Bachelor of Science (Biotechnology)

Harness nature’s potential  

Biotechnology focuses on biology and technology, leading to the development of new products for feeding, fuelling and healing the world. This might include vaccine, antibiotic or hormone production and genetic modification.

It’s a fast-evolving industry with huge potential for improving global health and wellbeing. When we modify living things, all sorts of marvels become possible.

What will you do?

Our Bachelor of Science (Biotechnology) combines traditional science with aspects of engineering and computer science. You will:  

  • give your experimentation meaning as you learn how to take your discoveries from the lab to the market and broader community
  • delve into areas like drug development, gene therapy or the identification of biomarkers for cancers
  • learn how to produce food, drugs and other products
  • study alongside research-active experts
  • explore molecular, genetic, animal and plant biology
  • discover microbial biotechnology and bioprocess engineering
  • consider social and ethical issues, patents and waste management.

Where could it take you?

You could concoct world-changing pharmaceutical drugs in the lab. You might work to clone animals. Perhaps you’ll aid in the development and implementation of modern techniques for disease prediction and treatment.

  • Top 150 in world for Biological Sciences*
  • #1 in South Australia for Biotechnology**
  • Learn from research-active experts

*Times Higher Education by Subject, 2021
**Academic Ranking of World Universities, by Subject, 2021

Entry Requirements

For our students who are studying offshore in 2021 and 2022, the University will continue to offer high-quality access to the learning resources remotely for most programs. This includes all lectures, tutorials and other support material. Students will be advised in advance if there are course components that cannot be provided in remote mode and, wherever possible, offered alternative courses. Please refer to the COVID-19 FAQ page for a list of programs where in-person attendance is required.

Choose your applicant type to view the relevant admissions information for this program.
I am a:

Domestic applicants

Admissions information

SATAC Code 314691
2021 CSP ATAR 76.85
2021 CSP IB 27
Guaranteed Entry Score - ATAR 75
Guaranteed Entry Score - IB 26
Deferment Yes - 2 year
Intake February and July*. *Students commencing in July may have a slightly limited selection of courses.
Enquiries Future Students team

2021 Admissions Data for school leavers
(raw ATAR, excluding any applicable adjustment factors)
Lowest ATAR to receive an offer 71.25
Median ATAR to receive an offer 92.28
Highest ATAR to receive an offer 99.7
Selection Rank
(ATAR plus any adjustment factors)
Lowest Selection Rank to receive an offer 76.85
Median Selection Rank to receive an offer 97.25
Highest Selection Rank to receive an offer 99.95
Minimum eligibility score 65
Additional criteria considered Selection rank only
Selection Criteria
Recent Secondary Education Applicants with recent secondary education are those whose admission is primarily based on the completion of Year 12 within the last two years, however if you completed your secondary education more than two years ago, you may still be able to be considered on the basis of your secondary schooling. You must not have completed more than 2 years full time equivalent university study (48 units). You compete for a place with your Selection Rank (ATAR plus any applicable adjustment factors). Indigenous applicants may be eligible for entry through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Access Pathway. See Wirltu Yarlu for further information.
Prerequisites SACE Stage 2: Mathematical Methods , Chemistry. IB: Mathematics: Applications and Interpretations (HL) or Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches (SL) , Chemistry (SL grade 4/HL grade 3). MathTrackX is an online bridging program available as a recognised alternative to Mathematical Methods.
Assumed Knowledge SACE Stage 2 Physics
Higher Education Study You must have completed at least six months full time equivalent higher education study (the number of courses and units will vary depending on your prior institution however at the University of Adelaide, this equates to 4 courses / 12 units). A Grade Point Average (GPA) is calculated for each separate program you have undertaken (apart from some double degree programs where the GPA is combined). You are ranked on the basis of your best GPA. Indigenous applicants may be eligible for entry through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Access Pathway. See Wirltu Yarlu for further information.
Work and life experience To be eligible to sit the Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT) as as pathway for entry, you must be 18 years or over before 1 February 2022. If you have studied at higher education level in the last two years (for 2022 entry this means you were enrolled in either 2021 or 2020), you must not have accumulated more than a TOTAL of 2 years full-time (or part-time equivalent) higher education study (ie. including any study prior to 2020). If you meet this criteria, you will be ranked according to your result in the Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT). Your STAT result is not weighted between verbal and quantitative components. Indigenous applicants may be eligible for entry through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Access Pathway. See Wirltu Yarlu for further information.
Other Entry Pathways
How to Apply
SATAC Code: 314691

