Bachelor of Science

This Bachelor of Science at UNE is designed to provide students with the skills and techniques necessary for solving problems associated with a broad of range of issues in science. The extensive range of majors, which are available in established and emerging, generalist and specialist sciences, are all underpinned by cutting-edge research.

The degree includes 20 Majors and three Minors which will provide you with the opportunity to harness the skills and knowledge necessary to make a real contribution to the challenges facing the world today. You are also able to combine our Bachelor of Science with the Bachelor of Laws completing the double degree of Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Laws for a career in science and law. You are also able to complete a combination of humanities and science with the combined degree Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science

Why study Science at UNE?

  • Our staff are well-qualified and committed to their teaching with involvement in research across a broad range of areas.
  • Our majors and minors cover a broad and diverse range of disciplines including botany, chemistry, archaeology, physics, mathematics, physiology, biodiversity, biochemistry, neuroscience, palaeobiology, zoology and geoscience with minors in business and statistics.
  • As a UNE graduate, you will be able to demonstrate attributes required by employers – excellent communication skills; ability to work independently or as part of a team, willingness to continue learning; ability to investigate, analyse and solve problems.
  • You will have the opportunity to complete a mini laboratory-based research project, conducting and reporting on original research and submitting a Literature Review and Scientific Report
  • You can study either on campus or online – whichever option you choose you will be part of a vibrant living and learning environment.
  • We offer an alternate entry via the Bachelor of Scientific Studies which is designed for students without a Science background.
  • We achieved Five Star (well above world standard) ratings in the 2018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) in the specific fields of research relating to: Pure Mathematics, Macromolecular and Materials Chemistry, Evolutionary Biology, Geology, Genetics, Veterinary Sciences, Psychology, Human Movement and Sport Sciences and Zoology.

"I studied a double major in microbiology and botany by distance, while I worked. The intensive schools and assignments ensured I also got the hands-on experience I needed. I naturally progressed to complete my honours and then began my PhD on-campus at UNE."

Dane Lyddiard - Completed BSc hons, current PhD Student

A dinosour skeleton hanging from the roof of the natural history museum

Career Opportunities

Our broad range of majors and minors in the BSc at UNE qualify our graduates for careers in small to large business, industry, government, teaching and research.

The labour market for Science graduates is competitive and it is worth noting that as well as the more traditional areas of employment, Science graduates also pursue careers using the skills and processes gained whilst studying Science rather than using the Science they learnt (for example, science editors, journalists, government policy analysts) or using transferable skills such as mathematics, they move into areas such as banking, insurance, risk analysis and utilities management.


Relevant majors:  Biodiversity, Geography, Geoscience

The major employers of conservation professionals come from the public sector - the Federal Department of the Environment is one of the largest employers with each state or territory having their own environment department such as the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and as well as an Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).

After the public sector, the next biggest employers are the not-for-profit organisations such as Bush Heritage Australia, Conservation Volunteers Australia, Birds Australia and Australian Wildlife conservancy.

Environmental officers and professionals are employed to:

  • manage and develop habitats,
  • manage the coastline,
  • conduct fieldwork to assess habitat quality
  • manage threatened species
  • assess land for biodiversity value or building development
  • rescue wildlife
Education and Training

Relevant majors:

Chemistry, Computational Science, Geography, Geoscience, Mathematics, Applied Physics

Further study required:

Master of Teaching (Secondary)

Careers opportunities:

  • secondary school teaching
  • curriculum development
  • policy development
  • corporate training
  • educational administration
  • science educator in museums, zoos, outdoor education centres, on the road with Questacon’s travelling Measure Island, Perception Deception and Science on the Move

Relevant majors:

Biochemistry/Biotechnology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Microbiology, Neuroscience, Physics

  • Biotechnologist/Life scientist:  tests and analyses biological compounds that can be transformed into products such as medicines
  • Environmental scientist: analyses measurements of air, food, water and soil to determine the best methods to clean and preserve the environment and minimise health hazards
  • Food technologist/food scientist: works on quality, safety and innovation of foods, e.g. analysing the nutritional and chemical content of food products, developing methods for the preservation of freshness, altering the characteristics of foods
  • Research and development officer/scientist: plans, designs and coordinates research and development for specific programs; may be involved in developing systems and trials to refine and optimise operations or products
Business, Management and Consultancy

Relevant majors: Mathematics, Psychology

Relevant minors: Business, Communications

Management consultancy:  

  • is a rewarding career for science graduates, who enjoy being challenged, are resourceful and have a passion for problem solving
  • provides expert resources to organisations to deal with specific problems that they either don’t have the skills to deal with themselves, or simply don’t have enough hands for
  • allows individuals for work on problems across many industries, building u p a strong skills base and networks
Government, Defence and Legal

Relevant majors and minors:  all majors and minors are relevant to careers in government, defence and legal areas.

