Make lifelong connections and succeed in your career while you live and study in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Ranked in the top 300 universities worldwide (Academic Ranking of World Universities 2019), James Cook University (JCU) provides world-class facilities, career-focused courses, and research excellence from its campuses in the Northern Queensland cities of Cairns and Townsville.
JCU students participate in hands-on learning in unique and spectacular locations including the Australian Outback and the UNESCO World Heritage-listed rainforests of the Wet Tropics and the Great Barrier Reef.
Named first in the world for global partnerships for sustainable development (Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings 2020), you will explore, discover and grow through research and teaching that makes a real difference to people and societies, the natural world and built environment, and leave university prepared for the competitive demands of the global workforce.
JCU is a member of the Innovative Research Universities group and is a research-intensive university with over 21,500 students originating from more than 108 countries.
Degree programmes designed to help you succeed in the global workforce
Our undergraduate, postgraduate coursework and research degree programmes are designed to help you succeed in the global workforce and will prepare you for a career with adventure, skills and impact.
Awarded five stars for graduate employment (Good Universities Guide 2020), JCU graduates apply technical competencies, while thinking differently about challenges facing the world.
Many of our degree programmes include field work, lab time, clinical and professional placements, work integrated learning and internships, so you can gain industry experience and grow your professional network while you study.
JCU works closely with employers and industry to ensure that degree programmes are relevant and meet the demands of the global workforce. Programmes are available in many areas including:
- Marine biology
- Environmental management
- Environmental earth science
- Tropical biology and conservation
- Data science
- Public health
- Veterinary science
- Psychology and social work
- Business and IT
- Design and creative arts
A research-intensive university
Recognised as a world leader in research and teaching, JCU is rated first in the world for marine and freshwater biology and second for biodiversity conservation (Centre for World University Rankings 2017). Excellence in Research for Australia (2018) rates JCU as above world standard in 38 areas of research, and well above world standard in eight areas including environmental science and management; ecology; geology; ecological applications; plant biology; medical microbiology; fisheries science; organic chemistry.
A member of Innovative Research Universities Australia, JCU conducts internationally-significant research using its network of research stations, centres and institutes including:
- Cyclone Testing Station
- Daintree Rainforest Observatory
- Fletcherview Research Station
- Marine and Aquaculture Research Facility
- Orpheus Island Research Station
- Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
- Australian Research Council Hub for Advanced Prawn Breeding
- Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine
- Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage
- Centre for Disaster Studies
- Centre for Macroalgal Resources and Biotechnology
- Centre for Molecular Therapeutics
- Centre for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Sciences
- Economic Geology Research Centre
- Centre for Sustainable Tropical Fisheries and Aquaculture
Experience the best of student life
JCU strives to create an educational environment where students are supported to take full advantage of their experience in Australia and at JCU. Accessible teaching staff, spacious, friendly campuses and support services (including student mentor and study skills programmes) ensure students get the personal attention they need to succeed. Our experienced and dedicated International Student Support Team assist international students prior to arrival, and help with their orientation and transition to student life at JCU.
Enjoy the affordable tropical North Queensland lifestyle
The North and Far North regions of Queensland are unlike anywhere else in the world, and feature an extraordinary combination of reefs, rainforests, significant coastal, mountain and outback ecosystems, and Indigenous centres.
North Queensland offers a unique combination of stunning climate, pristine environment, multicultural population, and a significantly lower cost of living than major Australian cities.
Purpose-built student accommodation is available on campus in Cairns and Townsville. Private rental options, such as share housing with easy access to campus, are affordable and readily available in both cities.
With more than 300 days of sunshine each year, temperatures ranging between 20 – 35 degrees Celsius all year and flat terrain, many students cycle or walk as their key form of transport. You can also access reduced public transport rates for bus and ferry services as a JCU student.
JCU recognises and rewards academic excellence through its International Excellence Scholarship programme. These offer students a significant tuition fee reduction for the duration of approved degrees, providing they maintain a strong GPA. There is no need to apply; scholarship eligibility is assessed at the same time as your application to study at JCU.
JCU at a glance
- Top 300 universities in the world (Academic Ranking of World Universities 2019)
- Stunning tropical campuses near the Great Barrier Reef and the World-Heritage-Listed rainforests
- Five stars for student support (The Good Universities Guide 2020)
- World's top 40 modern universities (Times Higher Education Best Young Universities in the World Ranking 2019)
- Number one in the world for global partnerships for sustainable development (Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2020)
- Number one in the world for marine and freshwater biology and number two in the world for biodiversity conservation (Centre for World University Rankings 2017)
- International Excellence Scholarships available to high-achieving international applicants offering significant fee reductions