Marine studies at the University of Sydney encompass marine biology, marine geoscience and marine science.
In undertaking a marine biology oriented major, you will scientifically study all subjects concerned with living organisms in the ocean, their nature, distribution and interaction with other organisms and their environment. The School of Biological Sciences offers a number of units in Marine Biology, ecophysiology and ecology which are hands-on and include a practical component taught in the field.
To prepare for a marine biology major, it is recommended that you complete junior units in biology, chemistry and geosciences. It is a good idea to plan ahead and have an idea of which senior units you need to complete, so that you can plan your junior and intermediate prerequisite units accordingly.
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 the major biological systems of the oceans and coasts and the marine geology of ocean basins and continental margins.
To complete your marine biology major the minimum requirement is 24 credit points of senior biology units. You can choose from units of study that cover a wide range of biological and coastal topics, all taught by experts in their respective field.
As a marine biological scientist, you can observe, measure and experiment in marine environments and habitats. You might find work in the mitigation of ecological effects of human activities on the marine environment, marine conservation or the discovery of new medical compounds from marine plants and animals. 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.
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 Science in Environmental Science, where you have the opportunity to choose from a range of postgraduate level units.
Related subject areas
Geology and Geophysics