Bachelor of Marine Science

Undergraduate degree

Become an expert in ocean systems by exploring a broad range of disciplines with access to spectacular marine environments on your doorstep.

Key facts


3 years full-time


Current Deakin Students

To access your official course details for the year you started your degree, please visit the handbook

Course overview

Study marine science at Deakin where you will have access to spectacular marine environments teeming with rich biodiversity on your doorstep. Become an expert in ocean systems by exploring a broad range of disciplines, including marine biology and ecology, oceanography, marine mapping, conservation, aquaculture, fisheries, marine and coastal management. The Bachelor of Marine Science equips you with the skills needed to create a sustainable future for the world’s oceans.

You will learn from expert marine science teaching staff in labs and facilities equipped for exploring and understanding the biological, chemical and physical processes of life underwater. Our facilities are located at the doorstep of the Great Southern Reef where rocky shores, seagrass beds, mangroves and iconic surf beaches become your classroom.

Want to join the growing marine science community to help build a sustainable blue economy?

Our Bachelor of Marine Science is a science-based and interdisciplinary course that aligns closely with the National Marine Science Plan. You will learn from a team of expert marine scientists and draw on the knowledge and experience of Australia’s leading marine research organisations, providing you with the science-based skill set in demand by employers in the marine sector.

You will graduate ready to join the greater marine science community, applying new marine technologies and innovative approaches to manage and protect the world’s marine habitats and ecosystems. A diverse range of career opportunities awaits, in both research and applied fields, including:

  • biodiversity conservation
  • fisheries and aquaculture
  • marine biochemistry and biotechnology
  • marine biology and ecology
  • marine management and policy
  • microbiology and genomics
  • oceanography
  • remote sensing and modelling.

If you choose to undertake further postgraduate studies, including research training, you can specialise in a specific field of marine science.

Read More

Course information

Award granted
Bachelor of Marine Science

2024 course information

VTAC code
1400310633 - Waurn Ponds (Geelong), International full-fee paying place
1400710633 - Warrnambool, International full-fee paying place
Deakin code
CRICOS code?
0100303 Waurn Ponds (Geelong), Warrnambool
Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) recognition

The award conferred upon completion is recognised in the Australian Qualifications Framework at Level 7

Course structure

To complete the Bachelor of Marine Science, students must attain 24 credit points, which must include the following:

  • DAI001 Academic Integrity Module (0-credit point compulsory unit)
  • SLE010 Laboratory and Fieldwork Safety Induction Program (0-credit point compulsory unit)
  • STP010 Career Tools for Employability (0-credit point compulsory unit)
  • twelve (12) core units
  • 1 six (6) credit point major sequence in either Ocean, Fisheries and Aquaculture Sciences (Geelong) or Sustainable Marine Management (Warrnambool)
  • six (6) credit points of open elective units which may comprise of:
    • a minor (4 credit points) in either Indigenous Studies or Global Engagement plus 2 open electives (2 credit points) OR
    • six (6) open electives
  • no more than ten (10) credit points at level 1
  • levels 2 and 3 - minimum of 14 credit points over both levels
  • six (6) credit points at level 3.

Students are required to meet the University's academic progress and conduct requirements.


Core units


Major Units


Elective units


Total units


Level 1 - Trimester 1

  • Academic Integrity Module (0 credit points)
  • Career Tools for Employability (0 credit points)
  • Laboratory and Fieldwork Safety Induction Program (0 credit points)
  • Marine Environments #
  • Cells and Genes
  • Chemistry in Our World
  • Plus one elective unit (one credit point) or one minor unit (one credit point)

    Level 1 - Trimester 2

  • Ocean Processes
  • Oceans, Coasts and Climate Change
  • Marine Science Major unit (one credit point)

    Plus one elective unit (one credit point) or one minor unit (one credit point)

    Level 2 - Trimester 1

  • Marine Biology
  • Research Methods and Data Analysis #
  • Marine Science Major unit (one credit point)

    Plus one elective unit (one credit point) or one minor unit (one credit point)

    Level 2 - Trimester 2

  • Marine Ecology
  • Marine Geographic Information Systems
  • Marine Science Major unit (one credit point)

    Plus one elective unit (one credit point) or one minor unit (one credit point)

    Level 2 - Trimester 3

  • Marine Wildlife

  • Level 3 - Trimester 1

  • Professional Practice #
  • Transdisciplinary Marine Science
  • Marine Science Major unit (1 credit point)

    Plus one elective unit (one credit point) or one minor unit (one credit point)

    Level 3 - Trimester 2

    2 x Marine Science Major units (2 credit points)

    Plus one elective unit (one credit point) or one minor unit (one credit point)

    # Must have successfully completed STP010 Career Tools for Employability (0 credit point unit)

    Major sequences

    Refer to the details of each major sequence for availability.
    Students must complete at least one major from the following areas:

    Marine Science Majors:

    Each major is comprised of six (6) credit points - one credit point per unit

    Ocean, Fisheries and Aquaculture Sciences

    Sustainable Marine Management


    Elective Units

    Select 6 units (6 credit points) from a range of elective units offered across many courses or complete one of the two minors* listed. In some cases you may even be able to choose elective units from a completely different discipline area (subject to meeting unit requirements).

