Discoveries in physiology have a broad impact upon health and medicine, environmental science, industry, nutrition, exercise, and reproductive biology. Many of the discoveries from the human genome rely on physiology to understand their impact on the human body.

In this major you will discover how the body works, and how cells and organs function with the body as a whole. You will also develop an understanding of normal physiological function, which provides the basis for investigating disturbances of whole body systems, in particular those relating to the endocrine, cardiovascular, musculo-skeletal, developmental and nervous control systems.

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

Cindy Nguyen

“The area of Physiology makes human life a story of beautifully laid out mechanisms. I’ve had the amazing opportunity to gain practical experience in further understanding the underlying physiological mechanisms and cardiovascular responses to particular environmental stresses through practical classes.”


  • Career Outcomes

    Upon completion of this major you are well equipped to find biomedical career opportunities in universities, specialist institutes, industry, teaching, government or hospitals.

    Physiology is also a perfect undergraduate area of study for students aiming to progress to graduate study in medicine and allied health.

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

  • Graduate Pathways

    Bachelor of Science graduates with a Physiology major are very well-prepared for further study in the life sciences or biotechnology. You will also be well-placed 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, Melbourne School of Engineering, Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, and the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences.

    Wern Khor

    “I have always had a keen interest in physiology, anatomy and biomechanics, and I knew I wanted to work closely with people as opposed to working solo in a lab. After positive personal experiences with physiotherapists after a dance injury, I knew that a Doctor of Physiotherapy would be a great way for me to pursue a career that correlated with my interests and ambitions.

Sample Course Plans
Majoring in  Physiology

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