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James Cook University is Australia’s leading tropical research university. It takes its name from the eighteenth century British navigator and explorer Captain James Cook, whose epic voyages in contributed significantly to the world of science. The University was proclaimed in Townsville on 20 April 1970, two hundred years after Cook charted the eastern seaboard of Australia. JCU is a multi-campus university with the main sites located in the vibrant tropical Queensland cities of Townsville and Cairns. Smaller sites are located in Mount Isa, Mackay and Thursday Island. JCU courses are also delivered in partnership with education providers in Sydney and Melbourne. Offshore facilities and partnerships continue to grow. JCU offers courses in a broad range of study areas and has a strong research focus, particularly in matters relating to life in the tropics. In a ranking of the world’s top 500 universities, JCU was one of only 13 Australian universities listed (Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Academic Ranking of World Universities 2003).

JCU’s main sites are located in tropical northern Queensland, a remarkable region where over a million visitors come each year to experience two World Heritage listed natural wonders: the Great Barrier Reef and the rainforests of the Wet Tropics. The region is also the gateway to the scenic Atherton Tablelands, Cape York and the historic Queensland outback. Townsville and Cairns are thriving coastal cities each with populations of around 130 000. JCU is renowned for its friendliness, good staff-student ratios, highly qualified teaching staff and effective support services. More and more students from other parts of Australia and abroad are discovering the advantages of tropical northern Queensland as a study location.

Over 170 undergraduate and 140 postgraduate courses are offered at JCU, spanning the Arts, Business, Creative Arts, Education, Engineering, Law, Medicine and Health Sciences, Science, Information Technology and Social Sciences. JCU provides its graduates with the qualifications and skills for entry into the global workforce. All degree programs emphasise the skills of critical thinking and problem solving, effective communication and familiarity with information technologies. JCU works with local industries and professions to ensure that courses relate to employer needs. Work placement schemes feature in many degree programs, equipping graduates with valuable practical skills. JCU has a commitment to making university education accessible and achievable for a wider range of people in our region. A range of preparatory courses and entrance schemes support this objective