3 year(s) full-time

Program Code


Assumed Knowledge

2022: AUD$ 36,900 per annum (per 1.0 EFTSL)
2023: AUD$ 38,800 per annum (per 1.0 EFTSL)

English Language Requirements
  • IELTS total [6.5]
  • IELTS reading [6.5]
  • IELTS writing [6.5]
  • IELTS speaking [6.5]
  • IELTS listening [6.5]
Equivalent English qualifications (PDF)

International Admission by Country
See full entry requirements


Degree overview

  • This flexible degree prepares you with the skills and knowledge to work in the fields of health and medical research, biotechnology and other industries that require medical science knowledge.
  • Study at the No.1 University in South Australia for graduate careers in Maths and Science.1
  • Gain practical experience in on-campus, purpose-built laboratories.
  • Benefit from choosing to participate in research projects with one of our internationally-renowned research groups or the Centre for Cancer Biology.
  • Align your studies with your career ambitions through a range of elective subjects.
  • Study at a university with above world-class research in health and medical sciences.2

1ComparED (QILT) Graduate Outcomes Survey 2018-20 – Full-time Employment Indicator (Undergraduate). Public SA-founded universities only.
22018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA).


Medical Science.jpg

With a range of elective courses, you can align your studies with your career aspirations. For example, you may choose electives to make up these areas of focus:

  • pharmacology 
  • cancer biology
  • reproductive and developmental physiology
  • advanced molecular methods used in laboratory focused research  
  • infection and immunity.

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

This program provides pathway opportunities for students to be eligible for further study in areas like Biomedical Research, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Medical Sonography and Education (subject to meeting entry requirements).

What you'll learn

What you Learn

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

During the second and third years you will complete some core courses but will also be able to choose from a range of elective courses, depending on your area of interest. You can choose from areas such as:

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

Students may also choose a course that enables them to join one of the University's research groups and undertake a short research project providing students with experience in a research environment. Some of the research projects our students are currently undertaking include the relationship between nut consumption and biomarkers of cardiometabolic health in children, the role of inflammation in the link between traumatic brain injury and dementia, and antimicrobial resistance in residential aged care facilities.

Throughout the program, you will develop important transferable skills including writing scientific literature reviews and presenting work to an audience.

Degree structure

Course name Area and cat no. Units Reference  
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Chemistry 100 CHEM 1006 4.5
Biology A BIOL 1007 4.5
Health and Society HLTH 1025 4.5
Elective 1 4.5 Note(s): 1 Rule(s): 1,3
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5, 6 or 7)
Chemistry 101 CHEM 1007 4.5
Biology B BIOL 1012 4.5
Quantitative Methods in Health MATH 1065 4.5
Elective 2 4.5 Note(s): 1 Rule(s): 1,3
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): 3
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): 3
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): 3
Medical Science Elective 4 4.5 Note(s): 2 Rule(s): 3
Medical Science Elective 5 4.5 Note(s): 2 Rule(s): 3
Advanced Methods in Molecular Biology BIOL 3032 4.5 Rule(s): 2
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): 3
Epidemiological Principles and Methods HLTH 3046 4.5 Rule(s): 2
Medical Science Elective 5 4.5 Note(s): 2 Rule(s): 3

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, as well as to 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. You may have the option to undertake an exchange, short-term program or study tour overseas while you study. We have links with universities worldwide, as well as a range of travel grants available to make going overseas much more accessible.

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

Why Bachelor of Medical Science

Medical science student using campus laboratory facilities

Understand how the human body works and the consequences when it malfunctions, such as the onset of diseases. Contribute to the work undertaken to find cures, new therapies and making a difference through clinical trials. Educate the community to demystify complex scientific information and medical research accurately.

As a medical science student you will benefit from our industry connections, experienced staff and strong links with several internationally-renowned research groups and the Centre for Cancer Biology (an alliance between UniSA and SA Pathology). 

