Subject focus: Science programmes in Australia and New Zealand

 JCUThis subject focus looks at the variety of science degrees available in Australia and New Zealand. There are many different areas of science, usually grouped into physical sciences; life sciences; social sciences; earth and space sciences and mathematical sciences. 

In New Zealand and Australia, the Bachelor of Science offers a much more flexible programme than the equivalent degrees in the UK. The BSc is typically a broad-based qualification which will allow you to study a wide range of science subjects while at the same time working towards one specialising in one chosen area. When you enrol on one of these degrees you’ll select a ‘major’ (the subject you want to specialise and graduate in) but will also have the opportunity to study a number of different subjects during each year of your course. These are known as ‘electives’. This broad approach allows you to effectively construct a degree that is unique to you and your interests, and which is individually tailored to your future career goals.

At postgraduate level, Master of Science programmes are available in many different areas of science. MSc courses can be studied entirely by coursework, but many offer the opportunity to undertake a research component or module. There are also extensive opportunities to undertake Masters by Research and PhD. The quality of scientific research produced by Australian and New Zealand institutions and the facilities provided for postgraduate students are just two of the reasons why postgraduate science has long been one of the areas Study Options receives most enquiries about.

The standard of science research and teaching in Australia and New Zealand compares very favourably with other world universities, you can find out more about the different ranking systems here.  The two countries are also at the forefront of marine and environmental science study internationally, and often science programmes offer you amazing opportunities to access and study the natural environment, using Australia and New Zealand’s incredible natural surroundings as living laboratories.

Contact Study Options for a full list of science degrees available

Bachelor of Science at James Cook University

Students at James Cook University (JCU) enjoy exceptional opportunities to gain practical experiences through field trips, with easy access to the World Heritage regions of the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics rainforests. Facilities at JCU include marine and freshwater field research facilities and field stations, JCU’s own research vessels and state-of-the-art wet/dry laboratories.

Our Bachelor of Science is a broad and flexible degree where you gain a deeper understanding of scientific principles while focusing on a key study area. You can choose from a wide range of study areas to suit your interests and careers goals. These include:

  • Aquaculture Science and Technology
  • Environmental Earth Science
  • Marine Biology
  • Zoology and Ecology

Aquaculture Science and Technology

The Bachelor of Science majoring in Aquaculture Science and Technology will prepare you for a future in one of the world’s fastest growing primary industries. Our strong links with peak aquaculture industries and research providers gives students valuable practical and research experience based on latest developments in the industry. As well as teaching fundamental aquaculture principles, the programme has a strong emphasis on the sustainable aquaculture of tropical species and you will examine such topics as species propagation, stock improvement, feeding and nutrition, and sustainable practices.

Outstanding facilities include JCU’s Marine and Aquaculture Research Facility in Townsville and the Orpheus Island Research Station on the Barrier Reef. The Orpheus Island Research Station, located in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, allows students to work in the field with sponge, reef fish and mollusc culture, while having easy access to temperature controlled rooms, laboratories and lecture theatres.

Graduates can choose from a range of career options, ranging from technical positions in hatcheries and grow-out facilities, to managerial and research roles. Graduates can pursue careers as business managers, policy developers or government administrators in commercial fish farms; public and private hatcheries; aquaculture and aligned support industries (food production, pollution and disease control and specialist equipment); biotechnology companies; fisheries management; environmental protection; and conservation.

This major is available at our Townsville campus only.

Environmental Earth Science

Shaped by many different systems and processes, our natural environments continue to change and evolve. Along with this is our constant demand for the Earth’s natural resources and the need to correctly manage the effects of those demands. Environmental Earth Scientists develop ways to minimize the impacts of humans on the natural environment and to effectively manage the earth’s sediment, soil, oceans, freshwater supplies and atmosphere and you will examine such topics as hydrology, sedimentology and geomorphology. You will learn to measure and record environmental features as well as study, assess and develop methods to control or minimise the harmful effects of human activity on the environment. This may include managing soil and contaminated land, ground water assessments, mine environment management, and waste planning.

