Bachelor of Biological Science

Course summary for local students

Year2017 course information
Award granted Bachelor of Biological Science
CampusOffered at Burwood (Melbourne)
Cloud CampusNo
Length3 years full-time or part-time equivalent
Next available intake

March (Trimester 1), July (Trimester 2)

CSP annual fee (indicative) - commencing 2017$9,003 for 1 yr full-time - Commonwealth Supported Place (HECS)
Full fee paying annual fee - commencing 2017Not applicable
Faculty contacts

Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment
School of Life and Environmental Sciences
Tel 03 9244 6699

Clearly-in ATAR
Burwood (Melbourne): 65.95
VTAC Codes1400516061 - Burwood (Melbourne), Commonwealth Supported Place (HECS)
CRICOS course code001841F
Deakin course code S321

Course sub-headings

Course overview

Study life in all its forms, from microbes to plants and animals while learning about animal and plant biology, microbiology, genetics, molecular cell biology, biogeography and evolution. This course provides you with the knowledge and skills to tackle the biological challenges of the 21st century with a focus on experimental design and the Australian biota, and is perfect for people who are passionate about flora and fauna both big and small.

This course qualifies you to become a well-rounded, modern biologist with a knowledge of microbes, plants and animals, and the interactions these have with one another and their environments.

This course provides you with opportunities to gain real-life experience in your chosen profession and to study overseas. The Industry-Based Learning placement will allow you to apply knowledge gained in your course, experience workplace culture and practices, explore career options, and develop a professional network before you graduate.

Units in the course may include assessment hurdle requirements.

Fees and charges

The tuition fees you pay will depend on the units you choose to study as each unit has its own costs. The ‘Estimated tuition fee’ is provided as a guide only based on a typical enrolment of students undertaking the first year of this course. The cost will vary depending on the units you choose, your study load, the time it takes to complete your course and any approved Credit for Prior Learning you have.

Each unit you enrol in has a credit point value. The ‘Estimated tuition fee’ is calculated by adding together 8 credit points of a typical combination of units for that course. Eight credit points is used as it represents a typical full-time enrolment load for a year.

You can find the credit point value of each unit under the Unit Description by searching for the unit in the Handbook.

Learn more about fees and available payment options.

Career opportunities

You will have the opportunity to be employed in a wide range of areas including primary industries, wildlife biology, the general health and medical industry (hospital scientists, analytical and diagnostic laboratory scientists and research scientists), animal health, quarantine services, environmental consulting, museums, herbaria and the emerging biotechnology industries.

Course Learning Outcomes

Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes (DGLOs)

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)


1.  Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities: appropriate to the level of study related to a discipline or profession.

  • Apply a broad and coherent knowledge of the scientific disciplines of mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology and the environment within Biological Sciences to demonstrate a deep understanding of the nature of biology and it’s place and importance in the society.
  • Demonstrate technical knowledge and skills in biological science to test scientific theories and apply them to a range of activities in a professional and/or academic setting.
  • Use hypotheses, laws, facts and theories to investigate, test, analyse, and evaluate scientific data and demonstrate autonomy, well-developed judgement and responsibility to argue about characteristics and aspects of scientific theory in the advancement of biological science.

2.  Communication: using oral, written and interpersonal communication to inform, motivate and effect change.

  • Demonstrate listening skills and the ability to use a range of communication skills to accommodate, encourage and answer audience questions.
  • Articulate the boundaries or limits of scientific information, experimental or field data, discuss error, probability, uncertainty, conclusions and arguments.
  • Judge how well to present essential details of scientific procedures, key observations, results and conclusions in a professional manner using appropriate style, language and references including local, national, and international contributions or contexts.

3.  Digital literacy: using technologies to find, use and disseminate information.

  • Apply well-developed technical skills, judgement and responsibility to independently locate, analyse, evaluate the merits of, synthesise, create and disseminate biological science literature, information, data and results in a digital world.

4.  Critical thinking: evaluating information using critical and analytical thinking and judgment.

  • Locate and evaluate scientific information from multiple sources and use scientific methods and frameworks to structure and plan observations, experimentation or fieldwork investigations.
  • Use critical and analytical thinking and judgement to analyse, synthesise and generate an integrated knowledge, formulate hypotheses and test them against evidence-based biological concepts and principles.

5.  Problem solving: creating solutions to authentic (real world and ill-defined) problems.

  • Use initiative and creativity in planning, identifying and using multiple approaches to recognise, clarify, construct and solve problems taking into account relevant contextual factors.
  • Advocate scientific methodologies, hypotheses, laws, facts and principles to create solutions to authentic real world problems in biological science.


6.  Self-management: working and learning independently, and taking responsibility for personal actions.

  • Take personal, professional and social responsibility within changing professional biological science contexts to develop autonomy as learners and evaluate own performance.
  • Work autonomously, responsibly and safely to solve unstructured problems and actively apply knowledge of regulatory frameworks and scientific methodologies to make informed choices.