State Government:

Scientists from every discipline are employed by state

  • Food Authorities
  • offices of Environment and Heritage
  • offices of Water and of Food Safety
  • Departments of Health
  • Institutes of Sport
  • Water Authorities

Federal Government:

  • CSIRO employs 1,900 natural science graduates
  • Department of Industry employs graduates from virtually every area of natural sciences, with an emphasis on candidates with good communication and team work skills
  • Department of Industry, Innovation, Science and Research employs natural science
  • Department of the Environment also employs natural science graduates
  • Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) employs 2,500 scientists including material scientists, mathematicians, computer scientists, electrical engineers, psychologists biomedical scientists who have a variety of science backgrounds and can exercise innovative thinking and have analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation
  • Geosciences Australia
  • Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
  • Murray-Darling Basin Authority

In addition to government positions, science graduates also work with legal firms in the areas such as:

  • patents
  • intellectual property
  • some specialised areas, for examples, forensics
Health and Community

Relevant majors: Biochemistry/Biotechnology, Biodiversity, Chemistry, Forensic Science, Medicinal Chemistry, Microbiology, Genetics, Neuroscience, Physiology, Psychology

Scientists in this field offer critical support to the food manufacturing industry and public health groups to better identify and control hazards in the food supply and an undergraduate Science degree is a wonderful beginning to career opportunities such as:

  • Agricultural chemist: analyses agricultural and food products to ensure product quality and safety; may also work in environmental monitoring and protection; may be involved in development of new technologies for processing of raw products
  • Environmental scientist: analyses measurements of air, food, water and soil to determine the best methods to clean and preserve the environment and minimise health hazards
  • Food microbiologist: examines micro- organisms in food with the aim of improving food production and food safety; may also study outbreaks of food-borne illness and track the origin and spread of the illness to help prevent future outbreaks
  • Food quality assurance officer: monitors the quality of the environment in order to interpret the impact of human actions and to develop strategies for restoring ecosystems
  • Food scientist: uses their knowledge of science, engineering and biotechnology to develop new or better ways of preserving, processing, packaging, storing and delivering food; may be involved in research into new food sources
Information and Communication Technology

Relevant majors: Computational Science, Mathematics, Neuroscience, Physics

Relevant minor: Statistics

A Science degree is an ideal base for career opportunities in information technology and communication (ICT) – a sample of career opportunities in ICT fields is provided below:

  • Bioinformatician: uses statistics and computer analysis to understand medical and biological systems
  • Computational scientist: writes computer codes and implements models describing a wide variety of systems
  • Information systems professional: manages the change processes that are initiated by introducing new technology; manages the operation of activities based on computing and communications technology
  • Systems analyst: works with people to introduce or expand appropriate technology within their business or organisation
  • Web developer: uses software languages to construct and maintain website content and applications

Relevant majors: Chemistry, Applied Physics

  • Career opportunities in materials science can be found in industry, research organisations, universities, private companies and hospitals, with materials being investigated and designed for a huge array of applications – everything we touch is made from some sort of material, whether man-made or naturally occurring or a combination of the two.
  • Materials science is one of the most exciting career areas in science, particularly because it brings together expertise from many disciplines. Chemists, physicists, imaging specialists, biologists, biochemists and medical researchers are all involved in different types of materials science, going beyond merely analysing materials to creating new materials with new properties
  • From designing new materials to investigating the fundamental properties of existing materials to forensic failure analysis of materials in machinery and building applications, there are hugely diverse approaches and opportunities in materials science.

  • The materials science sector has an exciting future as new types of materials and techniques for analysing them open up new fields of enquiry.

Media, Marketing and Communication

Relevant majors: All majors are relevant if you are interested in a career in the media, marketing and/or communications.

  • In the highly sought-after media industry, there are a number of journalism positions specifically set aside for science graduates across print, TV and radio. In Australia, these can be mostly found at science magazines such as Cosmos and New Scientist, the ABC and trade publications
  • Science graduates can also find jobs in science communication and media relations, working as communication officers for universities, research institutes like the CSIRO, museums and pharmaceutical companies - implementing communication strategies, raising the organisation’s profile though websites and other e-communication tools, producing print publications and communications, organising events and press conferences.
  • Closely tied to the field of communications is marketing –  a product/brand manager, responsible for marketing and developing products such as gaming consoles, shoes, and even university courses, a market researcher, who uses quantitative data to understand the behaviour of consumers and what drives them to buy iPhones or Android phones.
Medical and Health Related Professions

Relevant majors: Applied Physics, Biochemistry/Biotechnology, Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry, Microbiology, Neuroscience

  • Analytical chemist: analyses and studies the physical or chemical properties of drug substances and formulations
  • Biomedical or medical scientist: performs medical laboratory tests on blood, other body fluids and tissues to assist clinicians in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease
  • Clinical research associate: sets up, monitors and complete clinical trials that investigate the effects, risks and benefit of a medicine
  • Manufacturing operations manager: oversees all processes involved in the manufacturing of a medicine
  • Medical chemist:  studies the structural properties of compounds intended for drug development
  • Medical information officer: provides technical resources and expertise in medical training of sales forces regarding new product development
  • Microbiologist: investigates the growth and characteristics of microscopic organisms such as bacteria, algae, or fungi
  • Neuroscientist: investigates areas of the nervous system and conditions that affect it; also involved in research into social problems such as addiction and gambling and longer-term issues such as ageing
  • Product manager: responsible for the development and implementation of an annual marketing plan and promotion budget
Mining and Resources