This major takes advantage of our strategic position, with access to a varied collection of tropical landscapes (including the Great Barrier Reef), hydrological and climate regimes, and proximal to a range of important industries (such as mining) in which graduates from this programme could seek employment. The course is focused on understanding and dealing with earth surface processes, deposits and landforms, including those in the marine and coastal realm.

Graduates in this programme will work in a diverse range of occupations, including geomorphologists, soil scientists, hydrologists, research scientists, environmental geoscientists with remediation expertise, and marine geoscientists, with opportunities in industry, government departments, consultancies and research organisations.

Marine Biology

JCU is recognised around the world as a leading institution for studies of marine organisms, their biology, evolution and ecology. JCU has earned an international reputation for excellence in both teaching and research and takes a field-oriented, hands-on approach to its teaching endeavours. Our location gives students ready access to a wide variety of tropical marine systems including coral reefs, tropical estuaries, mangrove habitats and seagrass beds. Your studies will address topics such as coral reef ecology, fisheries science, marine conservation biology, and marine ecology and environmental assessment.

Outstanding facilities include our research station on Orpheus Island and numerous research vessels, providing easy access to the Great Barrier Reef’s coral reefs, seagrass beds and mangroves. Research aquarium and well-equipped laboratories support teaching at an advanced level. Students are exposed to real world projects and industry practice through JCU’s involvement with The Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, which plays a leading role in multinational research programmes and is based on JCU’s Townsville campus.

Marine Biology graduates work around the world in private and public agencies, or as private consultants in fields such as conservation policy and environmental management, impact assessment, tourism and education. Graduates with higher qualifications and research experience can pursue research careers in universities or research organisations.

This major is available at our Townsville campus only.

Zoology and Ecology

The tropical world is our classroom and Australia’s regions of the highest biodiversity and environmental complexity are at our doorstep. Easy access to rainforest, coral reefs, savannah woodlands and extensive estuarine systems provides a diversity of local habitats and environments to explore. You will gain an in-depth understanding of the evolution, behaviour and ecology of animals and plants, including how ecosystems function and how animals and plants respond to environmental changes.

You will have numerous opportunities for fieldwork starting from your first semester and finishing with an opportunity to spend 2 weeks doing research in the tropical forests of Borneo. Your studies will include topics such as adapting to environmental challenges, evolutionary biology, tropical flora and fauna of Australia, vertebrate and invertebrate fauna, animal behaviour, plant and animal evolution, and the relationship between animals, plants, humans and the environment.

Zoologists and Ecologists are sought after across a range of careers including wildlife education, environmental consulting, conservation consulting, quarantine and biosecurity, media presenters, ecological restoration and national park management.

This major is available at either Townsville or Cairns campus.

Aquaculture Science and Technology

This course focuses on tropical aquaculture of fish, shellfish and pearls. Research programmes in nutrition and diet, reproduction, larval development and culture, growth regulation, and husbandry for fish, molluscs and crustaceans present a range of study options. This major provides training in the principles and techniques in Aquaculture Science and Technology, as well as hands-on experience. Students devise a study programme to meet their professional needs in consultation with relevant staff. Research components may be included under special circumstances.

This major is available at our Townsville campus only.

Programme Details

Duration: 3 years

Start Date: Semester 1 (February) or semester 2 (July)

Fees (2018 indicative fee): AU$34,500 per year 

Find out more about James Cook University

Bachelor of Science - Global Challenges at Macquarie University

Why study science at Macquarie University?

At Macquarie University, we are renowned for our expertise in science across fields such as astronomy, biology, earth and marine science, geography and physics. Our highly regarded science graduates benefit from our interdisciplinary approach and forge successful, productive careers across a broad range of scientific disciplines.

Our science staff are recognised for their teaching and many are known internationally for their research, which ensures you are taught the most up-to-date scientific knowledge.

Bachelor of Science-Global Challenges

Global society faces a range of challenges, from growing energy demands to new and emerging diseases, the provision of adequate food and water, transnational crime, data security, and environmental degradation. Meeting those challenges requires both a deep scientific understanding and the ability to take that knowledge and apply it to real-world settings.

