The UNSW Topics in Australian Marine Science (MSCI6681) course covers quantitative aspects of the physical and oceanographic environments of the sea. You’ll explore the inter-relationships with plankton, fish and fisheries. 

Marine science tests data and models to understand the marine environment, to forecast and manage the $50 billion pa value of Australia’s marine resources - known as the Blue Economy. The value of these marine activities is expected to double in the next decade, increasing at two to three times the GDP. 

During the course, you’ll consider changing climate impacts and marine environments. You’ll study the principles of oceanography and the problems created by the strengthening East Australian Current on an urbanised coast. The socio-economic value of Australia’s temperate coasts is approximately 25 per cent of the nation’s Blue Economy.

The course considers the scientific basis of:

  • the marine environment including the physical, geological, chemical and biological characteristics of the East Australian Current. You’ll study remote sensing, mooring, gliders, autonomous underwater vehicles and acoustic telemetry of fish, sharks and seals
  • the dynamics and drivers of the ocean ecosystems, from phytoplankton, to zooplankton, to kelp forests, to fish and fisheries
  • techniques in data manipulation and statistical modelling of the marine environment 
  • the effects of development and climate change on the marine environment and how science can contribute to providing solutions.

Emphasis is placed on building numeracy and statistical skills, using case studies throughout the course. This course is also taught externally at  The Sydney Institute of Marine Science by representatives of the four partner universities.

Term offering

Term 1

Course attendance

In person



Undergraduate - Third Year


Marine science

Course code


Career opportunities

Marine scientists have a deep understanding of the ocean and marine life. By observing the interactions of marine plants and animals with coastal areas and the atmosphere, marine scientists can help preserve ecosystems.

Relevant roles

  • Meteorologist
  • Geologist
  • Geophysicist
  • Hydrologist
  • Ecologist
  • Environmental scientist
  • Natural resource manager
  • Marine scientist
  • Marine biologist
  • Environmental scientist

What our graduates say

“The Topics in Australian Marine Science course is designed to broaden your knowledge of the marine sciences as a whole. Every week, students undertake a different hands-on tutorial led by some of the best researchers in their respective fields, developing practical skills such as programming and data interpretation.
Along with the practicals, the seminars are led by renowned scientists that range in topics from environmental management to fisheries sciences to microbiomes, to remote sensing; definitely something for everybody. The class is also a great way to network and connect to your peers and academics, which in my case led to further research opportunities down the road. A must take!”  

- Bo Liu, UNSW graduate in Master of Marine Science and Management.

Find out more

For more information, please contact Prof. Moninya Roughan 

E: mroughan@unsw.edu.au