Faculty of Science - Leading creativity and innovation in the sciences

Undergraduate major in Biomedical Science

Subject description


Biomedical Science is jointly taught by the Faculties of Science and Medical and Health Sciences, with the programme spread over City and Grafton campuses.

This specialisation within the Bachelor of Science is designed for academically able students with an interest in emerging areas of biomedical science. The Biomedical Science programme provides an understanding of the scientific basis of health and disease in humans and animals. This programme will deliver rigorous scientific training in a range of disciplines and students will gain a unique insight into this important area of modern biomedical research.

This research-led field which is currently the most rapidly developing area in basic biological science, attracts a high level of public interest. The University of Auckland is acknowledged as a centre of excellence in biomedical research and the options within the programme at Year Three reflect our particular strengths.

This challenging and immensely rewarding major provides courses in Year 1 which deliver a strong foundation for a number of majors and professional careers (including Medicine), and a unique insight into the principles underlying biomedical research. In Year 2 and 3 students may then follow a pathway in areas such as anatomical imaging science, cancer biology and therapeutics, cardiovascular biology, cellular and molecular biomedicine, genetics, infection and immunity, neuroscience, nutrition and metabolism and reproduction. Students are then strongly encouraged to consider postgraduate study in Biomedical Science; several options are available at the University of Auckland including the Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Honours), Postgraduate Diploma in Biomedical Science and Master of Biomedical Science.

Graduates of the Biomedical Science programme will have an internationally accepted qualification and the knowledge to work within some of the world's most rapidly advancing scientific fields.




Pathways/research areas

Specialisation in Biomedical Science, from 2019

As a Biomedical Science student you’ll take compulsory core courses in your first year of study. After your first year you can choose to keep your Biomedical Science specialisation general, or you can choose to follow one of the following pathways:

Majoring in Biomedical Science, for students enrolled prior to 2019

We strongly recommend you focus your studies on a recognised area of research as you move into your second and third years. There are eight strands of research supported by academic groups at the University of Auckland.

See a description of each of these research areas.

The table below indicates the range of courses you can choose from to gain experience in each field. Note that these courses may have prerequisites for entry and GPA restrictions - make sure when you plan to consider these. For help with your planning contact the Science Student Centre scifac@auckland.ac.nz


Research area Part II courses Part III courses
  Recommended preparation Desirable courses Recommended core courses Recommended complementary courses
Cancer Biology and Therapeutics BIOSCI 201-203
MEDSCI 203-205
- MEDSCI 301-303 BIOSCI 351, 353, 354, 356, 358
CHEM 390, 392
MEDSCI 306, 314
Cardiovascular Biology BIOSCI 201-203
MEDSCI 205, 206
MEDSCI 201 MEDSCI 309, 311, 316 BIOSCI 350, 351, 353, 354
MEDSCI 301, 305, 317
Cellular and Molecular Biomedicine BIOSCI 201-203
MEDSCI 203, 204, 206 BIOSCI 350, 351, 353 MEDSCI 301, 303-305, 309, 316
Genetics and Development BIOSCI 201-203
MEDSCI 203 BIOSCI 351, 354, 356 BIOSCI 350, 353
MEDSCI 301, 312
Microbiology and Immunology BIOSCI 201-203
(BIOSCI 204 or MEDSCI 202)
MEDSCI 203, 205
- BIOSCI 349
MEDSCI 301, 314
BIOSCI 347, 348, 350-353
Neurobiology BIOSCI 201-203
MEDSCI 204-206
MEDSCI 201 or
MEDSCI 304, 307, 316, 317 BIOSCI 350, 351, 353, 354
MEDSCI 309, 312
Nutrition BIOSCI 201-203
MEDSCI 203, 204, 206
(MEDSCI 202 or BIOSCI 204)
MEDSCI 312, 315
BIOSCI 348, 351, 353
MEDSCI 301, 306, 307, 314, 316
Reproduction, Growth and Metabolism BIOSCI 201-203
MEDSCI 201, 205 BIOSCI 351
MEDSCI 312, 313
BIOSCI 350, 353, 354, 356, 358
MEDSCI 301, 314

Entry into other programmes from Biomedical Science

Bachelor of Medical Imaging (Honours)
Biomedical Science students may apply for selection to Medical Imaging at the end of Year 1.

Undergraduate Medical Programme 
Biomedical Science students with at least a B+ average in Year 1 may be eligible; students wishing to be considered for an interview need to take POPLHLTH 111 as their elective course in Year 1. You will also be required to sit the UMAT examination in July of Year 1.

Bachelor of Optometry
Biomedical Science students may apply for selection to Optometry at the end of Year 1.

Bachelor of Pharmacy
Biomedical Science students may apply for selection to Pharmacy at the end of Year 1.


Career opportunities

Biomedical science and biotechnology have revolutionised research over the past decade, stimulating growth in a wide range of industries including agriculture, pharmaceuticals, veterinary science and medical research. Students who graduate with a BSc in Biomedical Science can expect to find employment within biomedical and biotechnology companies as laboratory technicians and scientific officers, as teachers, or as researchers in universities and government agencies such as the Department of Conservation, or in Crown Research Institutes. Employment in pharmaceutical or biotechnology companies is especially buoyant in Europe and the US, with growth expected in New Zealand.


Student profile


Joy Yang is studying for a Bachelor of Science (Biomedical Science)

“I’ve always loved science – biology most of all - so it made sense to choose a degree that followed my passion.

“The thing I enjoy most about specialising in Biomedical Science is the content of what I’m studying. The programme is well structured and you can see how the courses are interlinked.

“My main goal is to challenge myself, so I have applied for an exchange in Semester Two. The thought of studying overseas in a completely unknown environment halfway across the world is extremely exciting, but also very daunting.

“I’m not completely sure what I want to do career-wise, but I do want to undertake postgraduate study –
possibly immunology or something molecular biology based.”


Help and advice

Download the 2019 Science Undergraduate Prospectus or contact:

Science Student Centre
Room G20, Ground Floor
Building 301 (Science Centre)
38 Princes Street
Phone: 923 7020
Email: scifac@auckland.ac.nz

Dr Catherine Angel
Biomedical Science Undergraduate Programme Director