This course combines a major area of scientific study with units that focus on the challenges and opportunities facing global society. Project-based units allow you to work in multidisciplinary teams to develop innovative, practical solutions to real problems.

Key features

  • You’ll discuss, analyse and describe the range of challenges facing global society in the 21st century, and learn how science can help meet these challenges.
  • Working in multidisciplinary teams, you’ll apply the knowledge you gain through in-depth discipline study to identify and implement solutions to a range of real-world challenges.
  • At Macquarie, we believe in learning beyond the lecture hall. Our emphasis on practical, project-based work will equip you with the skills and knowledge you need for a wide range of roles across a range of fields.
  • You’ll be taught by internationally respected researchers with up-to-date scientific knowledge.

Majors offered

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Biology
  • Business Information Systems
  • Chemical and Biomolecular Sciences
  • Climate Science
  • Cognitive and Brain Sciences
  • Computing
  • Cyber Security
  • Data Science
  • Decision Science
  • Development Studies and Culture Change
  • Electronics
  • Environmental
  • Earth Science
  • Environmental Management
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • Geophysics
  • Human Biology
  • Human Geography
  • Information Systems and Business Analysis
  • Mathematics
  • Palaeobiology
  • Physics
  • Psychological Science
  • Software Technology
  • Spatial Information Science
  • Statistics
  • Web Design and Development

The Bachelor of Science-Global Challenges is a very flexible degree. You have the choice of choosing one major in Science, or two. You will also be able to study non-science units that feed your curiosity of the world.

Some of the majors are very prescribed and you have less flexibility, whereas other majors have much more choice.

The following is an example of what you could study if you chose to major in Climate Science which allows greater flexibility:

Climate science is the comprehensive study of the Earth’s climate system, including the atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere (frozen water), land surface and biosphere. With a focus on developing research and practical skills, you’ll examine issues such as climate change, the El Niño–Southern Oscillation, drought, flood, tropical cyclones, and interactions with human society. 

First year

  • Introductory Statistics (choice of 6 subjects) *
  • Geographies of Global Change (choice 6 subjects) *
  • Biophysical Environments **
  • The Planet Earth **
  • 4 Free Choice level 1 subjects *

Second Year

  • Global Challenges and STEM *
  • Climate Change **
  • The Atmospheric Environment **
  • 5 Free Choice level 2/3 subjects *

Third Year

  • Global Challenges project *
  • Integrated Climate Science **
  • Marine Climate, Weather and Coastal Oceanography **
  • Urban Climate and Air Quality **
  • Environmental Management **
  • 2 Free Choice level 2/3 subjects *

The following is an example of what you could study if you chose to major in Data Science which has less free choice:

Data scientists work on data sets to extract knowledge and identify patterns in order to predict trends. They work at the boundaries of information technology, mathematics and statistics, employing techniques and blending processes from each of these disciplines. Completion of this major will equip you with the strong computing, numeracy and analytical skills needed to prepare you for a successful career in the burgeoning world of data science.

First Year

  • Discrete Mathematics (choice of 6 subjects) *
  • Introduction to Global Politics (choice of 6 subjects)*
  • Introduction to Computer Programming **
  • Fundamentals of Computer Science **
  • Introduction to Database Design and Management **
  • Statistical Data Analysis **
  • 2 Free choice level 1 subjects *

Second Year

  • Global Challenges and STEM *
  • Algorithms and Data Structures **
  • Data Science **
  • Database Systems **
  • Applied Statistics (choice of 2)**
  • 3 Free choice level 2/3 subjects *

Third Year

  • Global Challenges Project *
  • Big Data **
  • Computing Industry Project **
  • Graphics, Multivariate Methods and Data Mining **
  • Programming Languages (Choice of 3 subjects) **
  • 2 Free choice level 2/3 subjects*

*  Required subject for Bachelor of Science - Global Challenges

** Required subject for major

Programme details

Course duration: 3 years full time

Start date: Semester 1 (February) and Semester 2 (July)

Tuition fees (2018 indicative): AU$33,816 per year

Additional Entry Requirements for specified majors

  • Business Information Systems: HSC Mathematics General 2 (or equivalent)
  • Decision Science: HSC Mathematics
  • Psychological Science: if the student hasn’t achieved the entry requirement for a Bachelor of Science-Psychology, they may enter the major Psychological Science after completing 12 credit points with a GPA 2.0.

