Master of Science (Biomedical and Health Sciences)

Course MC-SCIBHS (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Year and Campus: 2015 - 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.


This course will not be taking students from 2014

Professor Lea Delbridge is the Stream Coordinator.

Enquiries should be directed to your supervisor or the Melbourne Graduate School of Science


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 (Biomedical and Health Sciences) is a coursework masters degree incorporating a substantial research project.
The Master of Science gives 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 skills component, as a pathway to PhD study or to the workforce.

Learning Outcomes:

The objectives of this course are to provide students with skills in:

  • conducting research in biomedical and health sciences;
  • designing experiments;
  • taking responsibility for managing a research project;
  • preparing and giving an oral and written presentation of the results;
  • expressing intellectual, scientific arguments; and
  • assimilating and critically evaluating existing knowledge within a scientific paradigm.
Course Structure & Available Subjects:

All students must complete 200 points comprising:

  • Discipline Core subjects (50 points);
  • Professional Skills subjects (25 points);
  • A 125 point research project.
Subject Options:

Discipline Core subjects

Students must complete 50 points of discipline subjects. These comprise required introductory biomedical research subject/s and approved discipline core subjects.

Introductory biomedical subjects

Students that are enrolled in the program must take an introductory biomedical research subject/s that forms part of the discipline core subject requirements. Students must take the following subject in their first semester (or second semester for mid-year intake) as part of their discipline core subjects:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

An exception may apply for students of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (see below)


Note for students undertaking a research project within the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Students that undertake a research project within the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (or an affiliated institute of that department) may be able to substitute BIOM40001 Introduction to Biomedical Research for one or both of the following subjects at the approval or discretion of the Department academic coordinator, Associate Professor Marie Bogoyevitch ( This approval or direction will be based on the assessment made as to the nature of the research project. These subjects will form part of the discipline core requirement of the program.

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Remaining discipline core subjects

For their remaining discipline core subjects, students may select approved subjects relevant to the proposed research project from those within the Master of Science programs, in particular the Master of Science (Genetics), Master of Science (Zoology). They may also take subjects from the Master of Biotechnology and Masters by coursework programs offered by the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences.

A maximum of two discipline subjects may be taken at 3rd year level.

Professional Skills subjects

Students must complete 25 points from the following subjects:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2015
Not offered in 2015

Research Project

Students must complete a research project under the supervision of a staff member in an academic unit (a Department or an affiliated Institute) of the Melbourne Medical School within the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences. Depending on supervisor and project availability, research is undertaken in a range of locations/discipline areas including: Anatomy and Cell Biology, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (Bio21), Medicine (Royal Melbourne Hospital/Western Hospital and St Vincent's Hospital), Microbiology and Immunology, Neurosciences (Centre for Neurosciences/Florey Institutes), Nursing, Otolaryngology (Hearing Sciences), Ophthalmology (Eye Research), Oral Biology, Paediatrics (Murdoch Childrens Research Institute), Pharmacology, Psychiatry, Physiology, Radiology and Surgery (Austin Hospital, Royal Melbourne Hospital/Western Hospital and St Vincent's Hospital)

Students are entitled to a total of 4 weeks leave each year, the timing of which is to be negotiated with the supervisor. In non-semester time, your project work will be your full-time commitment. During semester time, your allocation of time to your project will depend on the subject coursework load you have committed to.

The Research Project will be due for submission by the end of the formal examination period of the fourth semester of enrolment if an earlier date is not specified.

Students may enrol in a combination of research project subjects and coursework subjects as long as once the Research Project is commenced, the consecutive enrolment requirement is met and to ensure they have completed a total of 125 points for the research project by the end of their course.

Your study plan must be approved by your supervisor and the Melbourne Graduate School of Science.

Some enrolment examples are available in the MSc(BHS) Information Guide:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Entry Requirements:

  • Bachelor degree with a major in an appropriate discipline (e.g. a biomedical science) with an average of 65% or above in the major, based on a weighted mean of final year major subjects, or equivalent
  • Written evidence from potential supervisor/s of willingness to accept supervision of you as a student for the completion of your project
  • Meeting the University’s English language requirements

Note: Quotas may be applied and preference may be given to applicants with evidence of appropriate preparation or potential to undertake research. Entry is subject to the capacity of a participating department to provide adequate supervision in a research project appropriate to the interests and preparation of the individual student and may be subject to the agreement of a member of academic staff to supervise the project module. Selection is not automatic and, in particular, is subject to competition.

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 Master of Science offers 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.

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