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Biology is the study of life, ranging from molecules and their modes of action, through to understanding complex communities and their relationship with the environment. We are living in a most exciting time for studying and working in biology as new technologies, such as recombinant DNA, genomics and proteomics, place powerful tools in the hands of biologists. These advances, along with our ability to process and interpret large volumes of complex data, have generated a gigantic leap in our understanding of the fundamental molecular mechanisms and processes controlling life.

If you are planning to specialise in biology, you may wish to consider taking advanced units of study, which provide an opportunity to research an area of your special interest, working with research scientists and other professionals.

For more information on the program structure and content, view the Science Undergraduate Handbook.

About this major

At the University of Sydney, there are several ways to study biology. Most students complete a major in biology as part of their Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree, providing great flexibility.

In First Year Biology we introduce you to modern biology and how biologists carry out scientific investigation. Topics range from genes and DNA, to understanding the human body, to theories of evolution.

Essential units:
12 credit points of Junior BIOL or 6 credit points of Junior BIOL and 6 credit points of MBLG1001/1901 are needed to enrol in Intermediate units of study in Biology. For MBLG2072/2972, MBLG1001/1901 and 6 credit points of Junior CHEM is required.

Students who have not completed HSC or equivalent Biology are strongly recommended to take the Biology Bridging Course in February.

To complete the major

To successfully complete a major in Biology, the minimum requirement is 24 credit points from senior BIOL units of study listed in this subject area. Find sample degree plans here.

Further study for major

If you are interested in furthering your specialisation in biology, you may wish to undertake an honours year, or a postgraduate coursework or research program, subject to admission requirements.

Rich opportunities for honours and postgraduate research are available for eligible students in a variety of biology related fields including animal behaviour, ecology, genes and genetic interactions, plant science, molecular biology and much more.

Graduate opportunities

As a biology graduate you can expect an exciting and rewarding career contributing to the community through opportunities in business, research, training, education and government. Even in areas where specific biological knowledge has no direct input, a wide biological knowledge and advanced analytical skills allow biology graduates to play a leading role in local and global events. As a graduate you may combine laboratory research and fieldwork to study biological systems in many of the world's remote and fascinating ecosystems.

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Career pathways

Graduates who hold a major in biology are recognised as accredited biological researchers by the Asia-Pacific Academy of Biologists and Microbiologists.

Courses that offer this major

The course information on this website applies only to future students. Current students should refer to faculty handbooks for current or past course information.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.