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Graduate Diploma of Ornithology

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CSU’s Graduate Diploma of Ornithology caters for professional and amateur ornithologists who wish to upgrade their skills and knowledge whilst attaining a recognised tertiary qualification.

The Graduate Diploma of Ornithology is related to:

  • Why study this course?

    Graduates have advanced knowledge about the foraging behaviour, breeding ecology, social organisation, and movements of birds. They are able to apply this knowledge in ornithology to contemporary issues associated with conservation including those that require highly specialised skills or technical abilities.

    CSU's Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma of Ornithology are the only specialised postgraduate courses in Australia in the field of ornithology.

    What will I learn?

    The course has an emphasis on Australian birds. It consists of a number of specialised subjects focused on evolution, taxonomy, ecology, foraging behaviour, field survey techniques, conservation and management.

    The Graduate Diploma of Ornithology builds on this knowledge and provides the skills to apply your knowledge to contemporary issues associated with conservation.

    Flexible study options

    Flexible learning provides you with increased choice, convenience, and personalisation to suit you. In particular, you will have choices about where, when and how learning occurs. At CSU you can:

    • study at your own pace. While we regard two subjects as a normal part-time load, you are able to balance your work, life and study commitments by taking between one and four subjects each session
    • choose when to study. Almost all the subjects in the School of Environmental Sciences are offered by distance education and on campus, meaning you can swap study modes or vary your choice of subjects to meet commitments during the week
    • vary your pattern to suit your needs. We allow you to vary your pattern to manage residential school commitments. You can (with permission) vary from the recommended pattern to meet your career goals.

  • Workplace learning

    Please note that the following subjects have a Workplace Learning component:

  • Subjects

    The below information is for new students. Current students should select their subjects by checking the Handbook for the year of their enrolment

    Course structure

    The Graduate Certificate in Ornithology requires students to complete four compulsory subjects (32 points).

    BIO430 Avian Biology
    BIO433 Ornithological Methods
    BIO431 Avian Systematics
    BIO432 Behaviour, Ecology and Conservation of Birds

    The Graduate Diploma in Ornithology is an additional four subjects (32 points).

    Students undertake two core subjects and choose two others from a restricted subject list.

    Core ornithology subject list includes:
    BIO437 Captive Breeding and Reintroduction of Birds
    BIO439 Behavioural Ecology

    Restricted subject list includes:
    SPA415 Principles of Geographic Information Systems
    GEO513 River Hydrology and Geomorphology
    BIO521 Restoration Ecology
    ENM413 The Principles and Practice of Field Ecology

    Enrolment pattern

    Graduate Certificate
    Year 1 Session 1
    BIO430 Avian Biology
    BIO433 Ornithological Methods

    Year 1 Session 2
    BIO431 Avian Systematics
    BIO432 Ecology and Conservation of Birds
    With 32 point students may opt to exit at this point with the Graduate Certificate in Ornithology.

    Graduate Diploma
    A further 4 subjects (32 points), with at least 2 core subjects (16 points).

    Year 2 Session 1
    BIO437 Captive Breeding and Reintroduction of Birds
    Restricted Elective

    Year 2 Session 2
    BIO439 Behavioural Ecology
    Restricted Elective

  • Residential schools

    The following subjects may have a residential school component:

    BIO433 Ornithological Methods
    BIO431 Avian Systematics and Biogeography
    GEO513 River Hydrology and Geomorphology

  • Admission information

    Applicants must have relevant undergraduate degree before entering in to this course

    Applicants are expected to hold one of the following:

    • at least five years relevant experience in a natural resource industry
    • at least five years part-time project experience with a recognised ornithological society
    • other equivalent experience as deemed appropriate by the Faculty.

    Students must successfully complete the requirements of the Graduate Certificate before progressing to the Graduate Diploma of Ornithology.

    See standard CSU admission criteria

  • Cost of study

    Fees are relevant for 2016 only and are subject to change in future years. Tuition fees quoted do not include the Student Services and Amenities Fee.

    In some instances a tax deduction may be claimed for self education expenses. Please seek independent qualified taxation advice.

