How do I choose a Bachelor of Science major?

There are a range of subjects and majors available in the Bachelor of Science, and you don’t have to choose your major right away.

What is a major?

Your major is the area you choose to specialise in – for example, Chemistry, Marine Biology, Data Science or Electrical Systems.

You have more than 40 majors to choose from in the Bachelor of Science and you can choose based on what you are interested in or what career you might want to pursue.

Your major is made up of four subjects at third-year level. These subjects will build on the knowledge you’ve gained during the first two years of your Bachelor of Science.

Profile picture of Geena Glass
- Geena Glass, Bachelor of Science 2017.
Be open to the freedom you could have at Melbourne with the Bachelor of Science, as you are able to select from so many different subject disciplines in first year that it's very easy to tailor a degree to you and what you like.

When do I choose my major?

You don’t have to choose your major in your first year. All you need to decide on is a general area of interest and take the appropriate first year subjects. These will give you the knowledge base you’ll need for later in the course.

You can complete several different subjects at first year to explore different areas of science and to keep your major options open. There are roughly nine groupings of first-year subjects to choose from, so it’s an easier choice than selecting a major.

The subject groups are:

  • Biological Sciences
  • Chemical Sciences
  • Earth Sciences
  • Engineering Systems
  • Geography
  • Information Technology
  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • Physical Sciences
  • Psychological Sciences

Depending on your area of interest, you might need one or two of these subject groups.

The subjects you choose in first year will influence what majors are available to you later in your course, but you don’t need to finalise your major until the end of second year.

- Vinuri Peiris, Bachelor of Science 2019.
When you start the Bachelor of Science, if you know what you want to do you can focus on that major from the beginning. If not, you have the ability to pick subjects you like and explore your options from there, so know there is flexibility.

There are so many majors! How do I choose?

One of the great things about the Bachelor of Science is its flexibility. But with such a broad range of specialised areas to choose from, how do you know which major is right for you?

It’s important to consider what your values are and what is important to you. This is your chance to consider your dream job or what kind of workplace you’d like to be in. You might want to work in a lab conducting experiments, or perhaps you’d prefer to work with people.

To help you explore, have a look at our information about careers in Science. You can also see where science has taken our alumni.

Finding a major that genuinely interests you will make studying so much easier. This is also your chance to explore areas of science that you haven’t been exposed to previously.

Can I do a double major in the Bachelor of Science?

In the Bachelor of Science, one major will be listed on your transcript. But in some instances, you can complete the subjects for two majors. For example, you might complete the subjects for a major in both chemistry and pharmacology.

You could also complete a concurrent diploma and have an additional qualification in another study area.

What if I change my mind?

That’s totally fine! Students often change their mind about which major they want to do. You can talk to the advisors at Stop 1 about what that means for you.

What subjects should I do to complement my major?

You can choose something in a similar area to your major to focus your knowledge or choose something different to explore another interest.

This could mean taking physiology subjects to complement a major in human structure and function, or going broad and picking up some subjects in geography, conservation and physics.

Along with your science subjects, you will also complete Breadth subjects that will take you beyond the fields of science, technology and engineering to encourage you to learn different ways of thinking.

Who can help me with planning my subjects and major?

Science Day 1 is the first opportunity for students starting the Bachelor of Science to learn about how to plan your course and what subjects are available. It’s also the perfect opportunity to meet some fellow students and chat to your lecturers.

You can get help from course advisors at Stop 1 anytime, either online or in person. Course advisors can help you with planning your course and your major, subject selection, and advice on changing course direction. There are help guides online, you can submit an online query, or book an appointment for a one-on-one chat.

Visit Stop 1