James Cook University

James Cook University Education Central, Townsville.

Education Central (Townsville). Photo credit: Learning Environments Australasia

James Cook University is based in the tropical north of Australia, with campuses in Townsville and Cairns. It's a noted research institution in tropical and marine ecosystems. JCU also has a large health faculty and offers medical degrees. Student reviews are welcome from current and former JCU students.

JCU Rating

User Rating 2.74 (161 votes)
Comments Rating 1.39 (36 reviews)

Student Reviews

75 Responses

  1. Krish P
    | Reply

    content is over a decade old

    Some of the content is from 2009 (date still on the slides), references are old. I just cannot believe they do not have the capacity to update their materials. Very sad university.
    Don’t go here if you want to learn anything current.

    No wonder the other reviews say they cannot get a job.

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  2. Leslie
    | Reply

    Wondering about the marine biology department and masters programs

    Hi, I’m seeing a lot of negative comments here and I fully believe in everything everyone is saying. I’m just wondering what people’s experience has been with the marine biology programs? I’ll be an international student starting in their new Masters of Marine Biology program. If anyone can comment on their experience with the marine biology department, grad programs, or being an international student, I would really appreciate it!
    P.S. Very sorry you all had such terrible experiences here. My undergrad experience in the states sounds much the same as what is described here and you all deserved so much better from the institution.

  3. LI
    | Reply

    Considering studying next year at JCU

    Hey guys, I’m considering studying Bachelor of Education at JCU next year and was wondering if any education students looking at this forum could provide me with any factual opinion about the academic’s teaching quality.

    • Christie
      | Reply

      JCU was one of the only universities in Australia to go down in rankings in the global university ranking guide for the 2020/2021 academic year. It has a very high student to teacher ratio so support is limited. Do your research on how you like learning. If you are able to handle self-study then go for it.

    • DisenchantedStudent
      | Reply

      JCU is just a meat factory with zero student care

      I can’t comment on education, but one week into one of the health science degrees as an external, I would encourage anyone to look elsewhere. I have studied at other universities and JCU is shaping up to be the worst one I have been to. Already I have had several questions in a quiz that was not covered in the supposedly-comprehensive, “If it’s not here we won’t test it” source, been rather snottily referred to the subject guide for a question that was ambiguous in the subject guide and in which I said clearly I had read the subject guide, had critical information about test timing (test will only be open for one hour on the designated day) communicated only verbally in an optional lecture, and much, much more. Going to get my placement uniforms, the uniform place was supposed to have a list of approved trousers, and they didn’t, they didn’t even know about one approved variation and certainly didn’t stock it. It seems from recordings that in lectures you’re not allowed to ask verbal questions, it all has to be done through a text platform even if you’re there in person. The whole thing is coming across so far as a dehumanising meat factory. I am already looking into whether my second-choice uni might let me transfer. I’m frankly horrified by the place.

      • Bob
        | Reply

        Avoid like the plague !!

        JCU Data Science is a money maker – if you are seeking to LEARN – you will not do it here …Ive studied at many universities and this is by far the worst experience I have ever had with an educational institution – opportunities to get feedback/instruction are very very limited, marked assignments are handed back late, comments in the assignments are completely unhelpful e.g. you missed x” wow – lots of teaching effort there ! Can highlight enough how terrible a course and university this place is !

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  4. Robert
    | Reply


    Had an absolutely disgusting experience with JCU. They are CRAP! Some face-to-face services at JCU are temporarily unavailable. BUT ITS ALL BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF STAFFING! NOT THE PANDEMIC!!! My course has been online for 1.5 years! If you are considering JCU, I suggest you go somewhere else. You are going to be wasting your time, energy and MONEY!!

    • Greg
      | Reply

      Negative experience

      Cert. animal Sci. Definitely would not recommend. I have studied at two other universities. I can’t speak for the whole uni, but I agree with much of the comments. In my post graduate certificate, subjects seemed hastily designed and not relevant. Chosen to create as little effort for the lecturers rather than quality. Although this was an internal course, one lecturer did not want to teach, even online for a difficult epidemiology unit. Another subject was having to chase down a different lecturer every two weeks to be given a topic to present a ppt presentation. My impression was that this course was designed to squeeze money out of overseas students. Very negative experience. Accomodation is yet another story.

