To be read in conjunction with the program of study requirements for the Bachelor of Science (Specialisations).

The Biodiversity and Conservation Specialisation requires three years of full-time study (or the equivalent part-time). The Specialisation is offered by the School of Biological Sciences, within the Faculty of Science and Engineering.

Admission requirements

The minimum requirements for consideration for entry to all undergraduate courses are specified in detail in the University Entry Requirements.

There are no formal prerequisites for the specialisation in Biodiversity and Conservation but a knowledge of Mathematics, Physics or Chemistry to Year 11 is desirable.

Course aims

The program aims to provide students with a broad-based foundation in biodiversity and conservation biology and allied areas, together with the ability to acquire extensive subject knowledge in the discipline. 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 area of conservation biology
  • retrieve and present information about biodiversity and conservation biology effectively, communicate clearly with a variety of audiences in written and spoken forms
  • critically analyse and evaluate information relevant to biodiversity and conservation biology
  • appreciate the multidisciplinary aspect of studies in biodiversity and Conservation Biology and engage positively with people and ideas beyond the discipline
  • work cooperatively and productively within a team
  • work independently and take responsibility for updating and adapting their knowledge and skills
  • appreciate the societal and ethical contexts of conservation biology, of human impacts on biodiversity and the professional practice of biologists.

The program provides the foundations that will underpin ongoing professional development, preparing graduates for further studies in biodiversity and conservation biology or another science or non-science related discipline, or for a career in this or a related field, or in other areas where the range of skills and knowledge acquired is needed or desirable.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • understand and critically apply the theories, subject content, professional methodologies, ethical frameworks and research procedures relevant to studies of biodiversity and conservation biology
  • understand the nature and historical basis of current threats to biological diversity and to understand the nature of conservation actions that can be undertaken to mitigate these threats
  • analyse and critically evaluate ideas/information/data 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 biodiversity and conservation in both laboratory and field contexts
  • communicate and present information clearly and fluently in both written and spoken forms
  • appreciate the relationships between studies in biodiversity and conservation biology and other science and non-science disciplines, and appreciate the multidisciplinary nature of many studies in biodiversity and conservation biology
  • have the capacity to work and learn independently, but also to be able to contribute effectively as part of a team in order to achieve common goals
  • appreciate the need for continuing professional development.

Program of study

To qualify for the Bachelor of Science (Biodiversity and Conservation) a student must complete 108 units, with a grade of P or NGP or better in each topic, according to the program of study detailed below.

No more than 45 units of First Year level topics may be included in the 108 units for the degree. Topics designated 'any year' or with no year level specified are regarded as First Year level topics.

Elective topics to complete 108 units may be selected from any offered within the University or, with approval from the Faculty of Science and Engineering, from outside the University, provided any course and prerequisite requirements are met.

Not all topics are necessarily available in a given year.

Specialisation - Biodiversity and Conservation - Year 1 topics

36 units comprising:

Core - Year 1 Topics

 BIOD1102  Introduction to Biodiversity and Conservation#  (4.5 units)
 BIOL1101  Evolution of Biological Diversity  (4.5 units)
 BIOL1102  Molecular Basis of Life  (4.5 units)
 SPOC1701  The Nature of Science I  (4.5 units)
 STAT1122  Biostatistics  (4.5 units)

Option - Year 1 topics

Plus one pair of:

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


 CHEM1202  Chemistry for the Life Sciences  (4.5 units)


 EASC1101  Earth and Environmental Sciences#  (4.5 units) AND
 EASC1102  Marine Sciences  (4.5 units)


 COMP1101  Fundamentals of Information and Communication Technology  (4.5 units) AND
 COMP1102  Computer Programming 1  (4.5 units)

Elective - Year 1 topics

Plus a 4.5 unit elective topic^ from across the University where entry requirements are met.

Specialisation - Biodiversity and Conservation - Year 2 topics

36 units comprising:

Core - Year 2 Topics

 BIOD2701  Biodiversity and Conservation  (4.5 units)
 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)
 GEOG2700  Geographical Information Systems  (4.5 units)

Elective - Year 2 topics

Plus 9 units of elective topics^ from across the University where entry requirements are met.

Specialisation - Biodiversity and Conservation - Year 3 topics

36 units comprising:

Core - Year 3 Topics

 BIOD3701  Human Impacts and Biodiversity  (4.5 units)
 BIOL3701  Conservation Biology and Restoration Ecology  (4.5 units)
 BIOL3702  Marine and Freshwater Biology  (4.5 units)
 BIOL3711  Plant and Algal Diversity  (4.5 units)
 BIOL3712  Integrative Physiology of Animals and Plants  (4.5 units)
 BIOL3722  Conservation and Ecological Genetics  (4.5 units)

Elective - Year 3 topics

Plus 9 units of elective topics#^ from across the University where entry requirements are met.

# Students are encouraged to enrol in XXXX3700  Science Practicum  (9 units) as a third year elective.

^Specialisation - Biodiversity and Conservation - Recommended Electives

While students are able to select elective units from anywhere across the University, these are Recommended Electives.

 BIOL1112  Biology and Society  (4.5 units)
 BIOL1301  Introduction to Marine Biology  (4.5 units)
 BIOL1711  Introduction to Animal Behaviour  (4.5 units)
 BIOL2721  Foundations of Animal Behaviour  (4.5 units)
 BIOL2722  Disease and Immunology  (4.5 units)
 BIOL2742  Marine Ecology  (4.5 units)
 BIOL3700  Biology Research Project  (4.5 units)
 BIOL3703  Vertebrate Palaeontology  (4.5 units)
 BIOL3721  Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology  (4.5 units)
 EASC2702  Global Climate Change (4.5 units)
 ENVS2731  Coastal Processes (4.5 units)
 ENVS2742  Environment, Economy and Culture
 ENVS2751  Skills for Environmental Professionals (4.5 units)
 ENVS3711  Coastal Management (4.5 units)
 ENVS3732  Environmental Impact Assessment (4.5 units)
 ENVS3781  Population and Environment (4.5 units)
 ENVS3791  Coastal Environments (4.5 units)
 GEOG2701  Introduction to Remote Sensing  (4.5 units)
 GEOG2702  Image Analysis in Remote Sensing  (4.5 units)
 GEOG2711  Australian Environmental Change  (4.5 units)
 GEOG3731  GIS Modelling  (4.5 units)


Admission to an honours program may be offered to a student who meets certain academic criteria and subject to the school/department being able to provide appropriate resources and staff to supervise the program of study. Refer to Bachelor of Science (Honours).

Combined degrees

The Bachelor of Science (Biodiversity and Conservation) may also be studied in a combined degrees program with the: