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The National Degree in Tropical Marine Science provides students with the opportunity to specialise in tropical marine science in a collaborative program which takes advantage of the expertise and facilities available at the University of Queensland, James Cook University, Sydney University and the Australian Museum.

Students initially enrol at one of the three "home" universities, and undertake the first three semesters of study in biology plus a selection of chemistry, mathematics, physics or other relevant courses within the normal guidelines of each institution's Bachelor of Science program. Each institution will recommend a similar suite of core courses which provide appropriate grounding for the field of study.

During the second three semesters, students undertake field courses offered collaboratively through the institutions in the National Tropical Marine Network. These courses will each be offered at the research stations over two weeks with two offered back-to-back in the mid-year break with the third after the second semester exam period.

Each of the four collaborative field courses are the equivalent of one quarter of one semester's load at each of the three institutions.

Examples of Subjects and Associated Research Stations
Coastal Zone Management -Moreton Bay Research Station
Not offered in 2009
Coral Reef Ecosystems -One Tree Island Research Station 17 July – 26 July, 2009
Tropical Fisheries Biology & Management -Orpheus Island Research Station
Not offered in 2009
Aquaculture -Orpheus Island Research Station
Not offered in 2009