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    | Reply

    Be mindful before joining courses you might be trapped for long run

    University runs only two semesters and subject offered are only availble in one semester. For example subject A only offered in first semester not in 2ND semester. If you take subject A in first semester (*and it is prerquisuite for subject B in second semester ), and if for any reason you do not get through it , you will not be able to get it in 2nd semester and you would not be able take subject B either . so you loose a year of you study at once because you will not be able to get subject A until next year semester 1. Is it practical in these times when there are number of universities who offer you same subjects in trisemesters and sometime you can even able to finish your course earlier that time frame.
    Now lot of coursese offered online so why to choose university which risk of enlongating you course duration. when asked university why subjects are not run bit more frequently the answer is staff requirements for running the subjects. The students some time have to pay with loss of their for university staffing problem. Empoly more staff people.
    Please dont take me wrong or judgemental but lot of academic staff joins this university close to their retirement age and young academic do not want to live in rural towns where the university campus are located. No doubt older staff have knoweldge but they lack the ability to create and deliver contents as per the expectation of students on their advance electronic plateforms which student owns in their plam. To be frank for JCU older academics the computer is nothing more than a typewriter as they are not familiar with what it can do, if they can not use it they direct you to youtube videos because they are unable to create such contents by themselfs but student is paying them not Youtube. Ugrade you information technology skill fellows!!!! it might be difficult as most of there staff did’nt have access to a computer when they were doing their Phd degrees or would have carried dotted sheets in stead of usb sticks but are we sure some one can deliver knoweldge adequately if he/she is not even anywere near in IT skills of his/her grandson or granddaughter in today infromation technology world. I remember lot of senior nurses has resigned when Queensland health implemented ieMR system in the hopitals , the reason they could not handle the burden of learning this new systems but universities should know such a burden must be taken senior academics if they want to deliver knoweldge in this modren world and produce good students who have to operate in new world.
    I have seen lot of JCU academics take pride during lecture when saying “I dont know much about IT” but that was seen as good comment when IT was just evolving but i want to make them aware we all giggle in our desks when they say it and we see it lack of commetment to teaching.
    Online education going to be a biggest chunk of delivering education in coming times, hopefully student will not lack behind due to JCU’s attitude of worshipping old traditions.

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  6. sarthak
    | Reply

    MBA (Leadership)


    I am planning to do MBA(Leadership) from JCU Brisbane campus. any feedback for this particular course and campus?

    • Jacob
      | Reply

      Jcu mba is very expensive with little support. Anu and uni of melb are similar price with fantastic outcomes.

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  7. William
    | Reply


    Academics never respond to emails, especially when your asking for clarification on an assessment. Assessments are very poorly written and the WORST part is that there is very little support. The academics believe they have done everything they can to support us. What support means to them is giving us independent activities to complete in substitute for online sessions, running drop in sessions at the most unsuitable times, and send out friendly emails reminding us to get in contact when we needed support. Yet, they NEVER respond or sometimes if we are likely they respond by keep avoiding answering the question. It is god damn frustrating!!! POOR EXPERIENCE AND I REGRET GOING TO JCU! There are a few academics who are are AMAZING and I wish that they received the recognition they deserve.

  8. Concerned
    | Reply


    Its really hard when the anatomy lecturer in Vet Science is french and very hard to understand. Even harder when she gives lecture notes written in french and tells students to get google to translate them. No academic support, just told to go to student services only to be told the course has too much in it for a five year course. Very Very high failure rate

    • J
      | Reply

      This actually needs to be reported to the Minister for Education as soon as possible. French notes in an english speaking country????

  9. Harley
    | Reply

    JCU fails nursing students

    Worst experience of my life! Toxic environment when it comes to dealing with anyone higher up and there is no support – you don’t realise this until there is an issue or error on their part. Everyone seems to shift blame. The good staff are few and far between.
    I feel so ripped off at the debt I have accrued and the education I received!

    Couldn’t agree more with every negative comment listed here!

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  10. Shane
    | Reply

    No student support when they need it most


    Is there no customer / student support ?
    Especially now around exam time?
    There have been mix ups in timetables that left some students wondering where their exams were being held.

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    • Kaylin
      | Reply

      Hire more staff please

      Would be nice of jcu to hire staff instead of making fancy buildings and boosting top management salaries. Why is the NTEU not doing anything? The little staff that remain are so heavily burdened.

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  11. Roy
    | Reply

    JCUB good for an MBA

    Hi, is JCUB good for a Business MBA?

  12. Chris
    | Reply

    Hello there!
    I’m from Europe/Latvia and looking forward to get some thought’s about JCU in Australia.
    What’s good/bad? (At University)
    Does shop’s are close to University?
    What’s the city life there?
    And some info about campus.
    Thank you all, for your replies 🙂

  13. Rick
    | Reply

    JCU Medicine Review: Avoid at all costs

    I can completely understand the frustration of every review underneath me.

    If you were to go to the shop, buy an item and not receive the goods you would call it a scam.

    JCU took my money and did not deliver the education required.

    There are only 2 lecturers with the ability to teach respiratory medicine at the medical school, there is only one pathology professor, one genetics professor. WHERE IS ALL THE STAFF?? What happens when these people get sick or need to take leave?

    Nothing – no replacement. Have fun getting your exam stuff graded by a random tutor who apparently doesn’t even know the material that was taught in lectures. xD

    To add insult to injury when we pointed it out to the medical school the tl:dr version was ‘tough cookies.’ Nice, no compassion from a medical school. Okay maybe they are embarrassed lets try putting in a mild complaint.

    BIG MISTAKE taking it up with anyone higher up. Nope, apparently top brass don’t want to know. God forbid anyone asks them to do their job of making sure the uni is running smoothly. Remember, they’re still taking your money!!!

    You only have ONE JOB at the MEDICAL SCHOOL and that is to provide MEDICAL EDUCATION and you can’t even do that.

    JCU medicine is an actual scam.

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    • J
      | Reply


      I was gonna write a review but this pretty much summed up my experience. Too many admin, not enough teaching staff. You wont like it here.