Find out more about Macquarie University

Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology or Ecotourism at the University of Adelaide

The Bachelor of Science at the University of Adelaide is a 3 year degree programme within which students may choose from a wide range of majors or specialisations, including the Bachelor of Science (Marine Biology) and the Bachelor of Science (Ecotourism).

Bachelor of Science (Marine Biology)

The Bachelor of Science (Marine Biology) is taught by professional marine biologists on the University staff as well as those working at the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) and the South Australian Museum. It prepares students for careers in temperate marine biology, in which career opportunities are the most diverse and numerous. The programme combines current thinking and practical measurement of the processes which maintain and disrupt ecosystem function and sustainability.

There is a strong emphasis on providing students with field experience. The world's longest east-west coastline runs through South Australia and this coast is a global 'hot spot' for marine biodiversity. Our students get to swim with some of the planets most awesome creatures: seadragons, spawning aggregations of giant-cuttlefish, singing whales and visits from playful seals and dolphins.

The University has boating facilities, field stations (including at Yorke Peninsula and Kangaroo Island), as well as a diving club.

Future careers might involve collecting data and resources by SCUBA and boats; managing fisheries and coastal planning; monitoring climate change and water quality; policy formation and creating marine protected areas.

Bachelor of Science (Ecotourism)

The Bachelor of Science (Ecotourism) is a new programme which aims to produce science professionals who can meet the increased global demand for ecotourism through interpreting a landscape and its inhabitants and then communicating their understanding to non-specialists. Ecotourism is an exciting and emerging area with employment opportunities nationally and internationally in local and national government, major tourism bodies, the private sector, as well as opportunities to establish your own consultancy or tourism business.

Graduates of this programme will have the skills to develop content, tours and interpretive material that describe the natural environment and support visitor enjoyment. The scientific expertise of graduates will allow them to recognise and evaluate the potential of future geo and nature-based tourism areas and advise government, industry and the broader community.

The programme offers majors in geo-tourism and nature-based tourism; experience of real world research projects on active ecotourism sites and fieldtrips to develop practical skills.

Future careers might involve developing community-based tourism programmes in rural communities; assessing the potential and demand for ecotourism products and sites; working as an Ecotourism Consultant to identify investors and develop ecotourism guidelines and agreements for adventure and wildlife viewing tours; advising industry and communities to design and construct nature trails; providing ecotourism and environmental education and interpretation.

Programme details

Duration: 3 years full time

Start dates: Semester 1 (February) and Semester 2 (July)

Tuition fees (2018 indicative): Approx AU$35,000 per year.

Find out more about the University of Adelaide

Bachelor of Science (Environmental Sciences) at the University of Otago

The Bachelor of Science (BSc) is a three-year undergraduate degree which enables each student to develop his or her own interests in a science subject (science major) and related subjects. Students have the flexibility to combine their major subject with other science subjects, as well as subjects from other disciplines across the University.

The flexibility and diversity of undergraduate qualifications on offer at the University of Otago lead to diverse job options. The transferrable skills learned in sciences - communication, teamwork, initiative, problem solving, persistence and curiosity - are sought after worldwide. Our graduates hold senior positions in all spheres of life and work.

There are 29 different majors to choose from at the University of Otago, and many more minors across a range of different subject areas.

In the area of environmental sciences, University of Otago offer both majors and minors in Ecology, Botany and Zoology.


Ecology is the study of animals and plants in relation to their environment. Revived interest in environmental and ecological issues and the public and governmental concern and debate over such matters has created a need for scientifically trained ecologists. An ecology degree produces graduates with a background which will enable them to make rational judgements on ecological matters, either as professional ecologists or as educated members of the public.

Courses in ecology are taught by staff from the Departments of Botany, Geography and Zoology. The Otago region encompasses a wide range of habitats, from marine to alpine and from semi-arid to perhumid. Many of the papers offered by the various departments have fieldwork components which will give students an insight into these habitats.