Relevant majors: Applied Physics, Archaeology, Biodiversity, Chemistry, Geography, Geoscience, Palaeobiology

Relevant minors: Business, Statistics

  • The mining and resources industry is the largest employer of environmental professionals in Australia today.
  • The number of graduates from an environmental and geosciences background is rapidly growing, working across every stage of a mine. For example, when planning a new mine importance is placed on environmental management and testing, including water quality, sediments, rock cores, geographical information systems to urban and rural planning, which includes rehabilitating mine sites upon completion of work.
NGOs and International Development

Relevant majors and minors: All majors and minors are relevant for those interested in working with NGOs and/or international development

  • Science skills are essential for staff in many NGOs (non-government organisations) that work in areas such as the environment, conservation, social development and advocacy.
  • There are many different types of NGOs and development agencies, with different NGOs and agencies employing science graduates from different disciplines.
  • Science graduates with majors in botany, biodiversity, chemistry, geoscience, microbiology and zoology, are highly sought after by environmental NGOs.
  • Other NGOs which focus on specific diseases such as cancer, AIDS, malaria or tuberculosis, employ science graduates with a background in chemistry, microbiology, medicinal chemistry, genetics, physiology, biochemistry/ biotechnology, to research cures, or ways of preventing the spread of these diseases, or to plan responses to health emergencies in developing countries.
  • Animal welfare NGOs employ graduates with majors in animal science and veterinary studies, zoology and livestock production.
  • Social development NGOs focus on areas such as mental health, child protection, social services, indigenous programs, human rights and refugee rights and science graduates with a variety of backgrounds, especially psychology, physiology and geography, are employed in social development roles.
  • Some NGOs specifically concentrate on science by expanding the scientific capacity of developing regions through targeted professional training and exchange programs.
  • Funding for NGOs mainly comes from donations from individuals and philanthropic organisations, rather than government funding, fundraising officers with relevant science backgrounds play a key role in effectively raising public support.

Relevant majors: Neuroscience, Psychology

  • Businesses and organisations that use psychology training and psychologists include corporations and sporting groups, courts and gaols, hospitals and mental health facilities, universities and schools.
  • Demand for psychologists is growing, and the outlook for the industry is positive. Career opportunities exist in three main areas:
    • Research and teaching - the science
    • Service provision - the helping profession
    • Beyond the individual - the application of social science at a systems level

Relevant majors and minors:  All majors and minors are relevant for those interested in a career as a research scientist

  • Scientific research takes place in universities, government research organisations, hospitals, private research organisations, museums and in industry.
  • Government research organisations in Australia include: Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO), Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), and Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO).
  • Research scientists get to travel internationally as part of the job - to visit field sites and collect samples, to work with collaborators and to present findings to international audiences at conferences.
  • The collaborative nature of science is another attractive feature – scientists work with other scientists, industry, community organisations, government and the international community
Frequently Asked Questions

What should I study at school?

We assume you will have a sound knowledge of Mathematics and, depending on the major you wish to complete,  we recommend you study Biology and/or Chemistry and/or Physics.

We offer introductory units in ChemistryMathematics and Physics for students who do not have the assumed and recommended background knowledge as well as two free courses:  Chemistry Refresher Course and Mathematics Bridging Course.

We also offer the Bachelor of Scientific Studies which was designed for students who do not have a background in Science. We do recommend that if you don’t have a Science background, you give serious consideration to including the Bachelor of Scientific Studies as a preference when you submit your application.

Alternatively, you might like to consider enrolling for the Bachelor of Scientific Studies in the first instance and, on successful completion of eight units you will be eligible for award of the Diploma in Science and you can transfer to the Bachelor of Science with some credit (advanced standing) for units you have completed.

Can I apply for early entry?

Yes, all Year 12 and some TAFE students can apply directly to UNE for Direct Early Entry before your HSC results are released.

Is there someone I can talk to about how I plan my study in the Bachelor of Science?

The Course Coordinator is more than happy to discuss how you can plan your study to help you achieve the best outcome.

How do I apply to study at UNE?

Go to How to Apply and follow the instructions.

How many Majors and Minors can I do?

You are required to complete at least one Major or you may complete one Major and one Minor or two Majors.

Further Study Options

Graduates with an above average academic record are able to complete the Bachelor of Science with Honours or the research-based Master of Science.  BSc(Hons) graduates who have the appropriate level of Honours are eligible to apply to enrol for the Doctor of Philosophy.

BSc graduates are also eligible to enrol for a wide range postgraduate course programs including the Graduate Certificate in Science, the Graduate Diploma in Science and the Master of Scientific Studies  as well as a range of courses in Computer Science and Information Technology, Environmental Science and Agriculture.”