Explore the science that underpins medical practice. This degree will teach you about life, death, health and disease. It delves deeply into the body’s functions, including reactions to disease, drugs and the role of genetics.


Faculty of Science
Delivery Mode
Face-to-face (includes blended)
Bachelor of Medical Science
Commencing Terms
Term 1
Duration (Full Time)
3 Year(s)


Medical science is the foundation that the practice of medicine is built on. This degree delves into how the human body functions and responds to disease and drug treatments. It incorporates facets of several scientific disciplines to provide you with an extensive understanding of the human body.

The Bachelor of Medical Science explores:

  • the structure and chemistry of the cells that make up living organisms (cell & molecular biology and biochemistry)
  • the structure and function of the human body (anatomy and physiology)
  • the general processes leading to disease (pathology)
  • the role of bacteria, viruses and other micro-organisms in disease (microbiology)
  • drugs which are used to cure human diseases (pharmacology)
  • the way in which our form and function is inherited (genetics)
  • the processes of development from the fertilised ovum (embryology)
  • the natural defences of the body (immunology)
  • the structure and function of the brain (neuroscience).

This degree provides the basis for a career in biomedical research and is also an appropriate first degree if you’re planning to progress to graduate medical or paramedical degrees.

Key features

  • Two UNSW faculties
    This degree is jointly offered by UNSW Science and UNSW Medicine & Health, combining the expertise of two industry-leading faculties.
  • Optional majors
    If you want to tailor your study to a particular area of interest, you can choose to complete a major or a double major. 
  • Wide range of career opportunities
    This degree can lead to a career in a variety of fields including:

• medical research

• paramedical professions

• health policy

• medical laboratory science

• pathology and forensic science

• patents and intellectual property

• market research and product development

• pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

  • Work Integrated Learning (WIL) opportunities
    At UNSW Science, we focus on delivering the optimal balance of theory and practical work to equip you with the skills and experience to fast-track your career. The SCIF3199 Science Work Placement course gives you the opportunity to gain practical work experience through an internship. Previous work placement students have interned with IT companies, start-ups, government departments and large biomedical and biotechnology companies. Along with new professional skills and connections, you’ll also gain course credit for your work placement.
  • Research internship course
    The SCIF2041 Research Internship course gives you the opportunity to complete a short theoretical or experimental research project in a world-leading research team supervised by a member of academic staff. Internships may also involve a placement outside of UNSW, in the form of externally funded research programs.
  • Honours project
    High-performing students may have the opportunity to enrol in an honours program after completing the Bachelor of Medical Science, which includes a specialised research project. Areas of specialisation include human pathology, biomedical science, medical pharmacology, molecular genetics and neurobiology.

Why study this degree at UNSW?

Learn with the best
UNSW Science is at the forefront of many new scientific developments, teaching and innovation. We’re responsive to the needs of industry, adaptive to change and take an innovative approach to teaching and learning. Our world-class laboratories, clinics and simulators give you the tools to explore new frontiers and make meaningful discoveries to benefit society. We’re one of the top 50 universities in the world for anatomy and physiology.*

Our collaborative learning environment
UNSW’s School of Medical Sciences is the largest school within UNSW Medicine & Health and one of the largest at UNSW. It manages the UNSW Lifestyle Clinic, which delivers exercise-related healthcare services to the community and extensive research opportunities for students. The clinic brings together some of Australia’s most innovative teams of healthcare professionals and researchers.

Leverage our industry connections
Reach your career goals with industry relevant skills and training. Tap into our network of 400+ industry and research partners to start building your own professional connections.

*QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021


Program Code
UAC Code
Total Units of Credit (UOC)
Indicative Enrolments

Want to see more from UNSW Science?

Entry requirements

2022 Lowest Selection Rank
2022 A levels
2022 IB Diploma
2022 Lowest ATAR
    1. The 2022 Lowest Selection Rank (LSR) is the adjusted rank (ATAR plus adjustment factors) you would have needed to gain entry to this degree in 2022.
    2. The 2022 A levels score is based on four Advanced Level (A2) subject. Entry scores are calculated from the best three or four A2 subjects (excluding repeated subjects) using the following values: A*=6, A=5, B=4, C=3, D=2, E=1. At most one Applied A Level subject may be included in the best four subjects used to calculate the aggregate.
    3. The 2022 IB Diploma is an indication of the IB you would have needed to gain entry to this degree in 2022. It is to be used as a guide only.
    4. The 2022 Lowest ATAR is the lowest ATAR (before adjustment factors were applied) to which an offer was made. Where <5 is listed, this indicates that less than 5 ATAR-based offers were made and so the score has not been published. N/A indicates no offers were made on the basis of ATAR.
  • At UNSW, we are committed to ensuring prospective students have all the information they need in order to make informed decisions about their study options.

    To assist you in gaining a better understanding of how Admissions works at UNSW, we have provided you with a summary of ATAR offers and the student profile.

    We hope this information will help you identify the degree that is right for you.

Assumed knowledge

Chemistry, Mathematics Advanced

Adjustment Factors

We offer a range of adjustment factor schemes that reward students for academic performance and extra-curricular achievements. These schemes also take into account a range of personal and educational disadvantages that may have affected your studies. 