Botany covers all aspects of the life of plants. It therefore includes their structure and development, physiology and biochemistry, health and disease, relationships with other organisms and the environment (ecology), as well as the traditional aspects of plant identification and classification.

The main emphasis at Otago is on the general biology, ecology and physiology of higher plants and marine algae, although other groups (conifers, ferns, mosses and fungi) are also included in the papers offered.


Zoology is the study of the biology of animals. This simple definition, however, hides the complexity of the subject. There are many levels at which the biology of animals can be studied: molecular, physiological, structural, evolutionary, behavioural and ecological. Our courses emphasise the diversity and conservation of New Zealand's unique animals. 

A degree in zoology will give you an appreciation of how animals function at all levels, whether they live on land, in fresh water, in the sea, or as parasites.

Programme details

Duration: 3 years full time

Start dates: Semester 1 (February) or Semester 2 (July)

Tuition fees (2018): AU$28,880 per year

Find out more about the University of Otago

Master of Science at Curtin University

Curtin University is involved in a variety of high-impact research initiatives, including the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) and the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). The SKA is a mega-science and engineering collaboration that will explore the universe through the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope. All of Curtin’s research initiatives aim to solve real-world challenges.

Master of Science

A Master of Science course is designed for students with an undergraduate degree in science, who wish to broaden and enhance their skills and knowledge in science and technology. It is particularly useful for graduates in one science discipline wishing to broaden their expertise in a related scientific field, or for those aiming to work in a multidisciplinary science environment.

This degree recognises the multidisciplinary nature of many current areas of science and technology, and the importance of having a broad skill set to apply to major problems, such as the impact of climate change, provision of clean energy and water, and the management of dwindling resources, facing society at present.

Curtin offers several specialisations under the Master of Science:

Master of Science (Dryland Agricultural Systems)

The Master of Science in Dryland Agricultural Systems provides a comprehensive understanding of dryland (rain-fed) agricultural systems. Your examination of farming systems in southern and south-western Australia will equip you with knowledge applicable to Mediterranean environments around the world, and you will also learn about the emerging technologies for precise management of crops and livestock, and the role of these technologies in ensuring sustainable and environmentally sound production systems into the future.

The programme covers science and technology for crop, pasture and livestock production (including the roles of genetics and management in achieving optimum production against environmental constraints), and their integration into viable farming systems. A research project in an area relevant to dryland systems is a significant component of the programme.

Master of Science (Sustainable Aquaculture)

The Master of Science in Sustainable Aquaculture allows you to build on your knowledge of aquaculture and develop your skills using new advances in the area of sustainable aquaculture. It is an internationally accepted programme based on environmentally sustainable aquaculture technologies which draws the strength from its research proactive staff.

You will cover many areas of sustainable aquaculture, including aquatic environmental management, aquaculture nutrition, shellfish, finfish, aquatic ecosystems, seafood technology and climate change. A research project in an area relevant to sustainable aquaculture is a significant component of the programme.

Master of Science (Sustainability Management)

Sustainable development is about forms of progress that bring quality of life for all, without endangering the natural resource base on which all of life ultimately depends.

The course is focused on industrial ecology principles and tools and provides a holistic perspective on sustainability management from product design and manufacturing to environmental impact assessment, accountability reporting and corporate stewardship.

You’ll understand sustainability issues from a global perspective, find out how critical sustainability practices are to future generations, and develop the skills necessary to help achieve a more energy and resource efficient world.

You’ll graduate from this course with a broad range of adaptable skills, including:

  • lifecycle management
  • environmental accounting
  • eco-efficiency assessment
  • corporate stewardship
  • sustainability policy development
  • earth systems engineering and ethics.

Master of Science (Water Quality and Supply Systems)

This practical, industry-focused course can help you develop the skills and knowledge you will need to improve water quality and supply in Australian and international communities.

Access to safe water is critical for economic growth, agriculture and food production, sustainable development and poverty reduction. However, many communities and governments now struggle to supply safe water and effectively manage their water resources.

