Courses & Units

A Practical Introduction to Temperate Marine Biology XAS101



 This unit (XAS101) is for UTAS College Program students only.


Do you want to be a marine biologist?

Your journey starts here. This predominantly field-based unit is designed to engage, challenge, excite and inspire you through an experiential and hands-on marine science program.

Not only will you get a real taste of marine biology, you will get one unit credit towards your University of Tasmania degree for the following year and the unit is HECS free.

Scholarships have now closed for this program in 2017.

This unit will introduce you to concepts of ecological theory and practice allowing you to apply marine biology theories, techniques and sampling methods during a practical field investigation of species diversity within temperate intertidal communities. Emphasis will be placed on extending your understanding of practical techniques used in studying marine biology with the aim of enhancing your ability to design, collect and interpret biological data. It will encourage you to explore issues threatening biodiversity as well as the productivity of the marine system. Climate change, invasive species, pollution, debris and their associated social and economic impacts will be covered.

Course Requirements:

You will need access to a computer with reliable internet access in order to complete all required online components of the course.

You will also need a moderate level of personal fitness for the 5-day field trip to Maria Island where you will be accommodated in basic cabins or camping grounds (subject to availability and student numbers).

Field Excursion Fee:

This unit is covered by a HECS scholarship. However, there is a field excursion fee of $645 per student to cover transport from Hobart, all meals, accommodation, field sampling and diving equipment and support staff. Field excursion logistics are managed and run by the conservation group WildMob

If you are under 18 years of age, you will require permission from a parent for admission and enrolment into this unit.

Kick start your university study

As a full unit offering within the University College Program, students who successfully complete this unit will gain 12.5 credit points in a Bachelor of Marine and Antarctic Studies or Bachelor of Applied Science (Marine Environment). That means when you start at the University of Tasmania you will have already complete one full unit.

Plus, if you are a Tasmanian student, this unit can also contribute to your TE/ATAR score.

This course is limited to 24 places, and based on demand in previous years, places will be offered based on the 300-word scholarship application. If you are interested in participating in this course please apply through the scholarship process.

You will be required to pay a deposit to excursion logistics company Wild Mob by Friday 24 March 2016, with the full amount paid prior to the course commencing.

For more information on the University College Program see the webpage.


Semester 1, 2017 (Field trip 19 – 23 April; workshop and final student presentation on 24 April at IMAS Salamanca, Hobart). Scholarships applications close at midnight on Tuesday 07 March 2016. 

Enrolments close 2 weeks prior to the field excursion and there is a unit quota of 24 students.

A course may be run in Semester 2 based on demand. 


Unit name A Practical Introduction to Temperate Marine Biology
Unit code XAS101
Credit points 12.5
Faculty/School IMAS
Institute for Marine & Antarctic Studies
Discipline Centre for Ecology and Biodiversity

Dr Mary-Anne Lea

Teaching staff

Dr Scott Ling, Dr Mary-Anne Lea

Level Introductory
Available as student elective? No
Breadth Unit? No


Location Study period Attendance options Available to
Hobart Semester 1 On-Campus International Domestic
Hobart Semester 2 On-Campus International Domestic


International students
Domestic students

Units are offered as On-campus where the majority of teaching will occur at the campus identified.  Units offered Off-campus generally have no requirement for attendance at a physical university campus unless the unit has practical or fieldwork components*:  the campus indicated for an Off-Campus unit is the one at which teaching is administered from.

*Please read the Unit Introduction in the Course and Unit Handbook for attendance requirements for units offered in Off-campus mode.

* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (see withdrawal dates explained for more information).

Unit census dates currently displaying for 2017 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2017 will be available from the 1st October 2016.

About Census Dates

Key Dates

Study Period Start date Census date WW date End date
Semester 1 27/2/2017 23/3/2017 17/4/2017 2/6/2017
Semester 2 17/7/2017 10/8/2017 4/9/2017 20/10/2017



Band CSP Student Contribution Full Fee Paying (domestic) Field of Education
2 2017: $1,131.00 2017: $2,055.00 019999

Fees for next year will be published in October. The fees above only apply for the year shown.

Please note: international students should refer to this page to get an indicative course cost.


This intensive unit is offered to year 11 and 12 students who have who are concurrently enrolled in at least one of the following college courses: Life Sciences 2, Environmental Science and Society or Biology 3.


Teaching Pattern

7 weeks (6 weeks online lecture content, intensive 5-day field trip to Maria Island Tasmania, plus 1 day workshop and presentations at IMAS Waterfront Building, Salamanca)


Field aptitude and quizzes (40%); Field Journal (20%); Group Presentation (20%) Essay (20%)

TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable


Required To be advised by Unit Coordinator

Australian Marine Life. GJ Edgar

Australian Marine Habitats in Temperate Waters. GJ Edgar

(materials relevant to course will be provided).

Co-op Bookshop links

The University reserves the right to amend or remove courses and unit availabilities, as appropriate.