Study with us
The department’s commitment to research-led teaching ensures our students graduate with a broad base in contemporary biological thought, a passion for life-long learning and strong foundations for a career in the biological sciences and related areas.
We have excellent resources for teaching including modern digital laboratories, plant growth and aquatic laboratory facilities, as well as close proximity to natural environments for study on campus and in the MQ Ecology Reserve. Our students also learn in a range of outdoor environments through field trips to Heron Island and other terrestrial and marine locations.
Biology students at Macquarie study a broad range of areas at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, benefitting from our outstanding researchers. We place a strong emphasis on practical experience, so our students can learn first-hand through laboratory and field classes.
Our graduates find employment in organisations such as museums, zoos, botanic gardens, national parks, research institutes, environmental agencies, local, state & federal government, environmental consultancies, health services and pharmaceutical companies.
Kick start your Biology career. Our department provides a course to aid in the transition of school students to university. “The Kick start your technical lab skills” is a two-day workshop for students who are either:
- Studying science at Macquarie University but did not study science at HSC level;
- Wanting to gain confidence in their technical lab skills;
- Wanting a refresher course in technical lab skills.
It is run at the beginning of each year prior to the beginning of the semester (late February) and is primarily tailored towards students enrolling that year but others may apply and have been included in previous sessions. This course is part of a suite of bridging courses that are on offer for students wanting to pursue a career in science and engineering.
At the undergraduate level we offer a number of specialist degrees:
Bachelor of Biodiversity and Conservation
This degree combines study in ecology with units in biological sciences, conservation and biodiversity, environmental and marine sciences.
Bachelor of Marine Science
This degree builds knowledge across marine biology and geosciences, with additional units in science communication, management and marine chemistry.
Bachelor of Medical Science
Combining study across the biological, biomolecular and chemical sciences, this degree provides a solid base for further study in medical and allied areas and has a strong focus on research skills.
In addition to these specialist degrees, we offer several majors to be undertaken within the Bachelor of Advanced Science and Bachelor of Science programs. The Bachelor of Advanced Science is a program for gifted and talented students offering insights into cutting-edge biological research, opportunities for placements in leading research laboratories and engagement with our partners including Taronga Zoo and the Australian Museum. Majors offered in the Department are:
Biology (BSc and BAdvSci)
Study every level of biology from cells and developmental biology to microbiology, genetics, physiology, evolution, ecology, behaviour and biodiversity.
Human Biology (BSc)
This is a flexible program that prepares students for careers in a wide range of areas in health and medical sciences. Students study a core number of anatomy and physiology units.
Paleobiology (BSc and BAdvSci)
Macquarie is the only university to offer paleobiology as a full major. Students study the evolution of life on Earth with a ‘deep time’ perspective, combining units in palaeobiology with units in evolution, genetics and organismal biology as well as earth sciences.
View the full list of the undergraduate units we offer.
At the postgraduate level we offer two signature degree programs, opening doors for students to build careers in these specialist scientific fields as well as giving students skills in critical thinking and project design.
Master of Conservation Biology
This degree focuses on the theory and practice of conservation biology, from the level of wild populations to ecosystems. Emphasising the unique biodiversity of Australia and its connections with the rest of the globe, work placements and independent research are integral to the program, and give students hands-on experience of applying theory to address conservation problems.
Master of Marine Science and Management
This unique interdisciplinary, cross-institutional program gives students the opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge in a range of disciplines in marine science and management. The program is run in association with the Sydney Institute for Marine Science (SIMS).
Master of Science
The Biology Innovation Specialisation in the Master of Science is intended to equip students with specialised knowledge and skills to create and develop innovative, practical ideas in Biology. Our students learn about the latest advances in biological theory and are equipped with practical hands-on experience and research skills. There is an opportunity to engage with a wide range of disciplines including animal behaviour, climate change, conservation, ecology, evolution, genetics and genomics.
View the full list of the postgraduate units we offer.
Higher Degree Research
For students interested in progressing into higher degree research study, the Department offers the Master of Research and PhD programs in a wide range of biology-related fields. You will work with world-class researchers and be supported through the Department’s HDR program with resources and professional training.
Higher degree research in biological sciences
The Department of Biological Sciences at Macquarie University provides two research options, through either the Master of Research, or the PhD program.
The Master of Research is a two-year training program which begins with advanced coursework in year 1, through to intensive research in year 2.
A PhD in Biology at Macquarie University involves extensive research alongside some the world’s best scholars in state of the art research facilities.
Find out more about the Master of Research and PhD programs at Macquarie University.
Thinking of applying?
The first step in applying for a PhD is to prepare a research proposal and identify at least one academic you would like to be supervised by. Your research will be supervised by at least two academics and it is therefore important to match your research proposal with available expertise and facilities. It’s important that you contact a potential supervisor and discuss a project prior to submitting your application.