The Bachelor of Medical Science requires three years of full-time study (or the equivalent part-time).

The course is offered by the College of Medicine and Public Health.

Admission requirements

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

Course aims

The course has been designed to produce graduates who as medical scientists are specialists in a major area of science and possess well-developed skills to liaise with other groups of scientists, such as medical practitioners and biotechnologists. It aims to:

  • prepare students for a range of careers within the medical sciences
  • enable students to specialise in particular areas of medical science as preparation for entry into, and progression through, an honours degree program and beyond
  • prepare students for entry into a variety of undergraduate courses leading to specific health professions
  • prepare students for graduate diploma courses and other postgraduate speciality programs in medical science such as radiology, pharmacology and pathology
  • provide students with preparation for entry to the graduate medical program (although admission to the medical program cannot be guaranteed as performance in an undergraduate degree is not the only criterion for selection).

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course graduates should:

  • have a sound knowledge of mammalian cellular and molecular biology, and biochemistry
  • have a comprehensive understanding of human anatomy and physiology at the individual organ and system level and the integration between body systems
  • have an understanding of how alterations to normal body systems can contribute to disease
  • be able to source, understand and be appropriately critical of scientific literature
  • be able to assess core scientific knowledge to develop new strategies to research biological and medical problems
  • have developed practical skills which enable them to conduct problem or enquiry driven research
  • have an understanding of medical research, how it is carried out, its purpose and limitations
  • be aware of the role that medical science plays in modern Australian and the global society
  • have skills in both written and oral communication of medical science for a variety of expert and general community audiences interested in or likely to be affected by medical science
  • have a detailed knowledge of the current state of knowledge in at least one significant field of medical science
  • value integrity and the importance of ethics in addressing medical problems
  • articulate a conscious understanding of their own values and demonstrate respect for the values of others and the ability to view ethical dilemmas from multiple view points.

Program of study

To qualify for the Bachelor Medical Science, a student must complete 108 units with a grade of P or NGP or better in each topic, according to the following program of study.

Not all topics are necessarily available in a given year.

Students who wish to apply for the Bachelor of Medical Science (Vision Science)/Master of Optometry or the Master of Nutrition and Dietetics, should refer to the study plans provided following the Bachelor Medical Science.

Core - Year 1 topics

27 units comprising:

BIOL1101  Evolution of Biological Diversity  (4.5 units)
BIOL1102  Molecular Basis of Life  (4.5 units)
MDSC1102  Skills for Medical Scientists 1  (4.5 units)
MMED1005  How Your Body Works: Human Physiology and Structure  (4.5 units)

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)

Option - Year 1 - Listed options*

Plus 4.5 units selected from:

BIOL1112  Biology and Society  (4.5 units)
BTEC1001  Introduction to Biotechnology  (4.5 units)
CHEM1102  Modern Chemistry  (4.5 units) *
COMS1001 Academic and Professional Communication#
HLTH1003  Legal and Ethical Aspects of Health Care  (4.5 units)
MMED1007  Histology: the Building Blocks of the Human Body (4.5 units)
NUTD1105  Food Systems  (4.5 units)
NUTD1106  Nutrition, Physical Activity and Health  (4.5 units)
PHYS1701  Physics for the Modern World  (4.5 units)
PHYS1702  Physics for Health Sciences  (4.5 units)
STAT1122  Biostatistics  (4.5 units)

Elective - Year 1 topics

Plus a 4.5 unit first-level topic from within the University for which they have the prerequisites.

#With the permission of the Course Coordinator and the Topic Coordinator of ESOL1101, students from non-English speaking backgrounds may be permitted to enrol in ESOL1101 English as a Second Language 1, in place of COMS1001 Academic and Professional Communication.

*CHEM1102 is only available to students who have completed CHEM1101 or are enrolled in CHEM1101.

Core - Year 2 topics

18 units comprising:

BIOL2771  Biochemistry  (4.5 units)
BIOL2772  Molecular Biology  (4.5 units)
MDSC2000  Skills for Medical Scientists 2  (4.5 units)
MMED2931  Human Physiology  (4.5 units)

Option - Year 2 - Listed options^

Plus 18 units selected from:

BIOL2702  Genetics, Evolution and Biodiversity  (4.5 units)
BIOL2722  Disease and Immunology  (4.5 units)
BIOL2761  Virology  (4.5 units)
BIOL3761  Foundations in Microbiology  (4.5 units)
BTEC2001  Bioscience: from the Bench to the Community  (4.5 units)
BTEC2002  Legal, Ethical and Social Aspects of Bioscience  (4.5 units)
MMED2932  Integrative Human Physiology  (4.5 units)
MMED2933  Fundamental Neuroscience  (4.5 units)
MMED2934  Introduction to Human Molecular Genetics  (4.5 units)
MMED2935  Human Immunology and Infectious Diseases  (4.5 units)
NUTD2101  Nutrition Across the Lifecycle  (4.5 units)
NUTD2102  Food Products and Preparation  (4.5 units)
NUTD2105  Social & Ecological Perspectives on Food Choice  (4.5 units)

^Students should select topics so as to meet any prerequisite requirements for the third year specialisation they intend to pursue.

