Genetics is the foundation for studies in biology. It is the study of the variation between living things and how this variation is inherited. Genetics can include studies of gene regulation, development, neurogenetics, population genetics and evolution along with genetic disease detection, prevention and treatment in humans and other animals and plants.

A major in Genetics will include molecular genetics, human genetics, evolutionary genetics and genomics which can be applied in areas such as biology, biomedical science, biotechnology, ecology and conservation. You will also develop skills in experiment design, data recording and analysis, and scientific writing.

Studies in this discipline are also available via the Bachelor of Biomedicine

Jacob Calabria

"At school I always preferred subjects based around science and maths and enjoyed problem solving. I have always had a fascination with the processes behind how things work, especially those of the life sciences. After completion of my Bachelor of Science I plan to undertake study in the Master of Genetics program."


  • Career Outcomes

    Students with a Genetics major can work in areas such as medical genetics, agriculture, ecology and conservation, and biotechnology. Employers include research institutes, hospitals, universities, museums, zoos, and federal and state authorities. Career opportunities are also available in industries such as biotechnology and scientific supply companies.

    You can also pursue a career using the knowledge and skills gained from the major as a teacher, counsellor, policy maker, journalist or publisher.

    Earnings for life scientists, which includes Genetics, are above average and employment for this occupation is expected to grow moderately to 2019.

  • Graduate Pathways

    Bachelor of Science graduates with a major in Genetics are well-placed to apply for:

    • Professionally focused graduate degrees in the sciences and technology, including biotechnology, environmental systems, informatics and nanotechnology;
    • Graduate degrees preparing for a wide range of professions including engineering, law, medicine and other health sciences, and teaching;
    • Masters and Honours pathways to research higher degrees in the sciences and technology within the Faculty of Science, Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Melbourne School of Engineering, Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, and the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences.

Sample Course Plans
Majoring in  Genetics

The flexibility of the BSc means you can adapt your study plan to your situation, or combine your major with another study area of interest. See some examples below.

Major Core Prerequisite
Major core
Complementary / Recommended
Major Selective Prerequisite
Major Selective
Breadth subject / Science Elective