To be read in conjunction with the program of study requirements for the



The program of study aims to provide students with a broad-based foundation in science together with the ability to acquire extensive subject knowledge in the science discipline ecology and evolutionary biology. It also aims to develop a range of transferable research, analytical and communication skills including the capacity to:

  • understand and apply relevant scientific principles in the areas of ecology and evolutionary biology
  • employ scientific methodologies such as experimentation and data analysis in the areas of ecology and evolutionary biology
  • interpret and present scientific information regarding ecology and evolution, including communicating effectively with a variety of audiences in written and spoken form
  • critically analyse, interpret and evaluate information relevant to ecology and evolution
  • appreciate the multidisciplinary nature of the studies of ecology and evolution and engage positively with people and ideas beyond their own discipline
  • appreciate the societal and ethical contexts of ecology and evolutionary biology and the profesional practice of organismal biologists
  • work independently and take responsibility for updating and adapting their knowledge and skills
  • work effectively, cooperatively and productively within a team.

The major provides the foundations that will underpin ongoing professional development, preparing graduates for further study in disciplines related to studies in ecological and evolutionary studies or for a career in a field related to ecology and evolutionary biology or in other areas where the range of skills and knowledge acquired is needed or desirable. 

Learning outcomes

On completion of the major students will be able to:

  • demonstrate familiarity with and critically apply current theories, subject content, professional methodologies, ethical frameworks and research procedures relevant to studies of ecology and evolution
  • understand and describe the processes through which current knowledge about the areas of ecology and evolutionary biology was developed
  • analyse and critically evaluate ideas, data and information and apply relevant scientific principles to solve problems by, for example, creating hypotheses, testing theories and predictions, designing and conducting experiments and statistically analysing data
  • undertake studies relating to ecology and evolution in both laboratory and field contexts
  • communicate their findings and present information clearly to a variety of audiences in written and spoken form
  • appreciate the multidisciplinary nature of ecology and evolutionary biology and the relationships between these areas and other science and non-science disciplines
  • work and learn independently and appreciate the need for continuing professional development
  • contribute effectively as part of a team in order to achieve common goals.

Program of study

Major - Ecology and Evolutionary Biology - Year 1 topics

22.5 units comprising:

Core - Year 1 Topics

 BIOL1101  Evolution of Biological Diversity  (4.5 units)
 BIOL1102  Molecular Basis of Life  (4.5 units)
 STAT1122  Biostatistics  (4.5 units)

Option - Year 1 Topics

Plus one of:

 CHEM1101  Chemical Structure and Bonding  (4.5 units)
 CHEM1201  General Chemistry  (4.5 units)


 CHEM1202  Chemistry for the Life Sciences  (4.5 units)

Major - Ecology and Evolutionary Biology - Year 2 topics

18 units comprising:

Core - Year 2 Topics

 BIOL2701  Experimental Design and Statistics for Biology  (4.5 units)
 BIOL2702  Genetics, Evolution and Biodiversity  (4.5 units)
 BIOL2711  Ecology  (4.5 units)
 BIOL2712  Animal Diversity  (4.5 units)

Major - Ecology and Evolutionary Biology - Year 3 topics

18 units comprising:

Core - Year 3 Topics

 BIOL3701  Conservation Biology and Restoration Ecology  (4.5 units)
 BIOL3703  Vertebrate Palaeontology  (4.5 units)
 BIOL3711  Plant and Algal Diversity  (4.5 units)
 BIOL3722  Conservation and Ecological Genetics   (4.5 units)