Bachelor of Biomedical Science Advanced (Honours) - 2018

Honours - Course

Commencement year

This course entry applies to students commencing this course in 2018 and should be read in conjunction with information provided in the 'Faculty information' section of this Handbook by the Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences.

Other commencement years for this course: 2017 and 2016

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


Associate Professor Elizabeth Davis

Contact details

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

Admission and fees


Course progression map

M3004 (pdf)

Course type


Standard duration

4 years FT

You have a maximum of 10 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 Advanced (Honours)


This is a high-profile course designed for talented students who expect to pursue a career in biomedical research. It is an advanced version of the Bachelor of Biomedical Science course, providing opportunities for you to develop research, communication and team-work skills during your undergraduate studies.

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

The 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. Your research is guided by leading researchers and, in your research-based honours year, you could contribute to our world-renowned work such as, treat bowel cancer or repair damaged brains in babies.

As a graduate, you will be in a position to pursue an international research career. You may also elect to work in the hospital and medical sector, including in medical diagnostic laboratories, in secondary and tertiary teaching, in media and communications, or in the government sector in areas such as health promotion and health economics.

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


These course outcomes are aligned with the Australian Qualifications Framework level 8 and Monash Graduate AttributesAustralian Qualifications Framework level 8 and Monash Graduate Attributes (

Upon successful completion of this course it is expected that students 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. demonstrate advanced knowledge and technical skills in a focussed area of biomedical science
  5. develop, apply, integrate and generate biomedical science knowledge in professional contexts to analyse challenges and to develop effective solutions
  6. demonstrate understanding of the importance of biomedical science to human health and society
  7. collect, organise, analyse and interpret biomedical science data, meaningfully using experimental and computational approaches
  8. work independently to undertake a scientific literature review and work collaboratively to design, develop and implement a research project
  9. communicate ideas and results effectively to diverse audiences and in a variety of formats
  10. work and learn in both independent and collaborative ways with others to encompass diverse abilities and perspectives
  11. exercise personal, professional and social responsibility as a global citizen.


The course provides an interdisciplinary approach to the 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.

Part 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.

Part 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.

Part 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.

Part 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.

Part 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.

Part F. Honours research program

This will extend your discipline knowledge and develop your ability to critically evaluate biomedical research and to apply appropriate methodologies to conduct independent research in biomedical science. It will develop strong problem solving skills and the ability to apply analytical thinking.

Part G. Free elective study

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


This course comprises 192 points, of which 156 points are from biomedical science study and 36 points are used 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 and culminate in Part F. Honours research program.

To remain in the course you are required to maintain at least a distinction average (70 percent) across 48 points in each calendar year. If you do not meet this standard you will be required to transfer to M2003 Bachelor of Biomedical Science.

The course progression mapcourse progression map ( 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.

Biomedical science studies (108 points)

You must complete:

a. The following core units (96 points):

  • 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. Two level 3 biomedical science units (12 points) including at least one of the following:

  • BCH3990 Action in biochemistry research project
  • BMS3990 Action in biomedical science minor research project
  • DEV3990 Action in developmental biology research project
  • HUP3990 Human pathology in action 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

The remaining biomedical science electives from which a unit may be chosen to fulfil this requirement include all level 3 units with the prefixes BCH, BME, DEV, GEN, HUP, IMM, MIC, NUT, PHA and PHY. Refer to the index of units by codeindex of units by code ( in the current edition of the Handbook.

Research studies (48 points)

You must complete:

  • BMS4200 Advanced studies in biomedical science (12 points)
  • BMS4100 Biomedical science research project (36 points)

Free elective study (36 points)

These elective units may be chosen from across the faculty or they may be used to sample disciplines from across the University or to complete a minor 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.

Free electives can be identified using the browse unitsbrowse units ( tool and indexes of unitsindexes of 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.

These electives may be from any level, however, no more than four electives (24 points) may be taken from level 1.

Progression to further studies

Successful completion of the Bachelor of Biomedical Science Advanced (Honours) may provide an opportunity for progression into the Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine course at Monash.