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Start Date

3 year(s) full-time


Program Code

414381 (Internal)

Study as
Full-time or part-time

Entry Requirements
Selection Rank (Internal): 72.15 (for 2017)
Selection Rank (Guaranteed): 85.00 (for 2018)
TAFE/RTO (Guaranteed): AdvDIP
View full entry requirements


Assumed Knowledge

Key features

  • Gain the skills and knowledge needed to work in diagnostic pathology, biotechnology, forensics or research.
  • Gain practical experience when you participate in research projects at the University’s Sansom Institute for Health Research and the Centre for Cancer Biology.
  • Align your studies with your career ambitions when you choose from a range of advanced specialisations. 
  • Gain practical experience in on-campus, purpose-built laboratories.
  • Choose to complete a substantial research project, which will give you further experience in our research laboratories.
  • Have the opportunity to select from a wide range of medical science courses, thanks to a collaborative teaching program with the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra.
  • Choose to complete your third year of study at ANU. 



This flexible degree prepares you for a career in a range of diverse areas including diagnostic pathology, forensic science, biotechnology and research. 

With a range of advanced specialisations to choose from you are able to align your studies with your career aspirations. For example, you may choose to specialise in:

  • pharmacology 
  • cancer biology
  • reproductive and developmental physiology
  • advanced molecular methods used in forensic science and biotechnology
  • infection and immunity

You will also gain extensive practical experience in our on-campus laboratories, where you can undertake a substantial research project during your final year. 

Why Bachelor of Medical Science

Why this Degree

As a medical science student you will benefit from our industry connections, experienced staff and strong links with the Sansom Institute for Health Research and the Centre for Cancer Biology, an alliance between UniSA and SA Pathology. 

The Sansom Institute for Health Research brings together internationally recognised research in the areas of cancer, pharmaceuticals, neuroscience and mental health, healthy lifestyles, population health, and Aboriginal health. The Centre for Cancer Biology carries out research into leukaemia, breast cancer, prostate cancer, skin cancer and colon cancer. You will have the opportunity to be involved in these areas of research, work closely with industry professionals and gain valuable practical experience. 

As a result of a collaboration with Australian National University (ANU) we are also able to offer a wide selection of course options that you can choose to complete in Canberra in your third year.

Real-world connections

Our strong links with the Sansom Institute for Health Research and the Centre for Cancer Biology means you will have the opportunity to work alongside experienced industry professionals, award-winning researchers and acclaimed academics. This is a great opportunity for you to build important relationships and networks, which may be vital to your career progression after graduation. 

We also host regular University-wide employee master classes and employment expos, and alumni events in Australia and overseas.

Your career

The Bachelor of Medical Science is a flexible degree that exposes you to the disciplines central to understanding human health and disease. 

You will have an interest in science and how the human body works at all levels, including how different body systems interact with each other and the environment. Medical scientists are problem solvers, critical thinkers and analytical. If this sounds like you, then you should consider a career as a medical scientist. 

There is a wide range of opportunities available for graduates, both in Australia and overseas. Employment opportunities are diverse and you will be qualified to work in:

  • medical research: devise and conduct experiments to increase scientific knowledge
  • biotechnology: modify or manipulate living organisms to develop new products, such as pharmaceuticals or biofuels
  • forensic science: compare, analyse and interpret physical evidence retrieved by crime scene investigators
  • medical informatics: develop, maintain and facilitate medical health records for healthcare organisations
  • medical sales representative: promote and sell a company’s products; must establish and maintain relationships with customers and stay informed of new medical developments

Industry facts


Employment for medical technicians in Australia is projected to increase by 8,800 (or 29.1 per cent) by November 20201.

1Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2015


To November 2020, healthcare and social assistance is projected to make the largest contribution to employment growth in Australia - an increase of 250,200 jobs1.

1Australian Government Department of Employment 2017


Healthcare and social assistance has been the primary provider of new jobs in the Australian labour market since the 1990s1.

1Australian Government Department of Employment 2017

What others are saying

A curiosity for human health and science led me to explore the field of medical science and while studying at UniSA I had the opportunity to complete some courses through cross-institutional study.

Hamish Morelli

Bachelor of Medical Science

Hamish Morelli

Hamish Morelli

Bachelor of Medical Science

I chose UniSA because it has one of the best allied health programs in Australia, and great honours and PhD projects that I can pursue in my prospective field. I’m also a recipient of the International Undergraduate Scholarship offered by the University, which is a great privilege.

Kay Khine Myo Min

Bachelor of Medical Science

Kay Khine Myo Min

Kay Khine Myo Min

Bachelor of Medical Science

Biology and chemistry were my favourite subjects. I was always fascinated with how the human body works, so when I was deciding what to study at university, Medical Science was the perfect fit.

Courtney Moore

Bachelor of Medical Science

Courtney Moore.jpg

Courtney Moore

Bachelor of Medical Science

What you'll learn

What you Learn

During the first year you will develop an understanding of the human body and biological systems and begin to explore research methodologies. 

During the second and third years you will choose from a range of elective courses, depending on your area of interest. You can choose from areas such as:

  • molecular biology
  • biotechnology
  • microbiology
  • immunology
  • human disease
  • human nutrition
  • genetics and reproductive physiology
  • pharmacology
  • infection and immunity
  • cancer biology
  • forensic science

You will also be offered the opportunity to access a wider range of medical science courses during your third year, including exposure to current medical research through our collaborative teaching program with Australian National University (ANU)

A research project may also be completed during your final year, enabling you to apply your knowledge and practical skills in our on-campus research laboratories. 

You can gain an extra qualification and broaden your career prospects by completing a Diploma in Languages.

Study hours

For each course you study, you will need to allocate time for various classes such as lectures, tutorials, workshops, seminars and practicals. Plus you will need additional hours to study in your own time to complete assignments, readings and projects and contribute to online discussion forums (independent study). So as a general rule, if you are studying full-time you would need to allocate 12 – 26 hours of study when at university and 14 – 28 hours of independent study per week. 



Your studies will incorporate practical, professionally focused and research-based learning, so assessment types will vary. You can expect them to include: 

  • practicals
  • quizzes
  • portfolios
  • group projects
  • practical reports

Global opportunities

Enrich your studies and your life – make overseas study part of your qualification. Australian and international students may have the option to do an exchange, short-term program or study tour overseas. We have links with universities worldwide. You can choose short-term or semester-long study from a range of universities and countries depending on your area of study and cultural interests.

Take a look at the global opportunities available.

Global opportunities

What courses you'll study


Course name Area and cat no. Units Reference  
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Chemistry 100 CHEM 1006 4.5
Molecules to Tissues A BIOL 1007 4.5
Health and Society HLTH 1025 4.5
Elective 1 4.5 Note(s): 1 Rule(s): 1,6
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5, 6 or 7)
Chemistry 101 CHEM 1007 4.5
Molecules to Tissues B BIOL 1012 4.5
Quantitative Methods in Health MATH 1065 4.5
Elective 2 4.5 Note(s): 1 Rule(s): 1,6
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Biochemistry BIOL 2014 4.5
Physiology BIOL 2035 4.5
Microbiology BIOL 2051 4.5
Medical Science Elective 1 4.5 Note(s): 2 Rule(s): 6
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5, 6 or 7)
Immunology BIOL 2037 4.5
Genes to Proteins BIOL 2057 4.5
Genetics BIOL 2016 4.5
Medical Science Elective 2 4.5 Note(s): 2 Rule(s): 6
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Infection and Immunity MEDI 3015 4.5
Medical Science Elective 3 4.5 Note(s): 2 Rule(s): 6
Medical Science Elective 4 4.5 Note(s): 2 Rule(s): 6
Medical Science Elective 5 4.5 Note(s): 2 Rule(s): 6
Advanced Methods in Molecular Biology BIOL 3032 4.5 Rule(s): 5
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5, 6 or 7)
Reproduction and Development BIOL 3034 4.5
Cancer Biology BIOL 3033 4.5
Medical Science Elective 6 4.5 Note(s): 2 Rule(s): 6
Introduction to Epidemiological Principles and Methods HLTH 3046 4.5 Rule(s): 5
Medical Science Elective 5 4.5 Note(s): 2 Rule(s): 6
JOINT ANU PROGRAM Note(s): 2,3 Rule(s): 2,3,4
Refer to School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences for ANU Schedule

