Marine Science and Management - 8271

Program Summary

Faculty: Faculty of Science


Campus: Sydney

Career: Postgraduate

Typical Duration: 1.5 Years  

Typical UOC Per Semester: 24

Min UOC Per Semester: 6

Max UOC Per Semester: 24

Min UOC For Award: 72

View program information for previous years

Program Description

The Master of Marine Science & Management (MMSM) is a 12 to 18 month full-time program depending on the grant of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and is normally taken as a 72 Unit of Credit (UoC) program, full-time or part-time. The program can be taken in 48 UoC (1 year full-time equivalent) subject to RPL (e.g. a Bachelor of Science (Honours) or equivalent industry experience).

The Program is aimed at both domestic and international students interested in the interdisciplinary field of marine science and management. Topics in marine science include coastal management and engineering, climate change, marine ecology and conservation, physical oceanography and modelling.

The Master of Marine Science and Management is a joint program between UNSW and three Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS) partner universities. The capstone course (MSCI6681 Topics in Australian Marine Science) is a tutorial and seminar series jointly taught at SIMS at Chowder Bay, based around the analysis of data-streams from the Integrated Marine Observing System ( Students enrol in the program at UNSW, but complete 3 courses (18 UoC) at the partner universities.

Program Objectives and Graduate Attributes

  1. Knowledge: graduates will have in-depth knowledge of marine science, especially in the links among oceanography, climate and marine ecology - the hallmark of this program;
  2. Critical thinking and problem solving: graduates will use a diversity of numerical and interpretative skills relevant to marine science and management and environmental science, tailored to interests and specialization by selecting their electives from specialty areas of other partner universities.
  3. The seminar series from DPI-Fisheries and Office Environment & Heritage staff and the session on recreational fishing will provide students with knowledge of policy, government and industry.
  4. Communication. Students will prepare reports and deliver lucid seminars to scientists and managers, and manage their style for the general public or schools.
  5. Teamwork. Graduates in marine science will work together to find synergy and cross-disciplinary expertise. Team work is essential when dealing with the breadth and diversity of marine science.
  6. Ethical, social and environmental responsibility. Graduates will be aware of the responsibilities associated with sustainability in recreational fishing and marine park planning, restoration of marine ecosystems; assess the relative costs of management action or inaction based on incomplete data.

Program Structure

The MMSM consists of 72 units of credit (UoC) comprised of the following:
  • 24 UoC of compulsory core courses undertaken at UNSW
  • 30 UoC of directed electives taken at UNSW
  • 18 UoC of electives taken at the three SIMS partner universities (University of Technology Sydney, University of Sydney, and Macquarie University)
These courses may be taken in any order, full-time or part-time, starting in either Semester 1 or Semester 2.

Compulsory Core Courses

Students must complete the following 24 UoC:
Directed Electives

Students must complete 30 UoC from the following list of approved electives:

(Note: not all courses are offered every semester or every year)
Electives from SIMS partner universities

Students must complete 18 UoC from at least two of the three SIMS partner universities. Information about courses available at the partner universities can be found at the following links:

Academic Rules

Refer to the program structure above for the Academic Rules for this program.


For information regarding fees for UNSW programs, please refer to the following website:

Admission Requirements

The entry requirement for the MMSM is one of the following:
  • A Bachelor of Science degree with a weighted average mark (WAM) of 65 or greater. The BSc degree may be in any discipline of Science; OR
  • A Bachelor of Science Honours degree in any Science discipline; OR
  • A Bachelor of Science degree with a WAM of 50-65 plus at least 5 years professional experience in a relevant field of marine science or environmental science; OR
  • Any degree with an appropriate Science major with numerical or data handling skills plus at least 5 years professional experience in a relevant field of marine science or environmental science.
Students are expected to have completed undergraduate level statistical analysis before commencing this program. Students who do not have this knowledge will be required to enrol into BEES5041 Data Analysis for Environmental Science and Management as one of their directed electives.

Applicants with other relevant qualifications and experience not listed above may apply for admission to this program. In accordance with UNSW Policy and Procedure on Recognition of Prior Learning, applicants will need to demonstrate that they have achieved the same knowledge and skills (learning outcomes) through their formal or informal learning as the qualifications listed for entry into this program. This may be evidenced by qualification certificates, records of assessment activities relating to course or program learning outcomes, examples of experience from the workplace, community, or other context which demonstrate relevant skills, knowledge or competencies, membership (or eligibility for membership) of professional organisations which require attainment of certain qualifications, or testimonials of skills, knowledge or competencies from workplace supervisors. Any relevant documentation should be attached to the application and will be considered by the Academic Coordinator for the Program.

Recognition of Prior Learning/Advanced Standing

Students with an Honours degree (AQF Level 8) in science may be eligible for up to 24 UoC of advanced standing, depending upon numerical literacy and background in marine science. These students will then need to complete 48 UoC of courses to complete the program which includes 24 UoC of compulsory core courses, 12 UoC of directed electives at UNSW and 12 UoC of electives at two of the partner universities. Advanced standing will be determined on a case-by-case basis by the Program Coordinator.

Area(s) of Specialisation