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What's the difference? Health and medical science degrees explained.

30 November 2018
Get clear on undergraduate science degrees
Health science? Medical science? If you’re not sure which of these undergraduate science degrees is right for you, we want to help you understand the opportunities they offer and what that means for your future.

Figuring out which course you want to pursue is a significant decision. Our degrees are more flexible than ever before, so you can explore your interests and graduate feeling prepared for the future of work.

If you’re interested in studying health, the medical sciences or both, we’ve taken a look at some of our degrees to help you work out which aligns best with your ambitions and how you could combine your interests in more than one area.

Bachelor of Science (Health)

If you are looking for a corporate career in health or building a foundation for future study in clinical health, this degree is the right choice for you.

Our reimagined Bachelor of Science (Health) emphasises industry engagement and employability, while retaining the flexibility and focus on the big picture in health that our graduates and employers value.

You will develop a comprehensive understanding of the health sector, learn about the breadth of the health workforce and have opportunities to discover areas of health you’re most interested in.

Work with our industry partners to develop your professional network and address real-world health problems in the classroom and through a range of co-curricular opportunities.

You will graduate ready to tackle a range of positions in corporate health or pursue further study to enter a clinical role.

You will undertake the Health stream, within which you will complete a major in Health and core science units in biology, psychology and mathematics.

These combinations of units will provide you with the flexibility to complete in-depth study in an area of health that is of interest to you such as human movement (exclusively available in the Health stream), indigenous health, international health or health promotion.

You can choose a second major or minor, which could be in a different area of science (such as one of the medical sciences majors) or another discipline like arts, business or engineering.

Discover all of the study areas available to you.

A qualification in health can lead to employment in an industry expected to grow annually by 3%. Graduates typically move into health-related fields that support front-line patient care, such as:

  • health management
  • public relations
  • health promotion
  • project management
  • business development
  • health policy
  • work health and safety management
  • disability services management
  • government officer
  • health research.

If you are interested in pursuing a clinical career such as medicine, physiotherapy or radiography, you will be eligible for a range of our postgraduate health programs upon graduating, including:

  • Doctor of Medicine
  • Doctor of Dental Medicine
  • Master of Speech Language Pathology
  • Master of Occupational Therapy
  • Master of Physiotherapy*
  • Master of Exercise Physiology
  • Master of Public Health
  • Master of Rehabilitation Counselling
  • Master of Exercise and Sport Science
  • Master of Exercise Physiology*
  • Master of Diagnostic Radiography

Explore all postgraduate health programs.
*If you complete Health Movement as your second major

Learn more about the Bachelor of Science (Health).

Bachelor of Science (Medical Science)

If you want to understand the science behind medicine and health, this degree would be the best option for you.

Medical sciences are at the core of our understanding of human health and disease, and the treatment of disease.

Our Bachelor of Science (Medical Science) provides an incredibly integrated approach to learning the systems of the body, in order for you to build a foundational understanding of the theory that underpins medicine and health. 

It will provide you with an excellent platform to pursue a career in medical science research, to work in government and industry, or to complete further study.

Build your knowledge of the basic sciences such as chemistry, biology and mathematics, as well as core medical science units such as physiology, biochemistry and anatomy.

Specialise in an area of medical science that is of interest to you, such as anatomy and histology, applied medical sciences, microbiology or neuroscience.

You also have the option to complete a second science major (such as the Health major) or undertake study in another area like arts, business or engineering.

Discover all available study areas.

You could enter a range of careers that align with your interests. Our graduates can be found in areas such as:

  • medical sciences researcher
  • laboratory pathologist
  • medical sales
  • biochemist
  • research and development in private or public organisations
  • medical administrator
  • pharmacologist in research organisations or hospitals
  • government sector
  • pharmaceutical industry.

Other careers that you could consider are those outside of the science industry. Jobs in policy, communication and consulting are always very open for science graduates.

You could pursue a career in medical science research by undertaking an honours year (or its replacement) as a pathway into one of our postgraduate research degrees.

You will also develop the essential foundation for further study in our graduate medicine and health programs.

Learn more about the Bachelor of Science (Medical Science).

Bachelor of Science

Whether you know which field of science you want to be in or are still figuring out your interests, our Bachelor of Science will allow you to carve your own path.

You can choose from more than 40 majors, streams and programs. So, if you’re interested in health, the medical sciences or one of our other study areas, you will have the flexibility to build a degree around your interests.

Learn more about the Bachelor of Science.