• The Science Place. Photo credit: JCUThe Science Place. Photo credit: JCU
  • JCU campus in Townsville. Photo credit: JCUJCU campus in Townsville. Photo credit: JCU
  • Computer lab in the Student Centre. Photo credit: James Cook UniversityComputer lab in the Student Centre. Photo credit: James Cook University
  • Orpheus Island Research Station. Photo credit: James Cook UniversityOrpheus Island Research Station. Photo credit: James Cook University
  • Students in the Marine and Aquaculture Research Facility at JCU. Photo credit: James Cook UniversityStudents in the Marine and Aquaculture Research Facility at JCU. Photo credit: James Cook University

James Cook University (JCU) is surrounded by the spectacular ecosystems of the rainforests of the Wet Tropics, the dry savannahs of the Australian Outback and the iconic Great Barrier Reef. JCU’s unique position enables students to study in a location like no other.

Australia’s leading university for the tropics, JCU is ranked in the top 2% of universities worldwide (ARWU 2017) and number 28 in the world in the Young University Rankings 2018 from the Times Higher Education.

It is a comprehensive university, internationally recognised for excellence in teaching and research. Small class sizes and lecturers who are committed to student success make for a supportive study environment.

JCU has three campuses, in the cities of Townsville and Cairns in Northern Queensland and in the vibrant city state of Singapore. JCU has almost 22,000 students, including close to 7,000 international students from over 100 countries.

JCU offers a comprehensive range of world-class, career-relevant courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Short-term study options are also available and many courses include practical, hands-on experience.

JCU at a glance

  • JCU is ranked in the top 2% of world universities by the Academic Ranking of World Universities 2017
  • JCU’s tropical campuses are near the Great Barrier Reef and the rainforests of Tropical Australia
  • JCU is ranked 28 in the Young University Rankings 2018 by the Times Higher Education
  • JCU is consistently recognised for high levels of graduate success
  • JCU is ranked first in the world for marine and freshwater ecology and second for biodiversity conservation (CWUR 2017) 

Popular study areas

JCU works closely with employers and with industry to ensure that its degrees are relevant and meet the demands of the global workforce.

Courses are available in academic areas including:

  • Marine biology and ecology
  • Aquaculture
  • Environmental earth science
  • Protected area management
  • Sustainability
  • Medicine
  • Dentistry
  • Public health
  • Veterinary science
  • Law
  • Psychology and social work
  • Education
  • Business and IT
  • Creative arts
  • Engineering

A practical focus

A practical approach to learning is central to study at JCU. It has been awarded five stars for job success from the Good Universities Guide for the past seven years in a row.

During their studies, JCU students gain hands-on experience through internships, placements and projects with industry, business and government organisations.

JCU’s tropical location also offers students unparalleled opportunities to experience unique fieldwork, research stations and state-of-the-art facilities.

A research intensive university

A world leader in research and teaching, JCU is ranked first in the world for marine and freshwater biology and second for biodiversity conservation (CWUR 2017).

JCU is also ranked above world standard in 35 areas of research, including veterinary sciences, neuroscience, public health and immunology (ERA 2015). A member of Innovative Research Universities Australia, JCU conducts research of international significance using its network of research stations, centres and institutes including facilities in UNESCO World Heritage sites; the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics of Queensland.

Research facilities and centres include:

  • Cyclone Testing Station
  • Daintree Rainforest Observatory
  • Fletcherview Research Station
  • Marine And Aquaculture Research Facilities (MARF)
  • Orpheus Island Research Station
  • Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies
  • Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine
  • Centre for Biosecurity and Tropical Infectious Diseases
  • Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention
  • Centre for Sustainable Tropical Fisheries and Aquaculture
  • Centre for Disaster Studies
  • Centre for Tropical Biodiversity and Climate Change

A supportive environment

JCU strives to create an educational environment where students are supported to take full advantage of their experience in Australia and at JCU. The accessible teaching staff, friendly campuses and support services (including student mentor and academic study skills programmes) all ensure students get the personal attention they need in order to succeed.

JCU has a dedicated International Student Support team which offers services ranging from social activities and referral services to academic and personal support. This ensures a smooth start to study, and support throughout a student’s time at JCU.

Student accommodation

Purpose-built accommodation is available on campus in Townsville and Cairns. Private rental options, such as share housing with easy access to campus, are affordable and readily available in both cities.

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