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  14. Deborah
    | Reply

    An Attempt at a Balanced Review

    I’ve spent 5 years studying at JCU, and there are things I liked about it and things I disliked. There are a lot of completely negative reviews here (which is fair enough), but I thought I’d like to offer a more balanced review if I can.

    – The uni campus is small, so you get to know most of your lecturers personally. The lecturers I had here in Cairns were all extremely approachable and helpful. You also get to know your fellow students pretty easily (of course it’s not just going to happen – you have to say “hi” and smile to start things off).
    – I found the quality of teaching pretty good. There are some lecturers who don’t have a talent for teaching, and some subjects seemed a little disorganised, but overall the subject quality was pretty good in my opinion.
    – You can definitely pass, and you can definitely pass with excellent grades – it’s possible (I saw a review saying the opposite of this). The only caveat here is that you have to put in the work, because the uni stops holding your hand after the first year. I think that’s fair enough, but if you need more support, you might struggle.
    – Having said that, there are lots of support services on campus. The library has a Learning Centre where you can go for help with assignments, referencing, etc. The uni also offers PASS sessions, which are study sessions tailored to specific first-year subjects. My experience has been that people don’t bother going to PASS sessions – which is a shame, because they’re extremely helpful. You can also sign up for the Student Mentor program, and get access to a student who’s further along your own degree, and they can give you tips and support if needed. First year subjects are super supportive and scaffolded – so much so that I sometimes found all the help made it a little easy. You’re expected to learn more independently after first year though.
    – someone said this uni had a lot of people with “right-wing” attitudes. This has not been my experience. I’ve found everyone to be more liberal than conservative in outlook.

    – Administration. Almost anything to do with administration is going to complicated. Be prepared to go to the Student Center many times and tell them EXACTLY what you want them to do, or to get the email address for the person responsible for whatever it is you need. If you’re applying for credit, go through the units yourself and match them up and just bring the list to them for approval. I’ve had to fight my way through the bureaucracy a number of times, and the key is to know what you need, why, and where it says so in their policy/on their website. Having said that, no one’s ever been rude to me – just unhelpful.
    – High turnover of staff. Staff are completely overworked and shockingly underpaid. It’s an open secret that the money all goes to management; what the Vice Chancellor gets paid is widely known and, frankly, the amount is so large it’s immoral. Most of my favourite lecturers/tutors left the uni, leaving a gaping hole behind them. There are great people working here, but they’re worked to the bone and usually just end up going elsewhere.
    – A lot of video conferencing. If you’re on the Cairns campus, you’re lucky because the city is way nicer than Townsville. However, you can feel forgotten sometimes, as it seems the uni’s priority is Townsville, and Cairns plays second fiddle. We have fewer and fewer staff actually situated in Cairns – many of our lectures are video conferenced from Townsville. Having said that, we do tend to have live tutorials here, and the tutors are really helpful. And the staff that ARE on campus are treasures – helpful, personable, and trying their darndest to make up for whatever problems upper management is causing.

    So, hopefully that’s been helpful for anyone considering JCU. It’s not totally awful – you learn something, get to know some great people, and come out with a degree – but it’s not a bump-free experience either. I’m happy to be graduating and have had some pretty tough going (always with admin things, never lecturers), but I’ve also had some good times at the uni. I’ve learned to treasure the people, to be resilient, and to slam my fist on the table occasionally when I REALLY need to get something done.

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  15. Elle
    | Reply

    Clarification needed

    Hi, just got an offer for Primary Education at JCU Townsville. I will need to live on campus. I keep reading bad reviews, e these reviews for Medicine or overall courses. I would love to get some feedback.

  16. Parth Mandaliya
    | Reply

    Online Master's in Data Science

    Does anyone have any information about an online master’s degree in data science from JCU?
    The curriculum looks promising enough.
    Please reply in a comment of anyone has any info.
    If not, can someone please refer for a Master’s Degree in Data Science, in any well-reputed university.
    I have a background of 3 years of bachelor’s degree in computer science. I can’t join any US college provided degrees the procedure is very time-consuming.

    • Geoff
      | Reply

      Hi Parth,
      Perhaps their online curriculum is ok?
      There are probably far better Master’s at other unis for a similar price, data science is a pretty common degree that most uni’s in Australia have.
      I regretted doing post grad there in person.

    • Steven Xia
      | Reply

      about DS program offered by JCU

      Hello, Parth, I have been comparing JCU’s online postgraduate program in Data Science with other universities in Australia too. It seems JCU’s program focuses on SAS a lot. I saw other universities such as Adelaide University, RMIT also offer similar program. JCU is the only university in Australia has SAS credited, and the only offer degree in IoT in Australia. I am not focusing too much in university ranking, but only looking for the innovation, career ready sides. Please let me know your thoughts.

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  17. Rory
    | Reply

    Is JCU Medicine as bad as people say?

    Seen alot of comments on here, other forums, people in the health profession, even rip off report that detail lots of different major issues.
    I wanted to apply to JCU Medicine but can someone help me?
    I know it is not the best uni in the world but will i be a black sheep if i have a jcu certificate?

    • Laura
      | Reply

      JCU Medicine is awful

      Yes it is. Be ready to be shoved to the bottom of priority lists in competitive specialties or live in a regional/rural area for the rest of your life.
      If you want to be considered you either need further studies elsewhere or be connected to people in programs already.

