• Total units 48 Units
  • Areas of interest Medical Science, Science, Cell and Molecular Biology, Immunology and Microbiology, Physiology More...
  • Major code BIOL-MAJ
  • Academic career Undergraduate

Biology includes a wide range of related disciplines that encompass the study of life from the molecular level, through cells, tissues and organisms, to populations and ecosystems. Biology is not only of intrinsic interest but has applications in areas from health and medicine to the management of agriculture and biodiversity.

Biology is the fascinating study of life. It is a rapidly changing field with the discovery of exciting new technologies that change the way we think about the world and all life that exists within it. A biologist of the future will need to be able to apply the knowledge they learn to new technologies and issues they come across; this Major contains compulsory courses that will develop these skills. The first year courses establish fundamental knowledge about many of the areas of biology, including evolution, ecology, genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry in bacteria, plants and animals. Later year courses extend this knowledge into specialised areas of biology of your choice and develop an understanding of how we do biology and how it impacts on society and the world.

Learning Goals:

Students completing the Biology major will be able to:

  1. Apply their conceptual knowledge of biological principles and processes including evolution and diversity of organisms, inheritance, storage and utilisation of information and the structure and function of molecules, cells and biological systems, to a range of disciplinary and inter-disciplinary contexts.
  2. Integrate and extend basic biological concepts in areas of biology such as ecology, evolution, genetics, microbiology and immunology, neuroscience and physiology and plant biology.
  3. Explain how biology is an evidence-based discipline involving observation, experimentation and hypothesis testing and how it relates to other scientific disciplines.
  4. Design experiments, and analyse and interpret experimental results using appropriate quantitative methods.
  5. Critically assess biological information and apply it to theoretical, experimental and professional contexts.
  6. Employ their collaborative and independent educational experiences of laboratory, field, project and course work in other contexts.
  7. Clearly communicate biological processes and principles to both science literate and non-science literate audiences.
  8. Recognise how biology contributes to resolving ethical, social and environmental issues and the expectations this places on their professional practice.

Other Information

Advice to Students:

What 1st year courses should you enrol in?  BIOL1003 and BIOL1004. Many 2000 and 3000 level biology courses also require CHEM1101 and CHEM1201. For a few later year courses BIOL1009 is a prerequisite (BIOL2113 and BIOL2122) or highly recommended. 

BIOL2201 and BIOL2202 are recommended to meet the other requirements as they have been designed specifically to develop writing, critical thinking and quantitative skills for biology students.  Some of the alternative courses have prerequisites and it is your responsibility to choose courses for which you meet the requirements.  The alternative courses listed cover different material and so you can do them AS WELL AS BIOL2201 and BIOL2202 if you wish. Students should seek further course advice from the academic convener of this Biology major.   To see the pre-2012 rules for this major, students should navigate to the 2011 Study@ webpage.


Areas of Interest

  • Medical Science
  • Science
  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Immunology and Microbiology
  • Physiology
  • Neuroscience
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Zoology
  • Biology
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Major Requirements

This major requires the completion of 48 units, which must include:

12 units from completion of the following course(s):

Code Title Units
BIOL1003 Biology 1: Evolution, Ecology and Genetics 6
BIOL1004 Biology 2: Molecular and Cell Biology 6

A minimum of 6 units must come from completion of courses from the following list:

Code Title Units
BIOL2191 Ecology of Health and Disease 6
BIOL2201 Big Questions in Biology 6
BIOL3106 Biosecurity 6
BIOL3191 Biology, Society and Ethics 6

A minimum of 6 units must come from completion of courses from the following list:

Code Title Units
BIOL2202 Experimental Design and Analysis in Biology 6
ENVS1003 Introduction to Environmental and Social Research 6
STAT1003 Statistical Techniques 6
STAT1008 Quantitative Research Methods 6
PSYC2009 Quantitative Methods in Psychology 6
BIAN3014 Research Design and Analysis in Biological Anthropology 6

A minimum of 6 units must come from completion of courses from the following list:

2000 level Biology (BIOL) courses

A minimum of 18 units must come from completion of courses from the following list:

3000 level courses in:

  • Biology (BIOL)

  • Neuroscience (NEUR) 

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