Genetics is the study of biologically inherited traits as diverse as those that cause human disease,  allow a rare plant to live in a single, isolated location, or result in a desirable characteristic found in a domestic animal used in agriculture.


Genetics is transdisciplinary - all biological sciences, including botany, zoology, biochemistry, pathology, molecular biology, microbiology and medicine, cover at least some aspects of genetics. Studies in genetics will provide graduates with a broad overview of the universal principles, potentials and problems associated with DNA-based life, and will provide the skills necessary to become a geneticist.

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Course description, features and facilities

Your studies in the Genetics major will involve the analysis of DNA and the many ways in which it is expressed.

This major will deliver a broad overview of the universal principles, potentials and problems associated with DNA-based life, and provide you with the essential skills of a geneticist.

To complement your lectures from renowned experts in their various fields, you will have the chance to discuss, apply and expand on the theory of your unit in weekly practical laboratory classes and structured tutorials.

You will have opportunities to interact with researchers who are active in all fields of genetics.

Equipment and facilities at UWA are those of modern genetics laboratories, including facilities that house genetically diverse lines of plants and animals and equipment that allows investigation of single genes and entire genomes.

Visit the Science website for further information on careers in science, graduate profiles, scholarships and the benefits of choosing science at UWA.

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Student profile – Matthew Mahon

Majoring in Genetics at UWA has broadened my outlook more than I ever could have imagined. Throughout my studies I have been presented with a wide range of concepts, from how life is encoded in our DNA to how disease arises from errors in this code. To complement this information, I have learnt how these discoveries were made and had hands-on experience using the very technologies that made this knowledge possible. But the learning does not stop there.

The knowledgeable and friendly teaching staff have enabled me to independently think about how these ideas will affect the world around me. This aspect of my course has ideally prepared me to take the next step in my career.

See how UWA Science can change your world!

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UWA's streamlined course structure allows you to pursue studies in a wide range of areas and to take one or two majors in your degree. Your second major can be from a similar field to your first (degree-specific) major, or from a different area or degree entirely.

As well as the units specified in your major, you will study broadening units outside your main area of study and may be able to take a number of elective subjects as well.

You can explore the structure of this major in detail in the University Handbooks.

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Career opportunities

Many graduates find careers in laboratory and field-based research, or science policy. Other options are teaching, state and federal government agencies associated with science, biotechnological and/or medical policy.

More specifically, your degree can lead you to opportunities in agribusiness, medicine, biomedical research, animal and plant biotechnology and breeding, conservation biology, medical and veterinary diagnostics, forensics, patent law and genetic counselling. Further study may be required in some of these fields.

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Further study opportunities

Students can pursue further studies at honours or postgraduate level.

Postgraduate study options include Graduate Diploma in Infectious Diseases, Master of Infectious Diseases, Master of Agricultural Science, Master of Forensic Science, Master of Biotechnology, Master of Biomedical Science and Master of Science Communication.

Find out more about the Master of Biotechnology

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Check the Entrance requirements

This course is available to Australian and international students.

On this page

  1. Prerequisites and minimum scores
  2. Additional information
  3. Recommended subjects
  4. English competency
  5. Advanced standing

Prerequisites and minimum scores

Qualification and prerequisite subjectsCourse entry score
Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) 2014-15
  • A scaled score of 50 or above in at least WACE Mathematics 2C/2D
Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) 2016 onwards
  • A scaled score of 50 or above in Mathematics Applications ATAR
International Baccalaureate
  • A score of 4 or above in SL or HL Mathematics (at least Mathematical Studies)

Additional information

Please note: to complete this major within the Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours) will require a minimum ATAR of 98 (or equivalent).

Recommended subjects

Qualification and recommended subjects
Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) 2014-15
  • A scaled score of 50 or above in WACE Chemistry 3A/3B
  • A scaled score of 50 or above in WACE Mathematics 3C/3D
Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) 2016 onwards
  • A scaled score of 50 or above in Chemistry ATAR
  • A scaled score of 50 or above in Mathematics Methods ATAR
International Baccalaureate
  • A score of 4 or above in HL Chemistry
  • A score of 4 or above in HL Mathematics

English competency

University study demands strong English language competency. To be eligible for admission to a undergraduate program at UWA, you must demonstrate satisfactory performance in a UWA-approved test of English. This is the case even if English is your first language.

The minimum requirement is a scaled score of 50 or more in WACE English, Literature or English as an Additional Language/Dialect achieved at Stage 2 or Stage 3 – or an equivalent level of achievement in an interstate or international qualification.

Advanced standing

If you have undertaken prior tertiary study within the last five years, you may be eligible for advanced standing (credit and/or exemption).

Applications for advanced standing are assessed upon acceptance of any offer of admission made by the University.

How to apply

This course is available to Australian and international students.

On this page

  1. How to apply
  2. Semester one entry
  3. Semester two entry
  4. Fees
  5. Information for…
  6. Contact us

How to apply

We have two intakes of undergraduate students each year: Semester One (commencing in late February) and Semester Two (commencing in late July/early August).

Semester one entry

Australian citizens or permanent residents, including humanitarian visa holders, and New Zealand citizens apply online via the Tertiary Institutions Service Centre (TISC).

Applications open mid-August, with the on-time deadline in late September the year prior. Submissions are available after this date, but a late fee applies

Refer to the TISC website or contact Future Students for further details.

Semester two entry

Apply through the University's Online Application System (OASys) for mid-year entry to a range of courses at UWA.

Applications generally open early May and close in late June.

Contact Future Students for advice.


As some units vary in cost, the actual student fee will depend on the mix of units you choose. The domestic student fees page has further details.

Information for

Contact us

Future Students

(+61 8) 6488 3939
Enquire on-line
Frequently Asked Questions
First Floor, Ken and Julie Michael Building
7 Fairway (corner Cooper Street)
Crawley, Perth
Western Australia 6009
Normal opening hours
Monday – Friday, 8.30am–5pm (Western Standard Time)

Note: If you have already submitted an application, contact Admissions.

About UWA
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Foundation and preparatory courses
There are a range of programs available to help give you the opportunity to gain the academic qualifications or prerequisites required for admission to UWA.
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Genetics: the details

Available 2016
Locations offered
Crawley, Albany (selected Level 1 units)
Attendance types
Part-time, Full-time
Delivery mode
Starting dates
Semester 1, Semester 2
Weekly first year time commitment
16-25 hours teaching time, plus your own study time
Standard full-time completion
3 years (BSc), 4 years (BPhil(Hons))
Maximum time to complete
10 years
Degrees (available in)
This major is available in:Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours)All majors (except Economics and Biomedical Science double majors, Architecture, Specialist Music Studies and Science Communication) can also be taken as second majors in any of our undergraduate degrees
Honours available
Contact details: course information
Faculty of Science
Science Student Office Agriculture Central building, Crawley campus
(+618) 64887333
Additional information