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In response to COVID-19, the University of Sydney has reviewed the availability of courses to be delivered remotely for students commencing their studies in Semester 1, 2021.

This course component will be available to study remotely for students commencing in Semester 1, 2021. Please note that some units of study that are not essential to completing the course component may not be available to be studied remotely.

Note: The University intends to offer as many units of study as possible in a remote as well as face-to-face learning method of delivery in Semester 1, 2021 and subject to ongoing border closures and public health orders impacting attendance on campus, in Semester 2, 2021. However, some units of study and courses require students to study in-person at the relevant University of Sydney campus/es and host locations for placements and will not be available remotely.

About this major

Marine studies at the University of Sydney encompass marine biology, marine geoscience and marine science.

In undertaking a marine oriented major, you will scientifically study the coast, oceans and seas in all their aspects. Marine studies draw together every aspect of science applicable to the understanding and management of the whole maritime environment. These areas include oceanography, biology, ecology, geography and geology and aspects of physics, chemistry and mathematics.

For more information on the program structure and content, view the Science Undergraduate Handbook.

About this major

Recommended: To complete a Marine Science major the minimum requirement is 24 credit points of units listed under Table 1 for Marine Science, including BIOL3012/3913 and at least 6 credit points of GEOS3XXX. To prepare for this, it is recommended that a student complete 12 credit points of Junior Biology and 12 credit points of Junior Geosciences.

You will take intermediate units of study in biology and geoscience, which are prerequisites for your senior units of study. Your studies will look at the marine geology of ocean basins and continental margins, and the major biological systems of the oceans and coasts.

For a major in Marine Science, the minimum requirement is 24 credit points from senior units listed in this subject area, including  BIOL3012/3913 and at least 6 credit points of GEOS3XXX.

Further Study for major

Further marine studies are available through an honours program and subsequent higher research programs, or through postgraduate coursework programs. All are very highly regarded by industry.

If you are eligible, a research honours year is the perfect way to find out whether you have the aptitude or ability for research in a specialised area of marine science and allows you to focus on the intellectual and practical challenges of a research project by conducting original research under the supervision of a member of our academic staff, culminating in the presentation of a thesis. The Faculty of Science offers marine science honours projects in a wide range of research areas usually from a geosciences perspective or a biological sciences perspective.

If you do very well in your honours year, you may wish to undertake a higher degree by research, through an MSc or PhD. 

For a more structured approach to further study, there are postgraduate coursework programs in marine science related areas, such as the Master of Marine Science and Management, and the Master of Environmental Science, where you have the opportunity to choose from a range of postgraduate level units.



Graduate opportunities

As a marine scientist, you can observe, measure and experiment in marine environments and habitats. You might find work constructing theories to explain what you see and measure in marine environments. You may work in laboratories, or in the field - gathering and interpreting data and material which may be collected in a variety of ways, from the physical collection of data and specimens to the utilisation of satellite data-gathering technology.

Career pathways
Courses that offer this major

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Units of study in this major

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The course information on this website applies only to future students. Current students should refer to faculty handbooks for current or past course information.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.