One of the world's leading institutions focusing on the tropics, Australia's James Cook University (JCU) is surrounded by the spectacular ecosystems of the rainforests of the Wet tropics, the dry savannahs, and the iconic Great Barrier Reef. Our unique location enables students from Australia and overseas to study in a diverse physical environment unparalleled by any University in the world. JCU operates in two countries, across three main campuses in Townsville, Cairns and Singapore. Our students come from many backgrounds, promoting a rich cultural atmosphere on campus. The University is dedicated to creating a brighter future for life in the tropics world-wide, through graduates and discoveries that make a difference.


James Cook University is ranked in the top 4% of the world's tertiary institutions by the Academic Ranking of World Universities, produced by the Shanghai Jiao Tong University. The University offers a comprehensive selection of exciting and career-relevant courses at undergraduate, postgraduate (coursework and research) and short term/semester level. Many courses include practical, hands-on experience. There are also foundation and diploma programs available in Townsville and Cairns, allowing students a clear pathway to their chosen JCU degree.

As a leading research University JCU offers students excellent facilities for teaching and learning, with specialist research opportunities, including industry links and laboratory/field work at all levels of study. Total student enrolments are more than 20,000, including over 6,000 international students from over 100 countries. There are over 300 programs available to international students to study at JCU.

Areas of strength:

  • Marine Science

  • Earth Science

  • Climate Change

  • Tropical Biology and Conservation

  • Biotechnology and Molecular Sciences

  • People, Identity, Place – intellectual, social, economic and cultural dynamics.

JCU's focus is on conducting teaching and research on areas of importance to the tropics, and producing graduates who have the expertise to make a difference in their profession and their communities.

Master's Programmes

Arts, Design & Architecture (2)
Engineering & Technology (2)
Natural Sciences & Mathematics (2)
Education & Training (1)
Hospitality, Leisure & Sports (1)

Many organisations offer scholarships or grants. Some of these might help you to study for a Master at James Cook University!


Contemporary learning spaces

At James Cook University face-to-face and on-campus delivery, including the promotion of place-based learning at our tropical and world heritage located campuses and field locations, are an important aspect of the JCU student experience. JCU campuses offer contemporary learning spaces that range from formal spaces including lecture theatres, tutorial rooms, practical laboratories and smaller, collaborative spaces, to connected classrooms that link students across our region and beyond. Contemporary learning spaces encourage active and collaborative learning experiences.

Comprehensive services

The services at JCU include a student association, personal support, careers and employment, health services, learning workshops, academic advisers and more. In addition, JCU has access to a range of facilities on campus that provide students with easy access for many day-to-day requirements both personal and study-related. These include a medical practice, physiotherapist, dental clinic, grocery store, gym, library, bookshop and access to a variety of computer laboratories and study spaces.

Students studying at JCU in Cairns or Townsville have a lower cost of living than Australian capital cities. Townsville has on-campus accommodation, with nearby residential options. The Cairns campus has nearby student lodging available.

Student Life

Life as a student at James Cook University is much more than attending lectures and tutorials. It is also about meeting new people, having fun, developing lifelong skills and living a happy and healthy life. Students can make the most of their time at JCU by participating in activities and utilizing the student services and facilities.

Orientation Week: a program held twice a year to help students get involved in campus life and to kick off their studies.

Events: both social and academic events are available year-round to all students.

Get involved: students can become a student mentor, go overseas on an Exchange program or volunteer.

Sport and recreation: students sign up to the student association for discounts and access to facilities.

Clubs and societies: students have access to one of the many student clubs available.

Places to eat: from coffee to a hot meal there are many food and drink options available on campus.

JCU also understands that University study can be challenging. Students need support to reach their potential whether it's academic support or personal support. Students have access to a range of facilities on campus that meet the day-to-day requirements that are both personal and study-related.


Townsville is Australias largest tropical city with a population of around 190,000. Its a thriving coastal city and port, and a stepping-off point for visiting the Great Barrier Reef.

Activities around Townsville are divided between natural attractions, such as outback savannah, rivers, rainforests and beaches, and visitor attractions like the aquarium, museum, entertainment centre, sports complex and various areas of leisure.


Cairns is a platform to the spectacular Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest, drawing visitors to its natural wonders year-round.

Cairns is a central point for access to national parks, ancient rainforests, tropical islands and beaches where visitors can experience a range of adventurous or relaxing activities. The city of Cairns has a cosmopolitan atmosphere with many cafés, restaurants, markets and nightclubs.


A James Cook University qualification is internationally recognised for excellence. JCU's Professional coursework programs are accredited by industry and professional associations, and many professionals are guest lecturers for the postgraduate programs.

With courses accredited by leading professional organisations, JCU received five stars in The Good Universities Guide for graduate success in getting a job.

The Global Study Awards

Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, StudyPortals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.

Townsville, Queensland, Australia