Master of Science (Zoology)

Course MC-SCIZOO (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Year and Campus: 2011 - Parkville
CRICOS Code: 062189B
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 200 credit points taken over 24 months full time. This course is available as full or part time.


Dr Laura Parry

Dr Stephen Swearer


Melbourne Graduate School of Science
Faculty of Science
The University of Melbourne

Tel: + 61 3 8344 6128
Fax: +61 3 8344 3351

Course Overview: The Master of Science - Zoology is one of the research training streams of the Master of Science. The research training streams give students the opportunity to undertake a substantive research project in a field of choice as well as a broad range of coursework subjects including a professional tools component, as a pathway to PhD study or to the workforce.
Objectives: At the completion of this course, students should have gained:
  • familiarity with the kinds of data generated by biological and environmental research programs;
  • a detailed understanding of selected contemporary issues in biological sciences;
  • skills in conducting research in zoology;
  • skills in designing rigorous experimental and sampling programs;
  • skills in critical assessment of literature; and
  • the ability to present and interpret results of analyses.
Course Structure & Available Subjects:

Students studying the Master of Science (Zoology program) will complete 200 points over a two year full-time (or four year part-time) program comprising:

Core discipline subjects (25 points)

Students must take:

  • 654-634 Biometry

and one of:

  • 654-637 Graduate Seminar in Population Biology
  • 654-635 Graduate Seminar in Reproductive Physiology

Elective discipline subjects (25 points)
  • subjects selected in consultation with the course coordinator, appropriate to students' research project.
Note: Where appropriate a student may complete up to two 200 or 300 level subjects, with the approval of the course coordinator.

Professional Tools (25 points)
  • 600-619 Scientists, Communication and the Workplace
  • 615-668 Critical analysis in Science
  • 615-505 e-Science
  • 600-615 Thinking and Reasoning with Data
  • 600-617 Systems Modelling and Simulation
  • 600-616 Science in Context
  • 600-618 Ethics and Responsibility in Science
  • 600-614 Business Tools: Money, People and Processes
Research Project (125 points)

Students will gain experience in conducting research in zoology by taking responsibility for a research project, including the design of rigorous field sampling programs, field and/or laboratory experiments; the collection, appropriate statistical analysis, and interpretation of data; and providing an oral and written presentation of the results. A literature review (up to 4000 words; pass/fail) will ensure students assimilate and critically evaluate existing knowledge within a scientific paradigm; a grant proposal/project brief (up to 2000 words; 15%) will encourage students to consider the justification and budget of their proposed research; an oral presentation (20 minutes; pass/fail) will combine oral and visual communication skills; a thesis (up to 10,000 words, 85%) will describe the students’ research and enhance their capacity to express persuasive intellectual, scientific arguments.

Students enrolled in the Master of Science (Zoology program) are required to complete a 125 point Research Project. Students will need to discuss and receive approval for their proposed combination of Research Project subjects (as indicated below) with the course coordinator to ensure they will have completed a total of 125 points by the end of their course.
  • 654-671 Zoology Research Project - 12.5 points
  • 654-672 Zoology Research Project - 25.0 points
  • 654-673 Zoology Research Project - 37.5 points
  • 654-675 Zoology Research Project - 50.0 points
Subject Options:

Discipline core

Students to select at least one of:
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Professional Tools

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2011
Not offered in 2011
Not offered in 2011

Research Project

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Summer Term, Semester 1, Semester 2
Summer Term, Semester 1, Semester 2
Summer Term, Semester 1, Semester 2
Summer Term, Semester 1, Semester 2
Entry Requirements: Bachelor degree with a major in an appropriate discipline with at least an H3 (65%) average in the major or equivalent.
Core Participation Requirements: It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study and reasonable steps will be made to enhance a student’s participation in the University’s programs. Students who feel their disability may impact upon their active and safe participation in a subject are encouraged to discuss this with the relevant subject coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.
Further Study: The Research Training programs offer a pathway to a PhD.
Graduate Attributes:

Graduates will:

  • have the ability to demonstrate advanced independent critical enquiry, analysis and reflection;
  • have a strong sense of intellectual integrity and the ethics of scholarship;
  • have in-depth knowledge of their specialist discipline(s);
  • reach a high level of achievement in writing, research or project activities, problem-solving and communication;
  • be critical and creative thinkers, with an aptitude for continued self-directed learning;
  • be able to examine critically, synthesise and evaluate knowledge across a broad range of disciplines;
  • have a set of flexible and transferable skills for different types of employment; and
  • be able to initiate and implement constructive change in their communities, including professions and workplaces.
Links to further information:

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