HSC Plus 
This scheme rewards students who perform well in Year 12 subjects that are relevant to their preferred UNSW degree. You may be awarded up to five points. 

Elite Athletes, Performers and Leaders (EAPL) 
This program recognises achievements in the areas of sport, academia, leadership and music at an elite level. You may be eligible for up to five points.

Educational Access Scheme (EAS)
Factors such as illness, financial hardship, language difficulties or attending a particular school can mean you don't always get the best possible marks in Years 11 and 12. If one of these situations applies to you, submit an application for the Educational Access Scheme (EAS) via UAC. Eligible students can receive between 1 and 10 points towards their chosen UNSW degree.

Admission pathways

Your ATAR is not the only measure of your potential to succeed, which is why we offer a range of pathways into university. Explore your options below and get in touch with our future student advisors to discuss your path to UNSW. 

Gateway Admission Pathway
This scheme is open to students in Years 11 and 12 who attend Gateway schools. It significantly adjusts the ATAR requirements for your preferred UNSW degree and provides you with an early conditional offer to UNSW. 

Entry programs for Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
We offer entry programs for Indigenous Australians, including the Indigenous Preparatory Programs and the Indigenous Admission Scheme (IAS). The entry pathway program you apply for will depend on the degree you want to study. 

English language requirements


You may be asked to provide evidence of your English proficiency to study at UNSW depending on your educational background and citizenship. English language skills are vitally important for coping with lectures, tutorials, assignments and examinations - this is why UNSW requires a minimum English language competency for enrolment.

If you’re completing an Australian Year 12 qualification (e.g. NSW HSC or equivalent), you do not need to provide anything extra to prove your proficiency. Your qualification will be used as evidence of your English proficiency.

If you do need to provide evidence of your English proficiency, this will be indicated in your application. You can prove this by providing evidence that you meet one or more of the following criteria:

UNSW Global offers courses and programs designed to help you reach the English language level required for entry into your chosen degree. Different options are available depending on your current English language level. Learn more.

International direct entry

We do not accept secondary qualifications from this country. We may accept tertiary study results, please contact us for more information.

Please contact us for direct entry requirements.

Admission pathways

UNSW Global has university pathway programs that provide seamless transition to UNSW Sydney so you can achieve your academic and career goals. Learn more.

English language requirements

You may be asked to provide evidence of your English proficiency to study at UNSW depending on whether you are from an English-speaking background or non-English speaking background. English language skills are vitally important for coping with lectures, tutorials, assignments and examinations - this is why UNSW requires a minimum English language competency for enrolment.

If English is not your first language, you’ll need to provide proof of your English proficiency before you can be given an offer to study at UNSW. You can do this by providing evidence that you meet one or more of the following criteria:

UNSW Global offers courses and programs designed to help you reach the English language level required for entry into your chosen degree. Different options are available depending on your current English language level. Learn more.

Check the specific English language requirements for this program

Program structure

This degree is made up of 19 medical science courses and one science elective course. If you choose to study a major or double major, your medical science courses will be tailored to your chosen area. You’ll also study two free electives from any faculty at UNSW and two general education courses (outside of science and medicine) to expand your knowledge base.

Full program structure

The Bachelor of Medical Science is made up of 24 courses taken over three years of full-time study.


Units of Credit (UOC)

Number of courses




Science electives



Free electives



General education




  • Study the structures of the human body. This major covers:

    • gross anatomy (form, arrangement and function of the bones, joints, muscles and internal organs)
    • histology (microscopic structure of tissues and cells)
    • embryology (development of the embryo and fetus from conception to birth)
    • neuroanatomy (organisation and functions of the brain and spinal cord)
    • biological anthropology (applying biological principles to the study of humans).

    Find out more

  • Examine how and why diseases develop, what happens to our bodies when we’re ill and the effects of diseases. Pathology involves the study of diseases, such as infections and cancers, at the genetic, molecular, cellular and organ levels.

    Find out more

  • This major will prepare you to unlock better treatments and prevention strategies for immune-related illnesses. This major is particularly beneficial to students who want to pursue a career in the health sciences, particularly in immunology leading to clinical medicine, biomedical research, hospital-based laboratory work and allied health.

    Find out more

  • Study the smallest forms of life: bacteria, viruses, archaea, fungi and protozoa. These fascinating organisms cause disease in humans, animals and plants and spoil our food. On the positive side, they also turn the biological wheels on Earth and are responsible for the sustainability of life.

    Find out more

  • Explore the effect that drugs have on living tissues and the normal body functions of humans. This major looks at the efficacy of drugs, the ability of the body to metabolise them and the toxicology/side effects of drugs. Professional positions for pharmacologists often occur in the pharmaceutical and biotechnological industries in the testing and research of drugs as well as in administration and management.

    Find out more

  • This major is all about what makes human bodies work. Explore how the organs - including the brain - function, how humans grow and develop, how humans sustain bodily functions and what happens to these processes during disease and ageing.

