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Fields of Study: Social Sciences, Science

Explore the diverse marine ecosystems of Queensland through extensive field studies, lectures, and lab work. The program is designed for juniors and seniors with backgrounds in marine biology, ecology, environmental science, oceanography, conservation biology, marine engineering, and related fields.

Unique study opportunities

  • Participate in innovative research in the outback, rainforests, national parks, and various field stations.
  • Learn scientific research skills from project development through final presentation of findings.
  • Study marine systems and their organisms in a variety of habitats like coral reefs, mangrove forests, and seagrass beds.
  • Gain experience preparing research reports to international journal manuscript standards.


Language of Instruction: English

Language Study: None

Courses and credit

Requirements While Abroad

To successfully complete this program:

  • Take a full-time course of study: Two courses for a total of 21 quarter/14 semester UC units.
  • Take all courses for a letter grade.
  • Courses involve long-distance walks over rough and remote terrain as well as swimming and snorkeling, for which you’ll need basic swimming ability and reasonable confidence in the water. 

Current Program Courses

Marine Biology (13 quarter/8.7 semester UC units)
  • Obtain a comprehensive overview of marine biology in the context of the unique marine life that inhabits the seas surrounding Australia.
  • Learn about "real world" science by being immersed in original research projects in marine biology.
  • Be exposed to Australian marine biology through topics such as the evolution of fish diversity and the ecology of distinctive marine habitats.
  • Examine current issues in marine conservation such as algal blooms, the sustainability of fisheries, aquaculture, climate change, coral bleaching, and the future of coral reefs.
  • Undertake original marine biology research projects during extended field trips to the University of Queensland's marine biology research stations at North Stradbroke Island in Moreton Bay, and Heron Island on the Great Barrier Reef. ​
Human and Terrestrial Ecology (8 quarter/5.3 semester UC units)
  • Obtain a complete overview of Australian terrestrial ecology, beginning with the physical factors that define the landscape such as geology, climate, and fire.
  • Explore Australia's biological heritage in terms of the ancient Gondwanan rainforests.
  • Investigate how physical challenges have shaped the evolution of plants that now define quintessentially Australian habitats.
  • Survey the continent’s unique animal life.
  • Examine the conservation of Australian biodiversity and learn to appreciate differences among terrestrial ecosystems in different parts of the globe.

Additional or optional coursework, internships, and research for academic credit are not possible on this program.

Catalogs and resources

  • Program Overview: Download the program synopsis and course details.
  • UCEAP Course Catalog: See a list of courses UC students have taken on this program.
  • Campus Credit Abroad: Learn the types of credit (major, minor, general education, elective) students from your campus received at this location.

Academic culture

In evaluating your progress, professors will use a mix of continuous assessment, reports, and exams. They’ll also assess your participation in field and class activities.

For each course, you will complete up to two written reports on field-based projects, essays, and 90-minute written tests. The essays are based on a topic of your interest which is finalized following discussion with the course coordinator. The essays may be in-depth examinations of specific topics or integrative approaches to general topics. Resources of the university’s Biological Sciences Library will be available to provide access to relevant literature.


You will earn direct UC credit and grades for all courses. Fall grades are usually available in January. Spring grades are usually available in August. Requests for early grades cannot be accommodated.