Marine Biology major

If you are fascinated by our amazing marine plants and animals and the coastal environments in which they live, then Marine Biology is the major for you. Western Australia's marine environment is a biodiversity hotspot with up to 80 per cent of its fish, invertebrates and other organisms found nowhere else in the world, making WA an ideal living laboratory for your studies. This major includes marine biology and ecology, marine and coastal management, and oceanography. It combines knowledge of marine aquatic life with a solid understanding of the physical environment. Through experimental design and research, you will learn to appreciate the complex interactions that occur in marine ecosystems. During your studies, you will gain practical experience through hands-on laboratory-based exercises, field trips and computer-based labs.

Outcomes

Students are able to (1) critically review the relationship between structure, function and process at all biological levels: molecular, cellular, organismal, population, community and ecosystem; (2) apply scientific principles, incorporating theoretical concepts, keen observation, sound experimental design, analysis and insightful interpretation into marine research; (3) demonstrate a knowledge of the diversity, life history strategies and functional traits of marine biota; (4) explain the ecological relationships between organisms and their environment at a range of spatial and temporal scales and evaluate how these may be altered by climate change; (5) explain how the interactions between physical and biotic components can influence decisions about sustainable management; (6) develop skills in the use of laboratory and field techniques commonly used in marine biology; (7) develop skills in modelling and statistics as relevant to marine research; (8) conduct quantitative marine research in a safe, ethical and professional manner; and (9) demonstrate competency in high-level critical thinking and communication skills suited to gaining employment in marine biology.

Broadening guidelines

All students studying towards a Bachelor's Degree at UWA are required to Broaden their studies by completing a minimum of four units (24 points) of study outside their degree specific major. Broadening is your opportunity to explore other areas of interest, investigate new disciplines and knowledge paradigms and to shape your degree to suit your own aspirations and interests. Many of you will be able to undertake more than this minimum amount of broadening study and we encourage you to do so if this suits your aspirations. Over the next few months you will find here some broadening suggestions related to your degree-specific major. While we know that many students value guidance of this sort, these are only suggestions and students should not lose sight of the opportunity to explore that is afforded by your Broadening Choices. Advice can also be sought from your Allocated Student Advising Office.

Prerequisites

Mathematics Methods ATAR or equivalent or higher or Mathematics Applications ATAR with a mathematics unit taken in the first year. Students without ATAR mathematics will take two first year mathematics units.
Chemistry ATAR or an additional chemistry unit taken in the first year.

Marine Biology can be taken as a degree-specific major in the following degree courses:

Overview of unit sequence

Marine Biology is a degree-specific single major comprising:

  • four Level 1 units
  • four Level 2 units
  • four Level 3 units
Key to availability of units:
S1 = Semester 1; S2 = Semester 2

Level 1

Degree-specific major units
Take all units (24 points):
Availability Unit code Unit name unit requirements
S1 BIOL1130 Frontiers in Biology
Prerequisites:
Nil
Co-requisites:
Nil
Incompatibility:
Nil
S2 BIOL1131 Plant and Animal Biology
Prerequisites:
Nil
Co-requisites:
Nil
Incompatibility:
Nil
S1 EART1105 Dynamic Planet
Prerequisites:
Nil
Co-requisites:
Nil
Incompatibility:
Nil
S1, S2 SCIE1104 Science, Society and Data Analysis
Prerequisites:
Successful completion of ATAR Subject(s) Mathematics Applications
or
Unit(s) MATH1720 Mathematics Fundamentals
Co-requisites:
Nil
Incompatibility:
Unit(s) STAT1520 Economic and Business Statistics
Bridging units
Bridging units must be successfully completed within the first 48 points of study. Students who have not achieved a scaled mark of at least 50 in Mathematics Methods ATAR or equivalent or higher are required to complete MATH1721 or SCIE1500. Students who have not achieved a scaled mark of at least 50 in Mathematics Applications ATAR or equivalent or higher are required to complete MATH1720 and either MATH1721 or SCIE1500. Note: MATH1721 should be taken if also considering majors or minors that require it for progression to level 2 (e.g. Maths, Physics, Chemistry or Computer Science). Students who have not achieved a scaled mark of at least 50 in Chemistry ATAR or equivalent or higher are required to complete CHEM1003.
Availability Unit code Unit name unit requirements
S1, S2 CHEM1003 Introductory Chemistry
Prerequisites:
Nil
Co-requisites:
Nil
Incompatibility:
ATAR Subject(s) Chemistry
or
equivalent
S1, S2 MATH1720 Mathematics Fundamentals
Prerequisites:
Mathematics Applications ATAR [with a scaled score of less than 50]
Or
with permission
Co-requisites:
Nil
Incompatibility:
Mathematics Applications ATAR [with a scaled score of 50
or
greater]
or
Equivalent
or
higher
S1, S2 MATH1721 Mathematics Foundations: Methods
Prerequisites:
( Mathematics Applications ATAR
Or
MATH1720 Mathematics Fundamentals )
Or
( Mathematics Methods ATAR [with a scaled score of less than 50]
or
Equivalent )
Co-requisites:
Nil
Incompatibility:
MATH1011 Multivariable Calculus And MATH1012 Mathematical Theory and Methods And STAT1520 Economics and Business Statistics
S1, S2 SCIE1500 Analytical Methods for Scientists
Prerequisites:
Successful completion of ATAR Subject(s) ATAR Subject Mathematics Applications
or
Unit(s) MATH1720 Mathematics Fundamentals (ID 5107)
Co-requisites:
Nil
Incompatibility:
ATAR Subject(s) ATAR Mathematics Methods and Unit(s) MATH1721 Mathematics Foundations: Methods (ID 5108)

