Science units and sequences - Faculty of Science

Science studies are offered in a broad range of areas of study, or disciplines, for which a selection of units are offered as part of coordinated sequences; the terms area of study and discipline can be used interchangeably in this context. Details of the areas of study offered for the Bachelor of Science and associated courses are outlined in the 'Science areas of study and sequences' section of this Handbook for:

Science units

All science undergraduate courses are based on science units worth six points at levels one to three. A science unit is a unit that is listed under units offered in any of the science areas of study entries in this Handbook, including the units listed under ‘other science units’. This includes some psychology, geography and computer science units (offered by other faculties), which count as science units for the purposes of meeting the science course requirements.

Sequences in a science area of study

A sequence in a science area of study can be of three types:

(a.) units in the same area of study, usually with the same prefix (eg BIO, MTH, PSY), in an approved combination at levels one, two and three to satisfy a major or minor sequence requirement, or

(b.) specific combinations of units (which may have different prefixes) at levels one, two and three that are defined as a minor or major sequence in that area of study, as listed in the relevant entry in the section Science areas of study and sequences offered, or

(c.) deemed sequences, where units in the minor or major sequences for an area of study do not begin until levels two or three. Deemed sequences can include unspecified science units at the preceding level(s), which may or may not be prerequisite units from another area of study. Examples include physiology and immunology.

The course requirements for most science courses are expressed in terms of four different types of sequences:

  • a 'level one sequence' comprises approved combinations of two 6-point science units at level one in the same, or a closely related, area of study
  • a 'minor sequence' comprises approved combinations of four 6-point science units at levels one, two and three in the same, or a closely related, area of study
  • a 'major sequence' comprises approved combinations of eight 6-point science units at levels one, two and three in the same, or a closely related, area of study
  • a 'double major sequence' comprises approved combinations of 12 six-point science units at levels one, two and three in the same, or a closely related, area of study.

Further details of each of these types of sequences are outlined below, and all approved sequences of each type are listed in the relevant entry in the section Science areas of study and sequences in this Handbook. It is not permissible for students to create their own sequences based on the properties of each type of sequence that are outlined below.

NOTE: A unit at level one can be used to contribute towards two separate sequences in different areas of study, but a unit at level two or three cannot be used to contribute towards two separate sequences in different areas of study.

Credit for non-Monash units

There are specific limits on the amount of credit that students can count for units not completed at Monash towards a science major sequence (including units completed as part of study abroad, complementary and/or exchange studies). For further information on Faculty of Science academic policies visit http://www.sci.monash.edu.au/policies.

Level one sequence

A level one sequence in science comprises any approved pair of 6-point level one science units in the same, or a closely-related, area of study. Normally, this combination of units is among those required for the completion of a minor or major sequence in that area of study, but other appropriate combinations may be approved and published in this Handbook. Details of the level one approved sequences are provided in the entry for course 0050 Bachelor of Science.

Minor sequence

A minor sequence in science comprises an approved combination of four 6-point science units in the same, or a closely-related, area of study with no more than two of those units at level one. An example of a minor sequence in an area of study is two 6-point units at level one and two 6-point units in the same area at level two.

Major sequence

A major sequence in science comprises an approved combination of eight 6-point science units in the same, or closely-related, area of study over three years (or full-time equivalent). These must include a total of at least six 6-point units at levels two and three, with at least three 6-point units at level three.

Examples of major sequences are outlined below.

Example 1

Level one units: 12 points
Level two units: 12 points
Level three units: 24 points
Total units: 48 points

Example 2

Level one units: 12 points
Level two units: 18 points
Level three units: 18 points
Total units: 48 points

Studies towards a major sequence can be in a single area of study, or they may be in related areas of study, for example first-level biology followed by second and third-level studies in physiology. A major sequence may also contain units from a number of disciplines (referred to as 'multidisciplinary'). An example of a multidisciplinary major sequence is biotechnology.

Double major sequence in same area of study

To complete a double major sequence in the same area of study, students need to complete at least 12 six-point units in the same, or closely-related, area of study. These must include a total of at least 10 six-point units at levels two and three, with at least six 6-point units at level three.

Examples of double major sequences are outlined below.

Example 1

Level one units: 12 points
Level two units: 12 points
Level three units: 48 points
Total units: 72 points

Example 2

Level one units: 12 points
Level two units: 18 points
Level three units: 42 points
Total units: 72 points

Example 3

Level one units: 12 points
Level two units: 24 points
Level three units: 36 points
Total units: 72 points