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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2010 Undergraduate - Course

This course entry should be read in conjunction with information provided in the 'Faculty information' section of this Handbook by the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Managing facultyMedicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Abbreviated titleBBNSc
CRICOS code030802F
Total credit points required144
Standard duration of study (years)3 years FT, 6 years PT
Study mode and locationOn-campus (Clayton)
Contact details

Telephone: +61 3 9905 3965, email: or visit


The course will provide several possible outcomes for graduates:

  • an in-depth specialised program in behavioural neuroscience, which may lead to a research-based honours year in the School of Psychology, Psychiatry and Psychological Medicine or any another biomedical science department within the Faculty of Medicine Nursing and Health Sciences
  • successful honours completion may translate into higher level post graduate research degrees, such as PhD
  • students who may wish to pursue a vocationally-focused career in psychology, which meets the accreditation requirements of the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council, will have the option of higher degree studies in psychology in honours, followed by the option of accredited doctoral programs
  • possible entry into graduate-level entry Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, with a possible specialised career in neurology; may also be eligible for entry into other graduate programs in medicine or health sciences.

Students will, by the selection of elective units in second and third year, and their subsequent performance in these units, determine which of these outcomes is to be achieved.


On completion of this course, students will have:

  • acquired a basic knowledge of behavioural neuroscience, and will understand the relationship of behavioural neuroscience to other areas of learning
  • become familiar with the diversity of topic areas covered within the disciplines of psychology and the biomedical sciences
  • become familiar with the research frontier at which advances in behavioural neuroscience are occurring
  • developed the skills necessary to critically appraise the relevant literature
  • an appreciation of the ethical and social attitudes and responsibilities which arise as a professional behavioural neuroscientist
  • mastered the essential research design procedures, statistical analyses and methods of written and oral communication relevant to the field of behavioural neuroscience
  • acquired skills in modern information technologies, which will enhance their effectiveness in employment as modern neuroscientists.

Professional recognition

If students successfully complete the accredited psychology sequence, as part of this degree, and continue with further graduate studies in psychology, they are likely to meet the accreditation requirements of the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council.


Areas of study

All students in the Bachelor of Behavioural Neuroscience course will complete a program which is a combination of core and elective units.

The degree involves successful completion of:

  • six compulsory behavioural neuroscience units (one at first year, two at second year and three at third-year level)
  • five compulsory biomedical units (four at first year and one at second-year level)
  • five compulsory psychology units (two at first year and three at second year level)
  • one compulsory physiology unit (at third year, which consistutes part of the major in behavioural neuroscience)
  • seven elective units (one at first year, two at second year and four at third-year level).

In third year, students will major in behavioural neuroscience plus one of psychology, physiology, anatomy, biochemistry, genetics, immunology, or pharmacology.

Successful completion of the degree plus appropriate choice of major at the third-year level will provide an opportunity of gaining entry into a fourth-year honours program.


First year

First semester

Second semester

Second year

First semester

  • BMS2021 Biochemistry in human function
  • BNS2011 Brain structure and function I
  • PSY2031 Developmental and biological psychology
  • PSY2051 Research design and analysis

Second semester

  • BNS2012 Brain structure and function II
  • PSY2042 Cognitive and social psychology
  • elective unit
  • elective unit

Third year

First semester

  • BNS3021 Neurochemistry and behaviour
  • PHY3111 Sensation and movement
  • elective unit
  • elective unit

Second semester

  • BNS3052 Drugs, brain and altered awareness
  • BNS3062 Imaging and brain disorders
  • elective unit
  • elective unit

Elective units

All other elective units in third year must be chosen from the following disciplines:

Students should select third-year electives carefully, as choice of major will determine eligibility for entry into the various units being offered at honours level. For further details regarding the list of available discipline units please contact the course administrator (Meredith Gunn) in the School of Psychology, Psychiatry and Psychological Medicine. Students should ensure they seek the approval of the Bachelor of Behavioural Neuroscience course administrator before enrolling in any of the third year elective disciplines.

Progression to further studies

An additional honours year is available to eligible students.


Bachelor of Behavioural Neuroscience