    Alumni discount

    Already studied with CSU? Our 10% Alumni discount applies to this course!
    Find out more

    Tuition costs
    Fee-paying place
    2600*Tuition fee per 8 point subject

    As a fee paying student, the Australian Government does not contribute towards your study costs. You pay a tuition fee for each subject you undertake.


    1. Defer your payment using a FEE-HELP loan, which is repaid through the taxation system once your income reaches a certain threshold
    2. Pay your tuition fee up-front each session

    * Fee for students commencing study in 2016.

    More information about fee-paying places

    Distance education (offshore) study mode
    3200*Tuition fee per 8 point subject

    * Fee for students commencing study in 2016.

    More information about international student fees

  • Course details
    Enrol TypeModeCampusFee typeSession1Session2Session3Admission Code
    DirectDistance EducationAlbury-WodongaFPPGYYNOSGO
    DirectDistance EducationAlbury-WodongaFPOSYYNJSGO

    CGS: Commonwealth Government supported places
    FPPG: Fee-paying postgraduate places
    FPOS: Fee-paying overseas student places
    Admission Code: For your reference if required during your application process
    NO TAC: An admission code is not required for applications to CSU Study Centres
    TEMP: An admission code has not yet been assigned for this course

    Graduation requirements

    To graduate students must satisfactorily complete 64 points.

  • How to apply
    Apply direct to CSU

    An online application to CSU takes about 15 minutes to complete. Find out more

    Apply online

    Apply direct to CSU

    Apply direct to CSU for on campus study at a CSU regional campus, or study by distance education.

    Apply online

    Recruitment agent

    Contact a Recruitment agent in your country who can answer your questions about CSU as well as help with the student visa application process.

    International recruitment agents

    Thinking of deferring?

    Find out more about deferral

  • About the School
    School of Environmental Sciences

    CSU is one of the few universities in Australia to be ranked as ‘above the world standard’ in environmental science and management by the Commonwealth Government in the national evaluation of research strengths of Australian universities. The School of Environmental Sciences is amongst the top five schools of its kind in Australia, offering courses in environmental science, park management, natural resource management, spatial science, and outdoor recreation and ecotourism – with some subjects involving intensive international field trips. The School emphasises applied learning, using real-world examples, field studies, and vocationally focused training to teach students about the environment. On campus study in environmental sciences is located at CSU’s Albury-Wodonga Campus – Australia's first environmentally friendly university campus.

  • Preparing for Study


    This School recommends any of the following short, self-paced, online STUDY LINK subjects to students who wish to reinforce knowledge and skills in the area of writing and grammar prior to starting at CSU:

    • SSS022 - Writing at University
    • SSS024 - Grammar Essentials for Writing at University
    • SSS030 - Academic English for Australian Tertiary Studies (International and English as Second Language Learners)
    • SSS031 - Academic Writing Skills (F2F Workshop)
    • SSS034 - Essay Writing – Style and Structure
    These subjects are particularly useful for those people who feel that they may have knowledge gaps and need a refresher because they have not studied for some time. STUDY LINK subjects are free for CSU Commonwealth-supported students as soon as they accept their offer of a place; small fees apply for others. They are non-credit bearing subjects.  A Subject Coordinator assists students with any questions. The full subject list and enrolment forms are on the STUDY LINK website.
  • Academic expectations

    For each 8 point subject at CSU, students should normally expect to spend between 140-160 hours engaged in the specified learning and assessment activities (such as attending lectures or residential schools, assigned readings, tutorial assistance, individual or group research/study, forum activity, workplace learning, assignments or examinations). The student workload for some subjects may vary from these norms as a result of approved course design.

    Students will be assessed on the basis of completed assignments, examinations, workplace learning, or other methods as outlined in specific subject outlines.

    Where applicable, students are responsible for travel and accommodation costs involved in workplace learning experiences, or attending residential schools (distance education students).

    Expectations relating to academic, workplace learning, time and cost requirements for specific subjects are provided in the subject abstracts and in course materials.

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