Available in 2022
Course code



10 units


2000 level

Course handbook


Marine environments are among the most diverse ecosystems on Earth. This course provides a fundamental understanding of how oceans work, and the diversity of marine life that exists within the ocean environment. Physical oceanography topics include light, gases and sound. Students will also explore in depth biological diversity of the oceans from microbes to vertebrates. The laboratory and fieldwork component focus on the identification, biology and diversity of Australia's unique marine organisms.

The course is delivered via a series of workshops, online content, laboratory and field sessions. These encompass the use of molecular and morphological data to classify the major groups of marine organisms; and the physical characteristics of the ocean environment. Course assessment includes a written critical opinion of a current issue in marine biology; application of skills to identify marine organisms in a practical setting; and a written examination. The course has a 3-day field trip component. Details and costs will be advised in the course outline and on the course Blackboard site prior to the start of semester.



  • Semester 1 - 2022


  • Semester 1 - 2022

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Accurately identify a wide range of marine organisms

2. Describe the role of specific organisms in marine ecosystems

3. Safely apply practical skills in identifying common seaweeds, marine plants and marine animals

4. Critically apply the use of molecular and morphological data in phylogenetics

5. Critically explain current themes in marine biological research


1. The ocean environment

2. Marine habitat types

3. Life in the oceans; marine life

  • Introduction to classification
  • Major groups of marine organisms

4. Biology of marine life

5. Human impact on the marine environment


Students must have successfully completed MARI1000 to enrol in this course.

Assumed knowledge

BIOL1002, SCIE1002, and either BIOL1040 and BIOL1070 or BIOL1001

Assessment items

Essay: Essay

Formal Examination: Exam

Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Laboratory Exercises

Quiz: Quiz - Class

Compulsory Requirements

In order to pass this course, each student must complete ALL of the following compulsory requirements:

General Course Requirements:

  • Laboratory: There is a compulsory attendance requirement in this course. - Students must attend 80% or more of the laboratory sessions.

Contact hours

Callaghan and Ourimbah

Integrated Learning Session

Online 2 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks starting in week 1


Face to Face On Campus 3 hour(s) per Week for 10 Weeks starting in week 3


Face to Face On Campus 5 hour(s) per Week for 2 Weeks starting in week 5

Workshops are held in week 5 & week 10.

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.