A significant relationship between the marine environment and humans has existed throughout history. Australia is an island nation, with Western Australia’s mainland and islands having approximately twenty-one thousand kilometres of coastline. It is therefore relevant to Western Australians to study the sea and how people interact with it.

The Marine and Maritime Studies ATAR course provides students with the opportunity to understand and explore this relationship and the importance of developing and maintaining a sustainable future for our coastal and marine environments.

Students are given the opportunity to develop responsible and competent boat-handling and navigation skills under power, and in doing so, demonstrate an understanding of nautical concepts. They develop knowledge of the properties inherent in seaworthy craft and the basics of good boat design, construction and maintenance. Students will also be provided with the opportunity to develop personal water-based skills (swimming/snorkelling), to allow them to engage directly with the marine environment.

The Marine and Maritime Studies ATAR course provides opportunities for students to apply theoretical knowledge through practical activities, with a focus on active learning experiences both within and outside of the classroom.


Students investigate oceanography concepts to develop a strong understanding of the interdependence between elements of the marine environment, conduct research into the safe and sustainable management of the oceans’ resources for conservation and commercialism, and are also introduced to the world of maritime archaeology.
The course will provide students with a solid foundation of skills and knowledge suitable for a wide range of vocational or recreational pathways in boating (commercial and recreational), scuba, vessel design and construction (maritime engineering), resource management, and maritime archaeology or marine science.

Optional Costs:

There may be an additional optional cost associated with this unit of approximately $2000. This cost will depend on any optional excursion organised for students within this year of study.

Course Outline:

This course is organised into a Year 11 syllabus and a Year 12 syllabus. The Year 11 syllabus is divided into two units, each of one semester duration.


Students must be able to swim 100m continuously and confidently with their face in the water.

Year 11

Unit 1

This unit explores types of Western Australian marine ecosystems, marine resources, nautical craft design features, power boating, historic sea routes and mapping of the Western Australian coastline.

Unit 2

This unit explores the cycling of matter through marine ecosystems and global ocean currents. Historical and archaeological understandings and the skills associated with power boating are further developed. Students investigate management of local Western Australian fisheries.


Year 12

Unit 3

This unit explores Western Australian ocean currents and factors which influence the productivity of marine ecosystems, major issues affecting Australia’s marine environment, shipwrecks and snorkelling and diving.

Unit 4

This unit focuses on the impacts of climate change, coastal erosion and strategies for managing marine biodiversity. Western Australian historical and archaeological understandings and the skills associated with snorkelling and diving are further developed.