Associate Degree in Science

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Associate Degree in Science


Program summary

Fast-track your scientific skills

Are you looking for a career where you can make a difference? Are you creative and enjoy solving problems, enjoy collecting and organising information, and love evaluating evidence, a career in science is likely to suit you. This two-year program offers the perfect pathway to university to gain new skills, switch careers or simply learn more about a science field that interests you where you can gain the necessary skills needed to solve real-life problems related to many branches in science.

Fast-track your science education and gain guaranteed entry into a degree at USC. This program provides students with an alternative pathway to the Bachelor of Science and related programs at USC.

The program aims to meet the needs of students who may have a limited background in science, thus during your first year you’ll learn core scientific principles such as biology, chemistry and introductory mathematics. You then have the flexibility to select an area to specialise in.

Areas you can specialise in include: Biology; Biotechnology; Chemistry; Ecology; Food and Biosecurity and Mathematics.

After you complete your Associate Degree, you’ll receive full credit towards and direct entry into the Bachelor of Science or another degree in your chosen field of study. USC also offers Associate Degrees in Business and Medical Laboratory Science.


Students are required to study 1 minor pathway from either Biology; Biotechnology; Chemistry; Ecology; Food and Biosecurity and Mathematics.

Career opportunities

Depending on major chosen: research and education, industry / government.


The 2017 Australian Federal Budget proposes changes to fee arrangements for higher education students. If these changes are passed by the Federal Parliament, domestic students who have a completed higher education qualification and are studying Diploma or Associate Degree programs may not be eligible for Commonwealth Support from Semester 1, 2018. We will provide further information on any changes to fees as soon as it is available.

Application and admission advice

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Contact Student Central
+61 7 5430 2890
Ground floor, Building C, Sippy Downs

What will I study

Select your location, starting year and starting semester below to display your program structure and a recommended study sequence.

Program structure

Introductory courses (7)

COR109 Communication and Thought
LFS100 Cell Biology
SCI102 Biodiversity and Ecology
SCI105 Chemistry
SCI110 Science Research Methods
SCI113 Discovering Science

PLUS select 1 course from:
MTH100 Introduction to Mathematics
MTH103 Introduction to Applied Mathematics
MTH104 Introductory Calculus

Pathway courses (4)

Select 1 pathway from:


ENS221 Plant Diversity and Ecology
ENS222 Terrestrial Vertebrate Diversity and Ecology
LFS252 Molecular Biology
LFS261 Microbiology


LFS251 Biochemistry
LFS252 Molecular Biology
LFS261 Microbiology
MBT254 Biotechnology: Research to Product


CHM202 Organic Chemistry
CHM210 Inorganic Chemistry
CHM310 Physical Chemistry
LFS251 Biochemistry


ENS213 Invertebrate Biology and Ecology
ENS221 Plant Diversity and Ecology
ENS222 Terrestrial Vertebrate Diversity and Ecology
ENS282 Coastal and Marine Ecology

Food Biosecurity

LFS261 Microbiology
PUB205 Food Safety Laws and Regulations
SCI212 Genetics
SCI303 Biosecurity


ANM203 Statistics with Teeth: Understanding Ecological Data
MTH201 Calculus II and Linear Algebra
MTH212 Discrete Mathematics
MTH302 Applied Mathematics

Elective courses (5)

Select 5 elective courses from either faculty (Arts, Business and Law or Science, Health, Education and Engineering). Of these electives, 2 must be advanced level (200/300 coded).

*The number of electives may vary depending on the pathway chosen.

Note: Program structures are subject to change. Not all USC courses are available on every USC campus.


Total units: 192

Recommended study sequence

This recommended study sequence ONLY represents the CURRENT program structure. Students in previous structures should use this sequence to inform order of courses and current course details. For courses in your commencing structure not included in the current sequence, search the course code for current course offerings and requisites.

Program requirements

In order to graduate you must:

  • Successfully complete 192 units as outlined in the Program Structure
  • Complete no more than 10 introductory level (100 coded).
Program notes
  • MTH100 does not assume you have successfully completed Years 11-12 Mathematics B (or equivalent). MTH100 does not meet the prerequisite necessary to enrol in advanced level mathematics courses (Should you wish to proceed to 200 or 300 level mathematics courses, you would first need to successfully complete MTH100 and then MTH103 and MTH104)
  • MTH103 and MTH104 assumes you have successfully completed Years 11-12 Mathematics B (or equivalent). Note that MTH103 and MTH104 are prerequisites for advanced level (200 and 300 coded) mathematics courses
  • It is highly recommended that students consider enrolling in relevant enabling courses
  • Completing this program within the specified (full-time) duration is based on studying 48 unit points per semester (normally 4 courses)
  • Courses within this program are assessed using a variety of assessment methods which may include essays, seminar presentations, reports, in-class tests and examinations
  • As part of your USC program, you may apply to Study Overseas to undertake courses with an overseas higher education provider
  • Only a full-time study option is available to international students on a Student Visa
  • Refer to the 'Planning your study' page to manage your progression.
  • You may wish to use electives to complete an additional major or minor
  • Register your selected major(s) and/or minor(s)

How to apply

Am I eligible to apply?
Domestic students 

Apply via Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC) — Use the relevant QTAC code specified on Why study this program?


The below applicants can apply online directly to USC:

  • USC Tertiary Preparation Pathways (TPP) students who are currently enrolled in, or have had an enrolment in the previous two years; or
  • USC / TAFE Articulation program students; or
  • USC students who have completed an undergraduate program within the last two years, or are due to complete their program prior to their proposed semester of commencement;
  • USC students who are currently enrolled in one program and want to study another program concurrently.
International students

Apply direct to USC International

More information

International students should contact USC International

How to enrol

New to USC?

Once you have applied and received your offer of a place from USC, follow the steps to Get Started at USC to respond to your offer, plan your study and enrol in your courses.

Continuing students

Before you enrol, visit Planning your study to plan your study to make sure you study the right courses at the right time so you can finish your degree when you plan to.

Visit How do I enrol? for enrolment instructions and key dates.

More information

Refer to the Academic Calendar for key semester, session and/or trimester dates.

Search for answers and ask questions via askUSC, or contact Student Central.

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