VCE Programs

VCE programs are designed to meet school-assessed coursework (SAC) tasks in Biology, Environmental Science, Outdoor and Environmental Studies and Geography.

All laboratory and field program times include a half an hour session in the Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre Aquarium.


Structure of a Community: Tube-worm investigation

An incredibly diverse community of animals can be found living amongst and with a colony of native tube-worms. This community is investigated in the laboratory to "test" the ecological concept of pyramids of numbers and provides students with the opportunity to strengthen their understanding of food webs and energy transfer.

2 hours $17 per student $255 minimum charge

Sex in the Sea

Students will investigate the reproductive methods of a diverse range of marine animals and plants, including some bizarre reproductive methods that allow organisms to cope with their living conditions. There will be opportunities for students to collect gametes from some organisms and to investigate both sexual and asexual reproductive methods.

2 hours $17 per student $255 minimum charge

Fish Dissection

Students will compare the body structure, gut contents, internal organs and specialised structures of a number of different fish species. The information collected by students throughout their dissection will provide insights into fish habitat, food chains, adaptations and reproductive strategies.

2 hours $17 per student $255 minimum charge

An Act of Survival: Marine Animal and Plant Adaptations

Students will investigate a variety of structure-function relationships in living marine animals and plants. Students will identify different organisms’ structural, physiological and behavioural adaptations for survival and have the opportunity to view and handle a diversity of living and preserved animals and plants in the aquarium and laboratory.

1.5 hours $17 per student $255 minimum charge

This Island Earth

Changes to ocean temperatures, currents, winds, rainfall and more frequent extreme weather events are being observed across South East Australia. The impacts of these changes on world fisheries are presenting significant risks and new opportunities, particularly in "hot spot" areas across the globe. Students will investigate various scenarios in our aquarium and laboratory including climate change, introduced species, ocean acidification human impacts and management plans.

2 hours

$17 per student

$255 minimum charge


Investigating a Rocky Shore

Students will investigate the patterns of distribution of animals and plants on the Barwon Heads rock platform using transect lines and quadrats. There will also be an opportunity to compare the marine life found on the Barwon Heads sandstone rock platform to that found on the basalt boulder rock platform.

Barwon Bluff Marine Sanctuary 2.5 hours $17 per student $255 minimum charge

Rockpool Ramble

Students will discover the fascinating animal and plant life of the rocky shore and will develop an understanding of the adaptations which allow these organisms to cope with such extreme conditions. Human impacts and their effect on rocky shore organisms will also be examined and discussed.

Barwon Bluff Marine Sanctuary or Point Lonsdale Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park 2 hours $17 per student $255 minimum charge

Sand Dune Study

During this field excursion, students will investigate sand dune succession and the coastal processes responsible for shaping sand dunes. The focus of the session for biology students will be classification and adaptations of dune plants, and for geography and environmental science students, erosion and human impacts.

Queenscliff Sand Dunes 2 hours $17 per student $220 minimum charge

Marine Biology Cruise

Students will discover a host of marine life both above and below the surface of Port Phillip Bay. While on board a small sledge is deployed which samples material from the bottom of the Bay. This is then sorted by students on the deck of the boat and can include crabs, seastars, seahorses, sponges and some fish as well as lots of seaweeds. Our cruise takes us across the Bay to a colony of Australian Fur Seals and we call in at Popes Eye Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park to view the colony of Australasian Gannets that breed there. The focus of this cruise can include animal and plant adaptations, classification, biodiversity, human impacts and issues affecting the Bay.

Port Phillip Bay 2.5 hours $700 flat rate for up to 27 participants

Investigating an Ecosystem - Swan Bay Mudflats

This field exploration will provide students with opportunities to investigate the mudflat ecosystem of Swan Bay - a marine reserve of international significance. The animals and plants found in the microhabitats associated with Swan Bay will be studied.

Variations to this session can include investigation of animal adaptations or human impact studies.

Swan Bay Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park 2.5 hours $17 per student $255 minimum charge

Biodiversity in the sea: Shore Snorkel

During the snorkel, students will be immersed in the beauty of Victoria's marine diversity. Our snorkelling program will assist your students to become competent snorkellers while providing a memorable experience.

Queenscliff or Point Lonsdale 2.5 hours Student: Instructor Ratio 1:10 $300 up to 10 students $600 up to 20 students

Swan Bay Canoe Explorers

Learn the basics of canoeing while discovering some of the wonders of Swan Bay. This activity involves using canoes to access one of this regions most important fish nurseries and an internationally significant wader bird habitat.

Swan Bay Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park 2.5 hours Student: Instructor Ratio 1:8 $300 up to 8 students $600 up to 16 students

Global Fishing

Our state's fisheries resources are managed by The Victorian Fisheries Authority within an ecologically sustainable development (ESD) framework - to ensure fish now and for the future. Gain awareness and understanding of strategies used to manage Australia's and Victoria's fisheries. Students can participate in a variety of options, choose from a presentation on fisheries management, a Port Phillip Bay boat trip and/or a field trip to explore a local fish nursery habitat.

Price and length of program determined by options selected

Plastic Planet

Until recently plastic pollution presented scientists with a crisis that was invisible to the human eye. Students will collect qualitative data utilizing transect and quadrat techniques on micro and macro plastics across the Queenscliff Foreshore

Queenscliff Foreshore   2.5 hours

$17 per student

$255 minimum charge

Please note

  • Minimum costs apply to all activities.
  • We are happy to tailor a session or an extended program to meet your needs if required.
  • All session times include a 1/2 hour session in the MFDC aquarium.
  • All field activities are weather dependent and we reserve the right to cancel for safety reasons.
  • Prices are subject to change
  • Weekend surcharges apply