Enhance your skills and knowledge in the management of natural systems and the species they support 


Western Australia is one of the world's hotspots for terrestrial biodiversity, as well as a marine hotspot, with up to 80 per cent of the region's fish and invertebrates found nowhere else in the world.

Key features

  • Western Australia (WA) is the ideal living laboratory for studies in biological science
  • Extensive coastline in WA provides a rich and diverse training ground
  • Opportunity to work with world-class researchers - recently rated "well-above world standard."
  • Close collaborations with Government agencies such as CSIRO, Department of Parks and Wildlife, Department of Fisheries and with the renowned Biodiversity Conservation Centre of Kings Park and the Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre.
  • UWA specialises in marine biology in temperate conditions
  • Emphasis towards fieldwork, which reflects industry expectations for graduates (and particularly post-graduates) to be able to design, conduct, and report on, field research and monitoring.

    Five reasons to study the Master of Biological Science at UWA:

    1. Expand your appreciation of the beauty and wondrous diversity of plants
    2. Learn why this plant or that animal lives in this place, but not in that place.
    3. Be fascinated by the interactions among microbes, plants and animals that are essential for ecosystem health and survival.
    4. Explore the science behind conserving the global flora and fauna.
    5. Learn the latest methods for species and ecosystem conservation.
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    Course description, features and facilities

    The Master of Biological Science will give students an understanding of the molecular evolution, structure, physiology, reproduction, behaviour and ecology of organisms, and the skills to apply this knowledge to the management of natural systems and the species they support.

    Our Biological Science strengths
    Integration from genes and molecules to whole ecosystems in marine, terrestrial and agricultural environments:
    • Ecosystem ecology
    • Ecosystem restoration
    • Conservation biology
    • Population biology
    • Plant and animal (eco)-physiology
    • Evolutionary biology
    • Plant and animal taxonomy
    • Molecular biology
    • Genetics
    • Theoretical biology
    • Modelling and statistics

    Students must nominate a specialisation on application. The Master of Biological Science has specialisations in:

    You may apply to replace the equivalent of half a year’s units with a research project.

    The course structure and units are available at UWA Handbook

    The Faculty of Science offers Master's by Coursework bursaries for domestic students and Postgraduate Merit scholarships for international students. Please visit the Faculty of Science website for details.

    Domestic students may be eligible for a Commonwealth supported place within this course.

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    Student profile – and Course Coordinator, Patrick Finnegan (Conservation Biology)

    Growing up in Vermont, USA, Patrick was fascinated by how plants exploded in colour and produced sap for maple syrup in spring, were able to produce such delights as cherries, peaches, melons and corn on the cob, yet cause exhausting sneezing fits in summer, displayed magnificent colours in autumn, and were able to survive frigid temperatures and deep blankets of snow in winter. Patrick studied biochemistry at the University of Massachusetts. He then moved to snowy Montreal, Canada, for PhD studies at McGill University in plant molecular biology before moving to Australia. He did research in various areas of molecular biology and biochemistry at Monash University, Queensland University of Technology, ANU and Macquarie University before moving to Perth to take up a lectureship in plant molecular biology. He enthusiastically untangles plant biology for students at all levels, is fascinated by his research into the molecular functioning of Australian native plants and in his spare time loves exploring the beautiful wild flowers and plant diversity of south-western Australia.

    Find out more about Patrick's research.

    Meet our UWA Science students and alumni and read about what it's like to study at UWA.

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    The Master of Biological Science is offered by coursework or coursework and dissertation.

    While the standard timeframe for completion of this degree is two years (full time), if you have previously completed an undergraduate degree in a cognate (related) area it may be possible to complete within 1.5 years.

    The course offers a focused, advanced learning experience that will enhance career choices. You must complete all core units and specialisation core units. This degree also provides the flexibility to choose from a range of units to complement your specific interests.

    Course structures for the master's degrees with the new 1.5 to 2 year structure (72 to 96 points) are now available via the UWA Handbook.

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    Career opportunities

    This course gives you an understanding of the molecular evolution, structure, physiology, reproduction, behaviour and ecology of organisms, and the skills to apply this knowledge to the management of natural systems and the species they support.

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    Further study opportunities

    Students completing this degree may have the option to pursue further studies in research.

    Find out about our world-class research at UWA Science Global.

    Join our social circle

    Don't miss out on our student and staff stories, scholarship opportunities, news, events and network.


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    These pages are under review and are being updated.

    Check the Entrance requirements

    This course is available to Australian and international students.

    On this page

    1. Admission Requirements
    2. English competency

    Admission Requirements

    To be considered for admission to this course an applicant must have—

    a relevant bachelor's degree, that aligns with one of the specialisations of this course, or an equivalent qualification, as recognised by UWA.

    English competency

    See the full list of English language requirements.

    Please note: Requirements may be higher for some individual courses, where this is the case the additional requirements will be specified. 

    These pages are under review and are being updated.

    How to apply

    This course is available to Australian and international students.

    On this page

    1. How to apply
    2. Fees
    3. Contact us

    How to apply

    Apply online. Refer below for application dates and access to the Online Application System (OASys):


    Refer to the Fee Calculator for up to date course and unit costs.

    Contact us

    (+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
    UWA Map
    Normal opening hours
    Monday - Friday, 8.30am - 5pm (Western Standard Time)

    Note: We can help with application-related enquiries. If you need further course-specific information, you may wish to contact the relevant Faculty or School.

    About UWA
    Find out what makes UWA an internationally recognised university.
    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.
    Social life on campus
    There are over 20,000 students enrolled at UWA - lots of new friends not only from Perth and Western Australia but from all areas in Australia and around the world.
    These pages are under review and are being updated.

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    Master of Biological Science - Coursework: the details

    Available 2017
    Locations offered
    Attendance types
    Part-time, Full-time
    Delivery mode
    Starting dates
    Semester 1, Semester 2
    Weekly first year time commitment
    Please refer to the UWA handbook
    Standard full-time completion
    2 years
    Maximum time to complete
    4 years   
    Contact details: course information
    Science Student Office
    Central Wing Agriculture Building (M083)
    Ask UWA
    6488 7333
    (+61 8)6488 7333
    Course code
    CRICOS Code
    Additional information