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Use this search only if you have an exact code for a Program, Plan, or Course, e.g. 3400, ACCTA13502, ACCT1501 or ACCT*.
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Medical Science - 3991

Program Summary

Campus: Kensington Campus
Career: Undergraduate
Typical Duration: 3 Years
Typical UOC Per Semester: 24
Min UOC Per Semester: 6
Max UOC Per Semester: 27
Min UOC For Award: 144
Bachelor of Medical Science

Program Description

For students entering Medical Science in Stage 1 prior to 2007 or Stage 2 prior to 2008, the previous plan description and rules apply. Please click here.

This three-year degree program is jointly offered by the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Science. It provides the basis for a career in biomedical research and is also an appropriate first degree for students planning to enter graduate medical or paramedical programs.

Medical science is the area of science which underpins the practice of medicine. It incorporates the study of structure and chemistry of the cells that make up living organisms (Cell & Molecular Biology and Biochemistry) with particular reference to humans, and specifically of the structure and function of the human body (Anatomy and Physiology). It then deals with the general processes leading to disease (Pathology), the role of bacteria, viruses and other micro-organisms in disease (Microbiology) as well as drugs which are used to cure human diseases (Pharmacology). Other areas available for study include the way in which our form and function is inherited (Genetics), the processes of development from the fertilised ovum (Embryology), the natural defences of the body (Immunology) and the study of the structure and function of the brain (Neuroscience).

Students enrolled in this program may have the opportunity to undertake a fourth year that involves a research program leading to an Honours degree.

A limited number of high-performing students may be able to gain entry to the UNSW Medicine program with advanced standing. For more information, please click here.
Students intending to apply for entry via this pathway must have completed all compulsory courses by the end of Stage 2.

Program Objectives and Graduate Attributes

Students enrolled in this program will have the opportunity to gain a broad perspective of the biomedical sciences, as well as having the opportunity to specialise in one or more of the above disciplines.

Program Structure

Stage 1
Semester 1
Semester 2
1 Students may complete SCIF1131 Science: Perspectives (6UOC) in Semester 2 instead of SCIF1111 Perspectives in Med. Science (6UOC) in Semester 1.
2 Students must complete MATH1041 Statistics for Life and Social Sciences by the end of Stage 2.
3 Only one of these courses is required. Students who have completed high school Biology with a score of at least 75 and achieved at least a credit in BABS1201 can take either BIOS2021 Genetics or BABS2202 Molecular Biology I. All other students should take BIOS1101.

Stage 2
The 48 UoC of courses taken in this Stage must include at least 36 UoC from the following 6 UoC courses. When making choices for Stage 2, students need to take account of prerequisite requirements for courses in Stage 3, in particular with respect to their intended area of specialisation. Please note that ALL 8 of the following 48 UoC courses must be completed by the end of Stage 3.

Semester 1
Semester 2

Stage 3
The 48 UoC of courses in this stage must consist of:
  • At least 24 UoC from the following list of 6 UoC courses
  • 12 UoC of elective courses
  • 12 UoC of General Education electives (see General Education requirements below)
The 12 UoC of elective courses may be chosen from any Faculty, at any level, or can be from the list of courses below. When making their course choices, students who intend to do Honours must consult with the school of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences or the School of Medical Sciences about requirements for Honours prior to enrolment in Stage 3 of the program.

In the following section courses are arranged by discipline rather than by semester.

Microbiology and Immunology


Progression to Stage 4 Honours is subject to academic performance and requires a WAM of at least 65. Students seeking to enrol in Honours are required to have the permission of the Head of the relevant School/Department and have completed all the requirements for Stages1, 2 and 3 of the BMedSc including General Education (students who have not qualified for the 3-year BMedSc degree will not be permitted to enrol in Honours). Honours consists of a project in conjunction with any required coursework (total 48 UoC) and may be undertaken in the School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, Departments within the School of Medical Sciences or in a relevant clinical Department in the Faculty of Medicine. Students are not normally able to enrol in an Honours discipline without completing the courses listed in the relevant area of Specialisation.

General Education Requirements

Students enrolled in Medical Science must complete 12 UoC of General Education, normally in stage 3 of the program. The rules for General Education can be found by clicking here: General Education Requirements. Please note that students must complete their General Education requirements with courses that are from faculties other than Medicine and Science. This means that courses offered by the Faculties of Medicine or Science (including GENM and GENS courses) cannot be counted as General Education.

Academic Rules

  1. A student must complete 144 units of credit including 12 units of General Education in Stages 1-3.
  2. No student may normally commence Level II courses until 24 Level I units have been successfully completed unless approved by the Program Authority.
  3. Progression to Stage 4 Honours is subject to academic performance. Students seeking to enrol in Honours are required to have the permission of the Head of the relevant School/Department, to have completed all the requirements for Stages 1, 2 and 3 of the BMedSc and to have satisfied pre-requisite requirements for the Honours Specialisation. All General Education must also have been completed. Students who have not qualified for the BMedSc at Pass level will not be permitted to enrol in Honours.


For information regarding fees for UNSW programs, please refer to the following website:

Area(s) of Specialisation

Area of Specialisation
Any 18 UoC Stage 3 ANAT courses (additionally NEUR3211 and/or ANAT2341 may be taken in this selection)
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
18 UoC from:
A total of 18 UoC from BABS3151, BABS3291, and one of BABS3121, BABS3621, BABS3021 and MICR3621.
Microbiology and Immunology
18 UoC from:
A total of 18Uoc from
Any 18 UoC Stage 3 PATH courses (additionally ANAT3212 may be taken in this selection)
Any 18 UoC Stage 3 Pharmacology courses.
A total of 18Uoc from the following Physiology courses:

Area(s) of Specialisation

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© The University of New South Wales (CRICOS Provider No.: 00098G), 2004-2011. The information contained in this Handbook is indicative only. While every effort is made to keep this information up-to-date, the University reserves the right to discontinue or vary arrangements, programs and courses at any time without notice and at its discretion. While the University will try to avoid or minimise any inconvenience, changes may also be made to programs, courses and staff after enrolment. The University may also set limits on the number of students in a course.