single degree

Master of Science (Advanced) in Biological Sciences

A single two year graduate award offered by the ANU College of Science

  • Length 2 year full-time
  • Minimum 96 Units
First year student? There’s more information about enrolling in your degree.
  • Length 2 year full-time
  • Minimum 96 Units
First year student? There’s more information about enrolling in your degree.

Program Requirements

The Master of Science (Advanced) in Biological Sciences degree requires the completion of 96 units, which must consist of:

A minimum of 36 units from the completion of 6000- and 8000 level courses which must consist of:

12 units from the completion of BIOL8700 Research Proposal


A minimum of 12 units from completion of Science and Society Courses from the following list:

BIAN8005  Theory Seminar in Biological Anthropology

BIOL6191 Biology, Society and Ethics

BIOL6201 Big Questions in Biology

BIOL8021 Health and Disease in a Changing World

ENVS6013 Society and Environmental Change

ENVS8015 Contemporary Perspectives in Environmental Science

POGO8093 Science, Innovation and Public Policy

SCOM6003 Science in Popular Fiction

SCOM6012 Science Communication and the Web

SCOM6015 Speaking of Science

SCOM6016 Science in the Media

SCOM6017 Science Events for Public Engagement

SCOM6027 Science and Public Policy

SCOM6029 Cross Cultural Perspectives in Science Communication

SCOM6030 Science Dialogue Theory and Practice

SCOM6031 Science, Risk and Ethics

SCOM6032 Making Modern Science

SCOM6501 Strategies in Science Communication

SCOM8014 Communicating Science with the Public

SCNC8000 Science Internship

VCPG6003 Leadership and Influence in a Complex World

VCPG6004 Creating Impact

VCPG6002 Mobilising Research

VCPG6001 Unravelling Complexity


A maximum of 12 units from completion of further courses in any of the following subject areas:

BIAN Biological Anthropology

CHEM Chemistry

EMSC Earth and Marine Sciences

ENVS Environmental Science

MATH Mathematics

NEUR Neuroscience

POPH Population Health

PSYC Psychology

SCOM Science Communication)


A maximum of 12 units from completion of elective courses offered by the ANU

48 units from completion of Research and Research Methodology Courses from the following list:

BIOL8701 Research Project

MEDN8701 Research Project

Admission Requirements

A Bachelor degree or international equivalent with a minimum GPA of 5.5/7.0, with at least 8 courses in a cognate area.

Cognate Disciplines

Biology, biomedical sciences, molecular biology, genetics, evolution, ecology and plant sciences

English Language Requirements

All applicants must meet the University’s English Language Admission Requirements for Students.

Assessment of Qualifications

Unless otherwise indicated, ANU will accept all Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) qualifications or international equivalents that meet or exceed the published admission requirements of our programs, provided all other admission requirements are also met. Where an applicant has more than one completed tertiary qualification, ANU will base assessment on the qualification that best meets the admission requirements for the program. Find out more about the Australian Qualifications Framework:

ANU uses a 7-point Grade Point Average (GPA) scale. All qualifications submitted for admission at ANU will be converted to this common scale, which will determine if an applicant meets our published admission requirements. Find out more about how a 7-point GPA is calculated for Australian universities:

Unless otherwise indicated, where an applicant has more than one completed tertiary qualification, ANU will calculate the GPA for each qualification separately. ANU will base assessment on the best GPA of all completed tertiary qualifications of the same level or higher.

Domestic Tuition Fees (DTF)

For more information see:

Annual indicative fee for international students

For further information on International Tuition Fees see:


ANU offers a wide range of scholarships to students to assist with the cost of their studies.

Eligibility to apply for ANU scholarships varies depending on the specifics of the scholarship and can be categorised by the type of student you are.  Specific scholarship application process information is included in the relevant scholarship listing.

For further information see the Scholarships website.

Do you want to make a career out of making new discoveries about the fascinating living world?  The Master of Science in Biological Sciences (Advanced) is a flexible program that can be tailored to suit your specific educational goals. Our program allows you to specialise in a particular area of biology such as biomedical sciences, ecology and evolution, genetics, and plant sciences. This program offers a research component which provides the student an opportunity to conduct hands-on research in a laboratory of a research scientist/supervisor. 

Career Options

Graduates from ANU have been rated as Australia's most employable graduates and among the most sought after by employers worldwide.

The latest Global Employability University Ranking, published by the Times Higher Education, rated ANU as Australia's top university for getting a job for the fourth year in a row.

This program is available for applications to commence from First Semester, 2018

Employment Opportunities

A postgraduate degree in biological science will provide you with a solid background to pursue career goals in a range of fields including plant and animal laboratory science, field ecology, industry, agriculture, public and environmental policy.

Our graduates find interesting careers in a range of areas including agricultural biotechnology and plant breeding, clinical or medical research, pharmaceutical companies, biosecurity, environmental policy and biological education

The Master of Science in Biological Sciences (Advanced) can also lead to a PhD.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the skills and knowledge to:

1.     demonstrate high level knowledge in the area of their study;

2.     apply their knowledge in the discipline to new problems;

3.     interpret, synthesize and critically analyse published literature of relevance to the discipline;

4.     demonstrate theoretical and/or practical skills relevant to techniques and research methodology in the discipline;

5.     critically analyse data within the discipline to reach independent conclusions;

6.     independently perform experimental or theoretical work, interpret and analyse results, write reports and collate data into a thesis;

7.     demonstrate a critical understanding of science in society;

8.     clearly communicate theory and results in both written and oral formats

Further Information

Please note, the 48 units from completion of BIOL8701 or MEDN8701 Research Project must be taken twice in consecutive semesters.

Students must achieve a minimum 70% weighted average mark in the first 48 units of courses attempted in order to commence BIOL8701 Research Project or MEDN8701 Research Project.

Students who do not achieve a minimum of 70% weighted average mark will be transferred to the Master of Science in Biological Sciences.

For a full list of postgraduate Biology courses offered by the Research School of Biology in 2018 please see

Academic Advice

The first step to enrolling in your new program is to seek academic advice in order to discuss the courses you will be studying. This is done by making an appointment to meet with the program convener (details below).

Your academic advice session is a great opportunity to discuss with the convener the direction in which you want your studies to go. The convener will be able to advise you about course selection and content of courses that you will undertake as part of your program. Ideally you should bring along a copy of your academic record/academic transcripts as these will greatly assist your convener when giving you course advice.

To book an appointment you can:


Phone: 02 6125 1070

Please also bring along your Planning Your Program document that is available from the enrolment website and your Postgraduate coursework checklist for new students. These documents will help you plan your degree and assist you with finalising your enrolment.

Further enrolment information can also be found here.

An indicative list of courses offered by Science can be found here.

Please follow each step and read through the additional information in the pdf guides, especially the ISIS enrolment guide in Step 2 and the How to enrol guide for new students in Step 3.

If you have any issues enrolling yourself through ISIS please contact us on 02 6125 2809 or email

Do you want to talk to someone before enrolling?

Contact RSB Student Administration at

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