James Cook University - Overview & Background

James Cook University (JCU) is Queensland's second-oldest university. JCU became an independent University in 1970. JCU currently has 22000 students studying at different campuses across Australia. It is one of the best and modern universities in the world. JCU aims to equip students with skills that make them career-ready and excel in the path chosen by them. JCU has campuses at Cairns, Townville, Singapore, and Brisbane.

The Townsville campus has a population of around 11,500 students which includes 1500 international students. It is spread over 386-hectare land in one of Australia’s largest cities.

JCU at Cairns has attractive teaching and research facilities. It is home to 4000 students of which 380 are international students. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations. It has the Great Barrier Reef and other tropical rainforests.JCU in Singapore was established in the year 2003. It has got the highest accreditation from the Singapore government called the EduTrust Star.

JCU Brisbane campus is located in the Brisbane central business district. Brisbane is the capital of Queensland and has more exposure than the other campuses. Many undergraduate and postgraduate programs are offered for international students in the field of Business and Information Technology. JCU Mackay is located along with Mater Misericordiae Hospital in North Mackay, Queensland. It offers various courses in nursing and midwifery. 

Former Names

University College of Townsville (1961-70)
James Cook University of North Queensland (1970-98)





University Type

Public Research University

University Motto

Light ever increasing

University City

    Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Mount Isa, Thursday Island, Rockhampton and Brisbane, Queensland
Acceptance Rate


Faculty to Student Ratio


Campus Size

954 acres

Graduation Rate


Employment Rate


Official Website Link

James Cook University,  Australia

Contact Details

+61 7 4781 5255


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JCU is renowned for its advances in research. Some of JCU's famous research centers include:

  • The Science Place, which is a teaching and research facility with a sustainability design
  • The Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine (AITHM)
  • Dentistry teaching facilities
  • State-of-the-art dental clinic
  • The Australian Tropical Science and Innovation Precinct

JCU has field stations dedicated to research activities, namely :

  • Fletcherview Research Station
  • Orpheus Island
  • Daintree Rainforest Observatory

JCU Townsville campus offers well-equipped teaching and research facilities, library, café, sports facilities, student clubs, and societies. JCU's Centre for Rural and Remote Health (CRH) offers a wide range of health care courses which is supported by its well-established teaching and research facilities.

Residing Options

JCU offers on-campus, off-campus, homestay and short-stay accommodations. JCU offers five on-campus accommodation options of which three are owned by the university and two options are provided by the colleges that are affiliated to the University. There are various types of rooms and facilities to choose from. Students who stay on campus also enjoy various other benefits like more university engagement, ball nights, themed activities and other on-campus functions. JCU believes that staying on campus enriches student’s experience at the university.

Townsville on-campus accommodation offers various types of facilities that include enhanced security, CCTV cameras, catering for all types of special food and dietary requirements. JCU halls of residences are University Hall, George Roberts Hall, and Rotary International House. The other stay options are provided by Saints Catholic College and The John Flynn College.

On-campus stay costs around a minimum of $241 per week to a maximum of $475 a week.    

JCU has a dedicated accommodation team that supports students to find options to stay off-campus.  The accommodation website has a continuously updated list that contains all the information about the available stay options off-campus. Students are also provided with options such as homestays and short stays. Homestays provide students with opportunities to be a part of a family. 

Financial Aid

JCU offers various forms of financial aids, namely loans, grants, and scholarships. JCU provides scholarships to both domestic and international students. Nearly 54 scholarships are being awarded to the students based on merit and financial background.

It offers various scholarships exclusively for international students like

  • James Cook University International Excellence Scholarship
  • James Cook University International Student
  • Merit Stipend
  • American Australian Association Fellowships
  • Australia Awards Scholarships

There are country-specific and research-specific scholarships. JCU encourages all the students to apply for scholarships.

Jobs and Placements

JCU offers dedicated careers and employability services for the students. It advises students to plan for their career from the first year of study and slowly define career goals and work towards achieving them. It also offers career counseling and dedicated career staff to guide and support the students. The students with disabilities are supported and guided for placements by University Specialist Employment Partnerships (USEP).

