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The three-year Life Sciences degree has been designed for students who seek a 'generalist' degree in which there is a large element of choice but with an emphasis on the life and health sciences. A student will select a major area of study and can combine courses from two or more Science disciplines, or take courses from outside the Science disciplines. There is also the option to continue into an Honours year by enrolling in a further year of study (program 4500). The basic rules for this degree are set out below.

This program has been designed to:

  1. Develop and sustain an interest in and knowledge of Science with an emphasis on the life and health sciences;
  2. Develop a working knowledge of scientific methods of investigation;
  3. Encourage curiosity and creative imagination and an appreciation of the role of speculation in the selection and solution of problems, the construction of hypotheses, and the design of experiments;
  4. Develop an appreciation of scientific criteria and a concern for objectivity and precision;
  5. Develop confidence and skill in formulating problems and in treating both qualitative and quantitative data;
  6. Develop the ability and disposition to think logically, to communicate clearly by written and oral means, and to read critically and with understanding;
  7. Develop the habit of seeking and recognising relationships between phenomena, principles, theories, conceptual frameworks and problems;
  8. Promote understanding of the significance of science, technology, economics and social factors in modern society, and of the contributions they can make in improving material conditions;
  9. Provide opportunities for the development of students' motivations and social maturity, and an awareness of their capabilities in relation to a choice of career which will be fruitful to themselves and to society;
  10. Provide opportunity to study science in combination with other disciplines.


Study Level


Typical duration

3 Years

Delivery Mode


Intake Period

Term 1, Term 2, Term 3

Academic Calendar

3+ Calendar

Minimum Units of Credit


Award type

Bachelors Pass


Bachelor of Life Sciences - BLS

UAC Code




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Program Structure

Students must complete 144 UOC as a standalone program.

Students in the Bachelor of Life Sciences are expected to complete 144 UOC of courses.

96 UOC of Science courses
- At least one approved Bachelor of Life Sciences major
- Science elective courses.  Science courses are defined in 'Table 1' in the Additional Information section.
36 UOC of Free Electives. These courses can be taken from any Faculty of the University at any stage of your program.
12 UOC of General Education courses. Please see the rules regarding General Education below. These courses can be taken at any stage in your program.

Please click the Sample Programs link below to view a typical enrolment pattern for this program.

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Course Information Rule

GEN# courses cannot count towards the free elective component, or towards science core courses or science electives in the program. Any exceptions to these rules must be approved by the Associate Dean (Academic Programs) or nominee.

Major Declaration Requirement

Students must complete at least one approved Bachelor of Life Sciences major, which must be declared before enrolling in Level II courses.

Sample Programs

To access sample program(s), please visit:

Recognition of Prior Learning
Progression Requirements


University Medal

Award of Pass with Distinction

Additional Information

Definition of 'Science' courses

Courses that are classified as 'Science' can be found under Table 1 on the Science Terminology page.

Science Handbook Rules and Editions

Students must follow the program rules and requirements in the UNSW Handbook published in the year they commence their studies with the Faculty of Science.

Students who transfer from another UNSW Faculty into Science (for example, from a Bachelor of Arts into a Bachelor of Science) must follow the program rules and requirements in the UNSW Handbook published in the year of their transfer.

Students, who are readmitted to UNSW after a period of unapproved absence or deferment, or after exclusion, must satisfy the program rules in the Handbook published in the year of their readmission. In addition, these students may be subject to restrictions on which courses taken at UNSW may be counted on their return. In some cases, students returning from an unapproved absence may be required to repeat courses. See the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and Advanced Standing section below for more details. Students who take approved leave or deferment will follow the Handbook for the year of their original commencement unless otherwise approved by the Associate Dean (Academic Programs). 

Faculty of Science Rules

The Faculty of Science has some rules that relate to all students enrolled in programs offered by the Faculty in relation to recognition for prior learning, general education, course exclusions, study load, and cross-institutional study. All students should read the information contained on the Faculty General Rules and Requirements page.

Program Fees

At UNSW fees are generally charged at course level and therefore dependent upon individual enrolment and other factors such as student's residency status. For generic information on fees and additional expenses of UNSW programs, click on one of the following:

Pre-2019 Handbook Editions

Access past handbook editions (2018 and prior)

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