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James Cook University, School of Medicine

Region: Townsville Country: Australia

About The University
One of the world's leading institutions focusing on the tropics, Australia's James Cook University is surrounded by the spectacular ecosystems of the rainforests of the Wet tropics, the dry savannahs, and the iconic Great Barrier Reef. Our unique location enables students from Australia and overseas to study in a diverse physical environment unparalleled by any university in the world.

Born for the tropics
Ranked in the the world's tertiary institutions by the respected Academic Ranking of World Universities produced by the Shanghai Jiao Tong University, James Cook University is dedicated to creating a brighter future for life in the tropics world-wide, through graduates and discoveries that make a difference.

Dedicated to research
The University conducts nationally significant and internationally recognised research in areas such as marine sciences, biodiversity, tropical ecology and environments, global warming, tourism, and tropical medicine and public health care in under-served populations.

A comprehensive university
Since our establishment in 1970, we have expanded into a ith our largest campuses in Townsville and Cairns, smaller study centres in Mount Isa, Thursday Island, and Mackay, and campuses in Singapore and Brisbane.

Our students come from many backgrounds, promoting a rich cultural and experiential diversity on campus. Our pan the Arts, Business, Creative Arts, Education, Engineering, Law, Medicine and Health Sciences, Science, Information Technology and Social Sciences. We aim to give graduates the qualifications and skills they need for the global workforce.

Relevant to our region
We also recognise our special obligation to be relevant to our own region and have forged close linkages into the economy and social fabric of the northern Queensland. We are dedicated to ensuring that our teaching, learning and research is not only of high quality, but also delivers practical benefits to the peoples and industries of the region.


Born of the traditional model of excellence in teaching and research, James Cook University has become a modern and dynamic university of truly global standing. Our graduates hold top-level positions around Australia and the world, and our research has earned us a worldclass reputation.

JCU is Queensland's second oldest university. We offered our first courses in Townsville in 1961 as an annex of the University of Queensland. Since then we have become a dynamic, multi-campus university with a total of 17,500 students. Our main campuses are located in Townsville and Cairns, and we have international campuses in Singapore and Brisbane.

After a decade under the stewardship of the University of Queensland, JCU became a university in its own right on 20 April 1970. The proclamation was signed by Queen Elizabeth II at a special ceremony in Townsville, which took place 200 years, to the day, after the University's namesake, explorer Captain James Cook, first sighted Australia.

Campuses and locations

JCU's main sites are located in tropical northern Queensland, a remarkable region where over a million visitors come each year to experience.

Tropical northern Queensland is uniquely different to the rest of Australia, and possibly the world. The UN's World Heritage Convention agrees. Both the and the rainforests are included on the World Heritage List for their natural values. Nowhere else in the world do two World Heritage regions exist side by side.

But there is far more to tropical northern Queensland than these two precious regions. The coastal cities of Cairns and Townsville provide locals and visitors with modern sporting, cultural, entertainment and shopping facilities combined with a relaxed, laid-back lifestyle.

Just west of Cairns lies the agriculturally rich and to the northwest the region with its fringing mountain ranges and wide open spaces. occupies Queensland's most northern corner and has enormous environmental diversity that is of great interest to scientists and visitors alike. Further north are the beautiful which have a unique history and fascinating Indigenous culture.

More and more students from other parts of Australia and abroad are discovering the advantages of tropical northern Queensland as a study location.

Our main campuses are located in Townsville and Cairns in northern Queensland. Smaller study centres are located in Mackay, Mount Isa and Thursday Island, and research stations and other sites are spread around northern Queensland. JCU also operates a Brisbane campus catering to international students and a Singapore campus. Our campuses are renowned for their stunning natural settings and friendly, relaxed ambience.
Governance and Planning Access Page

The Governance and Planning area of the James Cook University website provides high level access to central resources associated with both Governance and Planning


Much of the content in this area is restricted to groups within the JCU community and all JCU users are required to log in (normal JCU username password) to view resources. Visitors are welcome (login as "guest" -password "guest") and will be able to access visible resources.

Teaching and Learning Development

The Teaching and Learning Development Unit (TLD) works collaboratively with academics, students and professional colleagues to create an effective and sustainable teaching and learning environment in the tropics. TLD provides events, courses and resources for the empowerment of staff and students alike.

We work with Schools and faculties to encourage innovation and scholarship in pedagogy and curriculum design. We also work with domestic and international students to help them become independent and successful learners.

