School of Biological Sciences


Entry requirements

The full Regulations relating to these Degrees and Diplomas are contained in The University of Auckland Calendar available from the University Bookshop, in the Library, and on the central University website.

GradDipSci in Biological Sciences


The Graduate Diploma in Science, which involves the equivalent of one year of full-time study, is available to students who have either completed a BSc or attained an equivalent level of professional practical experience, provided that they have either passed the relevant prerequisite courses or attained a level of competence equivalent to those prerequisites. Students enrolled for this Diploma must pass 120 points above Stage 1, including at least 75 points from courses at Stage III or above and including at least 45 points in Biological Sciences.

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BSc(Hons) in Biological Sciences


Prerequisites:  Students entering this programme must have completed the requirements for a BSc (or an approved equivalent) including at least 90 points at Stage III, with at least 60 points from Stage III Biological Sciences and a Grade Point Average (GPA) ≥5 in the best three BIOSCI courses at Stage III. With the permission of the Director, 15 points at Stage III in related courses may be substituted. Admission is at the discretion of the School’s Postgraduate Coordinator.

Students should commence their dissertation project at the start of Semester 1 of their first year of BSc (Hons). Supervisors should make every effort to ensure that the project is organised and defined at the end of Semester 2 of the third year of BSc. For this reason, students contemplating a BSc(Hons) should initiate discussions with potential supervisors during their last semester of enrolment in the BSc. For field-based projects it may be essential for the student to initiate some preliminary work as soon as their Stage III examinations are completed or over the summer vacation period.


Requirements:
The BSc(Hons) programme requires one year full-time study, including a research dissertation (BIOSCI 788) worth 45 points. The courses, worth a total of 75 points, must include BIOSCI 762 [worth 15 points]; the remaining 60 points may be selected from BIOINF 701, BIOSCI 724-741, 749-759 [each worth 15 points]. Up to 15 points may be substituted for a 700 level course in a related subject. The dissertation must be submitted by the last day of the final semester of enrolment in the programme. A student enrolled for this programme part-time must complete the requirements for the programme within 2 years of initial enrolment for the programme.

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PGDipSci in Biological Sciences


Students entering this programme must have completed the requirements for a BSc, or an approved equivalent, with a GPA≥3 in the best three BIOSCI courses at Stage III.

Requirements :
For the PGDipSci, students must take courses worth 120 points, at least 90 points of which must be from BIOINF 701, BIOSCI 724-741, 749-761. Up to 30 points may be taken from 600 or 700 level courses in a related subject. The total enrolment for the PGDipSci must not exceed 160 points. Class-size limits have been imposed on some courses (BIOSCI 724, 725, 727, 731, 735, 736, 739, 741, 747, 748, 749, 755, 756, 757, 758, 759), students who wish to enrol in these courses may be placed on a waiting list.

Students who know that they wish to proceed to the MSc programme on completion of their PGDipSci, must enrol in the Thesis Proposal course (BIOSCI 761) as part of their PGDipSci programme. They must have achieved the required grades* and identified a thesis research topic in consultation with a member of the academic staff who has agreed to supervise the MSc project. Because BIOSCI 761 is offered in both Semester One and Semester Two, confirmation of the research topic and supervision may be deferred until the start of the second Semester of the student’s PGDipSci. Enrolments in this course require completion of "The Form" (see below).

*Grades averaging B- or better in the Stage III courses of the undergraduate major or the 700-level courses taken for the PGDipSci.

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MSc in Biological Sciences


The MSc programme normally consists of a one-year research project that is written up as a thesis.  A two year MSc programme is also available – for details please consult the online version of the Calendar. The following information relates to the one year MSc programme.


Prerequisites:
A PGDipSci in Biological Sciences including BIOSCI 761, or a BSc(Hons) in Biological Sciences, with an average grade of B- or higher in at least 90 points. At least 75 of these points must be in 700 level courses. Applications for admission to the MSc following the Bachelor of Technology Biotechnology will be considered on a case-by-case basis.


Requirements:
The MSc in Biological Sciences requires a thesis (BIOSCI 796) worth 120 points. If BIOSCI 761 was not completed as part of the PGDipSci you must obtain permission to complete this course in the first semester of your MSc programme. Students whose qualifying programme was BSc(Hons) are not required to complete BIOSCI 761. Approval into this program requires completion of "The Form".

Enrolment in the 120 point MSc must commence on 1 December, 1 March or 15 July and must be continuous.  The programme may be completed on a full-time basis over 12 months or on a part-time basis over no more than 24 months. Thesis work provides the opportunity for students to learn how to carry out original scientific work, from the development of a topic, through the design and execution of experiments and data collection, to the analysis and writing up of the results as a thesis.

