graduate

    "Anything is achievable"

    Coming from a farming background, I was always interested in studying biology. So I made the decision to move here and begin my studies at ECU.

    ECU offered me a course with exciting fieldwork and lecturers who were so welcoming. They even helped me find work experience positions! I have completed volunteer work at the Western Australian Herbarium.

    I’ve learned that anything is achievable if you set your mind to it and focus on your goals and dreams.

  • Samantha Ridgway

    Chemistry student

    "The chemistry was right to return to study"

    Applied and Analytical Chemistry student Samantha Ridgway talks about how easy it was to come back to study as a mature age student.

  • 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.

Quick guide to uni-speak

    • ATAR is the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank, the primary criterion for entry into most undergraduate university courses in Australia. The ATAR is a percentile score which denotes a student's ranking relative to their state-wide peers upon completion of their secondary education.

    • CRICOS is the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students. A CRICOS code is allocated to education institutions (like ECU) who are approved to recruit, enrol and deliver education to overseas students. Courses with a CRICOS code are available to international students who meet the entry requirements.

    • A major, or unit set, is your chosen area of in-depth study in an undergraduate course. It usually involves 8 units of study, or one-third of the units in a 3-year degree. Talk to your Student Information Office if you need help choosing a major subject.

    • Minors include between 4 and 6 study units in a specific discipline. Not all courses require you to complete a minor. Your minor subject doesn't appear on your printed degree (parchment), but is part of your academic transcript.

    • If you're enrolled in 3 or more units in a semester this is considered full-time study. To complete most 3-year degrees studying full-time you'll need to complete 4 units per semester, i.e. 24 units over 3 years.

    • If a course is available to study part-time you can generally expect it to take twice as long to complete as it would in full-time mode. Part-time students are enrolled in 1 or 2 units maximum per semester.

      Note: International students who hold a student visa can only choose the full-time study option for our courses. This is to ensure the course is completed within the duration of the student visa.

    • Most courses start in Semester 1 each year, usually in the last week of February. Some courses can be started in Semester 2 (we call this mid-year). There's a week of Orientation before each semester to help you get used to uni life.

    • A lot of our courses start in Semester 2 each year, usually in the last week of July. We call this mid-year. There's a week of Orientation beforehand to help you get used to uni life.

    • We use a points system to make it easier for you to understand your study progress. Most Bachelors degree study units are allocated 15 credit points. If you're studying a 3-year full-time degree you'll need to successfully complete 360 credit points - that's 24 units x 15 points per unit.

    • These are compulsory units you have to successfully complete as part of your course.

    • An elective is a unit you choose to study that counts towards your course requirements, but isn't compulsory. For some courses we recommend elective units. In some situations, a course coordinator may approve an elective unit as a replacement for a compulsory one.

Do you have any questions about the Bachelor of Science (Marine and Freshwater Biology)?