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Bachelor of Marine Science


Faculty of Science and Engineering
Bachelor of Marine Science (BMarSc)
English Language Proficiency:
IELTS of 6.5 overall with minimum 6.0 in each band, or equivalent
Study Mode:
Full-time, Part-time
Attendance Mode:
Candidature Length:
Full-time: 3 years
North Ryde — Session 1 (February)
North Ryde — Session 2 (July)
Volume of Learning:
Equivalent to 3 years
General requirements:
Minimum number of credit points for the degree 69
Of your 69 credit points, complete a maximum of 30 credit points at 100 level
Minimum number of credit points at 200 level or above 39
Minimum number of credit points at 300 level or above 18
Completion of a designated People unit
Completion of a designated Planet unit
Completion of a designated PACE unit
Completion of other specific minimum requirements as set out below
Students must complete one designated People unit and one designated Planet unit. Those units must be taken in two different Faculties. Any unit which is listed below will not satisfy the People unit requirement or Planet unit requirement.

In order to graduate students must ensure that they have satisfied all of the general requirements of the award.

Specific minimum requirements:

Credit points

100 level

6cp from
Organisms to Ecosystems (3)
Genes to Organisms (3)
Biology in Practice (3)
Biophysical Environments (3)
Marine Geoscience (3)
3cp from
Introductory Statistics (3)
Statistical Data Analysis (3)
3cp from
Genes to Organisms (3)
Environmental Management for a Changing World (3)
Earth Dynamics (3)
Physics for Life Sciences (3)

200 level

Organismal Biology (3)
Marine Environmental Issues (3)
The Atmospheric Environment (3)
Marine Depositional Environments (3)
3cp from
Experimental Design and Data Analysis for Biology (3)
Introduction to Geographic Information Science (3)
Applied Statistics (3)
Probability (3)
Introduction to Probability (3)
3cp from
Genetics (3)
Ecology (3)
Palaeontology: The History of Life (3)
Introduction to Geophysics (3)
Introduction to Field Geology (3)

300 level

Marine Science Capstone (3)
6cp from
Aquatic Ecosystems (3)
Marine Climate, Weather and Coastal Oceanography (3)
Marine Sediments and Energy Resources (3)
9cp from
Exploration and Environmental Geophysics I (3)
Marine Sediments and Energy Resources (3)
Earth and Planetary Sciences Special Interest Seminar (3)
Marine Climate, Weather and Coastal Oceanography (3)
Urban Climate and Air Quality (3)
Invertebrate Biology (3)
Biology Special Interest Project (3)
Evolutionary and Conservation Genetics (3)
Vertebrate Evolution (3)
Aquatic Ecosystems (3)
Reef Evolution and Dynamics (3)
Evolutionary Palaeobiology (3)
Biology Special Interest Project (3)
Statistical Inference (3)
Linear Models (3)
Biostatistics and Epidemiology (3)

Balance of credit points required:



Units marked with a C are Capstone units.

AQF Level Level 7 Bachelor Degree
CRICOS Code 037278J
Overview and Aims of the Program The Bachelor of Marine Science (BMarSc) provides the essential knowledge, key work skills and fieldwork experience needed to monitor and study the use of marine resources, to solve problems specific to the marine realm and conduct marine research. The degree seeks to unite the patterns of biological diversity in the marine ecosystem through the study of the organism interactions with the environment and to place these into perspective against the response to geological and climatic changes at various timescales. Our aim is to allow undergraduate students to develop an in-depth knowledge base across the fundamentals of both marine biology and marine geology. In acquiring these principles and concepts, we aim to transfer an understanding of modern, and future responsible use, of ocean habitats and resources. The degree also provides students with relevant skill sets and thinking specific to the marine environment; proficiencies that are transferable to other scientific and industry based employers. For students looking to extend their qualifications, the degree is an excellent basis for entry into the Master of Marine Management, offered in collaboration with the Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS), or as an ideal starting point for a research career developed through the Master of Research at Macquarie University.

The key features of the BMarSc degree are its unique framework of marine biology and geology units and its flexibility in allowing students to develop their interest in one of those disciplines through the later stages of the degree. Field experiences and laboratory work is deemed essential for relevant marine skill development across both disciplines.
Graduate Capabilities

The Graduate Capabilities Framework articulates the fundamentals that underpin all of Macquarie’s academic programs. It expresses these as follows:

Cognitive capabilities
(K) discipline specific knowledge and skills
(T) critical, analytical and integrative thinking
(P) problem solving and research capability
(I) creative and innovative

Interpersonal or social capabilities
(C) effective communication
(E) engaged and ethical local and global citizens
(A) socially and environmentally active and responsible

Personal capabilities
(J) capable of professional and personal judgement and initiative
(L) commitment to continuous learning

Program Learning Outcomes By the end of this program it is anticipated you should be able to:

