• Clinical practices building. Photo credit: James Cook UniversityClinical practices building. Photo credit: James Cook University
  • 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
  • The Student Centre at JCU. Photo credit: James Cook UniversityThe Student Centre at JCU. 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 Australia's leading university for the tropics and is ranked in the top 2% of universities worldwide (ARWU 2016) and the top 50 universities under 50 years old (THE World University Rankings, 2016)

It is internationally recognised for excellence in both teaching and research, a supportive study environment and a practical approach to learning.

JCU is a vibrant university with three campuses situated in the tropical cities of Townsville and Cairns in Northern Queensland and in Singapore. It has 22,000 students, including 7,000 international students from over 100 countries.

JCU offers a comprehensive range of exciting, 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, 2016
  • JCU's tropical campuses are near the Great Barrier Reef and the rainforests of Tropical Australia
  • JCU is ranked in the top 50 universities under 50 years old by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, 2016
  • JCU is consistently recognised for high levels of graduate success
  • JCU is ranked first in the world for Marine and Freshwater Ecology and second in the world for Biodiversity Conservation (2017 CWUR).

Popular study areas

JCU works closely with employers and industry to ensure that its degrees are accredited by leading professional organisations. Courses are available in 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

JCU has consistently been awarded five stars for job success from the Good Universities Guide in 2016. JCU students gain hands-on experience through internships, placements and projects with industry, business and government organisations.

The University's tropical location also offers students unparalleled opportunities to experience unique field work, research stations and state-of-the-art facilities.

A research intensive university

A world leader in research and teaching in marine sciences, biodiversity, climate change, tropical ecology and environments, public health and tropical medicine, JCU is ranked first in the world for Marine & Freshwater Biology and second in the world for Biodiversity Conservation (CWUR, 2017). The University is also ranked above world standard for Neuroscience, Public Health, Immunology and Veterinary Sciences (ERA, 2015).

A member of Innovative Research Universities Australia, the University conducts research of national and international significants using its network of research stations, centres and institutes including facilities in two UNESCO World Heritage sites; the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics of Queensland.

JCU research facilities include:

  • Cyclone Testing Station
  • Daintree Rainforest Observatory
  • Fletcherview Research Station
  • Marine & Aquaculture Research Facilities Unit (MARFU)
  • Orpheus Island Research Station

JCU research centres include:

  • 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 the university. The friendly campuses, accessible teaching staff and strong support services (including student mentor and study skills programmes) all ensure students get the personal attention they need in order to achieve. The International Student Support team provides a range of services, from social activities to referral services and academic and personal support. Programmes strive to ensure a smooth start to university life, support throughout a student's time at JCU and a returning home programme.

Student accommodation

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

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