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Major

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.

Some units of study that are not essential to completing this course component may not be available to be studied remotely for students commencing in Semester 1, 2021. Remote study is not available for Advanced and Special Studies Program units in this major.

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 major

Biology is the study of living organisms, whether single-celled or multi-cellular, as individuals or in groups, and their interaction with their environment and with each other. It is concerned with all levels of biological complexity from the molecular level through to cells and tissues, to organisms, their populations and the ecosystems of which they form part. Biologists seek to understand the structure and function of the living world. Biologists investigate how organisms access and use energy and the processes by which they develop and replicate. Evolution provides an overarching framework for understanding changes that have occurred in groups of organisms over time. 

The major will initially cover fundamental concepts in biology, such as life, the structure and function of molecules, cells and organisms and processes including metabolism and respiration. 

As a broad and interconnecting major, it is characterised by integrating 'biology' sub-disciplines which are distinguished by:

  • their subject matter
  • the scale of the subject matter
  • the suite of tools used for investigation.

This major has been structured in this way because biology is now moving into a phase of rapid expansion and discovery that places biologists at the forefront of current scientific research.

For more information on the program structure and content, view the Science Undergraduate Handbook.

About this major

Further study for major

If you are interested in furthering your specialisation in biology, you may wish to undertake an honours year, or a postgraduate coursework or research program, subject to admission requirements.

Rich opportunities for honours and postgraduate research are available for eligible students in a variety of biology related fields including animal behaviour, ecology, genes and genetic interactions, plant science, molecular biology and much more.

Graduate opportunities

As a biology graduate you can expect an exciting and rewarding career contributing to the community through opportunities in business, research, training, education and government. Even in areas where specific biological knowledge has no direct input, a wide biological knowledge and advanced analytical skills allow biology graduates to play a leading role in local and global events. As a graduate you may combine laboratory research and fieldwork to study biological systems in many of the world's remote and fascinating ecosystems.

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Career pathways

Graduates who hold a major in biology are recognised as accredited biological researchers by the Asia-Pacific Academy of Biologists and Microbiologists.

Courses that offer this major

To commence study in the year

Units of study in this major

To commence study in the year

The course information on this website applies only to future students. Current students should refer to faculty handbooks for current or past course information.

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