UWA Handbook 2017

Course details

Master of Biological Science (coursework or coursework and dissertation)

Western Australia (WA) is a marine and terrestrial biodiversity hotspot. Up to 80 per cent of the region's marine fish and invertebrates are unique to the area. This makes WA the ideal living laboratory for studies in biological science. This course gives students an understanding of the molecular evolution, structure, physiology, reproduction, behaviour and ecology of organisms, and the skills to apply this knowledge to the management of natural systems and the species they support.

Course overview

Course overview

Course titleMaster of Biological Science (coursework or coursework and dissertation)
Award abbreviationMBiolSc
Course code72520
Course typemaster's degree by coursework or by coursework and dissertation
Statuscurrent / 2017
Administered byFaculty of Science
CRICOS code074948B
COURSE DETAILS
  
Intake periodsBeginning of year and mid-year
Attendance typefull- or part-time (Student visa holders should read Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 for more information.)
ArticulationThe Master of Biological Science has the following exit awards: 72220 Graduate Certificate in Biological Science (24 points), 72320 Graduate Diploma in Biological Science (48 points)
Credit points required96
A standard full-time load is 24 points per semester.
Standard course duration1.5 years full-time (or equivalent part-time) comprising 72 points of taught units and 24 points of admission credit, as recognised and granted by the Faculty
Maximum course duration2 years full-time (or equivalent part-time) comprising up to 96 points of taught study (see Rule 5 for further information)
Time limit4 years
Delivery modeinternal
Locations offeredUWA (Perth)
Domestic fee typeCommonwealth supported and/or HECS-HELP
Course Coordinator(s)Dr Patrick Finnegan

Prospective students should see the Future Students website for details on admission requirements, intake periods, fees, availability to international students, careers information etc.

Course structure

Course structure

Key to availability of units:
S1 = Semester 1; S2 = Semester 2; N/A = not available in 2017; NS = non-standard teaching period

All units have a value of six points unless otherwise stated.

Note: Units that are indicated as N/A may be available in 2018 or 2019.

Take all units (12 points):

NSBIOL4409Ecological Field Methods
S1, S2SCIE4402Data Management and Analysis in the Natural Sciences

Conservation Biology specialisation

Students may be required to take conversion units up to a value of 24 points based on an assessment of prior learning by the Faculty.

Take all units (24 points):

S2BIOL5501Origins, Evolution and Conservation of Biodiversity
NSBIOL5502Managing Threatened Species
NSBIOL5542Conservation Genetics
S2ENVT5513Decision Strategies for Biodiversity Conservation

Students in course by coursework only, take units to the value of 36 points from Group A and/or Group B, of which 2 units must be at Level 5:

Group A

NSANIM5502Evolutionary Biology
NSBIOL4407Marine Conservation and Fisheries Management
NSBIOL5503Sampling Techniques in Wildlife Research
NS, S2ENVT4411Geographic Information Systems Applications
S1, S2SCIE4403The Conduct, Ethics and Communication of Science
S2SCIE5500Modelling Natural Systems

Group B

S2ANIM5501Evolution and Development
S2BIOL4406Vertebrate Zoology
NSBIOL4408Marine Ecology
NSBIOL5505Marine Neuroecology and Behaviour
NSENVT4406Catchment and River Processes
NS, S2ENVT4411Geographic Information Systems Applications
NSENVT5510Soil Dynamics
NSENVT5511Advanced Geographic Information Systems for Environmental Management
NSPLNG5511Climate Change Policy and Planning
S1, S2PLNT5511Plant Biology Masters Research Project Development

Students in course by coursework and dissertation, take all units from either Group C or Group D.

Group C

S1, S2ANIM5511Zoology Masters Research Project Development
S1, S2ANIM5512Zoology Masters Research Presentation
S1, S2ANIM5551Zoology Masters Research Dissertation Part 1
S1, S2ANIM5552Zoology Masters Research Dissertation Part 2
S1, S2ANIM5553Zoology Masters Research Dissertation Part 3
S1, S2ANIM5554Zoology Masters Research Dissertation Part 4

Group D

S1, S2PLNT5511Plant Biology Masters Research Project Development
S1, S2PLNT5512Plant Biology Masters Research Presentation
S1, S2PLNT5551Plant Biology Masters Research Dissertation Part 1
S1, S2PLNT5552Plant Biology Masters Research Dissertation Part 2
S1, S2PLNT5553Plant Biology Masters Research Dissertation Part 3
S1, S2PLNT5554Plant Biology Masters Research Dissertation Part 4

Ecology specialisation

Students may be required to take conversion units up to a value of 24 points based on an assessment of prior learning by the Faculty.

Take all units (24 points):

S2BIOL5501Origins, Evolution and Conservation of Biodiversity
S1ENVT5509Global Ecological Challenges
S1ENVT5512Ecosystem Biogeochemistry
S2SCIE5500Modelling Natural Systems

Students in course by coursework only, take units to the value of 36 points from Group A and/or Group B, of which 2 units must be at Level 5:

Group A

NSBIOL4408Marine Ecology
NSBIOL5503Sampling Techniques in Wildlife Research
NS, S2ENVT4411Geographic Information Systems Applications
S1, S2SCIE4403The Conduct, Ethics and Communication of Science
NSSCIE5505Global Change and the Marine Environment

Group B

NSBIOL4407Marine Conservation and Fisheries Management
NSENVT4406Catchment and River Processes
NSENVT5502Marine and Coastal Planning and Management
NSENVT5511Advanced Geographic Information Systems for Environmental Management
NSPLNG5511Climate Change Policy and Planning

Students in course by coursework and dissertation, take all units from either Group C or Group D.

Group C

S1, S2ANIM5511Zoology Masters Research Project Development
S1, S2ANIM5512Zoology Masters Research Presentation
S1, S2ANIM5551Zoology Masters Research Dissertation Part 1
S1, S2ANIM5552Zoology Masters Research Dissertation Part 2
S1, S2ANIM5553Zoology Masters Research Dissertation Part 3
S1, S2ANIM5554Zoology Masters Research Dissertation Part 4

Group D

S1, S2PLNT5511Plant Biology Masters Research Project Development
S1, S2PLNT5512Plant Biology Masters Research Presentation
S1, S2PLNT5551Plant Biology Masters Research Dissertation Part 1
S1, S2PLNT5552Plant Biology Masters Research Dissertation Part 2
S1, S2PLNT5553Plant Biology Masters Research Dissertation Part 3
S1, S2PLNT5554Plant Biology Masters Research Dissertation Part 4

Marine Biology specialisation

Students may be required to take conversion units up to a value of 24 points based on an assessment of prior learning by the Faculty.

Take all units (24 points):

NSBIOL4407Marine Conservation and Fisheries Management
NSBIOL4408Marine Ecology
S2BIOL5504Sex in the Sea
NSSCIE5505Global Change and the Marine Environment

Students in course by coursework only, take units to the value of 36 points from Group A and/or Group B, of which 4 units must be at Level 5:

Group A

N/AANIM4007Marine Megafauna
NSBIOL5505Marine Neuroecology and Behaviour
NSBIOL5542Conservation Genetics
NS, S2ENVT4411Geographic Information Systems Applications
S1ENVT5512Ecosystem Biogeochemistry
S1, S2SCIE4403The Conduct, Ethics and Communication of Science

Group B

NSANIM5502Evolutionary Biology
S1BIOL4405Invertebrate Zoology
S2BIOL4406Vertebrate Zoology
NSENVT5511Advanced Geographic Information Systems for Environmental Management
S1, S2PLNT5511Plant Biology Masters Research Project Development
S2SCIE5500Modelling Natural Systems

Students in course by coursework and dissertation, take all units from either Group C or Group D.

Group C

S1, S2ANIM5511Zoology Masters Research Project Development
S1, S2ANIM5512Zoology Masters Research Presentation
S1, S2ANIM5551Zoology Masters Research Dissertation Part 1
S1, S2ANIM5552Zoology Masters Research Dissertation Part 2
S1, S2ANIM5553Zoology Masters Research Dissertation Part 3
S1, S2ANIM5554Zoology Masters Research Dissertation Part 4

Group D

S1, S2PLNT5511Plant Biology Masters Research Project Development
S1, S2PLNT5512Plant Biology Masters Research Presentation
S1, S2PLNT5551Plant Biology Masters Research Dissertation Part 1
S1, S2PLNT5552Plant Biology Masters Research Dissertation Part 2
S1, S2PLNT5553Plant Biology Masters Research Dissertation Part 3
S1, S2PLNT5554Plant Biology Masters Research Dissertation Part 4

Zoology specialisation

Students may be required to take conversion units including GENE4002 Integrated Topics in Genetics I, up to a value of 24 points, based on an assessment of prior learning by the Faculty.

S1, S2GENE4002Integrated Topics in Genetics I

Take all units (24 points):

S2ANIM5501Evolution and Development
S1BIOL4405Invertebrate Zoology
S2BIOL4406Vertebrate Zoology
NSBIOL5542Conservation Genetics

Students in course by coursework and dissertation, take all units (36 points).

S1, S2ANIM5511Zoology Masters Research Project Development
S1, S2ANIM5512Zoology Masters Research Presentation
S1, S2ANIM5551Zoology Masters Research Dissertation Part 1
S1, S2ANIM5552Zoology Masters Research Dissertation Part 2
S1, S2ANIM5553Zoology Masters Research Dissertation Part 3
S1, S2ANIM5554Zoology Masters Research Dissertation Part 4

Students in course by coursework only, take units to the value of 36 points from Group A and/or Group B, of which 4 units must be at Level 5:

Group A

N/AANIM4007Marine Megafauna
NSANIM5502Evolutionary Biology
NSBIOL4408Marine Ecology
NSBIOL5502Managing Threatened Species
NSBIOL5503Sampling Techniques in Wildlife Research
S2SCIE5500Modelling Natural Systems

Group B

NSBIOL4407Marine Conservation and Fisheries Management
NSBIOL5505Marine Neuroecology and Behaviour
NS, S2ENVT4411Geographic Information Systems Applications
NSENVT5511Advanced Geographic Information Systems for Environmental Management
S1ENVT5512Ecosystem Biogeochemistry
S1, S2SCIE4403The Conduct, Ethics and Communication of Science
NSSCIE5505Global Change and the Marine Environment

See also the rules for the course and the Student Rules.

Rules

Rules

Applicability of the Student Rules, policies and procedures

1.(1) The Student Rules apply to students in this course.

(2) The policy, policy statements and guidance documents and student procedures apply, except as otherwise indicated in the rules for this course.

Academic Conduct Essentials module

2.(1) Except as stated in (2), a student who enrols in this course for the first time irrespective of whether they have previously been enrolled in another course of the University, must undertake the Academic Conduct Essentials module (the ACE module).

(2) A student who has previously achieved a result of Ungraded Pass (UP) for the ACE module is not required to repeat the module.

English Language competency requirements

3. To be considered eligible for consideration for admission to this course an applicant must satisfy the University's English language competence requirement as set out in the University Policy on Admission: Coursework.

Admission requirements

4. To be considered for admission to this course an applicant must have—a relevant bachelor's degree, that aligns with one of the specialisations of this course, or an equivalent qualification, as recognised by UWA.

Admission ranking and selection

5. Where relevant, admission will be awarded to the highest ranked applicants or applicants selected based on the relevant requirements.

Articulations and exit awards

6.(1) This course has the following exit awards:

  • 72220 Graduate Certificate in Biological Science (24 points)
  • 72320 Graduate Diploma in Biological Science (48 points)

(2) A student who withdraws from the Master of Biological Science course before completing it, but after completing 24 points at Level 4 or Level 5, which includes the course core units, may apply to the Faculty to be awarded the Graduate Certificate in Biological Science.

(3) A student who withdraws from the Master of Biological Science course before completing it, but after completing 48 points at Level 4 or Level 5, which includes the course core units, may apply to the Faculty to be awarded the Graduate Diploma in Biological Science.

Course structure

7.(1) The course consists of units to a total value of 96 points (maximum value) which includes conversion units to a value of 24 points, course core units and specialisation units. The course comprises the following specialisations:

  • SP-ECLGY Ecology
  • SP-MRBIO Marine Biology
  • SP-PLCBI Conservation Biology
  • SP-ZOOLY Zoology

(2) Units must be selected in accordance with the course structure, as set out in these rules.

(3) Students who have completed a bachelor's degree that aligns with the chosen specialisation in the course are granted credit for conversion units up to a value of 24 points.

Satisfactory progress

8. A student who does not pass units to a value of at least half the total points value of units for which they are enrolled, or who fails the same unit twice, will not have made satisfactory progress.

9. A student who has not achieved a result of Ungraded Pass (UP) for the ACE module when their progress status is assessed will not have made satisfactory progress even if they have met the other requirements for satisfactory progress in Rule 8.

Progress status

10. A student who fails to make satisfactory progress under Rule 8 is assigned a progress status of 'Excluded' unless the Faculty decides otherwise in light of exceptional circumstances.

11. A student who does not make satisfactory progress in terms of Rule 8 is assigned the progress status of 'On Probation', unless they have been assigned a progress status of 'Suspended' or 'Excluded' for failure to meet other satisfactory progress requirements in Rule 8.

Award with distinction

12. To be awarded the degree with distinction a student must achieve a course weighted average mark (WAM) of at least 80 per cent in—

(a) all units above Level 3 attempted as part of the course that are awarded a final percentage mark;

(b) all relevant units above Level 3 undertaken in articulating courses of this University that are awarded a final percentage mark;

and

(c) all units above Level 3 completed at this University that are credited to the master's degree course.

Additional rules

Research project

13. Students who request approval to undertake a research project as options in this course must—

(a) have a weighted average mark of at least 65 per cent in at least 24 points of Level 3 units in their UWA undergraduate major. These units must be relevant to the master's specialisation;

or

(b) have a weighted average mark of at least 65 per cent in at least 24 points of Level 3, 4 and 5 units completed within the course; or equivalent as recognised by the Faculty.