Health research at UniSA brings together internationally recognised researchers in the areas of cancer, pharmaceuticals, clinical neuroscience and mental health, healthy lifestyles, population health, and Aboriginal health. You will have the opportunity to be involved in these areas of research, work closely with industry professionals and gain valuable practical experience.

Real-world connections

Our strong links with several internationally-renowned research groups 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. 

You will also hear from industry guest speakers in a range of medical science areas including cancer biology and reproduction.

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

Career outcomes

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. You will need to be a problem solver, critical thinker, as well as analytical.

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 or biomedical 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 using molecular biology techniques
  • 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.

If you finish your degree with a credit or higher grade point average (GPA) you could also be eligible for the one-year Bachelor of Biomedical Research (Honours) degree and depending on your results, may be eligible to continue postgraduate research with a Masters by Research or a PhD.

The degree also provides you with the ability to choose appropriate pre-requisite courses in order to study Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Education.

Where can my interest in science take me?

View our guide on Science Careers for more information. 

Industry facts


Employment for medical laboratory scientists in Australia is projected to increase by 14.2 per cent by May 2024.1

1Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2019


To May 2024, healthcare and social assistance is projected to make the largest contribution to employment growth in Australia – an increase of 252,600 jobs.1

1Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2019


Healthcare and social assistance has been the primary provider of new jobs in the Australian labour market since the 1990s.1

1Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2019

How to apply

How to apply for international students will give you helpful information about the application process at the University of South Australia. When you are ready, apply through our International Application System. If you would like to talk to someone near you about studying at the University of South Australia, we have agents all over the world who can assist you. Find an Education Agent in your country.


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 scholarships page for more.

More scholarships

Your study experience and support

As a UniSA student, you will have unique access to work placement opportunities, overseas study tours and exchanges, networking events, internships, guest speakers and more.

Our campuses are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, workshops and laboratories, as well as spaces that simulate real work environments. These are all supported by the latest technologies and a 24/7 online learning platform. We have health services on campus, gymnasiums, technology zones and great student lounges. You will also gain access to a range of community clinics, which provide professional and cost effective services in areas of health, business, law and psychology. 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 lots more.

Adelaide also has a variety of accommodation options to suit different requirements and budgets. Options include dedicated student accommodation and private rentals. See our long-term accommodation pages, or explore our student accommodation by Scape on Bank Street in Adelaide’s lively cultural precinct, an ideal 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 international student services provide you with all the support you need at university. We want you to succeed, and if you need help, we're here to assist. You can access a full range of support services, including:

  • career advice and mentoring
  • help with student visas and health cover
  • personal counselling
  • academic counselling
  • fees and finance help
  • common rooms
  • prayer rooms
  • security officers
  • accommodation services 
  • as well as services offered through our student association, USASA.

We also offer study support from our Learning Advisers face-to-face or online. They are here to help you develop academically and professionally during your studies, and can offer help with the English language too. When you become a UniSA student, you can also contact Campus Central for help with anything related to your degree. They will help you with your enrolment, ID cards, fees, timetables and more.

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

Your campus

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

Location This degree is delivered at the following campus.

Your study spaces

Medical science students using campus laboratory facilities

As a medical science student you will have access to on-campus purpose-built laboratories including:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Microbiology
  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Physiology

Your program director

I head up the Molecular and Evolutionary Physiology of the Lung Laboratory at UniSA - 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


Ask UniSA

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What others are saying

A curiosity for human health and science led me to explore the field of medical science. I'm interested in the relationship between human health and impact, and environmental sustainability and plan to pursue a career in research.

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

I have always had a passion for science and medicine and this degree covered those areas. I also had the opportunity to put the molecular laboratory skills I had learnt into practice through placement, and undertook a research project at the Centre for Cancer Biology.

Chelsea Thomas

Bachelor of Medical Science
Research Assistant, UniSA

UniSA_Researcher-2 copy.jpg

Chelsea Thomas

Bachelor of Medical Science
Research Assistant, UniSA