Why study the Diploma in Science

The Diploma in Science is open to graduates of a Bachelor program in any field of study. It is a flexible program that allows students to:

  • complete additional science courses in a new area of study in order to gain additional qualifications;
  • broaden their knowledge in order to qualify for entry into honours or postgraduate programs;
  • take a mixture of courses in different areas for a range of purposes.
This Diploma is ideal for people who need to fulfill prerequisites for entry into another program, for people who are preparing to sit the GAMSAT or for teachers looking for professional development. Students enrolling in the Diploma in Science can choose to either complete a major from the course list or to complete a set of courses without a declared major.

Due to the sequential nature of some majors in which some courses require prerequisite knowledge, students may need to complete the Diploma part time over three or four semesters.

The Diploma in Science is a Commonwealth supported (HECS-Help) program.


  • Program code
  • 731801
  • Faculty
  • Duration
  • Commencing
    Semester 1 (19 Feb, 2018)
    Semester 2 (23 Jul, 2018)
  • Program level
  • Units
  • Delivery location
    St Lucia
  • AQF
    Level 5

Entry requirements


Bachelor's degree or equivalent in any field.

Program structure


The courses offered in the Diploma in Science are set out in the course list. Each course is allocated a certain number of units (#).

Courses Program Rules

The Program Rules explain what is required to complete the Diploma in Science. These requirements include the total number of units you need to complete in order to graduate.

Program Rules

To have your degree conferred, you also need to comply with UQ’s policies and rules.

Courses and Programs


The following is a list of majors available in the Diploma in Science.

When you graduate, any majors, dual majors and extended majors you have completed will be listed on your degree certificate.

Archaeological Science

While commonly considered a humanities discipline, archaeology is increasingly empowered by scientific approaches and ways of thinking which have revolutionised research into globally significant issues such as human evolution and dispersal, the development of civilisation and human-environment relationships. You can study geography, earth science, biology, psychology in combination with core archaeology courses to develop your skills in scientific reasoning and provide you with strong multidisciplinary knowledge as the foundation for a career in this exciting field. UQ has the largest dedicated number of archaeological science teaching and research staff and is a recognised leader in this discipline in Australia.


The biology major covers a wide-range of biological topics from biomedical science, microbiology, neuroscience and development biology to courses in ecology, zoology and marine biology. Students select courses according to their area of interest and career goal.


Chemistry is the central science. Chemistry encompasses the synthesis and study of molecules and materials, the exploration of their properties and the development of ways to use them in real life. This involves an understanding of the mechanisms of reactions and processes that occur at the molecular level. An understanding of the principles of chemistry underlines disciplines such as biochemistry, engineering, food science, materials science, nanotechnology and pharmacy.

Major areas of study are:

  • synthetic chemistry - the development of new methodologies to explore the synthesis of new drugs, new materials or new molecular devices
  • polymer chemistry - the preparation and study of new polymers with uses as materials, electronic devices, and medicine
  • computational chemistry - understanding and predicting the structures and reactivities of molecules and short-lived intermediates using high-level theoretical calculations and powerful supercomputers
  • surface chemistry - chemistry occurring at interfaces. This is important in many biological processes, in the study of catalysts, and in nanotechnology, and
  • spectroscopy - examining the interactions between matter and electromagnetic radiation to determine chemical structures and reactivities.

Computer Science

Information and communications technology drives modern science. Students that major in computer science will study the science of computing and its application to other scientific disciplines.

The computer science major offers courses that provide a solid grounding in computational, scientific and mathematical skills. Skills such as teamwork, presentation and project management are a key component of several courses.

Food Science and Nutrition

Food science and nutrition covers all aspects of the food system from farm to fork. The food system is not only concerned with on-farm production, off-farm food processing, and distribution of produce for sale, but also the selection and consumption of the food by the consumer including the effects of food on their health. Food science covers the physical nature and chemical composition of food to enable us to understand how and why food behaves under different conditions of processing and storage. We use this information to improve the safety and quality of food as well as extend the range of products available.

The science of nutrition studies the effects of dietary nutrients on growth, development, health and well-being in the population. It also examines the psychological, sociological and cultural factors which influence food choice, with a particular focus on the consequences for health.

This major is ideal for students wishing to understand the basic principles of food science and nutrition or for those wishing to gain the prerequisites required for entry into the Master of Dietetics Studies.

