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Information for parents

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We understand that as parents you are often equally as interested in understanding the many University options presented
to your daughter/son to consider as they are.

See below for some info that can help you help your child make the best decision for their future.

1. What type of employment can a science degree lead to?

The career opportunities are broad and depend on majors studied; for example, the study of genetics and chemistry could lead you into forensics or product development etc.

A science degree allows for skill development important to employers such as teamwork, communication, self-management, problem solving and data analysis. We offer a Science Industry Placement Program alongside academic study and this provides professional/real-work experience within a science discipline, as well as network development and skill enhancement. We also have an in-house Careers Consultant who meets with students on an individual basis to assist them in getting job-ready and providing opportunities through Science Industry Week and Career Development programs.

If your child achieves excellent academic results, Science can also be a pathway into Medicine, Psychology and with two years extra study, a Pharmacist.

2. My child wants to study Marine Biology. Do you offer this as an option?

We offer marine biology as a third year unit within the majors of plant sciences, zoology, ecology and conservation biology.

If your child is interested in marine fauna, an excellent study choice would be a major in zoology with a marine biology focus, or if they're interested in marine flora a great choice would be a major in plant sciences with an emphasis on marine biology.

A major in ecology and conservation biology complements either the plant sciences or zoology majors and includes a field trip to Borneo to study tropical terrestrial biology.

The marine biology unit also offers two exciting field trips, one to Heron Island in Queensland and Queenscliff Marine Station.

3. What is a major?

A major is a specifically selected combination of units that leads to specialisation in a particular science discipline. A major in science consists of eight units.

We offer a wide variety of majors (26) that can be studied within five broad areas of science:

  • Biological and life sciences
  • Chemistry, physics & astronomy
  • Mathematics and computational science
  • Biomedical science and psychology
  • Earth, atmosphere and environmental science

We also offer extended majors, where additional units are studied within the major to further increase subject specialisation. An extended major consists of 12 units.

4. Do you offer veterinary science?

Veterinary science is a postgraduate degree, studied through a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. While Monash University doesn't offer this program, we do provide the pre-requisite to allow a pathway into this degree.

If your child wants to be a vet they will need to study a Bachelor of Science first and study a major in zoology.

5. My child doesn't know what she wants to be, but knows she loves science. What would you suggest she study in first year?

We believe the advantage of studying science is that it leaves the door open to a range of opportunities, rather than locking students down to a particular area of study. Some of our graduates have gone on to exciting roles in traditional science fields, but also in unusual areas such as wine making, film production and other interesting and varied roles that may not always be immediately obvious to people fresh out of school.

The way our degree is structured allows freedom and flexibility to explore a student's area of interest before they specialise. We often observe students find their feet when given some freedom and time to try different things and choose what suits them.

In the first year, along with studying a mathematics/statistics unit, students choose a range of subjects to ensure breadth of science studies. Areas such as chemistry, biology, physics, mathematics and statistics, and geosciences sit alongside innovative subjects like earth to cosmos, introductory astronomy, environmental biology, natural hazards and human vulnerability, psychology and computer programming. Throughout the course students can focus entirely on science or study complementary interests/subjects outside science with the free elective component of the degree.

If your child is uncertain about which area of science they like best, they can try a bit of everything and select their area/s of specialisation at second year (with the help of specialist Faculty course advisors if needed). You can visit the Current Students section of our website to see some examples of first year study plans by science area of interest.

6. First Year course outline

What does a typical first year look like for a Bachelor of Science student?

Semester 1 Science Science Maths or Statistics Elective
Semester 2 Science Science Science elective Elective

7. We haven't been to Monash university before, is it possible to visit and have someone show us around?

Students have the opportunity to take a guided tour of our science precinct and our fantastic new facilities. This experience provides a closer look at university life as a science student, course information and the chance to speak with current students. If you would like to visit Monash Science please contact kim.aitken@monash.edu.

Whilst on campus, if you would also like to visit our student accommodation, please contact the Monash Residential Services directly.

8. My child did not achieve the ATAR required for the Bachelor of Biomedical Science, can they study Science instead and then transfer?

They can study the Bachelor of Science and at the end of semester one, together with an average minimum result of 70%, apply for an internal transfer into the Bachelor of Biomedical Science. Selection for internal course transfer is competitive and meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee entry. Places are offered based on academic performance, availability, and the strength of the applicant pool.

The Bachelor of Science allows students to study up to two majors and provides an excellent opportunity for discipline specialisation, including in Biomedical areas.

9. What is the difference between studying science at Monash University or Melbourne University?

We get this question regularly. There are many reasons why you would choose one University over another, some of these reasons are tangible and others less so. Below is a table that can help you start to make a comparison. We suggest if you are trying to decide between the two universities that you attend Open Day and spend some time meeting current staff and students, getting a feel for the respective campuses, and exploring what the courses offer, both in and out of the classroom.

Features Monash University Melbourne University
ATAR (2015) 85 (83.6 in 2014) 86 (92 in 2014)
Majors 26 (Pure and applied sciences) 37 (These include engineering and IT areas)
Electives/Breadth subjects Students have the freedom to choose electives either within science or outside of science Freedom to choose, but students must choose from units outside science
First year lab hours per week (e.g. chemistry) 3 1.5
BSc student numbers 900+ 2400+
Subject bonus Yes No
Double degrees Yes No

10. My child did not receive the required ATAR for the Bachelor of Science, what can they do?

There are many pathways available for students who did not attain the required ATAR to study the Bachelor of Science at Monash. Application for entry can be made after undertaking one of the following options( note, entry is not guaranteed);

  • Accept an offer to study science from another university and attain a minimum average result of 60% for their first semester of study.
  • Accept an offer to study another Monash course and attain a minimum average result of 60% and apply for an internal transfer (not guaranteed).
  • Study two single university units (at least one science) and attain a minimum average result of 60%.
  • Successfully complete a graded science-based Certificate IV with an average result of 80%.
  • Successfully complete a graded science-based Diploma with an average result of 60% (with Year 12 or its equivalent).
  • Successfully complete a graded science-based Diploma with an average result of 70% (without Year 12 or its equivalent).

11. We are from interstate, is there any on campus accommodation?

Monash Residential Services provides:

  • on-campus accommodation with associated services and facilities (to more than 2000 residents)
  • off-campus accommodation services to all Monash staff and students
  • information and education regarding tenancy rights and responsibilities
  • the provision of and access to web-based housing resources including information fact sheets
  • assistance with tenancy issues and disputes.

Please see the Monash Residential Services website for further information.

12. Where is science taught at Monash University? Is it on every campus? Will my child need to travel between campuses?

Science is predominantly studied at the Clayton campus in Melbourne. There are also a small number of electives that can be studied via distance education.

Monash University also offers a variety of science courses at our Sunway campus in Malaysia.