With permission, students may select one topic (4.5 units) from the listed third year topics to count toward second year, so long as they meet the prerequisite requirements of the topic.

Core - Year 3 topic

MDSC3000  Skills for Medical Scientists 3  (4.5 units)

Plus 31.5 units selected from the following topics. If students plan to complete the Bachelor of Medical Science with a specialisation they must complete at least 13.5 units (3 topics) from one the specialisations listed below. However, a specialisation in 3rd year is not a requirement for satisfactory completion of the Bachelor of Medical Science. A maximum of 4.5 units counted towards one specialisation may be counted towards any other specialisation.

Specialisation - Year 3 - Biochemistry & Molecular Biology 

BIOL3762  Protein to Proteome  (4.5 units)
BIOL3771  DNA to Genome  (4.5 units)
BTEC3002  Medical Biotechnology  (4.5 units)
MDSC3100  Point-of-Care Testing: Application, Management and Effectiveness  (4.5 units)
MMED3933  Biochemistry of Human Disease  (4.5 units)
MMED3935  Human Molecular Genetics  (4.5 units)
MMED3938  Advanced Human Molecular Genetics  (4.5 units)

Specialisation - Year 3 - Biomedical Technology

ENGR2732  Biomechanics  (4.5 units)
ENGR2742  Biomedical Instrumentation  (4.5 units)
ENGR3741  Physiological Measurement  (4.5 units)
ENGR7701  Advanced Biomechanics  (4.5 units)
ENGR7702  Biomaterials  (4.5 units)
ENGR7771  Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology  (4.5 units)

Specialisation - Year 3 - Medical Biotechnology

BIOL3762  Protein to Proteome  (4.5 units)
BIOL3771  DNA to Genome  (4.5 units)
BTEC3002  Medical Biotechnology  (4.5 units)
BTEC3003  Industrial and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology  (4.5 units)
BTEC3005  Integrating Biotechnology  (4.5 units)

Specialisation - Year 3 - Microbiology

BIOL2761  Virology  (4.5 units)
BIOL3761  Foundations in Microbiology  (4.5 units)
BIOL3782  Advanced Microbiology: Microbial Ecology and Infectious Disease  (4.5 units)
BTEC3003  Industrial and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology  (4.5 units)
MMED3939   Medical Virology, Immunology and Immunopathogenesis  (4.5 units)

Specialisation - Year 3 - Nutrition

HLTH2102  Indigenous Health for Health Professionals  (4.5 units)
 Biochemistry of Human Disease  (4.5 units)
NUTD3101  Fundamentals of Nutritional Epidemiology  (4.5 units)
NUTD3102  Nutrients Role and Function  (4.5 units)
NUTD3107  Public Health and Community Nutrition  (4.5 units)
NUTD3203  Nutrition for Sports Performance  (4.5 units)

Specialisation - Year 3 - Pharmacology & Toxicology

BTEC3002  Medical Biotechnology  (4.5 units)
MDSC3100  Point-of-Care Testing: Application, Management and Effectiveness  (4.5 units)
MMED3933  Biochemistry of Human Disease  (4.5 units)
MMED3934  Principles of Pharmacology and Toxicology  (4.5 units)
MMED3936  Human Pharmacology and Therapeutics  (4.5 units)

Specialisation - Year 3 - Physiology & Neuroscience

MDSC3100  Point-of-Care Testing: Application, Management and Effectiveness  (4.5 units)
MMED3930  Sensory Motor Systems  (4.5 units)
MMED3931  Advanced Neuroscience  (4.5 units)
MMED3932  Body Systems  (4.5 units)
MMED3937  Pathophysiology for Medical Science  (4.5 units)
MMED3941  Human Musculoskeletal Anatomy  (4.5 units)

Option - Year 3 - Professional placement

Students may also select the following work experience topic:

 MDSC3102  Professional Placement Medical Science  (9 units)

With permission, a 4.5 unit biomedical related topic offered at Flinders University, and not listed above, may be completed at third year level, as long as the topic prerequisites are met.


Students wishing to apply for the Bachelor of Medical Science (Vision Science)/Master of Optometry) must select the following topics at first year, as well as complete the required core topics of the Bachelor Medical Science:

HLTH1003  Legal and Ethical Aspects of Health Care (4.5 units)
PHYS1702  Physics for Health Sciences (4.5 units)

Students wishing to apply for the Master of Nutrition and Dietetics (MND) must select the following topics, as well as complete the required core topics of the Bachelor Medical Science:

NUTD1106  Nutrition, Physical Activity and Health  (4.5 units)
NUTD2101  Nutrition Across the Lifecycle  (4.5 units)
NUTD2105  Social & Ecological Perspectives on Food Choice  (4.5 units)
MMED2932  Integrative Human Physiology  (4.5 units)
MMED3933  Biochemistry of Human Disease  (4.5 units)


Refer to Bachelor of Medical Science (Honours)

Combined degrees