University of Sydney Handbooks - 2018 Archive

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Applied Medical Science

Study in the Discipline of Applied Medical Science is offered by the Sydney Medical School. Specific Applied Medical Science units of study are offered at 3000-level.

About the major

This major is available to students outside the Medical Science stream.

This major positions students at the intersection of science and medicine, giving them a fundamental understanding of human health and the mechanisms of diseases, their diagnosis, prevention and treatment. Graduates will be equipped with the insights and skills to understand ongoing scientific discoveries, and apply that knowledge to clinical situations.

The ability to apply theory to practice in medical science is essential for professionals addressing the major global health issues, such as mental health and neurodegenerative diseases, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, infections, cancer and auto-inflammatory disease. In this major you will learn the strategies by which medical science theory is translated into tangible health outcomes.

Through an understanding of fundamental medical science theory, you will learn the methods used to diagnose and treat human diseases, and how approaches to the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of human disease are developed and tested prior to implementation.

You will learn: the molecular basis of disease; how complex data generated in medical sciences are analysed, interpreted and communicated by the healthcare sector; how well-designed clinical trials can be used to test and verify the efficacy of new procedures and treatment options.

All this learning and application will occur in the real world in our medical research and hospital environment: the translational research hub at The University of Sydney Westmead campus.

Requirements for completion

A major in Applied Medical Science requires 48 credit points, consisting of:

(i) 6 credit points of 1000-level core units
(ii) 6 credit points of 1000-level selective units
(iii) 6 credit points of 2000-level core units
(iv) 6 credit points of 2000-level selective units
(v) 24 credit points of 3000-level core units

A minor in Applied Medical Science is available and articulates to this major.

Pathway through the major

The requirements for a major in Applied Medical Science are spread out over three years of the degree (possibly four years if students are completing a combined Bachelor of Advanced Studies degree).

A sample pathway for the Applied Medical Science major (over three years of a degree) is listed below.

Sample pathway: Applied Medical Science major (48 credit points)



Units of study


Semester 2

Core: BIOL1007 From Molecules to Ecosystems

(MEDS1X01 only available to students in the medical science stream.)

Semester 1 or 2

Selective: CHEM1XX1 Chemistry 1A or BIOL1008 Human Biology


Semester 1

Core: IMMU2101 Introductory Immunology

(MEDS2004 only available to students in the medical science stream.)

Semester 2

Selective: 2000-level units listed for major


Semester 1 or 2

Core: AMED3001 Cancer,

Core: AMED3002 Interrogating Biomedical and Health Data

Semester 1 or 2

Core: AMED3003 Diagnostics and Biomarkers

Core: AMED3004 Clinical Science

Please Note. This sample progression is meant as an example only. Depending on unit prerequisites, students may be able to complete these units in a different sequence from that displayed in the table above.

For details of the core and selective units of study required for the major or minor please refer to the Applied Medical Science section of the unit of study table, Table S, in this handbook.

Fourth year

The fourth year is only offered within the combined Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Advanced Studies course.

Advanced coursework
The Bachelor of Advanced Studies advanced coursework option consists of 48 credit points, which must include a minimum of 24 credit points in a single subject area at 4000-level, including a project unit of study worth at least 12 credit points. Space is provided for 12 credit points towards the second major (if not already completed). 24 credit points of advanced study will be included in the table for 2020.

Requirements for Honours in the area of Applied Medical Science: completion of 36 credit points of project work and 12 credit points of coursework.

Contact and further information

Associate Professor Scott Byrne
T +61 2 9351 7308

Learning Outcomes

Students who graduate from Applied Medical Science will be able to:

  1. Explain the fundamental role of basic scientific research and how it is translated from bench to bedside
  2. Achieve competence in a range of valuable diagnostic techniques and data-gathering skills
  3. Apply these techniques to address a diverse range of health-related problems
  4. Explain the basics of clinical trials design and the important roles they play in the medical research enterprise
  5. Describe the need for rigorous ethical, legal and biosafety assessments in medical research
  6. Navigate, analyse, interpret, represent and communicate 'big data'
  7. Read, understand and communicate the various types of scientific literature and multimedia that relate to human health
  8. Take an active part in addressing complex scientific challenges relevant to the improvement of human health through medical science
  9. Communicate their learning and findings in the applied medical sciences to diverse audiences through the use of conventional and multimedia platforms
  10. Describe the processes by which discoveries in medical science become commercial products.