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      • Chad
        | Reply

        Laura is Awful

        Thats not how specialty intake works, you dont get put at the bottom nor do you have to practice medicine in a regional/rural area if you don’t want to. This person is obviously very bias/has had a poor experience throughout their life. Do independent research yourself into these programs rather than listening to angsty anecdotes on this website.

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        • Rory
          | Reply

          Hi Chad,
          Thx for your response Chad.
          I came here because I did do independent research and was worried at the mainly negative comments about JCU.
          Despite calling out people on here you haven’t bothered to say one good thing about the university.
          So I wanted to ask what are the advantages about going to JCU compared to other unis? Did you enjoy it? Do you have classmates to got into competitive specialties.

          • Anonymous JCU Med Student

            Setting the record straight about JCU Medicine

            You say you’ve done research, but the ignorance is disappointingly flagrant by so many reviewers on here. It seems not a single person has actually read into the requirements of fellowship exams. I’ve made this account because the complete and utter bias of these reviews is actually bordering on slander. I’m a JCU med student, and I have my own criticisms of the program, but I feel obligated to send in a quick reply here to some of the above comments that are frankly outright lies.

            “Be ready to be shoved to the bottom of priority lists in competitive specialties or live in a regional/rural area for the rest of your life.”

            There is quite simply no truth to this statement. Training pathways do not take into account what university you went to. Having an MBBS or MD is the only prerequisite and if you don’t believe me, go to the FRACGP, FRACP, RACS, etc. websites and look for yourself. Many JCU students do indeed go into specialty pathways, as can be appreciated in this study; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30943751/, however as you would expect from a university that is openly dedicated to helping solve workforce shortages in Australia’s vulnerable rural and remote communities, there is a much higher proportion of students that end up working in rural and remote areas. To say that this is due to the fact that there is somehow contempt of JCU by specialist training pathway admissions is completely and utterly disingenuous and dangerously misinformed.

            “If you want to be considered you either need further studies elsewhere or be connected to people in programs already.”

            “JCU graduates are last priority when it comes to hiring in the big cities and for good reason.”

            Completely and utter ridiculous. It is absolutely true that for competitive specialties extra work including publications is likely to be needed in order to be a competitive applicant, but this is not an issue exclusive to JCU students. The insinuation of nepotism perhaps rings true to in terms of getting into hospitals PGY2 and beyond, but for training programs this is completely absurd. And in that same essence, internship is a ballot as I reiterate below. Take the RACP for example; it’s requirements which are openly accessible on their website are quite straight forward; (1) Complete a medical degree accredited by the Australian Medical Council (AMC) or Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ), (2) Have a general medical registration with the Medical Board of Australia, or a medical registration with a general scope of practice with the MCNZ, (3) Have satisfactorily completed at least an intern year (post graduate year one), (4) Be employed by an accredited hospital (where you will do your Basic Training), (5) Discuss your application and receive approval from the site (or network) Director of Physician Education (DPE).

            While I admit anecdotes aren’t the best evidence, I will say I personally know of almost half of our recent JCU cohort who have ended up in a non-rural area for internship by the ballot system which is in place in QLD. Yes, that means if you’re a domestic CSP student you are randomly allocated a place based on preferences that makes you indistinguishable from UQ and other QLD graduates. I also have just as many older friends and doctors doing their specialty exams in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne and some of which who are already doctors with jobs in those regions, alongside my friends who have gone down a more earlier rural pathway.

            Nothing in there mentions the university for which you received your degree. It is a delusion to say otherwise, and frankly I feel there is likely an ulterior motive carrying some of these reviews, perhaps as an attempt to decrease applications to inflate applicants’ chance of interview offers. But of course, we’ll never know for sure, and I’m not going to dissolve into the superstitions of some of these reviewers.

            What I do know for sure is that the claims listed above are completely and utterly false. Not one of them backs up their claims with a shred of evidence, and in fact they are contradicted by just about every piece of evidence there is openly available online regarding training pathways and admissions.

            TLDR: do your own research people. Ignore these horrendously misinformed reviewers.

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          • L

            Anonymous med student proves my point

            As you can see, “Anonymous med student” has proven my statements correct.

            They stated that it is a uni focusing on rural health, not on getting into other specialist pathways.

            Therefore the backbone of the curriculum is not designed for those wanting to get into specialist pathways. Your subjects and topics will revolve around those relevant to regional health. Plus a JCU education is not ideal from all the other reviews.

            Hence proving me right, you have to do further study elsewhere.

            You’re welcome 🙂

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    • Rory
      | Reply

      Still nothing positive said about jcu

      Thank you all for your help. I chose monash after reading bad things about management from here and reliable sources such as the news.

      Its a shame because jcu was local to me.

      Still nothing nice said about jcu…..

      Thank you all.

  18. Angry student
    | Reply

    Loves your money, treats you like trash

    I strongly do not recommend anyone joining JCU, especially the one at the Singapore campus. Their only priority is MONEY! For the COVID-19 outbreak, they have decided to give individuals who are enrolling in the next trimester a $10,000 grant. And yes, current students get absolutely nothing. They continue being very proud of this grant. They do things to attract you to join the school and start treating you like trash once they have collected your money.

