Dr Scott Burnett and Stephanie Keys.
Dr Scott Burnett and Stephanie Keys. Contributed.

Wildlife tourism focus for new USC dual degree

THE University of Sunshine Coast Fraser Coast campus has designed a new double degree in business and animal ecology.

Applications are open to study a Bachelor of Animal Ecology, Bachelor of Business, starting in February 2018.

USC lecturer and animal ecology program coordinator, Dr Scott Burnett, said the four-year degree will give students a range of direction they could take into employment.

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"They could leave the degree more focused on chasing a job which is more involved with the animal side of it," he said.

"Animal research, informed policy in decision making within government and large corporations for example.

"Or students could focus more on the tourism side of things in terms of using the business skills they've picked up, to start-up businesses or run businesses."

Dr Burnett said eco-tourism is a strong industry in the Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay regions, and USC aims to produce graduates with hands on experience.

"The course is very hands on... once you move out of those first few weeks of the degree, there's a very strong field component," he said.

"Our charter is to produce graduates who can contribute to the quality of life, which includes conservation and economic quality of life."

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While the concept of the degree is not unique, Dr Burnett said they were able to "cherry pick" subjects to eliminate unnecessary components.

"It's not a new concept, but what we're looking to do is ratchet it up another level," he said.

"By combining it formally into a dual degree like this you, can cut out some of the other work that might normally be done because there's an overlap of certain areas."

For students looking to completing the new degree, Dr Burnett's advice is to focus on their studies and to volunteer as much as possible throughout the degree.

People in the Fraser Coast region who are interested in studying at USC can go visit usc.edu.au.



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