Marine and coastal science

Students learning in the Science facilities at the UNSW Kensington campus

Explore all aspects of the marine environment

Marine and coastal science looks at all aspects of the marine environment, encompassing many disciplines. Within the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences (BEES), marine and coastal science can be studied with an emphasis on biology, Earth sciences or oceanography. Marine biologists look at life on the shore and in the oceans and estuaries, whereas marine geologists study the structure and topography of the ocean floor, ocean sedimentation and marine resources. Physical oceanography is focused on understanding waves, currents and their importance to climate and fisheries.

Gain a competitive edge with a UNSW degree

We're ranked 33rd in the world for Earth & Marine Science.* UNSW is home to the Centre for Marine Science and Innovation, which provides plenty of opportunities to experience real-world marine research. The Centre’s expertise and experience covers a multidisciplinary mix of ecological and biological sciences, physical and biological oceanography, environmental impact assessment, coastal geomorphology and engineering.

Career opportunities in marine and coastal science

With 85% of Australian’s living near the coast, Australia has a large and growing “blue economy” involving tourism, fisheries, transport, energy and aquaculture. Managing our marine resources requires marine scientists that can work across a range of disciplines including engineering, conservation, biology, physics, geomorphology, chemistry, oceanography and palaeontology. Graduates find employment in many different government departments and research organisations (for example, fisheries, marine parks, museums, CSIRO, the Australian Institute of Marine Science, universities) as well as in the tourism industry. Graduates may also enjoy work in the aquaculture and marine biotechnology industry and growing sectors of private industry, such as consultant companies undertaking specialist research in resource and environmental fields.

Environmental study areas

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 marine and coastal science, you might be interested in studying biologyclimate scienceEarth scienceecology, environmental managementgeography or physical oceanography.

Our programs

*QS World University Rankings by Subject 2024