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  19. Anon
    | Reply

    As a graduate of CQUniversity, I went to JCU in order to obtain my masters in social work.

    Big mistake.

    The entire process of enrolment was an utter hell, with labyrinthine menus and convoluted steps that had me in constant war with IT, who were utterly useless in helping with numerous tech issue. It was only when I finally complained that Student Services they bothered to actually contact me and help. Meanwhile, I solved my own tech issue by by clicking the ‘create new account’ button – turns out THAT’S WHAT YOU HAD TO DO IN THE FIRST PLACE AND IT NEVER TOLD ME, despite me already HAVING an account. Turns out you need to do it TWICE in order to have a ‘real’ student account – which is the most backward design I’ve seen.

    Attending the mandatory workshop… hoo boy, does JCU love money. Mine, s0ecif

    • Renee
      | Reply

      MSW program

      Hello Anon, I was considering applying for the MSW program because my current program is a nightmare. How did the courses go? Were they well organised?

      • Disappointed student
        | Reply

        JCU doesn't care about their students

        Please don’t consider JCU MSW. Once they have your money they forget about you. All assessment grades announced weeks later than promised, minimal assistance from the lecturers (with the exception of Hyacinth Udah who is excellent with his communication and care for the students). Subject coordinator does absolutely nothing to help you with the placements and placement related questions (she doesn’t even bother to read your emails or questions properly). I am inquiring about options to continue this degree in a different university.

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  20. Anna Matkowsky
    | Reply

    JCU Dentistry

    Hi I am from Canada, interested in applying to JCU for dentistry. Can someone give me a breakdown of the course program, as well as how much hands on/clinic time is given throughout the years. Also what are the pros and cons of studying Dentistry in Australia

    • Maria
      | Reply

      Hi Anna – Read the below comments, JCU has not changed one bit.
      The students hate it, the staff hate it even more. It is so bad that the Vice-Chancellor has hired an empowerment and leadership coach to help boost staff morale (it’s not helping at all in case you were wondering.)
      JCU graduates are last priority when it comes to hiring in the big cities and for good reason.
      Do not go here if you can avoid it. Too many horror stories to list.

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      • Elle
        | Reply

        Which campus??

        Hi, which campus of JCU are you referring too? Are they all the same??

    • Liam Bryant
      | Reply


      Hi Anna,

      The dental program at JCU is one to be avoided. Every year, the school accepts students at a rate more than its capacity, consequently, forcing the school to fail a certain number of students (approximately 30) in order to meet the number of seats allocated in clinic. If you are an international student, you should think twice before going here as tuition fees + living expenses are substantial. The school has no remorse when it comes to failing students so it isn’t worth wasting your money on a program like this.

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      • Ace
        | Reply

        Hello, where did you find the stats that 30 people are failed, as I will be attending and need to make sure that this is real.

  21. Rosemary
    | Reply

    To apply or not to apply?

    I’m planning to apply to James Cook University for a bachelors in Business and I wanted to ask as an international student would you advice me to apply to the university or not?

    • Tracey
      | Reply

      Hi Rosemary,
      Definitely would not recommend as a first choice.
      JCU does not match you with employment and their degrees are not worth much in the outside world.
      If you have any other options I would take it over JCU.

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  22. Mark
    | Reply

    JCU #1 ranking is rigged here's why

    As someone who studied Medicine at JCU I can absolutely assure you that the ‘top ranking for medicine’ that they claim is absolutely rigged, here’s why:

    – The ranking is based on a ‘student satisfaction survey’ – I do not know of anyone in my class who has actually taken this survey. It must be a very very small percent of actual students and if it is voluntary it is certainly not advertised.
    – Our lecturers have been depleting in numbers with students missing out on some weeks worth of worth due to not enough staff causing double-ups in the timetable
    – JCU only ranks in rural medical graduates. Outcomes for other specialities are non-existent and those that have generally have done further studies elsewhere
    – We have been threatened against making complaints to a non-existent complaints system (some people’s complaints have just gone back to the person being complained about). If you complain, consider yourself a marked person.
    – The attitude of lecturers is horrible and there is a strange nepotic culture
    – I personally had to fill alot of gaps in knowledge that most other peers from other universities were already well acquainted with
    – Lecturers are overburdened with huge staff cuts to fuel numerous projects (read: fancy buildings), increase top managements salary, and lawsuits

    The curriculum has not changed in years.

    Good luck if you flunk the UCAT you might not have another choice – but please don’t make this your first preference if you don’t have to.

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  23. Jesse
    | Reply

    Not a caring learning environment, disappointed.

    I am at the point where I must decide if I have just wasted four years of my life at JCU.
    I study Education, and I have seen both fellow students, and lecturers, leave in large numbers.
    I presumed that university was just too tough for the people that left, then, I was shocked to see many familiar faces at the government run LANTITE tests. I discovered many of my peers (and some lecturers) had changed to CQ University, and they loved it!
    Having lived ‘it’ in person for four long years, it is unsettling to see all the videos playing on the JCU monitors, with happy smiling faces, and people having fun. ‘O’ Week year one was the only ‘fun’ in my four years, some of my peers describe the experience of learning at JCU as “Trial by Fire”. I genuinely feel there is no support till it is all too late, or there is no empathy where it is most in need. The policy of pushing students to breaking point and beyond, to toughen them up, and prepare them for the real world, is out of touch – with the real world.
    Friends at Griffith and CQ insist they are not under the same pressure.
    We are taught that learning does not take place effectively in unhappy, hi pressure environments, then JCU goes and puts students into that same environment. It makes it worse when staff tell you they do not agree with the educational system used by the uni, then leave. There is little comfort provided by speaking to graduates who say they hated every day spent at JCU, and struggled to understand what was required, admitting that they only passed because they had help from a parent or sibling with that degree.

