Ecology explores how living organisms interact with one another and with their environment. You’ll discover a diverse range of ecosystems from the ocean to the desert and learn about how their inhabitants - from mammals, birds and reptiles to plants, invertebrates and microbes – adapt to those environments. You'll learn how understanding ecology is critical for conservation and natural resource management.
Ecology is delivered by the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences (BEES). Undergraduate students have the opportunity to experience field trips in amazing locations, including our dedicated research stations - Smiths Lake on the mid north coast and Fowlers Gap in the arid zone of western NSW.
UNSW is home to the Evolution & Ecology Research Centre, which draws together the diverse strengths of more than 50 academic staff members and independent research fellows. The Centre's purpose is to build capacity for research including postgraduate research and supervision. To do so, the Centre provides seed funding for innovative new research collaborations, recognises excellence in research, learning and supervision, runs an innovative graduate program, and engages in public outreach related to evolution and ecology.
Ecology graduates from the School of BEES have found rewarding careers in local, state and federal government departments and agencies, ecological consultancies and research laboratories as well as universities and other educational institutions. Ecologists can work in various roles such as conducting ecological research, assessing environmental impacts of developments, preparing and implementing management plans, restoring ecosystems, as well as environmental education and communication. You could pursue a career as an ecologist, natural resource manager, environmental consultant, conservation manager, science policy advisor, research scientist, science communicator or educator.
If you're passionate about the environment, studying science is a great way to have a meaningful impact through almost all disciplines. In addition to ecology, you might be interested in studying biology, climate science, Earth science, environmental management, geography, marine & coastal science or physical oceanography.
You can study ecology in the following undergraduate degrees:
Gain research experience and enhance your career prospects with an honours degree. These programs are designed to connect your undergraduate study with supervised independent research. An honours degree also provides a pathway into further study, such as a Masters by Research or PhD. You can take honours as a standalone degree or as part of an embedded honours program.
Embedded honours program
Standalone honours program
You can study ecology in the following postgraduate research degrees: