Science takes its name from scientia, the Latin word meaning ‘knowledge’. It traditionally refers to the painstaking accumulation and organisation of knowledge that can be tested, rationally explained and reliably applied.
There are many different areas of science, usually grouped into formal sciences (mathematics, statistics etc); physical sciences; life sciences; social sciences and earth and space sciences.
At undergraduate level, most science subjects are studied within a Bachelor of Science in Australia or New Zealand. This is a broad-based qualification which allows you to study a wide range of subjects while at the same time specialising in one, your chosen ‘major’.
Once you have chosen a major subject you then have the opportunity to take electives, subjects from outside your major. This makes it easy to combine the study of different subjects and provides a strong, broad foundation for your future career, enabling you to meet new challenges and take new opportunities as they present themselves. More information about this degree structure is available here.
Subjects available to study within a Bachelor of Science can include:
Biochemistry and molecular biology, chemistry, food science, geology, pathology, pharmacology, physics, atmosphere and ocean science, geology, bioengineering systems, chemical systems, civil systems, computing and software systems, electrical systems, geomatics, mechanical systems, ecology and evolutionary biology, environmental science, geography, computing and software systems, informatics, agricultural science, animal health and disease, biotechnology, cell and developmental biology, ecology and evolutionary biology, food science, forest science, genetics, human structure and function, immunology, marine biology, microbiology and immunology, neuroscience, pathology, pharmacology, physiology, plant science, zoology, mathematical physics, mathematics and statistics, physics, and psychology.
Some specialist science degrees are also available to undergraduates, including the Bachelor of Marine Biology and the Bachelor of Environmental Science.
Many universities also offer an Advanced stream to their Bachelor of Science degrees – these are suitable for high-achieving students keen to participate in research from the start of their university studies.
At postgraduate level, Master of Science programmes are available in all the areas above plus many more. MSc courses can be studied entirely by coursework, but many offer the opportunity to undertake a research component or module.
There are also extensive opportunities to undertake Masters by Research and PhD. The quality of scientific research produced by Australian and New Zealand institutions and the facilities provided for postgraduate students are just two of the reasons why postgraduate science has long been one of the areas Study Options receives most enquiries about.