Student Profile
Applicant background Semester one/Full year intake 2021
Number of students Percentage of all students
(A) Higher Education study
(includes a bridging or enabling course)
<5 N/A
(B) Vocational education and training (VET) study n/a N/A
(C) Work and life experience
(admitted on the basis of previous achievement not in the other three categories)
(D) Recent secondary education:
  • Admitted solely on the basis of ATAR
    (regardless of whether this includes the consideration of adjustment factors)
8 53.3%
  • Admitted where both ATAR and additional criteria were considered
    (e.g. portfolio, audition, extra test, early offer conditional on minimum ATAR)
  • Admitted on the basis of other criteria only and ATAR was not a factor
    (e.g. special consideration, audition alone, schools recommendation scheme with no minimum ATAR requirement)
International students 5 33.3%
All students 15 100.0%

Fees and Scholarships

Choose your applicant type to view the relevant fees and scholarships information for this program.
I am a:

Domestic applicants

Indicative annual tuition fees
Commonwealth-supported place

More information on Student Contribution Amounts.


These scholarships, as well as many others funded by industry and non-profit organisations, are available to potential and currently enrolled students.

Find a Scholarship.


Career Readiness

The Bachelor of Science (Biotechnology) helps you find a career in: 

  • biomedical biotechnology, medical diagnostics and vaccine discovery
  • development of genetically modified organisms
  • ethics and regulatory organisations
  • innovative and laboratory research science
  • management of biotechnology industries and enterprises
  • patent law (with appropriate qualifications)
  • pharmaceutical industries
  • plant and animal breeding and improvement

The University of Adelaide Careers Service prepares, inspires and empowers students to achieve successful career transitions and connect with industry.

Graduate Attributes

The objective of this program is to produce graduates with specific attributes as outlined in University of Adelaide Graduate Attributes.
  1. Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth
  2. Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving
  3. Teamwork and communication skills
  4. Professionalism and leadership readiness
  5. Intercultural and ethical competency
  6. Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural competency
  7. Digital capabilities
  8. Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

Industry Placement

Students may have the opportunity to undertake international study opportunities, such as investigating biotechnology in Seoul, Korea.

Potential careers

Biotechnology, Diagnostic Technician, Public Health Scientist, Flavour Chemist, Toxicologist, Biochemist, Bioinformatics, Biotechnology Engineer, Environmental Biologist, Environmental Chemist, Environmental Scientist, Laboratory Manager, Life Scientist, Medical Scientist, Molecular Biology, Neuroscientist, Pharmaceutical Scientist, Plant Biotechnologist, Research Scientist, Science Communicators, Scientific Data Analyst, Scientific Officer, ...

Degree Structure

Level I courses provide strong foundations in chemistry, biology, biotechnology applications and bioprocess engineering principles. Core courses at levels 2 and 3 cover important topic areas, such as molecular biology, molecular and structural biochemistry, microbiology, bioseparations and downstream processing, fermentation, bioinformatics, bioprocess economics, bioprocess design and scale-up, intellectual property, regulatory issues, waste management and bioremediation.

Academic Program Rules

The Calendar is a comprehensive handbook of the University's academic program rules.

Areas of Specialisation

  • Molecular Biotechnology


Example Study Plan


Indicative study plan
Year1 S1 BIOLOGY 1101 Biology I:
Molecules, Genes and Cells or BIOLOGY 1401 Concepts in Biology
CHEM 1100 Chemistry IA
CHEM 1101 Foundations of
Chemistry IA
SCIENCE 1400 Science or Fiction  Approved Level I Elective 1 x 3 units
S2 BIOLOGY 1201 Biology I:
Human Perspectives
BIOLOGY 1202 Biology I: Organisms
CHEM 1200 Chemistry IB
CHEM 1201 Foundations of
Chemistry IB
Approved Level I Elective 1 x 3 units Approved Level I Elective 1 x 3 units
Year2 S1 BIOCHEM 2502 Biochemistry II:
Molecular & Cell Biology
MICRO 2504 Microbiology II (Biotechnology) Approved Level II Elective 1 x 3 units Approved Level II Elective 1 x 3 units
S2 BIOCHEM 2503 Biochemistry II (Biotechnology): Metabolism CHEM ENG 2015 Principles of Biotechnology II Approved Level II Elective 1 x 3 units Approved Level II Elective 1 x 3 units
Year 3 S1 For a major in Molecular Biotechnology
BIOCHEM 3000 Molecular and Structural Biology III
(6 units)
Approved Level III Elective(s)1 x 6 unit Or 2 x 3 units
S2 For a major in Molecular Biotechnology
BIOTECH 3000 Biotechnology Practice III
(6 units)
Approved Level III Elective(s)1 x 6 unit Or 2 x 3 units


Exams, written and oral assignments and investigative projects; includes both individual and group participation.


During my undergraduate degree, I enjoyed stretching my mind in new ways, making lifelong friends and being taught by researchers who are world experts in what they are teaching you.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.

Last updated: Wednesday, 6 Oct 2021