single degree

Master of Biological Sciences (Advanced)

A single two year graduate degree 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.

Ensuring food security in Australia and the developing world, or solving malaria drug resistance are just some of the global issues you could work on with the ANU Master of Biological Sciences.

Ranked as the best university in Australia, and a leading centre for research in the biological sciences, ANU offers courses in biomedical sciences, ecology and evolution, genetics, plant and animal sciences, molecular biology and biochemistry.

You can choose to specialise in one of these areas or mix courses to give a broad overview of biological sciences today.

This Advanced program incorporates a research project and thesis.

Find out more about biological science, the degree structure, the university experience, career opportunities and student stories on our website.

Get the inside story on what it’s like to be an ANU student by visiting our student blog.

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 until second semester, 2018

Employment Opportunities

The ANU Master of Biological Sciences will provide you with the skills to pursue a career in laboratory science, field ecology, industry, agriculture, health, public and environmental policy.

Our graduates go on to 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.

Completing a Master of Biological Sciences (Advanced), with a research component, 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 biological sciences to new problems;
  3. interpret, synthesize and critically analyse published literature of relevance to biological sciences;
  4. demonstrate basic and complex laboratory skills that are commonly used in biological sciences research;
  5. perform experimental work, interpret and analyse results, write reports and collate data into a thesis;
  6. present own research work to peers and research scientists;
  7. clearly communicate theory and results in both written and oral formats.

Further Information

New students in this program are eligible to apply for a Commonwealth Supported Place. Visit the following website for further information: .

Advice to students:  Courses in some areas of biology may require prior learning equivalent to first year undergraduate Chemistry. Requirements for particular courses included in this discipline area must be discussed with the degree program convener prior to enrolment

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

Admission Requirements

A Bachelor degree or international equivalent in a cognate discipline with a minimum GPA of 5.5/7.

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

Applicants with a Bachelor Degree or Graduate Certificate in a cognate discipline may be eligible for up to 24 units (one semester) of credit. Applicants with a Graduate Diploma or Honours in a cognate discipline may be eligible for up to 48 units (one year) of credit. Note, however, that it is unusual to receive more than one semester of credit in the Master of Biological Sciences (Advanced).

Progression requirements apply:
Students must achieve a minimum 70% average mark in the first 48 units of coursework and have the approval of the supervisor for the research project.

Cognate disciplines

Biology, Biomedical Sciences, Biochemistry, Genetics, Evolution, Ecology, and Plant Sciences.

Annual indicative fee for domestic students

For more information see:

Annual indicative fee for international students


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.

Program Requirements

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

48 units from completion of the following coursework component:

12 units from the completion of BIOL8700 Research Proposal

A minimum of 24 units from completion of 6000-level and 8000-level courses from the subject area BIOL Biology

A maximum of 12 units may be chosen from 6000-level or 8000-level from the following subject areas:

BIAN Biological Anthropology

CHEM Chemistry

EMSC Earth and Marine Science

ENVS Environmental Science

MATH Mathematics

NEUR Neuroscience

POPH Population Health

PSYC Psychology

SCOM Science Communication

48 units from completion of the following research component:

BIOL8701 Research Project

BIOL8701 Research Project must be undertaken twice to a total of 48 units, in consecutive teaching periods.

Students must achieve a minimum 70% weighted average mark in the initial 48 units of coursework and have the approval of an identified supervisor for the research project to continue to the research component.

Students who do not achieve a minimum 70% weighted average mark or do not have the approval of an identified supervisor will be transferred to 96 unit Master of Biological Sciences and complete an additional 48 units of coursework or may transfer to graduate from a 48 unit Graduate Diploma of Science.

Study Options

Year 1 BIOL8291 Research Presentation Skills 6 units 6000 or 8000 level BIAN/ CHEM/ EMSC/ ENVS/ MATH/ NEUR/ POPH/ PSYC/ SCOM 6 units 6000 or 8000 level BIOL course 6 units 6000 or 8000 level BIOL course 6 units
BIOL8700 Research Proposal 12 units 6000 or 8000 level BIOL course 6 units 6000 or 8000 level BIOL course 6 units
Year 2 BIOL8701 Research Project 6 to 24 units
BIOL8701 Research Project 6 to 24 units

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

Back to the top

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions