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Molecular Genetics

Undergraduate major

Molecular genetics is a rapidly expanding area that is contributing to solutions for human, animal and plant diseases; environmental degradation; food security and biosecurity; and other global challenges.

Course outline
  • Qualification
    Molecular Genetics Major (BAdvSci)(Honours)
  • Credit
Course outline



This is a Bachelor of Advanced Science (Honours) course, designed for high-performing students to pursue their interest in science through a core of research, leadership and entrepreneurship.

Genetics is a rapidly growing science discipline and now underpins diverse jobs related to biology. Around the world, governments are investing heavily in genetics research to help improve the food supply, for example, which is increasingly reliant on genetically modifying the production of plants and animals.

Trace amounts of DNA in the environment (eDNA) are being used to provide more complete estimates of biodiversity in terrestrial and marine environments. Ancient DNA is being extracted from fossils to understand the evolution of life and the impacts of ancient climate and ecosystem change. DNA ‘chips’ can detect the expression of thousands of genes enabling rapid diagnosis of many diseases in a single test. Before long, individuals will have access to their own DNA sequence and learn their propensity to develop particular diseases.

The deep knowledge of genetic processes and bioinformatics you will gain in this course will provide opportunities for careers and research related to human, animal and plant health, environmental health and food security.

The course offers a flexible and personalised approach to studying genetics. You’ll be able to explore this field through for-credit immersive research experiences, industry placement and/or interdisciplinary team-based projects. You’ll also gain practical experience programming in both R and Python and through exposure to data science professionals.

In your second and third year you’ll have the opportunity to source internal and external internships and immersive work experience that can be used for course credit. Your course will culminate in a capstone experience in which you can pursue genetics projects ranging from pure research through to translational (entrepreneurial) science.

See our handbook for more course information.

How this course will make you industry ready

Through embedded research and industry engagement, you may investigate multiple areas of specialisation and tailor your final-year experience to prepare you for the industry of your choice.

What jobs can the Molecular Genetics lead to?


  • Agricultural and food scientist
  • Bioinformatician
  • Biotechnologist
  • Ecologist
  • Plant and animal geneticist


  • Agriculture and agribusiness
  • Environment and sustainability
  • Food security
  • Medical and healthcare
  • Research and development

What you'll learn

  • demonstrate an advanced knowledge of the nature of science, its methods and processes, an advanced capacity to apply molecular genetic and biochemical concepts in a range of theoretical and practical situations, and the ability to contribute new knowledge to the molecular biosciences through research
  • critically, logically and rationally analyse challenging and multi-faceted problems in molecular genetics, address them by applying practical and theoretical tools and critically evaluate findings within the current body of disciplinary knowledge
  • access and make judgements on the value of available knowledge using a variety of tools, and incorporate them into the planning, conduct and communication of their own findings
  • communicate effectively by demonstrating the capacity to listen and respond (using both written and spoken language) to clients, staff, professionals, management and industry and conform to discipline standards in presentations and publications
  • use established and emerging technologies in molecular biosciences and apply them to address complex research questions
  • engage in self-driven continuous discipline and professional education and training in molecular genetics
  • participate in the generation and application of science in addressing global problems while understanding international ethical and professional standards in molecular biosciences
  • work collaboratively and respectfully with scientists from a range of cultural backgrounds and understand the cultural issues that impact research in the molecular sciences or the broader profession
  • be able to work professionally and ethically as an independent molecular geneticist and collaboratively within teams either as a professional leader or collaborator using effective problem solving and decision making skills within the professional context of their area of study; comply with legislation relevant to the molecular biosciences
Credit for recognised learning (CRL)

Use your experience to get credit towards your degree

Finish your course sooner with credit for your previous study or work experience.

Fees and charges

Please view the degree for indicative fees.

Looking for more detail on the course structure?

View course structure

How to apply

Please review information on how to apply for the campus of your choice

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  • The offering information on this website applies only to future students. Current students should refer to faculty handbooks for current or past course information.

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  • Curtin course code: MJRH-ADGEN
  • Last updated on: 27 September 2023