7. Teamwork: working and learning with others from different disciplines and backgrounds.

  • Work independently and collaboratively as a team to contribute towards achieving team goals and thereby demonstrate interpersonal skills including the ability to brainstorm, negotiate, resolve conflicts, managing difficult and awkward conversations, provide constructive feedback and work in diverse professional, social and cultural contexts.

8.  Global citizenship: engaging ethically and productively in the professional context and with diverse communities and cultures in a global context

  • Apply scientific knowledge and skills with a high level of autonomy, judgement, responsibility and accountability in collaboration with others to articulate the place and importance of biology in the local and global community.

 Approved by Faculty Board 14 July 2016

Course rules

To complete the Bachelor of Biological Science, students must attain 24 credit points. Most units (think of units as ‘subjects’) are equal to 1 credit point. So that means in order to gain 24 credit points, you’ll need to study 24 units (AKA ‘subjects’) over your entire degree. Most students choose to study 4 units per trimester, and usually undertake two trimesters each year.

The 24 credit points include 19 core units (these are compulsory) and 5 elective units (you can choose which ones to study).

Course structure


Level 1 - Trimester 1

SLE111Cells and Genes

SLE133Chemistry in Our World ^

SLE103Ecology and the Environment

SLE115Essential Skills in Bioscience

SLE010Laboratory and Fieldwork Safety Induction Program (0 credit points)

Level 1 - Trimester 2

SLE132Biology: Form and Function

SLE136Life On An Evolving Planet

SLE155Chemistry for the Professional Sciences

plus one elective units

^Note: Students who have completed Year 12 Chemistry or equivalent may choose to replace SLE133 Chemistry in Our World in Trimester 1 with an elective unit.

Level 2 - Trimester 1

SLE203Plant Biology

SLE204Animal Diversity


SLE251Research Methods and Data Analysis

Level 2 - Trimester 2


SLE206Cell Biology

STP010Introduction to Work Placements (0 credit points)

plus one elective unit

Level 2 - Trimester 3



Level 3 - Trimester 1


SLE324Australian Vertebrates

SLE321Molecular Biology Techniques

plus one elective unit

Level 3 - Trimester 2

SLE390Professional Practice in Bioscience #

SLE360Australian Invertebrates

plus two elective units

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


Select from a range of elective units offered across many courses. In some cases you may even be able to choose elective units from a completely different discipline area (subject to meeting unit requirements).

Entry requirements - general

Deakin University offers admission to undergraduate courses through a number of Admission categories.
In all categories of admission, selection is based primarily on academic merit as indicated by an applicant's previous academic record.
For more information on the Admission Criteria and Selection Policy visit The Guide.

Entry requirements - specific

Applicants should have successfully completed VCE or equivalent. Refer to the VTAC Guide for the latest pre-requisite information

Those aged 21 or over on 1 January and who do not hold VCE or equivalent should apply under Alternative Admission. This category is open to those who do not satisfy normal entrance requirements, but can demonstrate relevant work or life experience.

Credit for prior learning - general

The University aims to provide students with as much credit as possible for approved prior study or informal learning which exceeds the normal entrance requirements for the course and is within the constraints of the course regulations. Students are required to complete a minimum of one-third of the course at Deakin University, or four credit points, whichever is the greater. In the case of certificates, including graduate certificates, a minimum of two credit points within the course must be completed at Deakin.

You can also refer to the Credit for Prior Learning System which outlines the credit that may be granted towards a Deakin University degree and how to apply for credit.

Credit for prior learning - specific

The Faculty may give credit towards the Bachelor of Biological Science for previous tertiary study and other approved forms of post-secondary study or experience. This previous study need not have led to a complete qualification; for example, a student may be given credit after completing the first year of a course at another institution. All applications for advanced standing must be made initially to the Selection/Enrolment Officer who will advise students of the necessary procedures at enrolment day.

All applications are considered on merit and usually no credit will be given for subjects/courses/units completed more than seven years prior to the request. For the Bachelor of Biological Science the maximum credit for prior learning that can be granted is 16 credit points. This may include up to 8 credits for non-science studies.

How to apply

Trimester 3 – start studying in November 2016

To see if this course is taking applications, check our Trimester 3 webpage. Applications for Trimester 3 are made directly to Deakin through our Applicant Portal.

Trimester 1 – start studying in March 2017

Apply through VTAC for Trimester 1.

Exceptions to submitting a VTAC application

If you are:

  • not studying Year 12 in 2016 and only intend to apply to one institution for one course (which is Deakin), or
  • applying for a Deakin course, which is not listed on the VTAC website.

a direct application can be submitted to Deakin through our Applicant Portal.


You can expect to participate in a range of teaching activities each week. This could include classes, seminars, practicals and online interaction. You can refer to the individual unit details in the course structure for more information. You will also need to study and complete assessment tasks in your own time.

Work experience

You’ll gain practical experience by completing a two week placement at a course-related host organisation to provide you with opportunities for workplace visits, field trips, industry learning and to establish valuable networks – giving you better insight into your possible career outcomes.

You’ll also have the opportunity to undertake a discipline-specific industry placement as part of your course.