Geographical Science

Geographical Science investigates the spatial patterns of physical and human phenomena at local, national and global scales. It examines the patterns and processes of natural and built environments and human activity, how they change over time and how they interact.

Physical Geography is concerned with the patterns and processes in climate, landforms, soils, plants, animals as well as the impact of human activities on these systems.

Human Geography examines how people interact with the environment and about applying physical geography elements to human ends. Human geography involves applied studies in urban and rural settlement, location and land-use, human spatial behaviour and demography.

Geographical Information Science is the study of geographic information systems and remote-sensing for modelling, managing, analysing and applying geo-referenced information in a variety of contexts. It is concerned with the interpretation and analysis of geographical information obtained from airborne and satellite images, land surveying, field observation and data systems. It has applications in earth, biological and environmental sciences, built environments, human settlements, planning and natural resources.

Geological Science

Geology is the study of the interacting systems of the solid Earth, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere as they evolve through time. Geologists discover, develop, and responsibly manage minerals, energy, and other Earth resources. Geological knowledge underpins our capacity to ensure a sustainable supply of natural resources and the use of these resources responsibly, and it is essential for solving environmental challenges such as global climate change.

UQ offers a wide range of core courses in geology, chemistry, mathematics and physics, which provide a foundation for the study of fundamental geologic methods and problems, both in the laboratory and in the field. You may specialise in economic geology, mining geology, energy resources, geophysics, environmental geology, geochemistry, palaeobiology, marine geology, surficial processes and landscape evolution, tectonics, and remote sensing.

Marine Science

Marine science is the scientific study of our oceans and coastal habitats, and includes a wide range of disciplines in the biological, chemical, physical and Earth sciences. Students can pursue a general study plan or a more specialised plan in an area such as marine biology or marine geology. With an increasing focus on the role of our oceans to provide food and resources for our growing populations, the next generation of UQ marine scientists will play a major role in ensuring that we protect and profit from our oceans.

UQ has the largest and best marine research facilities of any Australian tertiary institution, and also possesses the largest assembly of marine scientists in the state, and possibly Australia. Students of marine science have an opportunity to undertake studies at the Moreton Bay Research Station (MBRS), Heron Island Research Station (HIRS) in the southern Great Barrier Reef and the Low Isles Research Station in the far northern Great Barrier Reef.


Mathematics is one of the most enduring fields of study, and is essential in an expanding number of disciplines and professions. Many mathematicians continue to develop new mathematics for its own sake. But today mathematicians also combine their knowledge of mathematics and statistics with modelling and computational skills and use the latest computer technology to solve problems in the physical and biological sciences, engineering, information technology, economics, and business.

Occupational Health and Safety Science

Occupational health and safety is about identifying, analysing and preventing workplace injury, illness and fatality. Globally, four people die every minute and eight people are injured every second in workplace accidents. Occupational health and safety is an important component of all professional lives, from scientists to engineers and health professionals, all have legal and moral obligations to create healthy and safe working environments. Studying in the Diploma in Science is an ideal avenue to assist you to meet your OHS obligations as a professional.


Physics is one of the fundamental sciences and involves solving the big questions that have always intrigued humankind: where did we come from and where are we headed?

Physics embraces the study of the most basic natural laws and is about explaining how and why things work on scales ranging from the sub-nuclear, through the everyday, and on to the entire cosmos. Physicists explore and identify basic principles governing the structure and behaviour of matter, the generation and transfer of energy, and the interaction of matter and energy. Physicists use these principles in theoretical or experimental studies on topics such as the nature of time and the origin of the Universe; others apply their physics knowledge to practical areas, developing advanced materials, electronic and optical devices, and equipment for a wide range of fields such as medicine, mining, astronomy and geophysics.

Physics is at the heart of new interdisciplinary areas such as information technology, nanotechnology, quantum technology and biophotonics. An understanding of basic physical principles is one of the keys to advancing knowledge in biosciences. Courses include: astronomy, biophysics, electromagnetism, laser physics, mathematical physics, mechanics, optics, quantum physics, and thermodynamics.


Psychology is the scientific study of how people behave, think and feel. It is a broad ranging discipline that spans topics including brain function, memory, conscious experience, lifespan development, social behaviour and the full spectrum of functional and dysfunctional behaviour. Undergraduate students will gain an understanding of how to apply the scientific perspective to psychological phenomena in the laboratory and in the real world.

You should refer to the Program Rules for more information. Full definitions of majors are available in the Policies and Procedures Library.

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