1. classify and describe the key marine microorganisms, plants, invertebrates and vertebrates, including their evolutionary adaptations that suit them to the marine environment (K, L)
2. identify marine communities and describe them in ecological terms (e.g. key species, distributions, interactions, populations, dispersal, ecological tolerances) and as basis for ecological theories (K, T)
3. identify and describe the key sedimentary and geological processes that contribute to the marine seafloor, and the development of coastal environments and their modulation by oceanic and sedimentary processes (K)
4. differentiate between physical, chemical, geological and biological parameters that define marine ecosystems and how these ecosystems are modulated by changes in the Earth’s climatic evolution (K)
5. explain the evolution of the ocean environment in context to the tectonics, oceanography and organism diversity (K, T, L)
6. evaluate the impacts and outline the challenges of climatic and human activities in the marine environment (K, T, P, L)
7. develop hypotheses and use appropriate methods to test patterns and processes in the marine environment (K, T, P, I, J)
8. acquire, synthesize, statistically analyse and report data to appropriately test hypotheses (K, T, P)
9. display competency in marine science laboratory and/or field methods (K, P)
10. identify and adopt safe work practices in the laboratory and the field environment (E, A)
11. practice professional ethics in the conduct of marine science (E, A)
12. identify and communicate marine issues to peers and a public audience via written, oral or digital media (C, T, E, J)
13. display both independent management skill and team-work cooperation. The latter inclusive of leadership or group management skills (C, E, A, J)
14. advocate the interdisciplinary linkages of marine science between biology, geology, chemistry, physics and oceanography (T, E, J).
Learning and Teaching Methods The Marine Science program is intensely interdisciplinary by design. You will acquire relevant knowledge, skills, and methods spanning biology, geology, and environmental sciences. Key to the program is an emphasis on integration of data and methods to achieve an integrative understanding of marine systems and issues.

The majority of units have associated lecture, laboratory and/or tutorial sessions, and a significant component of the degree involves developing hypotheses, collecting and analysing data, and reporting results. The program is structured to engage students in the scientific method and to apply these methods to the marine environment. A significant number of units have substantial field components in which an emphasis is placed on practical field skills and understanding a diverse array of data collection methods. There is also a strong emphasis on quantitative approaches to answering scientific questions.
Assessment The assessments are as diverse as the subject matter. Early on emphasis is placed on demonstrating understanding of foundational knowledge, whereas later in the program greater emphasis is placed on articulating the relationships between data and ideas. Key throughout the program is developing hypotheses, collecting and analysing data, and clearly communicating results to a variety of audiences. Clear standards and criteria for coursework, what is assessed and how it is assessed, are contained in each unit guide.

The majority of units have exams, essays and/or practical reports. Several third year units have assessments based on research projects encompassing the entirety of the scientific method.
Recognition of Prior Learning

Macquarie University may recognise prior formal, informal and non-formal learning for the purpose of granting credit towards, or admission into, a program. The recognition of these forms of learning is enabled by the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy (see and its associated Procedures and Guidelines. The RPL pages contain information on how to apply, links to registers, and the approval processes for recognising prior learning for entry or credit. 

Domestic Students
For undergraduate RPL information visit
For domestic postgraduate RPL information visit

International Students
For RPL information visit

Support for Learning

Macquarie University aspires to be an inclusive and supportive community of learners where all students are given the opportunity to meet their academic and personal goals. The University offers a comprehensive range of free and accessible student support services which include academic advice, counselling and psychological services, advocacy services and welfare advice, careers and employment, disability services and academic skills workshops amongst others. There is also a bulk billing medical service located on campus.

Further information can be found at

Campus Wellbeing contact details:
Phone: +61 2 9850 7497

Program Standards and Quality

The program is subject to an ongoing comprehensive process of quality review in accordance with a pre-determined schedule that complies with the Higher Education Standards Framework. The review is overseen by Macquarie University's peak academic governance body, the Academic Senate and takes into account feedback received from students, staff and external stakeholders.

Graduate Destinations and Employability Marine scientists work on the conservation, use and development of the marine and coastal environment. Opportunities in marine science are improving due to the growing concerns for the protection and the wise use of our natural resources. Students with a background in the marine sciences can apply for graduate recruitment programs offered by environmental consulting firms, mining companies, Geo-science Australia, Bureau of Meteorology, CSIRO and some other state or local Government departments entrusted with the protection of the environment.

Other employment options include:
• aquaculture/mariculture specialist
• coastal manager
• computer-based ecological modeler
• marine data analyst
• environmental consultant/surveyor
• education officer
• exploration geologist
• fisheries officer
• journalist
• marine geologist
• marine palaeontologist
• marine tourism guide
• marine research technician
• ocean energy specialist
• palaeoceanographer or palaeoclimatologist
• petroleum geologist or geophysicist
• quarantine officer
• satellite imagery specialist
• marine scientist
• science teacher
• underwater archaeologist.
Assessment Regulations

This program is subject to Macquarie University regulations, including but not limited to those specified in the Assessment Policy, Academic Honesty Policy, the Final Examination Policy and relevant University Rules. For all approved University policies, procedures, guidelines and schedules visit

Accreditation This is an Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) accredited qualification.

Inherent requirements are the essential components of a course or program necessary for a student to successfully achieve the core learning outcomes of a course or program. Students must meet the inherent requirements to complete their Macquarie University course or program.

Inherent requirements for Macquarie University programs fall under the following categories:

Physical: The physical inherent requirement is to have the physical capabilities to safely and effectively perform the activities necessary to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

Cognition: The inherent requirement for cognition is possessing the intellectual, conceptual, integrative and quantitative capabilities to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

Communication: The inherent requirement for communication is the capacity to communicate information, thoughts and ideas through a variety of mediums and with a range of audiences.

Behavioural: The behavioural inherent requirement is the capacity to sustain appropriate behaviour over the duration of units of study to engage in activities necessary to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

For more information see

2018 Unit Information

When offered:
S1 Day
Permission of Executive Dean of Faculty
HSC Chinese, CHN113, CHN148