    It is important to note that some elective units may include compulsory placement, study tours, work-based training or collaborative research training arrangements.


    Indigenous Studies

    Global Engagement

    *Each minor is comprised of 4 credit points

    Intakes by location

    The availability of a course varies across locations and intakes. This means that a course offered in Trimester 1 may not be offered in the same location for Trimester 2 or 3. Check each intake for up-to-date information on when and where you can commence your studies.

    Trimester 1 - March

    • Start date: March
    • Available at:
      • Waurn Ponds (Geelong)
      • Warrnambool

    Trimester 2 - July

    • Start date: July
    • Available at:
      • Waurn Ponds (Geelong)
      • Warrnambool

    * Students may be required to undertake cross campus study between the Waurn Ponds and Warrnambool campuses for some units depending on the Major or electives selected

    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 travel, food and accommodation while on fieldwork.

    Course duration 

    Course duration may be affected by delays in completing course requirements, such as accessing or completing work placements.

    Mandatory student checks

    Any unit which contains work integrated learning, a community placement or interaction with the community may require a police check, Working with Children Check or other check.


    Students can expect to participate in a range of teaching activities each week. This could include lectures, seminars, field trips, practicals and online interaction. Individual unit details in the course structure provide specific information relating to teaching activities in each unit. Students also need to study and complete assessment tasks in their own time.

    Participation requirements

    Students are required to complete units in Trimester 3.

    Students enrolled at the Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus will be required to undertake some of their practical learning experiences at the Queenscliff Marine Science Centre.

    Placement can occur at any time, including during standard holiday breaks. Learn about key dates at Deakin.

    Elective units may be selected that include compulsory placements, work-based training, community-based learning or collaborative research training arrangements.

    Reasonable adjustments to participation and other course requirements will be made for students with a disability. More information available at Disability support services.

    Work experience

    The course includes a compulsory professional practice unit that requires you to undertake at least 80 hours of work experience in a course-related host organisation. 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. Explore the SEBE WIL program.

    Elective units may also provide additional opportunities for Work Integrated Learning experiences.

    Entry requirements

    Selection is based on a holistic consideration of your academic merit, work experience, likelihood of success, availability of places, participation requirements, regulatory requirements, and individual circumstances. You will need to meet the minimum academic and English language proficiency requirements to be considered for selection, but this does not guarantee admission.

    Academic requirements

    Current or recent secondary education

    If you’re currently studying Year 12, or completed Year 12 in the last two years, you will need to meet all the following criteria to be considered for admission to this degree:

    Year 12 prerequisite subjects

    • Units 3 and 4: a study score of at least 25 in English EAL (English as an Additional Language) or at least 20 in English other than EAL


    • Senior Secondary Certificate of Education with an unadjusted ATAR of at least 50 or equivalent

    Higher education

    If you have undertaken higher education studies after secondary schooling, you will need to meet all the following criteria to be considered for admission to this degree:

    • successful completion of at least two bachelor level or above units (AQF Level 7 or equivalent)

    Vocational education

    If you have undertaken any Vocational Education and Training (VET) study after secondary school, you will need to meet at least one of following criteria to be considered for admission to this degree:

    • completion of a certificate IV or higher in a related discipline
    • completion of a diploma or higher in any discipline
    • at least 50% completion of a diploma or higher in a related discipline

    Work and life experience

    If you finished Year 12 more than three years ago, or did not finish Year 12, and have not undertaken any further study, you may be considered for admission to this degree based on your work, volunteer and/or life experience.

    Submit a personal statement outlining your motivation to study, previous education and employment history, and how this course can assist your career aspirations or progression. Think of it as a job application cover letter – it should be relevant and demonstrate your commitment and interest in this course or study area.

    English language proficiency requirements

    To meet the English language proficiency requirements of this course, you will need to demonstrate at least one of the following:

    • Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) English Units 3 and 4: Study score of 25 in English as an Additional Language (EAL) or 20 in any other English
    • IELTS overall score of 6.0 (with no band score less than 6.0) or equivalent
    • other evidence of English language proficiency (learn more about other ways to satisfy the requirements)

    Selection adjustments

    Subject adjustment

    A study score of 30 in any English, any Mathematics or any Science equals 2 aggregate points per study. Overall maximum of 10 points.