If you are a recent graduate looking to launch your water quality career, or you are a practising water scientist or engineer, this course can position you as an expert in water chemistry. It is especially relevant to those who have studied chemistry, hydrology, water-related engineering courses, agriculture, environmental science or other related fields.

There is a growing need for water scientists who understand the chemistry of water. In this course, you can build advanced chemistry skills and specialised knowledge in water biology, microbiology, ecotoxicology, engineering, hydrogeology and environmental geoscience. Your studies will focus on water treatment, sanitation, water recycling and the sustainable supply of safe drinking water.

Research Centres

Curtin University is ranked number one in Australia for Life and Earth Sciences according to the CWTS Leiden Ranking 2015, based on the proportion of research publications co-authored with industrial partners*.

We are also ranked third in Australia for the proportion of research publications co-authored by academics from two or more countries.

*In these rankings, the performance of the university does not depend on the size of its publication output.

Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre

The Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre is Australia’s primary vehicle for understanding the role of the Antarctic region in the global climate system, and the implications for marine ecosystems.

Centre for Microscopy, Characterisation and Analysis

This centre enables research excellence by providing world class microscopy and microanalysis facilities and expertise to publicly funded researchers and industry.

Australian Seafood Cooperative Research Centre

The Australian Seafood Cooperative Research Centre is Australia’s first entity to stimulate and provide comprehensive seafood-related research, development and industry leadership on a national basis.

Australian Sustainable Development Institute (ASDI)

The Australian Sustainable Development Institute (ASDI) was established for the purpose of advancing the economic and social welfare of the state, the nation and the world without compromising the quality of the environment for current and future generations.

Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics

The Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO) unites the world’s top astronomers in a focused collaborative environment and is changing the way we understand the Cosmos.

Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment (CRC CARE)

The Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment (CRC CARE) devises new ways of dealing with and preventing contamination of soil, water and air.

International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR)

The International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) is a collaborative centre based in Perth, achieving research excellence in astronomical science and engineering.

Programme details

Entry requirements and fees vary depending specialization of the Master. Contact Study Options for more the latest information.

Find out more about Curtin University

Master of Agriculture and Master of Environmental Science at UWA

World-class research, excellent teaching and an inspiring student experience are the hallmarks of studying science at UWA. As a Faculty of Science student you will be part of a community of researchers and fellow students contributing to science that makes a difference. You will enjoy UWA’s affiliations with industry, the professions, government and the community. A UWA Science degree opens the door to a range of careers. The Faculty focuses on bringing about meaningful change for the world and humanity in six key areas:

  • Feeding the world
  • Preventing, diagnosing and treating disease
  • Furthering human knowledge and enhancing society
  • Harnessing resources and energy for a sustainable future
  • Restoring and maintaining balance in our natural environment
  • Optimising physical and mental performance

Whatever goals you may have, a postgraduate degree from UWA creates a world of possibilities. There is a wide range of postgraduate degrees and research opportunities available in the Faculty of Science.

Master of Agricultural Science

Meeting the global demand for food, fibre and fuel is a key challenge for agriculture in the twenty-first century.

By 2050 the world will have to feed and clothe 32 per cent more people than we do now, without irreparable damage to ecosystems and landscapes. The rapidly growing population, changing climate, and limited land and fresh water resources will impact on the ability of agriculture to meet the demand. Science-based solutions are required to achieve these world-wide goals, and for industry and community development. The focus of research within the Agricultural Science discipline is on the multidisciplinary nature of the challenges facing the global community.

Agricultural Science provides the research, technology and information for the sustainable, profitable and ethical development of the agricultural industry. Studies in agriculture include soil science, genetics, plant breeding, animal breeding, cropping and pasture systems, crop production, soil-plant interactions, plant and human nutrition, integrated pest management, livestock production, animal reproduction, scientific modelling, agricultural economics and agribusiness, data management and science communication (peer-to-peer) and other topics. UWA is well equipped for teaching and research in agricultural science, with a field station at Shenton Park and the University research farm near Pingelly – UWA Farm Ridgefield.


