Help protect our marine environments

The world’s oceanic and coastal systems, and the ecosystems they support, are critical for a sustainable planet and global economies.

However, they are threatened by pollution, climate change, and overfishing, which will adversely impact marine ecology and biodiversity and their sustainable use by people. The Federal Government estimates that the economic value of Australia’s oceans and coasts (called the Blue Economy) could double in value to $100 billion by 2025.

The sustainable use of marine resources can only be achieved with a highly trained workforce in marine science and marine environmental management.

Deakin’s Bachelor of Marine Science, which is offered at the Geelong Waurn Ponds campus and Deakin Queenscliff Marine Science Centre, has a strong science-based approach, while the Warrnambool campus’ Bachelor of Environmental Science (Marine Biology) emphasises sustainability and environmental management. Both courses provide students the opportunity to undertake fieldwork in prime marine habitats and ecosystems that form part of the Great Southern Reef.

So which course is best for you?

What is the difference between the Bachelor of Marine Science and the Bachelor of Environmental Science (Marine Biology)?

In the Bachelor of Marine Science, you will gain a broad science training and specific analytical skills in key marine science disciplines such as oceanography, fisheries science, aquaculture, microbiology, spatial science, marine biology and ecology, and genomics.

‘The Bachelor of Marine Science has a quantitative focus so students will have a strong quantitative skillset upon graduation,’ says Dr Prue Francis, course director of the Bachelor of Marine Science. ‘These skills include modelling, coding, and analysing computational data sets and applying these skills to the marine environment.’

In the Bachelor of Environmental Science (Marine Biology), you will gain knowledge and skills in marine biology and ecology, marine pollution, ecological risk assessment, ecosystem health, geographic information systems, aquaculture, coastal management and environmental sustainability techniques, which equip you to work in the sustainable management of marine, coastal and catchment environments.

‘Because it’s an environmental science degree with a marine biology focus, it has a very strong biological and ecological emphasis,’ says Dr Patricia Corbett, Course Director of the Bachelor of Environmental Science (Marine Biology).

‘The nature of the students’ interactions with marine organisms and biological and ecological assessment leads into sustainable management of marine and coastal environments and resources. It really does provide students with a broad environmental perspective.’

Real-world learning opportunities

Both courses offer practical, real-world learning opportunities in Deakin’s outstanding laboratory facilities and nearby prime coastal locations.

Bachelor of Marine Science students studying at the Geelong Waurn Ponds campus will undertake specialist marine science learning at the Deakin University Queenscliff Marine Science Centre, a leading marine science research and teaching facility in Queenscliff, Victoria.

‘You’ll conduct field trips in the Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park, Barwon Bluff Marine Sanctuary and many other local estuaries and surf beaches,’ Dr Francis says.

At the Warrnambool campus, marine biology students will experience some of the richest marine biodiversity at their doorstep. Classrooms extend to local coastal environments where students will develop their understanding of marine ecosystems and how they function.

Students will explore field sites including the Merri Marine Sanctuary, rocky shores, surf beaches, shallow sub-tidal marine habitats, the Hopkins and Merri River estuaries, and the nearshore ocean on a Deakin University vessel.

Career prospects for graduates

Graduates of both courses hone key skill sets including scientific writing, training in statistics, and laboratory practical and fieldwork skills. The career opportunities depend on which course you pursue.

‘Our marine science staff from both degrees have close links with industry and relationships with various organisations, ensuring our courses are up-to-date with industry trends and giving you first-hand insight into the current environment,’ Dr Francis says. ‘The science-based skill set has been identified by the National Marine Science Committee as being in-demand by employers in the broad marine science sector.’

Dr Francis says marine science graduates go on to a diverse range of careers in both research and applied fields in areas such as oceanography, marine biochemistry and biotechnology, fisheries, remote sensing, marine biology and ecology, microbiology and genomics, quantitative modelling, marine policy and economics.

‘Graduates of the Bachelor of Environmental Science (Marine Biology) will have environmental science skills that enable them to assess and develop methods for sustainable resource management to monitor and minimise the impacts on the marine environment.’

Dr Corbett says marine biology graduates pursue diverse careers in marine biology and ecology, marine and coastal catchment management, marine ecotourism and education, environmental protection, biosecurity and aquaculture.

Choose the best course for you

If you are passionate about science and the marine world and are interested in applying this knowledge to drive an economically sustainable future for the world’s oceans and coasts, then the Bachelor of Marine Science is your top choice.

Or, if you are passionate about marine animals and plants leading to sustainability and management of marine ecosystems and want to play a role in minimising human impacts on these environments, then the Bachelor of Environmental Science (Marine Biology) is the course for you.

Inspired to pursue a marine career? Learn more about Deakin’s Bachelor of Environmental Science (Marine Biology) and Bachelor of Marine Science.