Deakin's marine biology course provides you with a unique opportunity to study temperate marine biology in an environment that has some of the highest biodiversity in Australia. Through extensive hands-on laboratory and fieldwork experiences you'll discover the great diversity that exists in coastal and oceanic ecosystems, and learn how to sustainably manage precious marine environments.
The course has a strong ecological focus, linking biological and oceanographic processes in the study of marine environments. You'll explore coral reefs to icebergs, estuaries to oceans and the surf zone to the deep abyss. You'll learn about how marine ecosystems function and how marine organisms interact with their living and non-living environments.
Throughout the course you'll get a strong understanding of environmental sustainability, and use scientific methods and tools to practice sustainable management of natural resources within marine and coastal environments, relevant to both Australia and overseas.
You'll gain stimulating hands-on experience through fieldwork in natural marine and coastal environments on the Victorian coast, including the Great Ocean Road and Port Phillip Bay. For example, students develop knowledge associated with scientific research methods, impact assessments and marine and coastal management by conducting field work in estuaries, intertidal rocky shores, shallow marine habitats, such as seagrass beds, and also high energy sandy beaches. Students will also have the opportunity to work with government and non-government organisations on specific volunteer projects, including Parks Victoria, Catchment Management Authorities and Fishcare and Friends of the Merri.
Elective options also provide students with the opportunity to study tropical marine environments within Australia and gain a broader view of the world by electing to study overseas. The course also attracts many international exchange students, which enables domestic students to establish friendships and networks with colleagues from overseas.
The course also offers a professional practice unit, which involves a placement within a relevant, course-related organisation within either Australia or overseas. Guest speakers from a range of relevant employers also contribute to this unit. This provides students with an opportunity to begin networking with potential employers and greatly prepares students to be 'job-ready' on completion of the course.
Units in the course may include assessment hurdle requirements.Read More
To complete the Bachelor of Environmental Science (Marine Biology), students must attain 24 credit points. Most units (think of units as ‘subjects’) are equal to 1 credit point. So that means in order to gain 24 credit points, you’ll need to study 24 units (AKA ‘subjects’) over your entire degree. Most students choose to study 4 units per trimester, and usually undertake two trimesters each year.
The 24 credit points include 21 core units (these are compulsory) and 3 elective units (you can choose which ones to study).
Level 1 - Trimester 1
Level 1 - Trimester 2
* SLE104 The Blue Planet: Water and Life is offered in trimester 2 at Warrnambool and trimester 3 at Waurn Ponds (Geelong)
Level 2 - Trimester 1
Level 2 - Trimester 2
Plus one elective unit
^ SLE262 Aquaculture and the Environment is offered in trimester 1 at Warrnambool and trimester 2 at Waurn Ponds (Geelong).
Level 3 - Trimester 1
plus one elective unit
Level 3 - Trimester 2
plus one elective unit
# Must have successfully completed STP010 Introduction to Work Placements (0 credit point unit)
Select from a range of elective units offered across many courses. In some cases you may even be able to choose elective units from a completely different discipline area (subject to meeting unit requirements).
1400718041 - Warrnambool, Commonwealth Supported Place (HECS)
Campuses by intake
Campus availability varies per trimester. This means that a course offered in Trimester 1 may not be offered in the same location for Trimester 2 or 3. Read more to learn where this course will be offered throughout the year.
Trimester 1 - March
- Start date: March
- Available at:
- Waurn Ponds (Geelong)
Trimester 2 - July
- Start date: July
- Available at:
- Waurn Ponds (Geelong)
Deakin splits the academic year into three terms, known as trimesters. Most students usually undertake two trimesters each year (March-June, July-November).
Additional course information
In addition to student contribution fees, students should be aware that they may be required to meet their own expenses in connection with food and accommodation while on fieldwork.
You can expect to participate in a range of teaching activities each week. This could include classes, seminars, field trips, practicals and online interaction. You can refer to the individual unit details in the course structure for more information. You will also need to study and complete assessment tasks in your own time.
You’ll gain practical experience by completing a two week placement at a course-related host organisation to provide you with opportunities for workplace visits, field trips, industry learning and to establish valuable networks – giving you better insight into your possible career outcomes.
You’ll also have the opportunity to undertake a discipline-specific industry placement as part of your course. deakin.edu.au/sebe/wil.
Deakin University offers admission to undergraduate courses through a number of Admission categories. In all categories of admission, selection is based primarily on academic merit as indicated by an applicant's previous academic record.
All applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements.
Entry for school leavers will be based on their performance in the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) or its equivalent, with pre-requisite units 3 and 4; a study score of at least 25 in English EAL (English as an additional language) or 20 in English other than EAL. Applicants will be selected in accordance with the published clearly-in Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) for that year.
Refer to the VTAC Guide for the latest pre-requisite information www.vtac.edu.au
Entry for non-school leavers will be based on their performance in:
- a Certificate IV in a related discipline OR
- a Diploma in any discipline OR
- successful completion of relevant study at an accredited higher education institution equivalent to at least two Deakin University units OR
- other evidence of academic capability judged to be equivalent for example relevant work or life experience
For more information on the Admission Criteria and Selection (Higher Education Courses) Policy visit the Deakin Policy Library.
Learn more about this course and others that Deakin offers by visiting VTAC for more information. You can also discover how Deakin compares to other universities when it comes to the quality of our teaching and learning by visiting the QILT website.
