M2003 - Bachelor of Biomedical Science - 2017

Undergraduate - Course

Commencement year

This course entry applies to students commencing this course in 2017 and should be read in conjunction with information provided in the 'Faculty information' section of this Handbook by the Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences.

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

Course code


Credit points


Abbreviated title




Managing faculty

Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Contact details

1800 MONASH (1800 666 274) From outside Australia +61 3 9902 6011

Admission and fees


Course progression map

M2003 (pdf)

Course type


Standard duration

3 years FT, 6 years PT

Students have a maximum of 8 years to complete this course including any periods of intermission and suspension, and must be continuously enrolled throughout.

Mode and location

On-campus (Clayton)


Bachelor of Biomedical Science

Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Scholars Program)

The award conferred depends on the study program completed.


Biomedical science combines the fields of biology and medicine in order to focus on the health of humans. A biomedical sciences degree opens up career opportunities in biotechnology, the pharmaceutical industry, research centres, product development and technology.

Biomedical science is an interdisciplinary area of study and includes aspects of anatomy and developmental biology, biochemistry, cell biology, clinical medicine, epidemiology, genetics, immunology, microbiology, molecular biology, pharmacology and preventive medicine, and physiology. Electives allow you to design a specialised program around any of these areas, or you can choose units from other faculties to broaden your horizon. Whatever your choice, you will gain the skills you need to understand and investigate human biology and make a difference to human health in a wide variety of career paths. You may also progress to a research-based honours year where you could contribute to our world-renowned work such as using, treat bowel cancer or repair damaged brains in babies.

Very high achieving students can apply to be admitted to the Bachelor of Biomedical Science scholars program. Biomedical Science scholars complete the same academic program as other students but also have access to a range of development opportunities. Depending on prior experience and capabilities (such as previous tertiary study, including secondary school year 12 enhancement studies), students in the scholars program may be given exemptions from some core units for appropriate enhancement studies, allowing them to accelerate their studies and complete the course in less than three years. Students may also overload their enrolment from first year to further shorten the time frame to complete the course. Each student's program will be planned according to student interest and with consideration of academic background.

Whether or not you join the scholars program, this course is your invitation to join one of the largest and most successful medical research hubs in Australia and the world. Our multidisciplinary approach, presence in major hospitals, and links to international researchers is making a difference to people's lives worldwide. As a graduate, you may find work in the hospital and medical sector, including in medical diagnostic laboratories, in secondary and tertiary teaching, in media and communications, and in the government sector in such areas as health promotion and health economics.

If you are interested in the medicine program at Monash, undertaking the Bachelor of Biomedical Science will provide the best pathway option with at least 50 places being reserved in the course for Monash biomedical science graduates (as of 2018).

Double degrees

The Bachelor of Biomedical Science can be taken in combination with the following courses:

  • Bachelor of Commerce
  • Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)
  • Bachelor of Laws (Honours)
  • Bachelor of Science (the biomedical science and genetics majors are not available within the Bachelor of Science component)

This will lead to the award of two degrees - your biomedical science degree and the degree awarded by the partner course. Students should refer to the course entry for the partner course in their double degree for the requirements of the other degree.


These course outcomes are aligned with the Australian Qualifications Framework level 7 and Monash Graduate AttributesAustralian Qualifications Framework level 7 and Monash Graduate Attributes (http://www.monash.edu.au/pubs/handbooks/alignmentofoutcomes.html).

Upon successful completion of this course it is expected that you will be able to:

  1. demonstrate a broad knowledge in the area of biomedical science spanning the molecular, cellular, organ and body systems levels
  2. demonstrate an in depth knowledge in the area of biomedical science
  3. demonstrate technical skills relevant to the area of biomedical science
  4. develop, apply, integrate and generate biomedical science knowledge in professional contexts to analyse challenges and to develop effective solutions
  5. collect, organise, analyse and interpret biomedical science data meaningfully using experimental and computational approaches
  6. communicate ideas and results effectively to diverse audiences and in a variety of formats
  7. work and learn in both independent and collaborative ways with others to encompass diverse abilities and perspectives
  8. exercise personal, professional and social responsibility as a global citizen.


The course provides an interdisciplinary approach to study of biomedical science, with five central themes: molecular and cellular biology, body systems, infection and immunity, disease and society, and diagnostic and research tools. These themes are interwoven in units throughout the course.

A. Molecular and cellular biology

Through these studies you will learn how the cell functions and replicates itself in health and disease, particularly considering the structure of the cell and its evolution, the function of cells, DNA, genes and proteins, and the regulation of metabolism.

