To be read in conjunction with the program of study requirements for the



The program of study aims to provide students with a broad-based foundation in science together with the ability to acquire extensive subject knowledge in the discipline of aquatic biology. It also aims to develop a range of transferable research, analytical and communication skills including the capacity to:

  • understand and apply relevant scientific principles in the area of aquatic biology
  • employ scientific methodologies such as experimentation and data analysis in the area of aquatic biology
  • interpret and present scientific information regarding aquatic biology, including communicating effectively with a variety of audiences in written and spoken forms
  • critically analyse, interpret and evaluate information relevant to aquatic biology
  • appreciate the multidisciplinary nature of the study of aquatic biology and engage positively with people and ideas beyond their own discipline
  • appreciate the societal and ethical contexts of aquatic biology and the profesional practice of organismal biologists
  • work independently and take responsibility for updating and adapting their knowledge and skills
  • work effectively, cooperatively and productively within a team.

The major provides the foundations that will underpin ongoing professional development, preparing graduates for further study in disciplines related to studies in aquatic biology or for a career in a field related to animal biology or in other areas where the range of skills and knowledge acquired is needed or desirable. 

Learning outcomes

On completion of the major students will be able to:

  • demonstrate familiarity with and critically apply current theories, subject content, professional methodologies, ethical frameworks and research procedures relevant to aquatic biology
  • analyse and critically evaluate ideas, data and information and apply relevant scientific principles to solve problems by, for example, creating hypotheses, testing theories and predictions, designing and conducting experiments and statistically analysing data
  • undertake studies relating to aquatic biology in both laboratory and field contexts
  • communicate their findings and present information clearly to a variety of audiences in written and spoken form
  • appreciate the multidisciplinary nature of aquatic biology and the relationships between this area and other disciplines
  • work and learn independently and appreciate the need for continuing professional development
  • contribute effectively as part of a team in order to achieve common goals
  • demonstrate and appreciation of work practices relating to WH&S and animal ethics in regards to aquatic biological studies
  • demonstrate skill at identifying organisms found in marine and aquatic environments
  • understand the dynamics of aquatics ecosystems and their potential responses to changes
  • apply conservation and management principles for conservation and sustainable use of aquatic resources.

Program of study

Major - Aquatic Biology - Year 1 topics

22.5 units comprising:

Core - Year 1 Topics

 BIOL1101  Evolution of Biological Diversity  (4.5 units)
 BIOL1102  Molecular Basis of Life  (4.5 units)
 BIOL1301  Introduction to Marine Biology  (4.5 units)
 EASC1102  Marine Sciences  (4.5 units)
 STAT1122  Biostatistics  (4.5 units)

Major - Aquatic Biology - Year 2 topics

18 units comprising:

Core - Year 2 Topics

 BIOL2701  Experimental Design and Statistics for Biology  (4.5 units)
 BIOL2702  Genetics, Evolution and Biodiversity  (4.5 units)
 BIOL2712  Animal Diversity  (4.5 units)
 EASC2701  Coasts and Oceans  (4.5 units)

Major - Aquatic Biology - Year 3 topics

18 units comprising:

Core - Year 3 Topics

 BIOL3702  Marine and Freshwater Biology  (4.5 units)
 BIOL3711  Plant and Algal Diversity  (4.5 units)
 BIOL3751  Marine Mammals, Birds and Reptiles  (4.5 units)
 BIOL3752  Fisheries Biology, Science and Management  (4.5 units)