    If I had the opportunity to have chosen CQ University or another university instead, I would jump at it.
    I would encourage all new learners to make informed and intelligent choices regarding their university and not jump excitedly at their first offer.

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  24. a seagull on a stroll
    | Reply

    There are countless universities in Australia that are infinitely better

    JCU is the cop out university that (mostly) locals use as the last resort if their grades weren’t too flash. The opportunities at JCU are very limited and it’s incredibly inconvenient for international students. I’d recommend looking into;
    Australian National University: best university in Australia. Highly decorated faculty, extremely supportive for international students, best employability rate, many jobs available for students on campus and great accommodation including catered, self-catered and flexi-catered. They offer double degrees wherein a person can study 2 degrees for the time and price of 1. Alumni includes Nobel Prize winners and Australian prime ministers.

    University of Melbourne: considered best after ANU for mostly the same reasons, as well as an extensive history. Alumni includes 9 Nobel prize winners.

    Monash University: pretty sure they offer double degrees similar to ANU but don’t quote me on that. Many campuses outside of the country including Canada, several in China, South Africa and Singapore.

    I’d recommend also looking into UNSW and UQ.

    Bottom line: if you can, go anywhere but here.

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    • Lucy T
      | Reply

      These reviews are accurate

      Too true and well said. Most people will come here if they are local or study medicine here if they have flunked the UMAT exam. Scholarships are given to ‘top students’ to try and raise their averages… unfortunately doesn’t work too well for them.

      Not to mention JCU has suffered financial loss 5 years in a row. Yet the income of the hierarchy keeps rising.

      If you are thinking of doing a long degree here you better hope the uni lasts longer than your course does 🙂

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  25. Brandon
    | Reply

    cash grabbing

    not great that’s for sure don’t expect to learn much here it’s mostly just for the piece of paper. And on top of that expect the university to try to empty your wallet at every turn from parking to encouraging you to do pointless subjects.

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  26. Anonymous
    | Reply


    I have been at JCU now for 4 years

    I have regrettably made the worst decision to come here. A few examples to elaborate why other students should not come to Townsville when they are looking at studying medicine overseas

    1. As a Canadian student with a (Hons) BSc – they did not accept my application for advanced standing based on one simple criteria – I have not learned the required information on the Australian Health System – instead of coming to a solution, instead we are charged an extra 40k on the first year

    2. Time off – because this is a program for students coming in at 18 years old there isn’t much room to work outside of university hours because the city only runs 9-5 monday through friday, and all classes are sign in – so if you’re an impoverished foreign uni student don’t expect any financial support.

    3. Time off for personal matters – don’t expect to get much consideration from the med school – I’ve had to go over to the actual university to get a hand with grief counselling with the death of my father, and only received 5 days to travel back home and see my father before he passed away.

    4. Disorganization – don’t expect lectures to be recorded, there are a few professors that are on it, but for the majority it’s not even close

    5. The city – if you’re thinking “beach vibes” – you’re probably wrong. Townsville is 18 hours north of Brisbane, there is no surf, and the beach is artificially man-made

    My suggestion – find somewhere else. Bond offers a 4-year degree for individuals seeking a quick & fast program. It might cost you an extra 20-40k but 100% will be worth it just to get away from North Queensland and finish 2 years early.

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    • A Doctor
      | Reply

      JCU medicine

      You can always study medicine in your own country. Dont expect Australian citizens to be supporting your decision to come here.

      • Lucy
        | Reply

        JCU medical school is notorious for not showing compassion to anyone, she wasn’t asking for a handout just a ‘fair go’ as we Aussies usually say.

        My colleague tells me of how she wasn’t allowed to take gatorade (in a clear plastic bottle) into an exam despite only being in the emergency ward a few hours previously. She also wasn’t given any special consideration. Not to mention all the blatant nepotism that seems to go on there. I wanted to do my MPH but after hearing all the nightmare stories decided my money was better spent elsewhere.

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      • Former student
        | Reply

        That is how they think

        This response from “A Doctor” is a representation of the extreme right wing mentality within this university. Thank you for making it easy for all international, multicultural and progressive students.

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    • g
      | Reply

      No surf? Are you sure? Whitsundays is a couple of hours drive from Townsville and Townsville is a city by the sea. There are manmade beaches for kids and people who do not like to swim in the ocean. Have you been here before? Is this a fake review or smth?

  27. Kent
    | Reply


    I recently got an offer to study at JCU medicine in Townsville. After reading all these reviews I admit I have quite a bit of reservation about accepting my offer.
    1. To accept the offer, you would have to pay about $32,000.0. This amount is not fully refundable after 10 days
    2. What are the professors like? I am a graduate, international, non-white student, would this program work well for me?

    Please help!

