Master of Applied Genetics by Research (Aquaculture)

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Master of Applied Genetics by Research (Aquaculture)


Program summary

Use applied genetics to solve big social problems.

Genetics play a crucial role in addressing major societal challenges such as medical mysteries and feeding the world’s growing populations. The Master of Applied Genetics by Research (Aquaculture) will prepare you, as a future leader in aquaculture breeding, genetics, and reproduction, to tackle these complex issues.

This is the only program in Australia in applied genetics and aquaculture breeding that emphasises industry relevant training. In this program you’ll undertake a coursework component and a research thesis in applied genetics (in quantitative genetics, pedigree management, reproduction biotechnology, mono-sex production, omics and bioinformatics).

You’ll gain advanced knowledge and skills in a wide range of new generation methods and fields of application. In addition, you’ll get comprehensive and multidisciplinary training in genetics, genomics, bioinformatics, biotechnologies and applied statistics.

At USC, immerse yourself in genetic research in aquaculture that is nationally recognised as above world standard*. You’ll conduct new cutting-edge research with experienced scientists, from fields such as molecular biology, biotechnology, genetics, functional genomics and bioinformatics. You’ll have the opportunity to gain both laboratory and computer experience, and work closely with agricultural and aquaculture enterprises or with industry sectors.

Professional membership / Accreditation

Graduates will be eligible to register for membership of professional organisations in the field of genetics, agriculture or aquaculture, such as the Association for the Advancement of Animal Breeding and Genetics or World Aquaculture Society.

Career opportunities

Roles in universities, research institutions, governments and industry in the fields of aquaculture breeding, genetics, and reproduction dealing.

Admission requirements

To be eligible for admission to Master of Applied Genetics by Research (Aquaculture) candidature, applicants are normally required to hold either:

  • a Bachelor degree in biological sciences * (AQF Level 7-three year degree or equivalent) with a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 5 (on a 7 point scale) or equivalent


  • a Bachelor of Science degree (AQF Level 7-three year degree or equivalent) with a major in one of the following areas: Biotechnology, Agriculture, Aquaculture, Applied Statistics and Genetics from a recognised higher education institution with a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 5 (on a 7 point scale) or equivalent

* Biological sciences is defined by the 0109 field of education classification in the Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED).

Applicants who hold a Bachelor degree in another discipline area but have extensive work experience in the areas of life sciences will be considered on individual case basis by the Head of School, Science and Engineering.

If the prior study has not included sufficient research training, the candidate will be required to undertake an appropriate research methodology course, as specified by the relevant Associate Dean (Research) or nominee, as part of their candidature.

Refer also to the University's English language requirements.

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

Program structure

Program structure

To graduate from the Master of Applied Genetics by Research (Aquaculture), you are required to have completed the following 192 units:

Three compulsory courses (36 units):

SCI501 Genetic and Reproductive Technologies
SCI502 'Omics' and Bioinformatics
SCI503 Quantitative Genetic and Genomic Analysis


156 units of a research dissertation

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 and notes
  1. Prospective applicants wishing to undertake the Master of Applied Genetics by Research (Aquaculture) will need to find a suitable supervisor by contacting the Faculty of Science, Health, Education and Engineering.
  2. For further information, refer to the Higher Degrees by Research - Academic Policy.
  3. Refer to related policies, rules, plans and procedures.
  4. Refer to the University's English language requirements.
  5. Only a full-time study option is available to international students on a Student Visa.
Enrolment and fees
  1. Domestic candidates: Australian and New Zealand citizens and permanent residents are not required to pay tuition fees for the standard duration of their HDR program. The Australian Government's Research Training Program (RTP) covers the cost of HDR tuition fees for these candidates. Research Master candidates are entitled to a maximum of two years full-time equivalent study. Candidates who do not complete their degree within the maximum RTP allowable completion times may be required to pay fees for any additional periods of enrolment. Please refer to Higher Degree by Research fees.
  2. International candidates: tuition fees apply. Refer to International HDR tuition fees.
  3. 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
  4. In any semester, full-time enrolment comprises 0.500 EFTSL.*
  5. In any semester, part-time enrolment comprises 0.250 EFTSL.*
  6. The census date for withdrawal without financial penalty or academic penalty is the Semester 1 or 2 census date.

* EFTSL - Equivalent Full-Time Student Load. One year of full-time study equates to 1.000 EFTSL.

How to apply

Step 1: Consider entry requirements

Review the admission requirements on the Why study this program tab of your chosen program.

Entry is highly competitive and depends on:

  • your academic background
  • your English language proficiency (if English is not your first language, see step 4)
  • the submission of a suitable research proposal
  • the availability of a registered supervisor
  • the availability of resources to support your proposed research topic

For further information, please refer to the Higher Degrees by Research Candidature – Procedures and the Higher Degrees by Research Admission and Enrolment – Guidelines which include admission pathways into specific higher degree by research programs.

Step 2: Find a supervisor

Use the Research Supervisor Search to find a potential supervisor in your area of research. You may nominate a supervisor on your application form regardless of whether you've been able to contact them prior to submitting your application.

Step 3: Complete an application form

Step 4: Prepare supporting documentation

  • Research Proposal. Download the Research proposal template (Word 13KB)
  • Evidence of academic background  
    • Academic transcripts and completion certificates (transcripts must include a Key to Grading) - Please note, for studies completed outside of Australia you must provide certified copies of documents
    • Formal notification from the qualifying university stating the allocation of marks to research component of a degree where not evident on the transcript
    • If transferring from another Australian university, a statement from your current/former university stating HDR candidature consumed to date, probationary or confirmed status, and tuition fee type
  • Evidence of research publications/experience
    • For example - Abstract (in English), details of publication, copy of the front page of the article/paper, link to article's location
  • Evidence of citizenship or Australian Permanent Residency
    • Birth certificate, passport, citizenship certificate, or visa
  • Evidence of English language proficiency (required for applicants who are not from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, South Africa, United Kingdom and United States of America)

Step 5: Submit completed application form

Please note incomplete applications cannot be processed:

  • Email an electronic copy of your application with scanned copies of supporting documents to
  • USC International requires hardcopies of original or certified copies of supporting documents before assessing overseas qualifications. Applicants must post their original or certified copies to:

Graduate Research Studies Management
Office of Research – ML 26
University of the Sunshine Coast
Locked Bag 4
Maroochydore DC Qld 4558 Australia

Additional information

  • International students: Additional information is available for International students.
  • Only complete applications will be considered (including original or certified copies of supporting documents for international applicants).
  • Complete applications take approximately 6-8 weeks to be processed (this may vary during peak periods).
  • Applications can be accepted at any time, however applications must be submitted at least 8 weeks prior to the nominated commencement date.

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