Study Options in Biological Sciences

Student testing water

Honours in biological sciences

Students with good academic records are invited to undertake a fourth year of study leading to an honours degree. Honours students carry out original research on a defined project, as well as some course-work. Research is undertaken in our research laboratories or at field sites under the supervision of an academic staff member. All honours students gain skills in modern research techniques and in effective communication, including report-writing and presentation of seminars and participate in group discussions of scientific research. This experience has vocational aims and also provides a preparation for study by coursework and/or research for the higher degrees of Master of Science or Doctor of Philosophy.

Opportunities for overseas study

In addition to the opportunities available through Monash Abroad, students can elect to enrol in BIO3820 - Tropical Terrestrial Biology which has a week-long field trip to Borneo (Malaysia). The unit focuses on the biology of terrestrial tropical ecosystems in South East Asia and includes tropical environments in other parts of the world. The Malaysian region encompasses many unique tropical habitats such as dipterocarp forest, peat swamp forest, cloud forest, karst vegetation and caves which will be studied in detail.

Summer scholarships

As part of the schools education and training program, summer research scholarships are offered each year to provide talented undergraduates with career and research experience in a variety of disciplines. Scholarship holders will be able to participate in research projects or pursue, under supervision, some independent work of mutual interest to the student and the school. In some cases the course may relate to a subsequent honours project. Further information and application details should be obtained from the Scholarship Office.

Third-year Biology and Genetics 'Research in Action' projects

Students also have the opportunity at a third-year level to undertake an individual research project in a discipline relating to a major area of study, conducted under supervision of an academic staff member. Project work includes a critical literature review, experimental design and data analysis and seminar attendance. Students must maintain regular contact with supervisor(s) and subject coordinator(s).

Contact hours: approximately 6 hours per week.


  • 24 points of second-level studies with 12 points minimum in the discipline directly relevant to the project.
  • A minimum average of distinction across all units.
  • Permission is required.