B. Body systems

This theme addresses the principles of major body systems. You will learn how cells come together to form tissues and organs and how they work together in the body to provide it with its metabolic needs and remove waste products. You will study how structure follows function; homeostasis; the nutritional and gastro-intestinal system; the neural system and senses; endocrine, reproductive and renal systems; and cardiovascular and respiratory systems.

C. Infection and immunity

The focus of these studies is the functional immune system of multicellular organisms and the disease states that result from pathogen infection and from autoimmunity. You will learn about molecular genetics and recombinant DNA (both important tools for the study of microbial disease and immunity), inflammation and disease, and infection and infection control.

D. Disease and society

In these studies you will learn about disease states that result from abnormal function in various body systems, including the cellular, genetic and molecular causes of the disease, with a focus on mechanisms of disease and patterns of disease and treatment. In studying the basis for human disease, you will also consider the societal and personal impacts of past, present and future diseases and the social, economic and environmental factors that are determinants of health.

E. Diagnostic and research tools

These studies address both the molecular and cellular tools, including specialist imaging techniques, that can be used to study and diagnose diseases.

F. Free elective study

This will enable you to broaden and deepen your knowledge of aspects of biomedical science, or to select units from across the University in which you are eligible to enrol.


The course comprises 144 points, of which 96 points are from biomedical science study and 48 points are available to provide additional depth or breadth through elective study. The course develops through theme studies in biomedical science covering: Part A. Molecular and cellular biology, Part B. Body systems, Part C. Infection and immunity, Part D. Disease and society, and Part E. Diagnostic and research tools. These themes are interwoven in units throughout the course.

Electives may be at any level but no more than 10 units (60 points) at level 1 may be credited to the course and a minimum 24 points must be at level 3.

To remain in the scholars program, students must maintain at least a distinction average (70 per cent) across 48 points in each calendar year.

The course progression mapcourse progression map (http://www.monash.edu.au/pubs/2017handbooks/maps/map-m2003.pdf) will assist you to plan to meet the course requirements, and guidance on unit enrolment for each semester of study.

Units are 6 credit points unless otherwise stated.

A. Biomedical science studies (96 points)

Students complete

  • BMS1011 Biomedical chemistry
  • BMS1021 Cells, tissues and organisms
  • BMS1031 Medical biophysics
  • BMS1042 Public health and preventive medicine
  • BMS1052 Human neurobiology
  • BMS1062 Molecular biology
  • BMS2011 Structure of the human body: An evolutionary and functional perspective
  • BMS2021 Human molecular cell biology
  • BMS2031 Body systems
  • BMS2042 Human genetics
  • BMS2052 Microbes in health and disease
  • BMS2062 Introduction to bioinformatics
  • BMS3031 Molecular mechanisms of disease (12 points)
  • BMS3052 Biomedical basis and epidemiology of human disease (12 points)

B. Free elective study (48 points)

These elective units may be chosen from across the faculty and include those with the prefixes BCH, BME, DEV, GEN, HUP, IMM, MIC, MIS, PHA and PHY. Refer to the index of units by codeindex of units by code (http://www.monash.edu.au/pubs/handbooks/units/index-bycode.html) in the current edition of the Handbook.

Elective units may also be used to sample disciplines from across the University or to complete a major or minor(s) from another course if you have the required prerequisites and there are no restrictions on enrolment into the units. The faculties of Arts, Business and Economics, Engineering, Information Technology and Science offer units particularly suitable as electives. MajorsMajors (http://www.monash.edu.au/pubs/2016handbooks/aos/index-bydomain_type-major.html) and minorsminors (http://www.monash.edu.au/pubs/handbooks/aos/index-bydomain_type-minor.html) are indexed in the Handbook.

Free electives can also be identified using the browse unitsbrowse units (http://www.monash.edu.au/pubs/handbooks/units/search) tool and indexes of unitsindexes of units (http://www.monash.edu.au/pubs/handbooks/units/) in the current edition of the Handbook. The level of the unit is indicated by the first number in the unit code; undergraduate units are those that commence with the numbers 1-3. You may need permission from the owning faculty to enrol in some units taught by other faculties.

The units may be at any level, however, no more than 10 units (60 points) are to be completed at level 1 in the course. For students in double degree courses, some units required for the partner degree are credited as electives towards the biomedical science degree.

Scholars program

Students enrolled in the scholars program are required to include at least one of the following units in their choice of electives:

  • BCH3990 Action in biochemistry research project
  • DEV3990 Action in developmental biology research project
  • IMM3990 Immunology in action research project
  • MIC3990 Action in microbiology research project
  • PHA3990 Action in pharmacology research project
  • PHY3990 Action in physiology research project

Progression to further studies

Successful completion of the Bachelor of Biomedical Science may provide an opportunity for progression into the one-year honours degree leading to M3702 Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Honours) or into the Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine course at Monash.