  28. Gayathri Damara
    | Reply

    Hi! I planning to study Master of public health in Jcu , Townsville July 2018. I’m an International student from India.
    But Your reviews scared me. Please do suggest me.

  29. Bettsy Boo
    | Reply

    Masters of Nursing

    It seems my review of this course was not put up?????
    I would advise anyone thinking of doing Masters of Nursing to look at other Universites
    the quality of the units are below standard, you do not get instructions on essays/reports until 4 days prior to which makes it impossible to hand in decent work seeing it is a RUSHED 6 week course.
    The lecturers appear not to know how to mark or how to run this course.
    Their audio skills are appalling .
    You are treated like children in this course.
    No help you send work off only to get it back 9 days later which was no help.
    Rating -one
    COST 2,500 same as a law degree but half the quality. Ripped off.

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  30. Anonymous
    | Reply

    Not great

    Hi guys, I graduated with JCU and I feel ripped off. I have had few chats with other students and even some of the professionals and it is time to start putting formal complaints in. The Minister of Higher Ed. at the moment is Simon Birmingham and you can find him on social media or write to his department. To me the quality of the course was a clear case of false advertisement. You can also write to the regulator of higher education to share your experience – The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA)

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  31. Lucas
    | Reply

    Sexual harassment prevalent, poor upper management, no complaints system

    The only people that seems to give JCU good reviews are the international students because they get priority over everyone else in every single way. There are also very clear teachers pets. The complaint management system is also trash as your complaint usually just goes back to the person you are complaining about and you end up suffering more for it.

    There is also a huge culture of sexual harassment. Unfortunately my friend was a victim of it. There was a review into JCU done by a former sex discrimination officer called the Broderick Review, you can look it up.

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    | Reply


    I have read all your reviews and ha your absolutely right. They are corrupt, inconsistant all round and dont give a dam. They take great pleasure in ripping strips off their students that doesnt even happen a high school. Wheres their code of conduct? Students are discriminated and bullied if you are not the flavour of the.month ….you fail. No support offered. STAY AWAY FROM JCU!

  33. Claire
    | Reply

    JCU is dysfunctional, and has many cases of corruption between their ranks. As a result of these politics, students suffer. A good example is when a JCU member of staff was promoted after being found guilty of raping a student.


    In addition it was discovered that JCU childcare degrees were not accredited despite being one of the most expensive childcare courses in the country.

    The city itself (Townsville campus) has limited public transport, many students in my class had to hitch rides off other students for lectures.

    During my time, JCU’s VC pulled JCU out of any rankings so I do not know what the comment previous to me is saying about it being No.1. Perhaps for marine biology.

    Overall, poor experience. Spend your money and the best years of your life somewhere else.

  34. Mohammed
    | Reply

    FgghHi Brother, I was planning to join JCU Brisbane. Is that true they don’t provide free employment services as they are offering? Can I be placed in a job after the college? How is the teaching? I wanted to study Masters in IT. Do they provide any internships as they are offering? You a student of JCU Brisbane? Also what is meant by standard trimester? Altogether does it worth the money? I chose this uni because I didn’t get selected in QUT and Griffith. I am looking forward to study there and by getting a good job I wish to get a PR in Australia. I would like to hear from you at the earliest

  35. Jackson Malta
    | Reply

    As a Medicine student, JCU has offered extensive support and has put me on the right track. Being ranked number 1 in Australia, JCU has indeed earned the title with its bright academics and extensive useful facilities.

    • Gobsmacked
      | Reply


      No 1? Are you drunk? You do realise there are real universities down south whose degrees mean something?

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    • Ben
      | Reply

      Yea it’s number 1 because they only encourage the small amount of happy students to take that survey. In addition, I’d be happy too if they passed me without actually earning it. Even more of a sign that it is corrupt lol.

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  36. Maria
    | Reply

    I have studied social work with JCU and with another uni hence I have a pretty healthy comparison. JCU have really disappointed me.

    Firstly, the academics there (a small group, you are likely to have the same lecturer for several subjects) are really isolated from the real world and only focused on their own research, independent thinking is not supported at all, in fact, it’s penalised. They do not seem to know about latest developments in social work and if you reference it in your assignments they will mark you down – I really think that’s because they never heard of it and the changing world is too much for them to handle.

    There is no consistency, literally, you need to have everything in writing as they will tell you one thing and then something else will happen.

    They are quite good at responding to emails in a timely manner however quite a few academics are really difficult to communicate with. I cannot put my finger on it but it was as if they were sleepwalking – as a student you may need to send 3-4 emails to get one question answered as they will persistently avoid answering it (not sure whether they are overworked or it’s a tropical syndrome).

    There are only about 25 students per year on campus and a handful online for social work and they still cannot remember who you are and that they have just spoken with you in person.

    JCU is a nationally registered university (with TEQSA) and a member of innovation network. There is no evidence of either. It’s so old school that it is not funny. In order to get any grade above credit as a person with a bit more updated knowledge you will have hold yourself back as their markers are clueless.

    JCU do not have diversified students group, they are not able to deal with students who have substantial working experience, reside in various states, are mature age, have multicultural background. If you are not from North or Far North QLD, aged 18-25 and white Australian you will have to put up with narrow mindedness and various forms of discrimination as the academic staff are still leaving in 80ties. The best chance you have at good grades if you study online and they do not know enough about you.

