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Master of Science in Biological Sciences (Advanced option available)


The Master of Science in Biological Sciences is a flexible coursework program which combines theory and practice to explore how life on Earth works.

You will study with some of Australia's leading scientists from biological disciplines including biomedical sciences, ecology and evolution, genetics, plant sciences and biochemistry, and related areas such as biological anthropology, ethics, health and disease, public policy, environmental change, and contemporary perspectives in environmental science.

Along with honing your technical skills in our world-class facilities, you'll also develop a critical understanding of the role of science in society, a vital skill for identifying, communicating and responding to societal needs and global challenges.


The Master of Science in Biological Sciences (Advanced) incorporates a research project of your choice, supervised by an academic, and is a gateway to further research, such as a PhD. 

Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) are available for the Advanced version of this program.

Key facts

  • #1 for Natural Sciences (QS 2024) in Australia
  • 2 years full time
  • Semester 1 & 2 intake
  • Access to state-of-the-art facilities and labs
  • #1 in Australia for graduate employability (Times Higher Education)
  • Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) are available for the Advanced version of this program


A smiling man in a blue t shirt

Siwanon Paphatmethin

"As an international student exploring research areas in biology but with little experience conducting research, the Master of Sciences (Advanced) in Biological Sciences was very helpful. It provided me with the opportunity to make connections with research scientists, which later paved the way to my current status as PhD candidate at ANU and CSIRO. The environment was supportive and cooperative, and the staff are approachable. I had a really great time."

A woman wearing a lab coat smiling

Xiaojun Yuan

“My Masters is better than I imagined. My supervisor is fantastic and I love working with her. I’m having such a good time. My supervisor and I are getting very nice results from the experiments we’re doing on autotransporters, which is really exciting. We’re studying the assembly of a specific autotransporter to see if it’s a good target for developing new antibiotics. It’s still too early to say how important what we’re working on will be, but it’s very promising."

Biology building

Access state-of-the-art lab facilities or get research support from the Computational Biology and Bioinformatics Unit.

Explore our biology facilities


As a graduate, you will be highly employable for work in research, policy and management roles in Australia and across the world, including project management, research and analysis, education and community awareness, and policy.

Biological Science is an area with many career opportunities in government, industry and the non-profit sector.

Federal government agencies

  • Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland Government
  • Office of the Gene Technology Regulator
  • IP Australia
  • Therapeutic Goods Administration
  • Department of Health
  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of the Environment and Energy
  • Department of Industry, Innovation and Science
  • Department of Education and Training
  • Defence Science and Technology Organisation
  • Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Peak bodies

  • Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
  • Australian Academy of Science
  • National Measurement Institute
  • Cancer Council Australia
  • Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
  • Ecological Society of Australia
  • Australian Science Media Centre
  • RiAus - Australia’s national science channel
  • Australian Institute of Marine Science
  • Questacon
  • Pharmaceutical Society of Australia
  • NPS MedicineWise
  • Food Standards Australia New Zealand

International NGOs

  • World Health Organisation
  • World Intellectual Property Organization
  • United Nations.

You could also work in universities, private consultancy firms, think tanks, state and local government agencies, and research centres.

The Australian National University has been ranked as the top university for graduate employability in Australia in the Global University Employability Ranking 2023-24. As a student at ANU, you gain access to the ANU CareerHub – an online career development and employability tool that includes a jobs board and careers resources. You also have access to drop-in chats with a career consultant and to attend our career fairs to meet potential employers.


Meet Sarojini Balkrishna, an ANU alumna who proves that there is life outside of academia for PhD graduates.

Read more

Learning experience

Funnel web spider close up, focused on fangs
Not even trying to kill you. Photo: Nic Vevers/ANU

An arachnophobe and an arachnophile walk into a lab

Ben Shoard recently completed his research project on the development of a phylogenetic tree of the 36 different funnel web species.

Read Ben's story
Minette Salmon

A close look at biology leads graduate to find herself

It was while looking down a microscope that Minette Salmon made a huge breakthrough—she started to see her own biology differently.

Read Minette's story
Angus Rae

The bio-engineering solution to a human-made problem

PhD researcher Angus Rae is using advanced microscopy techniques to study legume roots. His findings will contribute to the fight against the serious, global problem of nitrogen pollution.

Zoom in on Angus' research

Fees & scholarships


Please visit the Programs and Courses website for information about fees.

View fees View fees for advanced program


Whether you are looking for financial support to start your studies at ANU or help to move away from home for the first time, we have scholarship opportunities for you and your situation.

Science precinct at ANU at twilight

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Marcin Adamski

Marcin Adamski

Marcin Adamski

Marcin has over 20 years of experience in bioinformatics, biostatistics, and quantitative biology, specializing in computational marine biology and the development of educational courses for biology and medicine students.

How to apply

Understand the how to apply steps

Visit the international postgraduate applications page to prepare for your application to ANU.

International postgraduate applications

Understand the how to apply steps

Visit the domestic postgraduate applications page to prepare for your application to ANU.

Domestic postgraduate applications

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