Bachelor of Biological Science

Course summary for current students

Note: You are seeing the 2014 view of this course information. These details may no longer be current. [Go to the current version]
Year2014 course information
Award granted Bachelor of Biological Science
CampusOffered at Burwood (Melbourne)
Cloud (online)No
Duration3 years full-time or part-time equivalent
CRICOS course code001841F
Deakin course codeS321

Course sub-headings

Course overview

The Bachelor of Biological Science aims to produce high-quality graduates with generic skills, theoretical knowledge and relevant, wide-ranging practical experience in both the laboratory and the field, to gain employment either in the biological field, a related science field or to succeed in further study.

This recently revised course provides the opportunity to study and conduct research projects in zoology, cell and molecular biology, genetics, physiology or ecology to gain real-life experience in your profession. A series of professional practice units will introduce you to a career in biology, while a work placement gives you an insight into laboratory science, field science or an approved alternative. You will also have the opportunity to apply for an Industry Based Learning placement which will allow you to apply and consolidate knowledge gained in your course, experience workplace culture and workplaces practices, explore career options and develop a professional network.

This course has a first year of foundation units followed by a second year focusing on biodiversity and organismal biology. Using electives from second and third year, you are able to pursue a particular interest in biology either by selecting a major in Zoology or Cell and Molecular Biology, or by tailoring your degree with elective units which you may choose from a range of second and third-year biology units or units from any other faculty within the University.

 An honours year is available for high-achieving students upon completion of this degree.

Units in the course may include assessment hurdle requirements.

Career opportunities

Biological scientists are employed in a vast range of areas including those within the general health and medical industry (hospital scientists, analytical and diagnostic laboratory scientists and research scientists), food and agriculture-based industries, animal health, quarantine, wildlife biology, environmental consulting, museums, herbaria and the emerging biotechnology industries.

Fees and charges

Unit fees can be viewed within individual unit descriptions. You can search for a unit using the Unit Search.

Please be aware:

  • Fees are calculated on a per unit basis
  • Fees charged will depend on the individual units chosen
  • Fees per unit/credit point may increase annually due to rises in the cost of course delivery and services

Course rules

The course comprises a total of 24 credit points, which must include the following:

  • 15 core units (including 1 restricted level 1 unit and 1 Professional Practice unit at level 3)
  • 9 elective units
  • Completion of SLE010 Laboratory and Fieldwork Safety Induction Program (0 credit-point compulsory unit)
  • level 1 - up to 10 credit points
  • levels 2 and 3 - at least 14 credit points over both levels
  • level 3 - at least 6 credit points

Course structure

Level 1

Trimester 1

SLE010Laboratory and Fieldwork Safety Induction Program *

SLE111Cells and Genes

SLE133Chemistry in Our World ^

SLE103Ecology and the Environment

SLE115Essential Skills in Bioscience

Trimester 2

SLE132Biology: Form and Function

SLE136History of Life

One unit from:

SEP122Physics for the Life Sciences

SLE155Chemistry for the Professional Sciences ^

SLE102Physical Geography

plus one elective unit

* SLE010 is a compulsory 0-credit-point unit.

^Note: Students who have not completed Year 12 Chemistry or equivalent may choose to do SLE133 Chemistry in Our World in Trimester 1.  Students who have completed Year 12 Chemistry or equivalent may choose to do SLE155 Chemistry for the Professional Sciences in Trimester 2.

Level 2

Trimester 1

SLE203Plant Biology

SLE204Animal Diversity


SLE251Research Methods and Data Analysis

Trimester 2


SLE206Molecular Cell Biology

plus two elective units

Level 3

Trimester 1


plus three elective units

Trimester 2

One unit from:

SLE390Professional Practice in Bioscience #

SLE314Research Project ^

SLE352Community Science Project

plus three elective units

^ SLE314 Research Project is also available in Trimesters 1 and 3 (students would normally be expected to have an approved academic standard of distinction average in level 2 studies, please contact your Course Advisor prior to enrolling in this unit).

# Must have successfully completed STP010 Introduction to Work Placements (0 credit point unit)

Cell and Molecular Biology Major: unit set code MJ-S000031

Burwood (Melbourne)

The cell and molecular biology sequence is designed to provide a focused understanding of advanced molecular cell biology, microbiology and human molecular genetics. This sequence will also prepare you to focus and acquire theoretical and practical skills in molecular biology.

Students can use their elective units to obtain a Cell and Molecular Biology Major by completing the following units:

SLE111Cells and Genes *

SLE155Chemistry for the Professional Sciences

SLE206Molecular Cell Biology *


SLE222Biochemical Metabolism

SLE234Microbiology *

SLE321Molecular Biology Techniques

SLE339Genetics of Disease

Note: pre-requisites apply.

* Core units within the course

Zoology Major: unit set code MJ-S000054

Burwood (Melbourne)

Study the biology of animals from several aspects ranging from an understanding of how animals function, their evolution and their relationship with the environment.

Students can use their elective units to obtain a Zoology Major by completing the following units:

SLE111Cells and Genes *

SLE132Biology: Form and Function *

SLE204Animal Diversity *

SLE205Vertebrate Structure and Function


SLE360Australian Invertebrates


Plus unit one from:

SLE350Marine Wildlife

SLE307Behavioural Ecology

* Core units within the course