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The School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences teaches into the Bachelor of Science at an undergraduate level, and offers a range of graduate study options.

Undergraduate: Bachelor of Science and Breadth subjects

There are 41 majors to choose from in the Bachelor of Science. Ecosystem Science and Environmental Science are the majors offered by the School of Ecosystem and Forest Science.
Read more about the Bachelor of Science

Ecosystem and forest sciences subjects can also be taken as an elective to complement a major in another area, or as Breadth.

Image of Mitchell Stephen

It only took one subject in ecosystem science for Mitchell Smith to find his dream career as a forest fire-fighter. Since taking a capstone subject in Forest Systems, Mitchell has worked across Victoria and the Tiwi Islands in the fire management sector. These experiences inspired him to return to study and complete graduate studies in Bushfire Planning and Management.

Major in Ecosystem Science

This major shows you how to care for, use and protect our ecosystems, allowing you to specialise in either urban ecosystems or forest ecosystems.

Major in Environmental Science

This major combines knowledge in biology, chemistry, statistics and earth sciences for a multidisciplinary approach to tackling our environmental challenges.

If your goal is to eventually study a PhD in this field, one pathway is to add an honours year to your Bachelor of Science.

Graduate certificates, graduate diplomas and community access subjects

Our certificates, diplomas and subjects are popular choices for graduates looking to upskill and professionals considering a career change.

Leon completed a Graduate Diploma in Bushfire Management and now works in regional Victoria as a land planner.

Leon Holt began his working career in government working with planning authorities, local councils and the community as a land planner after completing a graduate program with a focus on forest ecosystems. Leon is now working directly in forest management in Victoria’s west, where he spends time managing them for multiple values, including timber production.

Graduate Certificate in Arboriculture

Learn how to manage trees in the urban forest, studying tree growth and function, plant identification and selection, pests and diseases, and environmental stresses.

Graduate Certificate in Bushfire Planning and Management

Enhance your knowledge of fire in the Australian landscape and further develop skills in either planning and regulation to minimise bushfire risks, or fire management.

Graduate Certificate in Garden Design

Learn about holistic design principles, how to choose and use the right plants for the right situations, and develop skills in drawing and graphic presentation.

Graduate Certificate in Green Infrastructure

Develop cross-disciplinary approaches to the planning, design and management of green infrastructure to improve city environments, including urban trees, green roofs and walls, and water-sensitive urban design.

Graduate Certificate in Urban Horticulture

Looking for a career change with a focus on plants? The Graduate Certificate of Urban Horticulture is a perfect introduction to the foundations of designing, creating, managing and advocating for urban green spaces.

Graduate Diploma in Urban Horticulture

Explore the foundations of designing, creating, managing and advocating for urban green spaces. This is a potential pathway into the Master of Urban Horticulture.

Discovering horticulture
(short course)

An excellent introductory course for those wishing to learn more about horticulture.

Australian School of Urban Forestry (short course)

Urban Forests Masterclass will focus on urban forests for resilient communities.

Assessment of Bushfire Exposure (micro cert)

Gain the capacity to provide bushfire assessments and recommendations to help build environmentally resilient properties.

Masters by coursework

These two-year courses are ideal for students looking to become specialists in their field, or prepare for research.

"The Master of Urban Horticulture was a valuable tool for building on my existing skills and knowledge towards a career that was more aligned with where I actually wanted it to be."
Meg Caffin began her career in the banking and finance industry before making a career change happen by completing the Master of Urban Horticulture and becoming the first Urban Forest Officer in the City of Melbourne. Meg now works throughout Australia helping local and state governments develop and implement urban forest and green infrastructure strategies to improve urban environments.

Master of Ecosystem Management and Conservation

Build hands-on, practical skills in the management of our biophysical environment while learning to successfully consult and collaborate with communities and other stakeholders.

Master of Science (BioSciences)

This degree, which includes a major research project, will take your expertise in biological sciences to an advanced level and prepare you for a career in research.

Master of Urban Horticulture

Learn to design, manage and advocate for greater urban greening and the importance of these green spaces.

Read about finding a research project supervisor and topic, and view our supervisor directory.

Graduate research: PhD and masters by research

Pursue a career in research or academia and delve deeper into your area of interest through a Doctor of Philosophy or a Master of Philosophy in the School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences.

More about graduate research in the School of Ecosystem and Forest Science

Image of Kylie Soanes

Conservation might sound like a job you want when you’re four years old, not a job you actually have as an adult, but now Dr Kylie Soanes gets to do this for a living. Her PhD research assessed the benefits of road-crossing structures to improve the connectivity of tree-based mammal populations.

Master of Philosophy (Science)

If you’re thinking about a research career, but aren’t ready to commit to a PhD, the MPhil gives you the perfect introduction to university-based scientific research.

Doctor of Philosophy (Science)

Join one of our world-renowned research groups, work with state-of-the-art equipment, and soak up all the professional development opportunities and international connections available at the highest level of research qualification.


The University of Melbourne has one of the most generous scholarship programs in Australia. With over 1200 scholarships and prizes available for new and current students, it's more than likely there is one that you're eligible for either when you start your course or during your studies.

See scholarships information