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Marine Science Degree - Career Overview

Published On: 26 Jul 2017 | Last Updated On: 26 Jul 2017

It is an undergraduate program which includes marine biology and ecology, marine and coastal management, and oceanography and combines knowledge of marine aquatic life with a solid understanding of the physical environment. Through experimental design and research, you'll learn to appreciate the complicated interactions which will occur in marine ecosystems. This major also includes field work with field trips of two to six days. Teaching methods consist of lectures from leading experts and industry representatives, weekly practical, computer and laboratory classes and tutorials.

Marine science degree programs help students explore a wide variety of topics related to the ocean and marine life, such as ecosystems, marine flora and fauna, and marine biochemistry. Although marine biology research positions are limited, those who complete marine science degree programs have many other job options available in sectors such as conservation and environmental protection, education, science writing, and aquaculture.

Students graduating with a degree in Marine Biology should be able to:

  • Understand the diversity of marine organisms, their evolutionary history, biogeography, interactions with other organisms, and adaptations to their environments.
  • Conduct experiments using contemporary biological research techniques, and use quantitative and/or statistical approaches to analyze the Results and draw appropriate conclusions.
  • Synthesize knowledge of physical and chemical processes of oceans and the biology of organisms to ask questions about natural history and ecology.
  • Have an appreciation for the impact of habitat perturbation on marine organisms, and subsequent ecosystem-level consequences and feedbacks.
  • Have a sense of community responsibility and develop awareness of scientific issues in marine biology within the larger social context.

Why to choose marine science program?

  • If your passion is the sea. This is best program to choose as You’ll learn in classrooms and labs—and you could be out on the open water, studying the behaviour of sperm whales, running your own underwater experiments, tracking the movements of fishes, and assessing the diversity of marine birds.
  • During the first two years, you’ll take general biology courses. While you are in third and fourth years, you’ll explore the ecology, diversity, physiology, and other aspects of marine animals and plants in greater depth.

Career Pathways

Graduates are employed in fisheries and marine conservation agencies at state and federal levels (such as the Department of Parks and Wildlife), consulting firms, resources industry, fishing industry, agencies such as Greenpeace and Reef Check, and in research at CSIRO, the Oceans Institute and universities.

Career opportunities

Marine science bachelor's degree holders have relatively limited employment prospects compared with more highly educated people in the field.

  • Biologist
  • Conservation officer
  • Environmental consultant
  • Environmental management
  • Marine biologist
  • Zoologist
  • University lecture
  • Environmental scientist
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