single degree

Master of Science 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.
  • Mode of delivery
    • In Person
  • Field of Education
    • Biological Sciences
  • Academic contact
  • Length 2 year full-time
  • Minimum 96 Units
First year student? There’s more information about enrolling in your degree.
  • Mode of delivery
    • In Person
  • Field of Education
    • Biological Sciences
  • Academic contact

Program Requirements

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

A minimum of 24 units must come from completion of 8000-level courses.

24 units from completion of 6000 or 8000 level courses in the subject area BIOL Biology.

6 units from completion of BIOL8291 Research Presentation Skills

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

BIOL8704 Biology Literature Research Project

BIOL8700 Research Proposal

A minimum of 12 units from completion of Science in 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

SCOM8014 Communicating Science with the Public 

SCOM6012 Science Communication and the Web

SCOM6015 Speaking of Science

SCOM6016 Science in the Media

SCOM6003 Science in Popular Fiction

SCOM6017 Science Events for Public Engagement

SCOM6027 Science Politics

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

SCNC8000 Science Internship

VCPG6003 Leadership and Influence in a Complex World

VCPG6004 Creating Impact

VCPG6002 Mobilising Research

VCPG6001 Unravelling Complexity

A minimum of 12 units from completion of 6000 or 8000 level courses from the subject area BIOL Biology.


24 units from completion of elective courses offered by ANU.

Hurdle Requirements

Students must complete the Bachelor degree with a minimum GPA of 5.0 in order to commence the Master degree.

Admission Requirements

At a minimum, all applicants must meet program-specific academic/non-academic requirements, and English language requirements. Admission to most ANU programs is on a competitive basis. Therefore, meeting all admission requirements does not automatically guarantee entry. 

Applicants must present a Bachelor degree or international equivalent with a minimum GPA of 5.0/7.0, with at least 8 courses in a cognate area.


Cognate Disciplines

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


In line with the university's admissions policy and strategic plan, an assessment for admission may include competitively ranking applicants on the basis of specific academic achievement, English language proficiency and diversity factors. 


Academic achievement & English language proficiency

The minimum academic requirement for full entry and enrolment is a Bachelor degree or international equivalent with a minimum GPA of 5.0/7.0. 

However, applicants will first be ranked on a GPA ('GPA1') that is calculated using all but the last semester (or equivalent) of the Bachelor degree used for admission purposes. 

If required, ranking may further be confirmed on the basis of: 

• a GPA ('GPA2') calculated on the penultimate and antepenultimate semesters (or equivalent) of the Bachelor degree used for admission purposes; and/or

• demonstrating higher-level English language proficiency. 

Prior to enrolment in this ANU program, all students who gain entry will have their Bachelor degree reassessed, to confirm minimum requirements were met.

Further information: English Language Requirements for Admission 


Diversity factors

As Australia’s national university, ANU is global representative of Australian research and education. ANU endeavours to recruit and maintain a diverse and deliberate student cohort representative not only of Australia, but the world. In order to achieve these outcomes, competitive ranking of applicants may be adjusted to ensure access to ANU is a reality for brilliant students from countries across the globe.


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.

Cognate Disciplines

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

Annual indicative fee for domestic students

For more information see:

Annual indicative fee for international students

For further information on International Tuition Fees see:

Fee Information

All students are required to pay the Services and amenities fee (SA Fee)

The annual indicative fee provides an estimate of the program tuition fees for international students and domestic students (where applicable). The annual indicative fee for a program is based on the standard full-time enrolment load of 48 units per year (unless the program duration is less than 48 units). Fees for courses vary by discipline meaning that the fees for a program can vary depending on the courses selected. Course fees are reviewed on an annual basis and typically will increase from year to year. The tuition fees payable are dependent on the year of commencement and the courses selected and are subject to increase during the period of study.

For further information on Fees and Payment please 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.

Are you interested in the range of organisms that make up our green planet? Do you want to be a part of new discoveries about the natural world around us?  The Master of Science in Biological Sciences is a flexible coursework 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. Alternatively, you can utilise the program to provide a broad overview of biological sciences today. Our practical classes build on your traditional technical knowledge while developing your skills in new cutting-edge experimental techniques.

Career Options

ANU ranks among the world's very finest universities. Our nearly 100,000 alumni include political, business, government, and academic leaders around the world.

We have graduated remarkable people from every part of our continent, our region and all walks of life.

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.

Learning Outcomes

  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 for  the discipline;

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

  6.      demonstrate a critical understanding of science in society;

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

Inherent Requirements

Information on inherent requirements is currently not available.

Further Information

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

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