- 2017


Minor / Major

Commencement year

This area of study entry applies to students commencing this course in 2017 and should be read in conjunction with the relevant course entry in the Handbook.

Any units listed for this area of study relate only to the 'Requirements' outlined in the component of any bachelors double degrees.

Unit codes that are not linked to their entry in the Handbook are not available for study in the current year.

Managing faculty

Faculty of Science

Offered by

Department of Anatomy and Development Biology


Professor Mary Jane Black and Associate Professor Helen Abud



Developmental biology is one of the most exciting and fast-moving fields in modern biomedical science. It is the discipline concerned with the development of an adult organism from a single cell. The study of developmental biology covers such topics as classical embryology, body structure and design, gene expression and molecular mechanisms of development, organogenesis, causes of birth defects, stem cell biology, tissue engineering, regenerative biology and medicine.

Monash University is a renowned leader in human anatomical sciences and internationally recognised for its outstanding research in developmental biology. For decades, Monash has been a world leader in research on fetal development, reproductive biology and in vitro fertilisation.

Built upon these existing strengths and to train the workforce of tomorrow, Monash offers studies in anatomy and developmental biology.

Developmental biology prepares graduates for a wide range of careers. Graduates can apply their knowledge of anatomy and developmental biology directly, such as by choosing a career in the biomedical sphere. Some of these include biomedical research scientist, science educator, policy advisor, IVF scientist and forensic scientist. Alternatively, graduates can use the general skills and knowledge acquired to pursue careers in other areas.


Development biology is listed in S2000 Bachelor of Science, S3001 Bachelor of Science Advanced - Global Challenges (Honours) and S3002 Bachelor of Science Advanced - Research (Honours) at Clayton as a major or minor.

The developmental biology major and extended major are not available in the double degree course S2007 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Biomedical Science.


In addition to achieving the broad outcomes of their course, students successfully completing this major will be able to:

  • demonstrate a broad understanding of the key cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying normal and abnormal human and animal development and developmental programming of disease
  • perform and apply practical and laboratory techniques integral to the study of developmental biology incorporating cellular, molecular and imaging techniques.


Minor requirements (24 points)

12 points at level 1 and 12 points at level 2.

Students complete the following four units (24 points):

  • BIO1011 Biology I
  • BIO1022 Biology II
  • DEV2011 Early human development from cells to tissues
  • DEV2022 Human anatomy and development: Tissues and body systems

Major requirements (48 points)

12 points at level 1 and at least 18 points at level 3.

Students complete:

  1. The requirements for the minor in developmental biology (24 points)
  2. The following two units (12 points):
    • DEV3011 Fundamentals of developmental processes
    • DEV3022 Developmental and anatomical basis of human health and disease
  3. Two units (12 points) chosen from:
    • BME3082 Fetal and neonatal development
    • DEV3032 Stem cells and the foundations of life
    • DEV3990 Action in developmental biology research project
    • MCB2011 Molecular biology and the cell

Requirements for progressing to honours

Successful completion of 24 points of relevant level 3 units, of which normally 18 points are developmental biology or biochemistry, human pathology, immunology, microbiology, pharmacology and physiology units.

Refer to S3701 Bachelor of Science (Honours) for full details.

Relevant courses


Single degrees

Successful completion of this area of study can be counted towards meeting the requirements for the following single degrees:*

  • S2000 Bachelor of Science
  • S3001 Bachelor of Science Advanced - Global Challenges (Honours)
  • S3002 Bachelor of Science Advanced - Research (Honours)

Students in other single bachelor's degrees may be eligible to complete the minor or major by using 24 or 48 points of their free electives.

Double degrees

Successful completion of this area of study can be counted towards meeting the requirements for the Bachelor of Science component in the following double degrees:*

  • B2023 Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Science
  • B2016 Bachelor of Commerce Specialist and Bachelor of Science
  • D3005 Bachelor of Education (Honours) and Bachelor of Science
  • E3007 Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) and Bachelor of Science
  • C2003 Bachelor of Information Technology and Bachelor of Science
  • L3007 Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Bachelor of Science
  • S2006 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts
  • S2004 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Computer Science
  • S2003 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Global Studies
  • S2005 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Music

* Students cannot complete a minor, major or extended major in the same area of study.