  • Agricultural economics - explores optimisation of resource management using applied economics within certain constraints in selected agricultural sectors.
  • Crop and Livestock Farming Systems - explores the role of research and development in productivity increases of selected crops/agricultural systems.
  • Genetics and Breeding - covers how genetics and molecular genetics are applied to modern breeding and conservation of genetic resources.
  • Soil Science and Plant Nutrition - provides an understanding of the processes that affect soil, as well as appropriate soil management practices.

UWA has a world-class reputation for research in Agricultural Sciences ranking 1st in Australia and 14th in the world (Academic Ranking of World Universities 2017). The science faculty is supported by the accomplished research and outreach activities of the Institute of Agriculture, the Centre for Plant Genetics and Breeding, the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy and Biology, and the Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Career Pathways

This course prepares you with the knowledge and skills you need for a future in the rapidly evolving field of agricultural science. Graduates are employed as consultants, managers or researchers by government agencies, universities, consulting firms, food industries, fertiliser companies, community groups, local/regional governments and international agencies. Career Harvest is a website launched by the Australian Council of Deans of Agriculture to assist with finding professional careers in agriculture.

Career Opportunities

  • Agricultural consultant
  • Agricultural scientist
  • Biotechnologist
  • Botanist
  • Economist
  • Environmental consultant
  • Environmental manager
  • Geneticist
  • Land economist

Master of Environmental Science

The challenge and scale of pressures facing our environment requires interdisciplinary and innovative solutions to support sustainable development.

Environmental issues are many and varied and their successful management requires a new generation of environmental professionals. An interdisciplinary approach to problem solving is essential in this field, requiring the integration of knowledge from biological and earth sciences with training in environmental planning and management. UWA has a long history of multidisciplinary research into a wide diversity of environmental systems, with unique experience in identifying long-term economic and planning-based solutions built on rigorous understanding of environmental processes.

The Master of Environmental Science will prepare you to deal with issues such as carbon trading, greenhouse gas emissions, water resource management, competition for land use, salinity, land degradation and rehabilitation, flora and fauna, habitat destruction, deforestation, energy and mineral depletion, air and water pollution, soil erosion, and groundwater contamination.

UWA staff in Environmental Science have strong links with industry and government organisations with a focus on developing and trialling solutions to issues of pollution and environmental degradation. WA is ranked 1st in Australia for Environmental Sciences and Engineering, and 16th in the world (ARWU 2017).


  • Environmental Management  - teaches skills in relevant procedures and methods.
  • Geographic Information Science and Environmental Management - teaches skills in the application of GIS to the management of natural and built environments.
  • Land and Water Management - dictates how physical, chemical, biological processes within the environment are affected by human uses.
  • Marine and Coastal Management - develops practical skills for the management of marine and coastal environments

Career Pathways

Environmental Science graduates may find employment in a range of areas including Commonwealth and state departments and agencies responsible for the environment, water, conservation, agriculture and food, and primary industries. Other employers are private sector firms working in the resources sector and non-government organisations. One of the fastest growing areas of demand within the environmental sciences is for professionals with expertise in Geographical Information Science and how this can be applied to environmental management.

Career Opportunities 

  • Botanist
  • Environmental consultant
  • Environmental scientist
  • Geographer
  • Land economist
  • Marine biologist

Programme details

Admission Requirements: To be considered for admission to this course an applicant must have a relevant bachelor's degree, that aligns with one of the specialisations of this course, or an equivalent qualification, as recognised by UWA.

Duration: 1.5 - 2 years

Intakes: February, July

Mode of study: Coursework or coursework and dissertation

Tuition Fees (2017 indicative): Master of Agricultural Science AU$38,000 per year, Master of Environmental Science AU$37,000 per year.

Find out more about the University of Western Australia

Master of Marine Conservation at Victoria University of Wellington

Why study science at Victoria University of Wellington?

Victoria’s postgraduate science programmes bring staff and students together as collaborators to investigate the changing nature of the Earth through time and the processes that constantly reshape it. We examine how the planet works and how people interact with, and modify, the planet and its resources, and we are one of New Zealand’s leading voices in the race to understand and address climate change.

