Marine and freshwater biology


Discover the relationships between organisms and their physical and chemistry environments, and examine how marine and freshwater ecosystems function. You'll explore coral reefs to icebergs, estuaries to oceans, the surf zone to the deep abyss.

Get out of the classroom: get into the field with practical hands-on experiences
Deakin's research vessel, Yolla: $650,000 of highly specialised multibeam sonar and GPS equipment

Career opportunities

Can you imagine a lifelong love affair with the sea? Career opportunities include:

  • marine biology tour guide
  • fisheries officer
  • marine biology consultant
  • laboratory technician
  • local government environmental officer
  • aquaculture manager
  • sustainability project officer.


Undergraduate (your first degree)

An undergraduate degree is generally completed between two to four years, depending on the pattern of study and any recognition of prior learning you may have. Associate degrees, bachelor and bachelor with honours are all undergraduate degrees.


Higher Degrees by Research (supervised research)

Research degrees are research based master’s or PhD programs that focus on a single area of expertise. They provide students the opportunity to carry out highly specialised research under expert supervision.

Practical experience and world-class facilities

Conduct fieldwork and learn in natural marine environments on the Victorian coast. Access world-class facilities and equipment such as a geographic information systems lab, infrared sensing wildlife cameras and remote-operated underwater research vehicles.

Join our thriving research culture

Deakin supports one of the world’s most prestigious marine, fisheries and aquaculture research programs. We have invested millions of dollars in upgrading our facilities, including a new research vessel, laboratories and equipment. We're expanding our capabilities and your opportunity to make a difference.

Learn more about researching with us

Recent Deakin research

Scientists view turtles from space

Unique research by Deakin University scientists using satellite tracking to monitor tagged green turtles has found the turtles move in and out of enormous protected marine conservation zones. This exposes them to danger as they migrate from their breeding grounds to forage for food.

Who we work with

We are a founding partner in the Victorian Marine Sciences Consortium, which provides access to laboratory facilities at Queenscliff.

Experience marine life first-hand

Marine researchers have developed Deakin’s purpose-built research vessel Yolla – which houses the most advanced sonar system in the world – and have created a detailed continuous map of Victoria’s sea floor habitats. This data is playing a key role in supporting fishery and conservation management of the state’s marine environments.

Deakin environment undergraduate students get to participate in a range of practical activities, such as identifying marine plants and animals using the images generated by remotely controlled vehicles on the sea floor.

Aquatic science at your fingertips

The proximity of the Warrnambool Campus to a range of aquatic environments makes it an ideal location for specialist studies in marine biology and freshwater biology. 

Understanding and managing the threats facing Australia’s marine and freshwater ecosystems requires a multidisciplinary approach to research and teaching. 

At Deakin, you'll gain an understanding of:

  • the ecology and management of coastal marine, estuarine and freshwater ecosystems
  • cutting-edge technologies for mapping marine habitats
  • the ecology and management of marine wildlife and fisheries
  • aquatic animal health
  • the effects of a drying climate on ecological function and biodiversity in rivers and streams
  • the impacts and risk assessment of aquatic pollution
  • river restoration
  • sustainable aquaculture.


See the unique experiences that students have on field trips, environmental orientated pursuits we're up to and the things we find interesting.

Follow @DeakinEnviro on Instagram

Study Marine Biology at Geelong and Queenscliff

Start your marine biology career through studying at our Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus and dedicated Queenscliff facility.

The seal and seahorse images shown are courtesy of Andrew Newton, published in 'Melbourne Down Under' by Sheree Marris, a marine biology graduate from Deakin University.

Browse other disciplines within environment

Choose an area that you're interested in and learn how Deakin's extensive range of study options and experiences can help turn your dreams into reality.

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