Cell and Developmental Biology

Cells are a basic building block of life. Diseases and disorders like cancer, diabetes, meningitis or even a 'stomach bug' are caused by dysfunction at a cellular or molecular level.

This major provides students with a broad understanding of the structure and functions of cells and the genetic, molecular and cellular basis of development in a range of organisms and experimental models. Taught by experts in several disciplines, it will specifically provide understanding of methodologies used in cell and developmental biology research and how this knowledge can be applied as technologies to improve the human condition.

Dramatic advances in this field have shed light on numerous disorders in plants and animals and provided technologies to solve significant problems but also raised ethical issues for society (such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF), birth control, stem cell technology, reproductive/therapeutic cloning and genetically manipulated foods/crops).

  • Career Options

    Graduates with a major in Cell and Developmental Biology can pursue career paths in research or diagnostic laboratories, biotechnology, government agencies, agriculture, journalism and the medico-legal area.

  • Graduate Pathways

    Bachelor of Biomedicine graduates with a Cell and Developmental Biology major are very well placed for further study in honours, graduate professional entry degrees or, upon completion of appropriate research training preparation following the Bachelor of Biomedicine, research higher degrees.

    Depending on the major undertaken, students may apply for an Honours program upon completion of the Bachelor of Biomedicine.

    Graduate Professional Entry Degrees
    For students who wish to continue professional studies at graduate level, the degree provides a pathway into a range of graduate professional entry programs, some of which also provide research training.

    Research Higher Degrees
    For students who wish to explore biomedicine research questions in greater depth, there will be opportunities to proceed to Research Higher Degrees at masters and doctoral level. Research training preparation within the Honours year, Postgraduate Diploma or a Masters degree will be required as preparation for a research higher degree.

    MDHS Graduate Pathways advice is available at the Health Hub.

Sample Course Plan

Bachelor of Biomedicine - Cell and Devlopmental Biology Major

Year 1
Semester 1 BIOL10002
Biomolecules & Cells
Experimental Design & Data Analysis
Chemistry for Biomedicine
Wellbeing, Motivation & Performance
Semester 2 BIO10003
Genes & Environment
Mathematics for Biomedicine
Physics for Biomedicine
Our Planet, Our Health
Year 2
Semester 1 BIOM20001
Molecular & Cellular Biomedicine
Techniques in Molecular Science
Developmental Psychology
Semester 2 BIOM20002
Human Structure & Function
Evolution: Making Sense of Life
Personality & Social Psychology
Year 3
Semester 1 BIOM30002
Biomedicine: Molecule to Malady
Concepts in Cell & Developmental Biology
Functional Genomics & Bioinformatics
The Unconscious Mind
Semester 2 BIOM30001
Frontiers in Biomedicine
Developmental Biology
Stem Cells in Development & Regeneration
Applications in Psychology

*This is a sample course plan only. Subjects offered may change from year to year. Current subject offerings available in the University Handbook.
*The breadth subjects featured in this plan are examples only. You must complete at least four breadth subjects in this degree.


  Course  Core Subjects   Major   Core Subjects   Other science areas of study to complement the major
  Subjects leading to major   Major Elective Subjects   Breadth Subjects

Cell and Developmental Biology Major Handbook page