Learn more about Deakin's special entry access scheme (SEAS - a way to help boost your ATAR in some circumstances).
You can also find out about different entry pathways into Deakin courses if you can't get in straight from high school.
Finally, Deakin is committed to admissions transparency. As part of that commitment, you can learn more about our Trimester 1 2017 cohort of students (PDF, 657.3KB) - their average ATARs, whether they had any previous higher education experience and more.
Fees and scholarships
Learn more about fees.
The tuition fees you pay will depend on the units you choose to study as each unit has its own costs. The ‘Estimated tuition fee’ is provided as a guide only based on a typical enrolment of students undertaking the first year of this course. The cost will vary depending on the units you choose, your study load, the time it takes to complete your course and any approved Credit for Prior Learning you have.
Each unit you enrol in has a credit point value. The ‘Estimated tuition fee’ is calculated by adding together 8 credit points of a typical combination of units for that course. Eight credit points is used as it represents a typical full-time enrolment load for a year.
You can find the credit point value of each unit under the Unit Description by searching for the unit in the Handbook.
The Australian Government recently announced proposed increases to tuition fees for students enrolled in a Commonwealth supported place (CSP). It is proposed that CSP fees will increase by 1.8% in 2018 and continue to rise to a total of 7.5% by 2021. The fee rates for 2018 will be available later in the year once the Government has confirmed the 2018 student contribution rates.
Learn more about fees and available payment options.
A Deakin scholarship could help you pay for your course fees, living costs and study materials. If you've got something special to offer Deakin - or maybe you just need a bit of extra support - we've got a scholarship opportunity for you. Search or browse through our scholarships
Career opportunities for graduates include marine ecotourism, marine education (e.g. marine aquaria), park rangers, fisheries officers, aquaculture technicians and management, marine biology consultants, laboratory technicians, museum employment, local government environmental officers, sustainability project officers, employees of local water authorities and GIS analysts. Further opportunities include working in scientific research institutes and pursuing postgraduate study.
Course learning outcomes
Deakin's graduate learning outcomes describe the knowledge and capabilities graduates can demonstrate at the completion of their course. These outcomes mean that regardless of the Deakin course you undertake, you can rest assured your degree will teach you the skills and professional attributes that employers value. They'll set you up to learn and work effectively in the future.
Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes
Course Learning Outcomes
Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities
Appreciate the structural make up of coastal and marine environments, their physical and chemical characteristics and interaction to recognise how organisms live and exist in dynamic environments. Articulate the form and functions of organisms and how they manage environmental challenges of surviving in diverse environments. Assess habitats and organisms and recognise sustainability issues and concerns to manage and conserve animals and plants within marine environments and to evaluate its sustainability.
Use appropriate language and formats including written, visual, oral and graphical forms to communicate with a range of audience. Generate, analyse and present key information in a professional manner with evidence from local, national, and international contributions and contexts.
Use well developed technical skills and judgement to locate, analyse and synthesise information and responsibly disseminate information using a variety of tools and techniques.
Locate and evaluate scientific information from multiple sources and use scientific methods and frameworks to structure and plan observations, experimentation, fieldwork investigations and to undertake environmental impact and risk assessment. Use critical and analytical thinking and judgement to analyse, synthesise and generate an integrated knowledge, formulate hypotheses and test them against evidence-based scientific concepts and principles in the context of aquatic environment.
Identify possible causes, effects and underlying environmental problems, brainstorm potential solutions, and develop criteria for evaluating those solutions. Provide specialist advice to solve environmental problems by designing and planning investigations and using scientific tools and techniques to apply systems and management perspectives to formulate future sustainability and conservation solutions to problems.
Work independently and responsibly with initiative and judgement to function safely and professionally in a manner that assimilates feedback and incorporates refection for future learning and ethical practice.
Collaboratively work with others in order to critically analyse, problem solve, develop and manage plans for generating sustainable processes and solutions to manage and conserve the environment.
Adopt and value multidisciplinary knowledge and perspectives for evaluating, integrating and incorporating strategies and solutions in scoping, planning and managing alternative sustainable solutions from local to global environmental problems.
Approved by Faculty Board 27 July 2017
How to apply
Apply through VTAC
If you studied Year 12 in 2017 or you're applying for more than one course offered through VTAC, your application must be made via VTAC.
Need more information on how to apply?
For more information on the application process and closing dates, visit the how to apply page.
Register your interest to study at Deakin
Please complete the Register your interest form to receive further information about our direct application opportunities.
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Through a DLC: Some courses are only available for first year and students must transfer to online or campus based study.
Through Deakin College and TAFE: Completion of diploma and minimum academic requirements apply to enter Deakin University.
Through Deakin: Transfers within Deakin are subject to availability and meeting minimum academic requirements.
Credit for prior learning
The University aims to provide students with as much credit as possible for approved prior study or informal learning which exceeds the normal entrance requirements for the course and is within the constraints of the course regulations. Students are required to complete a minimum of one-third of the course at Deakin University, or four credit points, whichever is the greater. In the case of certificates, including graduate certificates, a minimum of two credit points within the course must be completed at Deakin.
You can also refer to the Credit for Prior Learning System which outlines the credit that may be granted towards a Deakin University degree and how to apply for credit.