Faculty of Science Department of Zoology

Teaching & Training

Master of Science Degree

Master of Science - Zoology


The Department of Zoology offers a two-year research-training Master of Science (MSc) program. This program allows students to develop an individually tailored combination of advanced science coursework subjects, professional tools subjects and a substantial research project. It is available to students who have completed a Bachelor Degree in subject areas that prepare them for the research area of choice. Graduates of this program will be well placed to join the workforce as a research scientist in either government or private sector research institutes. Alternatively, the Zoology research-training program of the MSc is the preferred pathway for students wishing to undertake Doctoral studies in biological sciences at the University of Melbourne.


Advantages of the Master of Science program:

1.     Obtain a broad set of research skills

2.     Provide you with opportunities in many diverse careers


The Master of Science program in Zoology:


Four Research Pillars in the Department of Zoology


Conservation & Climate Change

Examines aspects of ecology and conservation of a wide range of terrestrial wildlife. Includes abundance and composition of terrestrial vertebrate faunas as indices of environmental disturbance; ecology and evolution of responses to climate change; habitat use and ecology of native mammals; and management of threatened species and overabundant native species.


Evolution & Behaviour

Examines the evolution and maintenance of animal behaviour, involving field and laboratory studies of model species. Includes exploration of the role of chemical, acoustic and visual communication in patterns of mate choice and social behaviour; and factors affecting reproductive success in both terrestrial and aquatic species.


Marine Biology

Examines the ecology and behaviour of marine organisms; effects of human disturbance on habitats and biological aspects of fisheries management.


Reproduction & Regeneration

Examines reproduction and development of mammals, including marsupials, and the application of these studies in basic conservation, biomedical research, and fertility. We also study stem cell development at the molecular, biochemical and cellular levels.

Further details can be found on the Melbourne University Graduate School of Science  web pages. 


Frequently asked questions:


1. How do I get more information on the Master of Science research-training program in Zoology?

If you have no idea what sort of project you would like to undertake or who might supervise it, contact the Masters Co-ordinators (Dr Devi Stuart-Fox d.stuart-fox@unimelb.edu.au or Dr Tim Dempster dempster@unimelb.edu.au). Please also read the Department of Zoology MSc Research Project Information booklet to see what projects are available.

2. How do I approach a potential supervisor?

Information on how to approach a potential supervisor is provided in the MSc Research Project Information booklet

The University limits the number of students that a staff member can supervise so your first choice of supervisor may not be able to take you on. All members of staff will, however, be able to advise you and help you find a supervisor. The Department has a large number of potential supervisors available in institutions with which we have strong links (e.g. Zoos Victoria, Museum Victoria, Parks Victoria, Department of Sustainability and Environment, Department of Primary Industry, Children’s Hospital) so discussions with staff members may reveal additional opportunities for projects.

3.     How do I apply for a place in the research-training Master of Science?

You should first contact potential supervisors before submitting an application, and include the names of potential supervisors in the application. If none of these are available, we may be able to offer you something else. Spaces are allocated according to academic performance, so the better your record and marks, particularly in the subject area of choice, the better your chances of an offer.

Offers can be made at any time up until commencement of the course but most offers are made as soon as the Standard Grade Point Average (SGPA) scores are known, usually mid December.

Once you have discussed your plan and decided to apply:

  1. Go to the Faculty of ScienceMasters of Science -- Zoology website:  http://graduate.science.unimelb.edu.au/master-of-science-zoology
  2. Complete the Department of Zoology Application form and submit it to the Main Reception at the Head’s office (Ground floor).

If you want to be considered by your preferred supervisor and start in Semester 1 2015, applications close on the 30th November 2014. However, we will consider applications after this date although you may not be allocated your first choice of supervisor.


4. Can I start mid-year?

Yes, but you are advised to apply in 2014 to ensure you are allocated a place with your preferred supervisor.


5. Can I do a part-time MSc?

Yes, but contact one of the MSc coordinators to discuss the program and how you will complete the research component over 4 years.


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