We believe that to become experts in their field, students must consider a number of disciplinary takes on a subject. Our programmes cover the spectrum of earth and environment studies; from fundamental sciences to present processes and issues and the impact that these processes have on people. Our field activities also take students across the globe, visiting the Pacific, Latin America, Antarctica and beyond.

Master of Marine Conservation

Victoria’s Master of Marine Conservation (MMarCon) is the only taught Master’s degree in marine conservation in New Zealand. The programme educates students in marine conservation issues and practice through course and field work from New Zealand, Australia and the Asia–Pacific region. Students are prepared for a career in a range of marine conservation areas worldwide, including the conservation and management of marine organisms and ecosystems.

Much of the teaching takes place at the Victoria University Coastal Ecology Laboratory—an active research facility in Island Bay, just 8 kilometres from the main campus, and situated right on the doorstep of 76 kilometres of accessible coastline along Wellington harbour with nearby access to two marine reserves. The lab provides 816 square metres of state-of-the-art research space, including two wet lab facilities, and access to two marine research vessels.

Programme details

The Master of Marine Conservation consists of three core courses and three courses chosen from a range of marine biology, biodiversity, ecology, ecological restoration and conservation courses. You can also choose courses that specialise in environmental management and conservation issues relating to New Zealand Māori and Pacific Island communities.

Two of your core courses, BIOL 424 New Zealand Conservation Practice and BIOL 529 Tropical Marine Conservation Practice, are field courses. You'll visit several world-renowned marine conservation sites in New Zealand and overseas.

You'll also examine marine conservation issues of cultural and socioeconomic significance to Māori and Pacific peoples, such as exploitation of coastal regions and ecotourism, seabed and foreshore rights, and community-led conservation strategies.

Field courses

Tropical Marine Conservation Practice

An examination of conservation issues and practices in tropical coastal environments, with particular emphasis on coral reefs, mangroves and seagrasses. This two-week field course provides practical experience of research development, identification, monitoring and managing impacts on tropical marine ecosystems.

New Zealand Conservation Practice

A practical, field-based course in New Zealand's fauna and flora and their conservation. Students visit a range of important field sites to learn about major conservation problems affecting the New Zealand biota. A case study approach is used to examine the conservation practices of New Zealand conservation scientists and managers.

Fee and Entry Requirements

Start Date: Trimester 1 (January) and Trimester 2 (July)

Duration: 1 year (12 months)

Tuition Fees (2018): NZ$51,850 full programme (excludes field trips)

Victoria University of Wellington

Master of Meteorology at Victoria University of Wellington

Why study science at Victoria University of Wellington?

Victoria’s postgraduate science programmes bring staff and students together as collaborators to investigate the changing nature of the Earth through time and the processes that constantly reshape it. We examine how the planet works and how people interact with, and modify, the planet and its resources, and we are one of New Zealand’s leading voices in the race to understand and address climate change.

We believe that to become experts in their field, students must consider a number of disciplinary takes on a subject. Our programmes cover the spectrum of earth and environment studies; from fundamental sciences to present processes and issues and the impact that these processes have on people. Our field activities also take students across the globe, visiting the Pacific, Latin America, Antarctica and beyond.

Master of Meteorology

Be part of New Zealand’s first Master’s degree in Meteorology to become an expert in studying and predicting weather and climate, and the relationship these patterns have with other environmental processes and humanity. Completed over one year (full-time), the Master of Meteorology (MMet) includes courses on mid-latitude weather systems, radiation, thermodynamics, cloud physics, satellites, climatology and numerical weather prediction, as well as a project and professional training.

The programme is recognised throughout the world and complies with the World Meteorological Organization standards.

Practical experience

The MMet is taught in partnership with New Zealand’s official weather forecaster, MetService, which provides students in the programme with practical work experience. This practical work is formally recognised as part of the qualification, preparing graduates for a role in industry. MetService is a global leader in providing innovative weather information services and is located only 10 minutes’ walk from Victoria’s Kelburn campus.

Fee and Entry Requirements

Start Date: Trimester 1 (February) and Trimester 2 (July)

Duration: 1 year (12 months)

Tuition Fees (2018): NZ$51,850 full programme

Victoria University of Wellington

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