Bachelor of Marine Science

Undergraduate degree

Deakin's Bachelor of Marine Science will enable you to assess the environment as a marine scientist to ensure the sustainable future of the world's oceans.

Key facts

English language requirements

Overall IELTS score of 6.0 with no band less than 6.0 (or equivalent). More information is available at


3 years full-time or part-time equivalent

Current Deakin Students

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

Course information

Study Marine Science at Deakin’s Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus and you will gain essential knowledge and skills in ocean systems and resources through a multidisciplinary approach in the areas of marine microbiology and genomics, oceanography, coastal processes, marine modelling, marine biology, marine ecology, fisheries and aquaculture. This course will provide you with the skills required to join the greater marine science community using new marine technologies and innovative approaches to help protect and drive the sustainable future of the world’s oceans.

Learn from expert marine science teaching staff in well-equipped laboratories and facilities; equipped for analytical chemistry, molecular biology, genomics and microbiology. The course incorporates hands-on practical activities located at Queenscliff, which gives you direct access to the Great Southern Reef; where rocky shores, seagrass beds, mangroves, subtidal reefs, and iconic surf beaches will become your classroom.

Read More

Course structure

To complete the Bachelor of Marine Science, 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 and successfully complete 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 course comprises a total of 24 credit points which must include the following:

  • 17 core units (totalling 17 credit points)
  • 7 credit points of elective units
  • level 1 - maximum of 10 credit points
  • levels 2 and 3 - minimum of 14 credit points over both levels
  • Completion of STP050 Academic Integrity (0-credit point compulsory unit)
  • Completion of SLE010 Laboratory and Fieldwork Safety Induction Program (0-credit point compulsory unit)
  • Completion of STP010 Career Tools for Employability (0-credit point compulsory unit)

Students are required to meet the University's academic progress and conduct requirements. Click here for more information.


Core units


Elective units


Total units


Level 1 - Trimester 1

  • Academic Integrity STP050 (0 credit points)
  • Laboratory and Fieldwork Safety Induction Program SLE010 (0 credit points)
  • Marine Environments SLE107
  • Cells and Genes SLE111
  • Chemistry in Our World SLE133
  • Plus one elective unit

    Level 1 - Trimester 2

  • Ocean Processes SLE108
  • Introductory Mathematical Methods SIT190
  • Career Tools for Employability STP010 (0 credit points)
  • Plus two elective units

    Level 2 - Trimester 1

  • Marine Microbiology SLE236
  • Marine Biology SLE238
  • Research Methods and Data Analysis SLE251 #
  • Plus one elective unit

    Level 2 - Trimester 2

  • Analysing Marine Dynamics SLE240
  • Aquaculture and the Environment SLE262
  • Plus one elective unit

    Level 2 - Trimester 3

  • Quantitative Marine Ecology SLE242

  • Level 3 - Trimester 1

  • Professional Practice SLE301 #
  • Geographic Information Systems for Marine Environments SLE304
  • Oceanography SLE345 +
  • Plus one elective unit

    Level 3 - Trimester 2

  • Marine Animal Physiology SLE315
  • Fisheries Science SLE327 +
  • Oceans, Coasts and Climate Change SLE328 +
  • Plus one elective unit

    + available at Waurn Ponds (Geelong) from 2021

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

    Recommended elective

    SIT194 Introduction to Mathematical Modelling

    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).

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

    Key information

    Award granted
    Bachelor of Marine Science

    2020 course information

    VTAC code
    1400310633 - Waurn Ponds (Geelong), International full-fee paying place
    Deakin code
    CRICOS code?
    Approval status
    This course is approved by the University under the Higher Education Standards Framework.
    Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) recognition
    The award conferred upon completion is recognised in the Australian Qualifications Framework at Level 7.

    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 travel, food and accommodation while on fieldwork.

    Course duration - additional information

    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 classes, 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 Research Centre.

    Placement can occur at any time, including during the standard holiday breaks listed here:

    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. Click here for more information.

    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.

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

    Entry requirements

    Entry information

    General admission requirements for entry into undergraduate courses for international students at Deakin are summarised in the undergraduate course requirements.

    All applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements.

    Please note that meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee selection, which is based on merit, likelihood of success and availability of places in the course.

    For more information on the Admission Criteria and Selection (Higher Education Courses) Policy visit the Deakin Policy Library

    Entry for applicants with recent secondary education (previous three years) will be based on their performance in a Senior Secondary Certificate of Education, 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 Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) for that year.

    Refer to the VTAC Guide for the latest pre-requisite information

    Entry for applicants with previous Tertiary, VET, life or work experience will be based on their performance in:

    • a Certificate IV in a related discipline OR
    • a Diploma in any discipline or 50% completion of a Diploma in a related 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

    IELTS / English language requirements

    Please note that English language requirements exist for entry to this course and you will be required to meet the English language level requirement that is applicable in the year of your commencement of studies.

    It is the students’ responsibility to ensure that she/he has the required IELTS score to register with any external accredited courses.  (more details)

    Admissions information

    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 ComparED website.

    Special entry access schemes (SEAS) enables Deakin to consider disadvantageous circumstances you may have experienced and their 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.

    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 first intake of 2020 students (PDF, 581.6KB) - their average ATARs, whether they had any previous higher education experience and more.

    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 calculated depending on the course you choose.

    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 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.

    Learn more about fees and available payment options.

    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

    How to apply

    Apply through VTAC

    Applications for study for Trimester 1 must be made through the Victorian Tertiary Admission Centre (VTAC). For more information refer to VTAC

    Apply through Deakin

    Applications can be made 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. Please note that closing dates may vary for individual courses.

    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.

    Why choose Deakin

    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.

    Still haven't found what you are looking for?