Our activities contribute to meeting JCU's statement of strategic intent in respect to the provision of a quality teaching and learning experience, developing scholarly partnerships, encouraging broader and deeper collegial participation, championing best practice, and promoting inclusivity.

Research Profile

James Cook University is a leader in research addressing the critical challenges facing the tropics, world-wide. A defining feature of JCU is its tropical location and its research excellence in disciplines of particular relevance to the tropics. As a comprehensive university in the tropics, JCU is well placed to foster cross-disciplinary collaborations to meet these challenges.

JCU is committed to providing shape and direction to our research by alignment to four major themes:

  • Tropical Ecosystems, Conservation and Climate Change
  • Industries and Economies in the Tropics
  • Peoples and Societies in the Tropics
  • Tropical Health, Medicine and Biosecurity
We commit ourselves to research of excellence and high impact, particularly on issues of critical importance to the world's tropics. As a regionally-based university, we recognise our obligation to engage with industry and government, commercialise our research findings and achieve critical mass through productive research partnerships with other research organisations. JCU is a site and catalyst for innovation and understanding.

We build on current areas of world-class excellence to achieve a strong performance in scholarship and teaching inspired by a research-enriched environment. We recognise that the University is judged not only on its quality but equally on its relevance and impact beyond academia.

Tropical issues provide the focus to the University's research mission, driven by the University's unique geographical location, particularly its close proximity to the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics rainforest and its links with rural, remote and indigenous communities and industries.

In recent years, JCU has consolidated its strengths in tropical science, knowledge and innovation by increasing its collaboration with other research organisations in the northern Queensland region, including the Australian Institute of Marine Science and CSIRO, a process facilitated by major infrastructure developments which allow our researchers to be co-located with researchers from partner institutions.

Together with key areas of JCU-based research such as the and hese developments have significantly expanded the University's research base and its network of collaborations both in Australia and globally. ccess to information about research activities at the school level is provided via JCU's .

James Cook University is Australia's leading research university with a focus on the tropics. It is internationally renowned in the fields of ecology and environment, plant and animal science, geosciences, coral reef science, tropical health and medicine, and tourism.

Australia is unique amongst developed countries in having a significant landmass in the tropics. Tropical Australia accounts for 46% of the nation's landmass and despite its low and dispersed population base, is the source of more than 30% of the nation's exports, particularly from mining, oil and gas. Six per cent of Australians live in the tropics, including close to one-third of indigenous Australians.

In an era of climate change, tropical issues are of growing global significance. Approximately one-half of the world's population lives in the tropics. With population growth double the world average, the tropics are under severe and growing pressure.

A high proportion of the world's biodiversity is located in the tropics, including up to 80% of animal and plant species and 92% of world's coral reefs. Population growth and urbanisation have led to biodiversity loss on a massive scale in many tropical countries, a process exacerbated by climate change. High population density and growth are similarly linked to poor health outcomes and to the emergence of new infectious diseases.

Seventy-five per cent of new infectious diseases are zoonoses, diseases of animals that are transmitted to humans (e.g. SARS and avian influenza). It is a process exacerbated by humans living in close physical proximity to domesticated animals and by global warming which changes the distribution of disease insect vectors (e.g., mosquitoes).

JCU's research mission is to find solutions to the challenges facing the world's tropics through research.

Of particular strategic importance is the research undertaken on issues of importance to industry, government and the broader community in northern Queensland and more broadly in tropical Australia. The role of JCU research is central to the region's future, and its importance is acknowledged by both State and Federal Government and by businesses and organisations across Queensland.

Social Sciences

If you are interested in culture, society, political systems and how we make sense of our world, you should consider a degree in the social sciences.

The Bachelor of Social Sciences enables students to specialize in study areas such as anthropology and archaeology, Asia-Pacific community development, criminology, environmental studies, history, human services, politics and international relations, psychology and sociology.

Social science degrees at JCU also include professional degrees in human services; for example, the Bachelor of Social Work and Bachelor of Community Welfare. Many subjects are available externally, creating flexibility for students to balance work, study and family. Social science graduates are recognised for their abilities to research and analyse social, cultural and political issues that affect society - locally, nationally and internationally.

Social scientists have broad career options and are found in social planning, international aid, cultural heritage, environmental management and allied health professions including counselling, welfare, health policy and health promotion.

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Contact Details

Address: Douglas, Townsville, 4811 Queensland


+61 (0)7 4781 4111

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