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James Cook University (JCU) Profile

University Overview Undergraduate Postgraduate Study Online International Students Tuition Fees Scholarships University Life Student Reviews Latest News Social Media & Links

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University Overview

James Cook University is Australia's leading tropical research University. The University takes its name from the eighteenth century English navigator and explorer, James Cook. Cook's epic voyages in the southern hemisphere contributed significantly to the world of science. The University was proclaimed in Townsville on April 20, 1970.

JCU is a multi-campus university with the main sites located in the vibrant northern Queensland cities of Townsville and Cairns. Smaller sites are located in Mackay and Mt Isa. Affiliated operations with Holmes Colleges are in Sydney and Melbourne.

The University is a high-ranking research university with a strong focus on matters relating to the tropics. JCU enjoys an international profile, maintained and promoted through linkages with universities and research institutions world-wide. Graduates are provided with the qualifications and skills for entry into the global workforce. All degree programs emphasise the skills of critical thinking and problem solving, effective communication and familiarity with information technologies.

JCU works with local industries and professions to ensure that courses relate to employer needs. Work placement schemes feature in many degree programs, equipping graduates with valuable practical skills.


JCU offers a range of undergraduate courses that can be completed on or off-campus. For off-campus study, courses are delivered using a combination of online resources, printed material or other technologies. Students can pursuit their interests through a variety of study areas which include arts and social sciences, business, creative arts, education, engineering, health and medicine and languages.

There are two pathways for undergraduate studies at JCU, bachelor degrees and diplomas. As for entry requirements, Year 12 applicants need to gain a Queensland Overall Position (OP) or equivalent interstate rank (TER, UAI, ENTER) that meets the entry requirements for the course they are interested in.


Postgraduate study at JCU falls broadly into two categories: coursework and research. Postgraduate programs come in many study areas which includes humanities and social sciences, business, health and medicine, education, creative arts, science, law and engineering.

To cater to the diverse lifestyle of postgraduate students, JCU offers different study options which includes part-time, full-time, distance study and online study options. Support programs such as academic support, financial assistance, postgraduate scholarships, personal support, health and wellness services and disability support are provided to graduate students.

Study Online

JCU offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses that can be completed off-campus via online means. These courses are delivered using a combination of online resources, printed material or other technologies. External students can study a bachelor's degree, graduate diplomas, graduate certificates, master's degrees and even doctorates.

Students who decide to study online at JCU will get access to LearnJCU where they may be able to download podcasts and slideshows of lectures, participate in weekly activities and questions, engage in web based tutorials, download readings and interact through online discussion boards. Assessment may include participation in online discussion boards, essays and online exams.

International Students

James Cook University offers well-planned support services for international students who wish to study in the university. Support starts prior to arrival through guidance on matter such as booking arrival service and temporary accommodation, student visa processing, things to pack, Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) and the requirements and procedures if students plan to bring family members along with them. Upon arrival, JCU assists students with settling in by providing them with accommodation options.

Once settled, the university provides international students with a welcome session which will allow them to meet other students and faculty member. Overseas students are oriented accordingly about important dates such as orientations, international student activities and events. International support volunteers, learning advisers, student assistance helplines and student mentoring programs are available to students. Aside from all these, JCU also grants scholarships for international students.

Tuition Fees

James Cook University tuition fees vary depending on student status and the course being undertaken. International students are generally required to pay the full fee for undergraduate study while both local and undergraduate students can be required to pay the full fee for postgraduate study. Sample average indicative fees from JCU include:


Business:$27,000   Arts/Education:$27,000   Engineering/Science:$33,000  


MBA:$28,000   Arts/Education:$27,000   Engineering/Science:$36,000  

Check with the University directly for the cost of study of the courses in which you have an interest or you can check out the cheapest universities in Australia for international students for more general information.


Scholarships at JCU are available in the undergraduate, honours, postgraduate and research levels. These scholarships are given to students who are able to pass the eligibility requirements on the basis of academic performance or financial need. University-funded scholarships are available for both full-time and part-time students.

JCU also has many external scholarships made available by government departments, business and industry groups that students may be eligible to apply for. These scholarships are available in all study areas. International student scholarships are also awarded to eligible foreign students.

University Life

University life at JCU is much more than attending lectures and tutorials. Social and academic events such as gigs, student activities, sports, academic workshops, market day and BBQ parties are scheduled every semester. JCU clubs and societies play an active role in the university community by providing students the opportunity to meet people with common interests and to pursue those interests.

JCU also places great importance on sports as part of student life. The university encourages students to participate in competitive and social sports and use the facilities available. Aside from sporting facilities, the university also has snack bars and cafes all over the campus. Other student support services include career guidance and counselling, medical and dental services, financial assistance and scholarships.

Student Reviews

Student reviews show positive feedbacks about JCU's highly experienced and approachable lecturers. Students comment how grateful they are of JCU's teachers who are willing to set aside some time if students need any help, be it in academics or personal life.

Many student reviews point out JCU's relaxing, friendly and laid-back atmosphere as well as its scenic campus which is surrounded by rainforest. According to students, this provides them with a relaxed and calm environment to study. Students also like the university's new and modern facilities such as its room labs, large library and up-to-date computer workstation.

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