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.

Application and admission advice

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Contact Student Central
+61 7 5430 2890
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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) 84 units

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

PLUS select 1 course (12 units) from:
MTH100 Introduction to Mathematics
MTH103 Introduction to Applied Mathematics
MTH104 Introductory Calculus

Pathway courses (4) 48 units

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) 60 units

Select 5 elective courses from either faculty (Arts, Business and Law or Science, Health, Education and Engineering). Of these electives, 2 must be developing and graduate 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
  • MTH103 and MTH104 assume you have successfully completed a Years 11-12 mathematics subject (or equivalent), and preferably at least Mathematics B. Should you wish to proceed to 200 or 300 coded mathematics courses, you would first need to successfully complete MTH103 and MTH104 to meet prerequisite requirements. MTH100 does not meet the prerequisite necessary to enrol in developing and graduate level 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)and following the recommended study sequence
  • The unit value of all courses is 12 units unless otherwise specified
  • It is each students responsibility to enrol correctly according to your course requisites, program rules and requirements and be aware of the academic calendar dates
  • 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 Managing your progression page for help in understanding your program structure, reviewing your progress and planning remaining courses.
  • 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:

  • Tertiary Preparation Pathway (TPP) student currently enrolled in, or have had an enrolment in the previous two years
  • 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 / TAFE Articulation program students
  • USC students who are currently enrolled in one program and want to study another program concurrently
  • Former USC student who has been excluded from study at USC
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 the correct courses (subjects).

Continuing students

Before you enrol it's important to check your commencing program structure and the published recommended study sequence to make sure you study the right courses at the right time and will be ready to graduate from your degree when you plan to.

To better understand your program structure and for instructions on how to review your progress and plan your remaining courses, visit the Managing your progression page.

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

Need assistance?

View step-by-step instructions to enrol at How do I enrol?

Refer to the Academic Calendar for key dates, including the last day to add, drop or swap a course or class and Census dateas.

Search for answers and ask questions about enrolling in askUSC, or contact Student Central.

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