    Find out more

  • Molecular Biology is a marriage of biochemistry, microbiology and cell biology. It will have an increasingly important role to play in many aspects of modern medicine, genetics, evolutionary biology, bioinformatics, biotechnology and genomics.

    Find out more

  • In humans and all other species, genes influence every characteristic, from appearance to behaviour to disease. Molecular genetics is a specialised area that has had a major impact on the discipline. This major is ideal for students whose interests are in understanding and appreciating biological process at the molecular rather than the descriptive level.

    Find out more

  • Explore the biological aspects of the nervous system. The nervous system includes the:

    • central nervous system (brain and spinal cord)
    • peripheral nervous system (nerves in limbs, muscles and organs).

    This major is based around the neuroscience courses offered by the anatomy, physiology and pharmacology departments at UNSW.

    Find out more

Future careers

Medical science provides the basis for a career in biomedical research and a pathway into graduate medical or paramedical studies.

This degree allows you to work in a variety of fields, including:

  • medical research
  • pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries
  • market research and product development
  • forensic science
  • public health policy
  • paramedical professions
  • medical laboratory science
  • pathology and forensic science
  • patents and intellectual property.

Healthcare is Australia’s largest and fastest-growing industry, currently employing over 1.7 million people. Due to the ageing population, this sector will continue to grow, seeing another 250,000 new jobs added by 2023.

Our alumni

"With the Bachelor of Medical Science at UNSW, I was able to take concepts that I learnt on a micro level from my biological science courses and apply it on a macro level in the medicine courses. This skill helps me in my role as a Senior Quality Engineer because I am able to quickly see how "a piece fits into a puzzle", or in my case, how a part/process fits into a bigger system. This mental agility means I am able to efficiently solve problems and come up with pragmatic solutions to keep the company operating smoothly."

Tiffany Chen

Senior Quality Engineer, Nanosonics

“I’ve always been interested in how the body works, both normally and in disease. Having the opportunity to take part in medical research throughout my undergraduate degree has been a highlight."

Peter Zarzour

UNSW Medical Science Alumnus

How to apply

Applications for undergraduate study from domestic students (Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents, Australian permanent humanitarian visa holders and New Zealand citizens) are processed by the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC).

Visit the Apply section of the UAC website and you can nominate up to five degrees in order of preference, with the first being your most desired degree and university.

On-time applications for admission usually close at the end of September each year for Term 1 admission. Late applications can be submitted, but a late fee will apply. For study starting in Term 1, the majority of offers are made in December and January. Visit the UAC website for key dates for admission outside of Term 1.

Ready to start your application?

For most international students, applications are submitted via our Apply Online service. We encourage you to submit your completed application as early as possible to ensure it will be processed in time for your preferred term.

Some high-demand programs with limited places, may have an earlier application deadline or may have an earlier commencement date. For more information visit our international applicant information page.

*If you are an international student studying an Australian qualification, go to the Universities Admission Centre (UAC) for application and UAC key dates. Note: If you are under 18 years of age, you need to make special arrangements. Read more.

Ready to start your application?

Fees & Scholarships

2023 Indicative First Year Full Fee

Commonwealth Supported Place: Student Contribution Band 2

*The student contribution for a Commonwealth Supported Place is an indication only of the amount payable in Year 1 based on a standard full-time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). The actual student contribution you will be liable for depends on your individual program of study and the calendar year in which you enrol. Actual fees are calculated upon enrolment. Student contribution amounts are subject to annual review by the university and may increase each year during your studies (subject to caps determined by the Australian Government), effective at the start of each calendar year.

The indicative fees listed here are based on an estimated average and are for tuition only - other fees and charges are not included.

2023 Indicative First Year Fee
2023 Indicative Fee to Complete Degree

*Fees are subject to annual review by the University and may increase annually, with the new fees effective from the start of each calendar year. The indicative fees listed here are based on an estimated average and are for tuition only other fees and charges are not included. The amount you pay will vary depending on the calendar year to enrol, the courses you select and whether your study load is more or less than 1 Equivalent Full Time Student Load (8 courses per year).

Indicative fees are a guide for comparison only based on current conditions and available data. You should not rely on indicative fees. More information on fees can be found at the UNSW fees website.

Indicative fees to complete the program have been calculated based on a percentage increase for every year of the program. Fee increases are assessed annually and may exceed the indicative figures listed below.

Indicative fees to complete the program include tuition plus an estimate of study-related costs of approximately $1,000 per year. To find out more about other costs, visit UNSW International.


At UNSW, we award over $83 million in scholarships each year. We pride ourselves on rewarding excellence and making university accessible to students from all walks of life. Whether you’re a domestic or international student, our range of scholarships, prizes and awards can support your journey.

Featured scholarship

  • Top 50

    QS World University Rankings, 2022.

  • Most
    Employable Graduates

    AFR Top 100 Future leaders Award.

  • Leading

    #1 Australian uni attended by start-up founders.

UNSW has a strong focus on industry collaborations with opportunities for students to network.
Jason Chan

Jason Chan

Environmental Planner

Stay in the loop!

Sign up and we'll keep you updated on degree information, scholarships and upcoming events.

Thank you! 

We will be in touch soon!


There was an error but we're working on it!