    Access and equity

    Special entry access schemes (SEAS) enable Deakin to consider disadvantaged circumstances you may have experienced and the impact upon your studies. SEAS also allows us to identify if you’re from under-represented groups when making selection decisions for some courses. SEAS does not exempt you from meeting any of the course entry requirements. Learn more about Deakin’s special entry access schemes.

    Admissions information

    Learn more about Deakin courses and how we compare to other universities when it comes to the quality of our teaching and learning. We're also committed to admissions transparency. Read about our first intake of 2024 students (PDF, 793KB) – their average ATARs, whether they had any previous higher education experience and more.

    Not sure if you can get into Deakin? Discover the different entry pathways we offer and study options available to you, no matter your ATAR or education history.

    Recognition of prior learning

    If you have completed previous studies which you believe may reduce the number of units you have to complete at Deakin, indicate in the appropriate section on your application that you wish to be considered for Recognition of prior learning. You will need to provide a certified copy of your previous course details so your credit can be determined. If you are eligible, your offer letter will then contain information about your Recognition of prior learning.
    Your Recognition of prior learning is formally approved prior to your enrolment at Deakin during the Enrolment and Orientation Program. You must bring original documents relating to your previous study so that this approval can occur.

    You can also refer to the Recognition of prior learning system which outlines the credit that may be granted towards a Deakin University degree.

    Fees and scholarships

    Fee information

    Estimated tuition fee - full-fee paying place

    The tuition fees you pay are determined by the course you are enrolled in.

    The 'Estimated tuition fee' is provided as a guide only based on a typical enrolment of students completing the first year of this course. The cost will vary depending on the units you choose, your study load, the length of your course and any approved Recognition of prior learning you have.

    Each unit you enrol in has a credit point value. The 'Estimated tuition fee' is calculated by adding together eight 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.

    Learn more about international student fees.

    Scholarship 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

    Apply now

    Apply through VTAC and Deakin

    International students who are currently completing an Australian Year 12 in Australia or overseas should apply through the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC), as well as directly to Deakin through StudyLink Connect – Deakin University's International Student Application Service. For information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply web page.

    Apply through Deakin

    All other international students apply directly to the University through StudyLink Connect - Deakin University's International Student Application Service. For information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply web page.

    Deakin International office or Deakin representative

    Fill out the application form and submit to a Deakin International office or take your application form to a Deakin representative for assistance

    Need more information on how to apply?

    For information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply webpage.
    If you’re still having problems, please contact Deakin International for assistance.


    Career outcomes

    As a marine scientist, you will gain skills across multi-disciplinary areas which allow for a diverse range of career opportunities 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, mathematics or economics. Further postgraduate studies including research training can lead to students becoming research scientists in a specific field of marine science.

    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

    Contribute scientific predictions, observations, innovation and knowledge towards a world-wide, sustainable blue economy by integrating and applying well-developed, multidisciplinary knowledge in the marine science field.

    Apply technical capabilities, including emerging marine technology and innovation and use them in a range of problem solving activities in a professional and/or academic setting within the field of marine science.


    Use appropriate scientific language and formats including written, visual, oral and graphical forms to communicate and engage with a broad spectrum of society, such as those in industry, policy, regulation and the community.

    Generate, analyse and present key information in a professional manner with evidence from local and global contributions and contexts.

    Digital literacy

    Use well developed technical skills and judgement to retrieve, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information using a variety of tools and techniques.

    Apply quantitative skills in marine science using software programs associated with computational science and system dynamics.

    Critical thinking

    Critically evaluate scientific information from multiple sources and use scientific methods and frameworks to structure and plan observations, experimentation, fieldwork investigations.

    Use analytical thinking and judgement to evaluate, synthesise and generate an integrated knowledge, formulate hypotheses and test them against evidence-based scientific concepts and principles in the field of marine science.

    Problem solving

    Apply traditional, emerging and innovative approaches and information to scope and solve real world (authentic) problems in marine science.

    Evaluate scientific methodologies, hypotheses, laws, facts and principles to create solutions for authentic marine science issues taking in account human dimensions of conservation management.


    Take personal, professional and social responsibility within changing professional science contexts to develop autonomy as learners and evaluate own performance.

    Work autonomously, responsibly and safely to solve unstructured problems and actively apply knowledge of regulatory frameworks and scientific methodologies to make informed choices.


    Work in various team roles and also work collaboratively in a team to contribute towards achieving team goals.

    Apply interpersonal skills to interact and collaborate effectively to enhance outcomes in diverse professional, social and cultural contexts.

    Global citizenship

    Recognise the role, relevance and ethical implications of marine science in society and apply cultural, economic and social awareness, including those of indigenous people.

    Adopt, appreciate and respect scientific morals and ethics, including working with animals.

    Approved by Faculty Board 14 March 2019

    The reef image shown is courtesy of Andrew Newton, published in “Melbourne Down Under” by Sheree Marris, a marine biology graduate from Deakin University.