It is also possible that papers may be prepared for publication. Thesis research is the first chance most students have to do independent work, under the supervision of a member of staff whose broad research interests overlap with their own, and to develop their own ideas. However, in most cases, the research topic will be in an area where the supervisor or members of their research group have already carried out preliminary experimental or survey work. See Research Topics Section in the Postgraduate Handbook.

We also offer a two-year MSc programme. For details please consult the online version of the University Calendar: www.calendar.auckland.ac.nz

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Biomedical Sciences



BSc(Hons)
Prerequisite
: A major in Biomedical Science and at least 90 points at Stage III
Requirement:

  • 90 points: BIOMED 791 Research Portfolio
  • 30 points from BIOINF 701, BIOSCI 736, 737, 741, 755-759, HLTHPSYC 716, MEDSCI 701-723, 725-734, 737-739
     

PGDipSci:
Prerequisite:
A specialisation in Biomedical Science, or equivalent as approved by the Board of Studies (Biomedical Science)
Requirement:
At least 90 points from MEDSCI 703–723, 725-739, BIOINF 701, BIOSCI 728, 729, 733, 736, 737, 738, 741, 755–761, HLTHPSYC 716 and up to 30 points from other 600 or 700 level courses as approved by the Board of Studies (Biomedical Science)

MSc:

Prerequisite:
A BSc(Hons) or a PGDipSci in Biomedical Science, or equivalent as approved by the Board of Studies (Biomedical Science)
Requirement:
120 points: BIOMED 796 MSc Thesis in Biomedical Science

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Biosecurity and Conservation


PGDipSci:
Prerequisite:
An approved BSc or equivalent experience subject to approval by the Programme Director
Requirement:
45 points from BIOSCI 747, 748, ENVSCI 733, at least 45 points from, BIOSCI 724, 730, 733, 734, 735, 738, 751, ENVMGT 742, 743, 746, ENVSCI 716, 734, 737, BIOSCI 761 or ENVSCI 701 and up to 30 points from approved 700 level courses in the Faculty of Science

MSc:
Prerequisite:
PGDipSci in Biosecurity, or equivalent as approved by the Director, School of Biological Sciences
Requirement:
120 points: BIOSEC 796 MSc Thesis in Biosecurity

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Note for MSc & BSc(Hons) Students


Before your enrolment can be approved, you will be required to have identified a thesis/dissertation research topic and to have come to an agreement with an academic staff member about supervision of your thesis/dissertation research. In areas where there is a wider choice of courses or where field work is involved, the advice of potential supervisors should be sought at an early stage. Students are encouraged to consider as wide a range of options as possible, and to consult a number of staff before reaching a final decision.

If you would like to have a preliminary discussion with the Postgraduate Coordinator, please contact Assoc. Prof. Shaun Lott on s.lott@auckland.ac.nz.

When choosing a research topic, be realistic about what can be achieved in the time available. Remember that you have a limited time to complete the research and to write up your thesis/dissertation.

For students engaged in field research the closer the study area is to Auckland, the less time and expense will be spent on travel. The cost of the proposed research project (whether it involves expensive travel, or the use of sophisticated equipment) should also be taken into account. Occasionally supervisors may have funds available for a particular research topic and this may help you financially. You may not find out about such possibilities if you do not consult a number of potential supervisors.

When you have reached a decision about your research topic and supervision, complete a “Confirmation of Supervision” form for BIOSCI 761/762 or Thesis in Biological Sciences, Bioinformatics, Biotechnology or Biosecurity in the Postgraduate Handbook. Ask your proposed supervisor to sign the form and submit it to the address specified at the bottom of the form.

Final approval will be given by the SBS Postgraduate Coordinator, who will take into account your proposed supervisor’s comments as well as the number of students who have expressed a preference for working with that particular supervisor. Every effort will be made to accommodate students’ first preferences. However, in some cases there may be limits on the availability of space and/or equipment and on the number of students that a particular staff member can effectively supervise.

When the Postgraduate Coordinator has approved your choice of research topic and supervision, your admission and enrolment will be approved on Student Services Online.

Part-Time Study

Part-time study is defined as a student workload of fewer than 100 points over 2 semesters in one year or fewer than 50 points in one semester. Where the enrolment is partially full-time and partially part-time, the maximum time for completion is to be based on the period for completion for part-time study except that one semester of full-time study counts as 2 semesters of part-time study for the purposes of calculation of the completion date.

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