Marine Science Major - Bachelor of Science

Love the ocean and marine life? The Marine Science major in the Bachelor of Science explores the science of the ocean. You'll study the physics, chemistry, geology and biology of the oceanic environment to predict and solve complex global challenges.

With 71 percent of Earth’s surface covered by water, the oceanic environment is critical to our existence. It regulates climate, mediates temperature and drives the weather, determining rainfall, droughts, and floods. Our oceans are the world’s largest store of carbon; they act as a carbon sink and absorb heat from the atmosphere. More than 90% of the excess heat generated as a result of climate change and about 30% of the carbon dioxide produced by humans since the start of the industrial revolution have ended up in our oceans.

Study marine science and find out why and how our oceans are changing, what that means for the future of our biosphere, and how you can make a difference.

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This is part of the Bachelor of Science.

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In the Marine Science major you’ll learn to apply principles and concepts of marine science to predict and solve complex environmental challenges at a local and global scale. You’ll have many opportunities to gain practical skills during fieldwork, and develop your laboratory and quantitative skills.

Apart from the courses below you also need to complete courses from your second major, your chosen minor(s) or electives.

Core courses

All Bachelor of Science students need to complete core courses that help you develop transferable skills and support your work in all other courses in the degree.

Choose one of:

And choose one natural sciences course

And one mathematical and computer sciences course

*Only available to students in the Analytics and Mathematical Modelling and Computation majors

And one course from either the natural sciences or mathematical and computer science courses above.

Complete the following course:

And one of:

In Year 3, you complete a project in an area related to your major. This project gives you an important competitive edge for your career, and is good preparation for postgraduate study.

Courses you complete for this project:

Marine science courses

If you're majoring in marine science, this is the main subject area you specialise in. It makes up one third of your degree and consists of eight marine science-related courses you study throughout your degree.

Year 1 courses

Year 2 courses

Year 3 courses

Build your degree

Use our online tool to build your own degree and see what your three years of study could look like.

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Students who started at AUT before 2023

If you started your studies at AUT before 2023, the courses you need to study to complete the requirements for your programme are a little different. You can find the old programme regulations you need to meet on Canvas. Simply log in with your AUT student ID number and password.

View Canvas information for current science students

Career opportunities if you study marine science

  • Marine scientist or technologist
  • Environmental consultant
  • Resource manager
  • Aquaculture manager
  • Science teacher*

*After completing an additional year of teacher training


Find out more about industry trends, job descriptions and what employers may be looking for.

Marine Science Careers

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.