Level 2

Degree-specific major units
Take all units (24 points):
Availability Unit code Unit name unit requirements
S2 BIOL2204 Marine Biology
Prerequisites:
Successful completion of Unit(s) SCIE2204 Marine Systems (ID 1524) and ATAR Subject(s) Chemistry
or
Successful completion of Unit(s) CHEM1003 Introductory Chemistry (ID 1063)
or
equivalent
Co-requisites:
Nil
Incompatibility:
Nil
S2 ENVT2221 Global Climate Change and Biodiversity
Prerequisites:
Successful completion of one Unit(s) BIOL1130 Frontiers in Biology (ID 1254)
or
Unit(s) BIOL1131 Plant and Animal Biology (ID 1244)
or
Unit(s) EART1105 Dynamic Planet (ID 1247)
or
Unit(s) ENVT1104 Environmental Science and Technology (ID 5950)
Co-requisites:
Nil
Incompatibility:
Nil
S1 ENVT2250 Ecology
Prerequisites:
Successful completion of one Unit(s) BIOL1130 Frontiers in Biology
or
Unit(s) BIOL1131 Plant and Animal Biology
or
Unit(s) ENVT1104 Environmental Science and Technology
Co-requisites:
Nil
Incompatibility:
Nil
S1 SCIE2204 Marine Systems
Prerequisites:
Successful completion of one Unit(s) EART1105 Dynamic Planet
or
Unit(s) BIOL1131 Plant and Animal Biology
Co-requisites:
Nil
Incompatibility:
Nil

Level 3

Degree-specific major units
Take all units (24 points):
Availability Unit code Unit name unit requirements
S2 BIOL3305 Fisheries Science: Foundation and Application
Prerequisites:
Successful completion of 48 points and Unit(s) BIOL1130 Frontiers in Biology (ID 1254)
or
Unit(s) BIOL1131 Plant and Animal Biology (ID 1244)
Co-requisites:
Nil
Incompatibility:
Nil
S1 ENVT3306 Coastal Conservation and Management
Prerequisites:
Successful completion of one Unit(s) SCIE2204 Marine Systems
Co-requisites:
Nil
Incompatibility:
Nil
S2 ENVT3307 Oceanography
Prerequisites:
Successful completion of one Unit(s) SCIE2204 Marine Systems
Co-requisites:
Nil
Incompatibility:
Nil
S1 SCIE3304 Field Techniques in Marine Science
Prerequisites:
Successful completion of 72 points and one Unit(s) SCIE2204 Marine Systems
or
ENSC3012 Data Collection and Analysis
or
equivalent
Co-requisites:
Nil
Incompatibility:
Nil

Choosing your degree-specific major

General degrees

You must satisfy the requirements of a degree-specific major before you complete your course. The flexible structure of an undergraduate course allows you to try out a number of different subjects to see what interests you before nominating your degree-specific major. You have the choice to either nominate your degree-specific major when you first enrol in the course or delay nominating it until your second year.

To plan the first year of your study without nominating a degree-specific major, you are advised to choose units that will pave the way to two or more degree-specific majors that are of interest to you. For examples of the choice of units available in first year, search the first-year study plans .

To fully understand the structure of an undergraduate course, read the course structure information and the Undergraduate Degree Course Rules.

The following example illustrates how the Marine Biology degree-specific major can be included in the Bachelor of Science course.

There are more choices open to you. For more examples, search the study plans .

Specialised degrees – Bachelor of Advanced Computer Science (Honours), Bachelor of Automation and Robotics, Bachelor of Environmental Design, Bachelor of Music

You must satisfy the requirements of the degree-specific major in your degree before you complete your course.

Bachelor of Philosophy, Politics and Economics

This comprehensive degree does not require you to choose a degree-specific major.

Choosing a second major

You also have the option to choose a second major from those available in the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Biomedical Science, Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Design Only available to re-enrolling students. and Bachelor of Science courses, giving you the opportunity to pursue your interests no matter how different they are.

For more examples of combinations of majors, search the study plans .