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Study Science at the University of Sydney

Our rankings

  • 22nd in the world

    We're ranked 22nd globally for life sciences and medicine by the 2021 QS University Rankings by Subject.

  • 1st for employability

    Our graduates are ranked 1st in Australia and 4th globally for employability by the 2020 QS Graduate Employability Rankings.


In response to COVID-19, the University of Sydney has reviewed the availability of courses to be delivered remotely for students commencing their studies in Semester 1, 2021.

This course will be available to study remotely for students commencing in Semester 1, 2021. Please note that some units of study that are not essential to completing the degree may not be available to be studied remotely.

Note: The University intends to offer as many units of study as possible in a remote as well as face-to-face learning method of delivery in Semester 1, 2021 and subject to ongoing border closures and public health orders impacting attendance on campus, in Semester 2, 2021. However, some units of study and courses require students to study in-person at the relevant University of Sydney campus/es and host locations for placements and will not be available remotely. 

About this course

Innovative approaches to health mean the broad medical and health sciences sectors are expanding and our graduates are in demand. Whether you want to join the leading edge of medical research or become a doctor or dentist with further study, the Bachelor of Science (Medical Science) will give you the essential foundation for a rewarding career in healthcare or research.  

In this three-year course, you will develop knowledge of the structure and function of the human body, from the molecular level through to whole systems. It will give you an excellent foundation for the University of Sydney's graduate medicine or dentistry programs, or you may wish to launch straight into graduate research in medical science.

In your first year, you will cover the basic sciences: chemistry, biology and mathematics, plus electives. These units will give you the fundamental knowledge needed for the clinical subjects you will undertake in your second and third years.

In second year, you will complete core medical science units in physiology, pharmacology, biochemistry, anatomy, immunobiology and pathology. You will also be able to take science or non-science electives. In third year you will choose from medical science units and complete an interdisciplinary capstone project.

After completing this course you will have the ideal base for research in medical science. If you are planning a research career, you will need to consider an advanced coursework pathway or honours, followed by research in a PhD program.

You may select your second major from those offered in the area of human health, the shared pool of majors or from those offered in the Bachelor of Science, which are offered through the Faculty of Science academic schools:

Subject areas

You are required to complete a program in Medical Science, including a Medical Science major and choose a a second major or minor either from your faculty options or from our shared pool of majors and minors.

Shared pool

Admission, fees and how to apply

Depends on your qualification, citizenship status

The details on this page based on your selections are a guide only, and are subject to change.

English language proficiency

Find out if you need to prove English language proficiency (depends on your country of origin and educational background).

Your fee

How to apply

Prospective domestic students apply through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) for a Commonwealth supported place . Refer to the UAC website for key dates. Separate scholarship deadlines apply, visit the scholarships website for details.

For other useful information, visit our How to apply page.

Current University of Sydney students applying to transfer from one bachelor's degree to another apply directly to the University. The exact process will depend on the course you are currently in and the course to which you wish to transfer. For more information visit the Change your course page.

Current students applying to transfer from a diploma to a bachelor's degree must apply through UAC.

Refer to the UAC website . Separate Scholarship deadlines apply - visit the scholarships webpage for details.

Starting date

Semester 1 (March) and Semester 2 (August)

Visit the How to apply page for detailed information on if you need to apply directly to the University or through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC). If you are a direct applicant, when you are ready to apply select the `Apply’ button on this course page.

Current University of Sydney students applying to transfer from one bachelor's degree to another apply directly to the University. The exact process will depend on the course you are currently in and the course to which you wish to transfer. For more information visit the Change your course page.

Standard closing dates:

Direct applicants:

Semester 1 - 31 January of the commencing year.
Semester 2 - 30 June of the commencing year.

We strongly encourage international applicants to apply as early as possible to allow time for visa and travel arrangements. Separate scholarship deadlines apply - visit the scholarships webpage for details.

UAC Applicants: Refer to the UAC website

Starting date

Semester 1 (March) and Semester 2 (August)

What you'll study

This degree provides flexible pathways into broad medical science careers. The stream emphasises the interdisciplinary nature of medical sciences whilst providing depth and breadth. It provides a disctinctive cohort experience. The Bachelor of Science (Medical Science) may be undertaken over three years full-time or six years part-time. Full-time students normally enrol in units of study to the value of 48 credit points (cp) in each year.

In first year you will complete 48 cp including mathamatics degree core units, Biology, Chemistry and Medical Sciences. In second year you will take 48 cp, comprised of five integrated Medical Science units covering areas such as physiology, pharmacology, cellular and molecular biology, and anatomy. In third year you will complete 48 cp, including a capstone interdisciplinary experience and three medical science electives. During the course you will also take a minor or second major, and 12 cp of Open Learning Environment units.

Units of Study

Sample study plan

 Bachelor of Science (Medical Science)

Year Sem Unit of study
1 1 Human Biology** Chemistry 1A Mathematics Major
  2 From Molecules to Ecosystems Open Learning Environment unit Mathematics Major
2 1 Key Concepts in Physiology** Key Concepts in Pharmacology** Biochemistry and Molecular Biology** Major
  2 Microbes, Infection and Immunity** Human Anatomy and Histology** Open Learning Environment unit Major
3 1 Medical Science selective units* Medical Science selective units* Major Major
  2 Medical Science Interdisciplinary Project Medical Science selective units* Major Major

* Medical Science selective units: Anatomy and Histology; Applied Medical Science; Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Cell Pathology; Immunology; Infectious Diseases; Microbiology; Neuroscience; Pharmacology; Physiology; Virology.

** Students in the Medical Science stream enrol in cohort-specific, Medical Science only versions of these units with the prefix MEDS.

Assumed knowledge

Mathematics. Chemistry and either Physics or Biology.

Admission criteria

Admission to this course is on the basis of the following criteria:

Admission pathways are open to domestic applicants on the basis of equity or other adjustment factors, including for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants. For details, visit admission pathways.


Mathematics (equivalent of band 4 in the NSW HSC subject Mathematics* OR band E3 in Mathematics Extension 1 or 2, if higher level maths has been undertaken)

In 2019, the maths prerequisite will apply to domestic and international students completing a secondary education (year 12) qualification in Australia (including Australian state and territory year 12 qualifications taken outside Australia).

From 2020, the maths prerequisite applies to domestic students undertaking a secondary education qualification in Australia (including Australian state and territory year 12 qualifications taken outside Australia), higher education studies (e.g. bachelor’s degree, diploma) and approved preparation programs.  

From 2020, it will also apply to international students undertaking a secondary education qualification or an approved preparation or foundation program, in Australia (this includes Australian state and territory year 12 qualifications and foundation programs undertaken outside Australia).

For details, including equivalent requirements for other qualifications, visit Mathematics course prerequisites.

*The subject requirement refers to Mathematics (not Mathematics General or Mathematics Standard), or Mathematics Advanced which will be first examined in the NSW HSC in 2020.

Credit for previous study

For more information about the University’s credit policy, please see the Credit for Previous Studies page.

Course opportunities

If you have a high ATAR you may be invited join our Dalyell Scholars program.

Career Pathways

Our medical science graduates can be found in a diverse range of careers and roles, including:

  • Medical researcher
  • Pathologist
  • Doctor
  • Dentist
  • Histologist
  • Physiologist
  • Microbiologist
  • Biochemist
  • Biomedical device designer

Read more

We’ve reimagined the Sydney Undergraduate Experience – the way we teach and the way you’ll learn – to prepare you for a future full of possibilities.

Domestic students

International students

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.