JCU also offers Career Development Program which supports students in finding volunteer work, vacation work and other placements that involve practical work experience.  JCU also conducts annual career fairs at Townsville and Cairns campuses. The current record of placements is 5000 graduates in a year.

The main organizations involved are:

  • Education Queensland
  • Queensland Health
  • The Australian Festival of Chamber Music
  • The Great Barrier Reef Marine Authority

78.6% of graduates are employed full time 4 months after completing the graduation at JCU.

Notable Alumni

Some famous alumni from James Cook University include:

  • Katarina Carroll, Commissioner of the Queensland Police Service
  • David Crisafulli, Queensland politician
  • Silma Ihram, Activist
  • Alex Jia, CEO of Longrich Group, China's biggest daily chemical manufacturer
  • Margaret Reynolds, Australian politician
  • Glen Richards, Entrepreneur and founder and CEO of Greencross
  • Nicole Webster, A principal research scientist at the Australian Institute of Marine Science
  • Ian Young, Vice chancellor, Australian National University

James Cook University Locations

The university has its campuses in different locations enabling students to get more work experience and exposure. The campuses are surrounded by wet tropical regions and the Great Barrier Reef.  The JCU Townsville campus is located in the suburb of Douglas in Australia. It is situated 8 miles from the Central Business District. Over 1400 students live on campus in the affiliated colleges and shared halls of residences. The campus houses the university's main offices, libraries, and cafes. Whitsunday Islands, Mission Beach and Charters Towers are located near the campus.

There are very limited parking spaces available on campus. The students are encouraged to use bikes as an efficient way of transportation. JCU offers a dedicated bike storage facility at both Townsville and Cairns campuses. The students living on-campus are provided with a free bike hire facility.

Sunbus offers regular bus services to both the Townsville and Cairns campuses. It connects most parts of the city to the campus. All TransLink public transport services and approved ferry services offer 50% concession fare to the students.   

JCU students are offered discounts in various local businesses, Cafés, Sporting and Gym Memberships, Entertainment, Online News and Newspaper Home Deliveries, Accommodation, Travel and Transport and Florists and Gifts.

James Cook University Map Locations

Address: 1 James Cook Dr, Douglas QLD 4811, Australia

Frequently Asked Questions about James Cook University

Is James Cook a good university?

A top-tier university, James Cook University (JCU) has recently earned the renowned QS 5 Stars ranking in 2021 for its accomplishments in the areas of teaching, employability, research, and facilities. JCU frequently receives the top 300 university rankings worldwide. It is also Australia's top tropical university and the second-oldest institution in Queensland. Through research and instruction that benefits people and societies, the natural world, and the built environment, JCU students explore, discover, and develop, and they graduate from the university ready to meet the competitive demands of the global workforce.

Is it hard to get into James Cook University?

The requirements must be satisfied, although it's not really that difficult. One must have successfully completed six months of full-time study at an accredited higher education institution in order to enroll in undergraduate courses, and they must have earned a minimum cumulative GPA of 4.9 out of 7.0, or minimum average grades of roughly 65-70%. One may be able to apply for graduate programs right after high school, but they must submit a High School Certificate (or equivalent). These requests will each be evaluated individually. A bachelor's degree or its equivalent from an accredited higher education institution must have been successfully earned by you.

What is James Cook University famous for?

Career-focused courses at James Cook University are well-known for giving students the education and skills that businesses value most. Students here receive training, hands-on practical knowledge, and learning opportunities from real-world situations.
James Cook University is a pioneer for its outstanding research that addresses key global concerns. Students may rest assured that they will only study about the most recent trends and market breakthroughs, thanks to the university's partnerships with numerous worldwide, regional, national, and professional research organizations. The institution is the ideal place for students to combine their studies with adventure because it offers three stunning campuses in Townsville, Cairns, and Singapore. Students will be immersed in the most breathtaking man-made and natural treasures, like the Great Barrier Reef, the Great Rainforest, and the intricate ecosystems of huge jungles. These "living labs" provide students with a wealth of study opportunities.

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