    I think students can do better than JCU. CQU has come a long way and I believe it’s a better option, they understand that students are customers. Or if you are an online student you can study anywhere Australia-wide.

    ———-JCU is not recommended to mature age, multicultural, international students or students residing in different states———

    • The Real Post Grad Student
      | Reply

      Reconsider your need to study post grad at JCU

      This previous old review is spot on unfortunately in 2019. I strongly suggest anyone considering studying Social Work at James Cook University to look around Australia for better options as the bean counters have taken control from the academics dumping ill-equipped International students in post graduate courses creating greater workloads for academics and domestic students having to deal with the learning and social problems created. I thought I was imagining it but after 4 corners exposing the antics at Murdoch University here is my experience with JCU.

      Some ‘Alarm Bells’ observed when it comes to some International Students:

      Students expressing, they could not get into their preferred Social Work degree at highly rated universities so JCU was the last resort, hence late enrolments impacting other students learning.

      Students at post graduate level asking how to structure a minor 1500 word essay

      Students claiming, they have no idea how to create a PowerPoint presentation

      Students finding it difficult to navigate JCU’s complex learning systems

      Students in group work not bothering to turn up, poor oral, written communication or minimal participation.

      Lectures changing subject outlines on the fly to ensure students can pass the subject.

      As International students have become JCU’s bread and butter if you are a domestic student don’t expect any credible support as they simply do not care which is ironic considering we are here to study Social Work.

      If you have a decent GPA do yourself a favour and look around Australia as you don’t need to put up with this rubbish and as others have mentioned some content is seriously dated getting good grades here is very difficult as the markers are not exposed to new developments in Social Work.

      I do believe there are some good lecturers in the Social Work department but often their hands are tied by other academics with more power and management with an agenda of making as much money at the expense of learning.

      Another positive is the placement process is well run which is something considering the many problems at JCU.

      If this is going on with a discipline like Social Work who knows what is happening with other areas of the University so if you do go here be very careful.

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    • Disappointed student
      | Reply

      JCU fails their MSW students

      Spot on. Couldn’t explain it any better. Still the same in 2020.

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  37. Anna
    | Reply

    As a previous law student of James Cook University in Townsville. I can honestly say do not even bother. Anything besides medicine at JCU is purely just a facade designed to make as much profit from you as humanly possible. Around the time I left, they had started to shift all their content to online lectures and materials rather than actually delivering a positive learning environment.

    I’ve had experience in a few areas other than law however all were equally disappointing. None of my currently graduating law friends have gotten jobs, in fact I have not herd a single person to graduate from JCU and jump straight into the career related to their degree. Without having to do post-grad education at a real univeristy.

    Don’t be fooled. Its nothing but a scam.

    • Jenny
      | Reply

      do you know anything about the Brisbane campus? so a law degree from JCU is not recognized by employers?

  38. Maddy
    | Reply

    JCU were more than happy to take my money, but when I asked for support from a career advisor it could not possibly happen. Maybe, if I get lucky, I can talk to someone on Skype in 6 months time. OK, fine, every one of these students probably has career questions – let’s try student support. No, no luck here either. I studied in the arts program. There are really only 2 lecturers I had consistently. The Arts program is absolutely disgusting, despite the ads on TV. Hardly any subjects available to me in my major choice, had to go part time due to the complete lack of subjects for me to complete. “No problem!” JCU says, “Just do some subjects you don’t really care about for credit points! We still get money at the end of the day, so who cares?” Pay crazy fees for a parking permit that in no way guarantees a park, but you can bet that you will park on dirt half the time. I can’t understand why I have to pay $80 a year to park on dirt. It’s obvious that this university has no regard for the arts simply by looking around. Unless you’re going here to study medicine or marine biology, JCU doesn’t care about you. In the wise words of Tyrone, the man above me, “I’m broke as hell thanks to JCU, don’t come here if you know what’s good for you”.

  39. Tyrone Gliberstone
    | Reply

    It’s not good, don’t waste yo life here, u feel me my man, legit they don’t teach relevant stuff and they talking bout the eco-system… man noone nowhere care bout that, just take my money and let me leave, hell I’d pay them just to close down, 5 stars for success in getting a job… a job in what?! waste disposal.. man I broke as hell righ now thx to jcu, i aint got the funds to balance my edumacation, also how I meant to keep my man supplying me that goood stuff, you feel me? end of story don’t come here if u know what’s good for u.

    • Tony Sabu
      | Reply

      Hi Brother, I was planning to join JCU Brisbane. Is that true they don’t provide free employment services as they are offering? Can I be placed in a job after the college? How is the teaching? I wanted to study Masters in IT. Do they provide any internships as they are offering? You a student of JCU Brisbane? Also what is meant by standard trimester? Altogether does it worth the money? I chose this uni because I didn’t get selected in QUT and Griffith. I am looking forward to study there and by getting a good job I wish to get a PR in Australia. I would like to hear from you at the earliest.

  40. laura ronderos
    | Reply

    I study my MBA in the Brisbane Campus and it is terrible. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.

    • Jenny
      | Reply

      Hi! Did you land a job after graduating? and how about your classmates? thanks

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