Discover the complex web of animal relationships and ecosystems
Want to learn about how animals are impacted by the environment and human interaction and what we can do to protect their future? Develop your analytical and research skills to better understand how to conserve and manage animals. The program will build your knowledge of animal conservation, biodiversity and animal behaviour.
Hands-on experience starts in your first year with fieldwork to North Stradbroke Island and your local region. During the program, you’ll work with leading researchers on field trips and in the laboratory, thus delivering work-ready graduates who are able to blend concepts gleaned from the global literature with personal experience of a diversity of regional habitats and fauna.
In your final year you can also further develop your research skills in a specialised area by undertaking a guided research project in Animal Ecology, working as an intern animal ecologist as part of your studies, or taking advantage of opportunities to travel abroad.
As an animal ecologist, your career paths include natural resource and environmental protection agencies, private environmental consultancies and research institutes. Many animal ecologists also pursue opportunities outside the science and health sectors in business, finance, education and sales.
Career opportunities will be available across a range of areas both in Australia and internationally, including: animal ecology specialists in private environmental consulting; researchers, research assistants and managers in Government and non-governmental agencies; rangers and managers in wildlife management and conservation organisations; practitioners in environmental monitoring and management; collectors and curators in museums; environmental educators; specialist ecotourism guides; and researchers and lecturers at universities.
Graduates will be eligible to become members/associate members of the Ecological Society of Australia, Environmental Institute of Australia, Australian Mammal Society, Australian Marine Science Association, Society for Conservation Biology, Australian Wildlife Management Society, and Australian Physiological Society.
Application and admission advice
Contact Student Central
+61 7 5430 2890
Ground floor, Building C, Sippy Downs
Ecologist with camera ready for Galapagos trip
Photographer Kate Berry will be collecting more than just pictures when she heads to the Galapagos Islands on a research trip this month.
Gold medallist is USC’s top sportsperson for 2018
Animal Ecology student Jake Packard has been named USC’s Sportsperson of the Year for 2018 after strong performances at the Commonwealth Games and Pan Pacific Championships this year.
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The risk that plastic pollution poses to the world’s declining sea turtle populations has been quantified for the first time.
Wild fairy-wrens taught stranger danger
Researchers may have found a way to improve the survival chances of endangered birds bred in captivity after training wild fairy-wrens to recognise danger warnings from other species.
Plastic bag ban at heart of marine debris study
University of the Sunshine Coast researchers will track the impact of Queensland’s upcoming ban on plastic bags by monitoring the marine debris found inside dead sea life in waters off the Fraser Coast.
What will I study
Select your location, starting year and starting semester below to display your program structure and a recommended study sequence.
Introductory courses (8) 96 units
COR109 Communication and Thought
ANM100 Animal Ecology Field Course
ANM102 Endangered Animals and their Conservation
ANM103 Animal Form, Function and Evolution
ANM104 Marine Vertebrates: Sharks, Seabirds, Fish, Turtles and Whales
LFS100 Cell Biology
SCI102 Biodiversity and Ecology
SCI110 Science Research Methods
Developing and Graduate courses (10) 120 units
ANM201 Animal Ecophysiology
ANM203 Statistics with Teeth: Understanding Ecological Data
ANM301 Animal Behaviour
ANM302 Global-Change Ecology
ENS213 Invertebrate Biology and Ecology
ENS222 Terrestrial Vertebrate Diversity and Ecology
ENS282 Coastal and Marine Ecology
ENS316 Wildlife Ecology and Conservation
ENS317 Coastal Conservation Planning
Elective courses (6) 72 units
Select 6 elective courses (72 units) from either faculty (Arts, Business and Law or Science, Health, Education and Engineering), at least 4 of which (48 units) must be developing and graduate level (200/300 coded).
Note: Program structures are subject to change. Not all USC courses are available on every USC campus.
Total units: 288
Recommended study sequence
This recommended study sequence ONLY represents the CURRENT program structure. Students in previous structures should use this sequence to inform order of courses and current course details. For courses in your commencing structure not included in the current sequence, search the course code for current course offerings and requisites.
In order to graduate you must:
- Successfully complete 288 units as outlined in the Program Structure
- Complete no more than 10 introductory level (100 coded) courses, including the core course
- Completing this program within the specified (full-time) duration is based on studying 48 unit points per semester (normally 4 courses) and following the recommended study sequence
- The unit value of all courses is 12 units unless otherwise specified
- It is each students responsibility to enrol correctly according to your course requisites, program rules and requirements and be aware of the academic calendar dates
- Some courses may also include a compulsory field trip, requiring payment of an additional fee, and may be held outside of the regular teaching week, ie on weekends or during semester break
- Courses within this program are assessed using a variety of assessment methods which may include essays, seminar presentations, reports, in-class tests and examinations
- As part of your USC program, you may apply to Study Overseas to undertake courses with an overseas higher education provider
- Only a full-time study option is available to international students on a Student Visa
Refer to the Managing your progression page for help in understanding your program structure, reviewing your progress and planning remaining courses.
- Register your selected major(s) and/or minor(s)
How to apply
Am I eligible to apply?
- Confirm that you meet the program specific admission requirements, prerequisites and recommended prior study outlined on Why study this program?
- Confirm that you meet the general undergraduate admission requirements and English Language Proficiency requirements
- Refer to the application dates for cut-off dates and deadlines
- Check your eligibility for credit
- Refer also the the Student Profile for a representation of the likely peer cohort studying this program.
Apply via Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC) — Use the relevant QTAC code specified on Why study this program?
The below applicants can apply online directly to USC:
- Tertiary Preparation Pathway (TPP) student currently enrolled in, or have had an enrolment in the previous two years
- USC students who have completed an undergraduate program within the last two years, or are due to complete their program prior to their proposed semester of commencement
- USC / TAFE Articulation program students
- USC students who are currently enrolled in one program and want to study another program concurrently
- Former USC student who has been excluded from study at USC
Apply direct to USC International
International students should contact USC International
How to enrol
New to USC?
Once you have applied and received your offer of a place from USC, follow the steps to Get Started at USC to respond to your offer, plan your study and enrol in the correct courses (subjects).
Before you enrol it's important to check your commencing program structure and the published recommended study sequence to make sure you study the right courses at the right time and will be ready to graduate from your degree when you plan to.
To better understand your program structure and for instructions on how to review your progress and plan your remaining courses, visit the Managing your progression page.
Visit How do I enrol? for enrolment instructions and key dates.
View step-by-step instructions to enrol at How do I enrol?
Refer to the Academic Calendar for key dates, including the last day to add, drop or swap a course or class and Census dateas.