I head up the Molecular and Evolutionary Physiology of the Lung Laboratory at the Sansom Institute for Health Research - here we use a range of animal models to understand the evolution, development and regulation of molecular systems.

Dr Emma Parkinson-Lawrence

Program Director

Portrait image for Dr Emma Parkinson-Lawrence
Portrait image for Dr Emma Parkinson-Lawrence

Dr Emma Parkinson-Lawrence

Program Director



Every year, over 2,500 UniSA students are supported in their studies through scholarships and grants worth millions of dollars. Check out the scholarships below. One of them may be perfect for you. Visit our scholarship search page for more.

Your campus

We have six campuses in metropolitan and regional areas, each with advanced facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, laboratories, and areas that simulate real work environments.

Adelaide - City East campus

City East boasts impressive facilities such as purpose-built facilities, health clinics and a fitness centre, open to students and the public. It’s right in the heart of the CBD and adjacent to bustling Rundle Street, with some of Adelaide’s best dining and shopping experiences. Explore City East >

Your study spaces

As a medical science student you will have access to on-campus biology, chemistry, microbiology, biochemistry, physiology and molecular biology laboratories.

Your study spaces

Your study experience

Our campuses have fantastic facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, workshops, laboratories, and areas that simulate real work environments. But you’ll also discover that your journey at UniSA is about social experiences, healthy living and getting involved. You’ll find student gyms, community clinics, tech zones and chill-out spaces. There are campus sport activities to keep you active, and if you are keen to explore the social side of university life, there are movies, cooking demonstrations, parties and loads more.

Adelaide has a variety of accommodation options to suit different requirements and budgets. Options include dedicated student accommodation or private rentals. See our long-term accommodation pages for plenty of options. If you need somewhere to live, our new student accommodation by urbanest is on Bank Street in Adelaide’s lively cultural precinct, an ideal perfect location for students. It is within easy reach of UniSA’s city and metropolitan campuses, Rundle Mall shopping, the Central Market, Chinatown, and the West End’s vibrant nightlife. It is also across the road from the Adelaide train station, and on bus and tram routes.

Student services

Student services

Our student support services will make your life at university easier. We want you to be successful, and if you need help, we're here to assist. We provide a full range of support services, including:

  • academic counselling
  • personal counselling
  • social support services, including family support and nearby childcare
  • common rooms
  • prayer rooms
  • security officers
  • Wirringka Student Services, offering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students a supportive place to study
  • services offered through our student association, USASA

When you become a UniSA student you can contact Campus Central for help with anything related to your degree. They will help you with your enrolment, ID cards, fees, timetables and any other questions you might have.

24/7 digital environment

Our learnonline facilities include a personal learning environment with virtual classrooms, lecture recordings, emails, learning support, administration, library access and results. The environment is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so you can tailor your learning to your life. We are continually investing in innovative digital technologies for a high-quality student learning experience.

Student services

How to apply

Applying to study with us:

  • go to the top of this page and make note of the SATAC code, then click Apply
  • you will be redirected through to the SATAC website to continue your application

Alternative Pathways

There are other pathways you can follow to study this degree, including: 

There are other pathways you can follow to study this degree, including: 

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