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Study Reproduction, Genetics and Development at Otago

Ko te Whakaputa Uri, te Mātai Ira me te Whakapakaritanga

Reproduction, Genetics and Development provides a broad, interdisciplinary approach to understanding the science of health and disease.

You will have the opportunity to pursue this fascinating topic at undergraduate (Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences), postgraduate (Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences with Honours), and research level (Master of Biomedical Sciences).

The BBiomedSc degree allows you to pursue a flexible programme of study that equips you with a comprehensive grounding in the principles and ideas that underpin current biomedical science.

Why study Reproduction, Genetics and Development?

The key answer is because you are interested in, and motivated by, the science that will allow us to improve human health. Our Reproduction, Genetics and Development students have a reputation for excellence and are sought-after by a wide range of employers both here in New Zealand and overseas.

One of the key objectives in current biomedical science research is to understand the interplay between our genes and physiology during reproduction and development. In simple terms, how do our genes guide our development and what happens when this goes astray?

In this major, you will examine the biology of reproduction, embryo formation and development, and the genetics underlying these events.

You will also have the opportunity to explore key anatomical and genetic techniques.

Career opportunities

Your working life might begin with an innovative biotechnology company or with a more established company in the pharmaceutical, biomedical, or agricultural sectors.

Alternatively, you might be employed by a research institute, in a university, government agency or local authority and use the scientific skills you have learned during your studies to provide policy, technical, or diagnostic advice.

A significant number of our BBiomedSc graduates are also successful in obtaining PhD positions or gaining postgraduate entry into professional health programmes such as Dentistry, Medicine, and Pharmacy.

Is the Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences (BBiomedSc) degree different from a Bachelor of Science (BSc)?

Yes.The BBiomedSc allows you to retain an interdisciplinary diversity throughout your three years of study.

In the final year of a BSc, most students are required to take four 300-level papers in one discipline. In contrast, final-year BBiomedSc students select papers from more than one biomedical discipline to complete their degree.

Throughout your university studies, advice will be available to help you structure your programme of study.

How do I structure my BBiomedSc degree?

Many students enter the BBiomedSc programme having successfully completed Health Sciences First Year (HSFY), however it is also possible to complete the first year enrolled in Biomedical Sciences First Year (BSFY) or a Bachelor of Science (BSc).

The interdisciplinary nature of Biomedical Sciences is the key feature of our degree, and we aim to ensure that you obtain a coherent programme of study by selecting one of our specific majors.

Postgraduate study in Christchurch, Dunedin, or Wellington

After completing a BBiomedSc majoring in Reproduction, Genetics and Development (or equivalent degree), you can choose to pursue research-focused postgraduate study.

The Bachelor of Biomedical Science with Honours (BBiomedSc(Hons)) is an eight-month postgraduate degree. With its focus on hands-on biomedical research, it is widely regarded as an excellent choice for students wishing to continue on to master’s or PhD study.

The Master of Biomedical Sciences (MBiomedSc) is a one year thesis-only postgraduate degree for students who have completed the BBiomedSc(Hons) or similar postgraduate programme. It provides excellent hands-on training as preparation either for work in biomedical research or for students wishing to continue on to PhD studies.

Both the BBiomedSc(Hons) and the MBiomedSc degrees can be undertaken at the Christchurch, Dunedin, or Wellington campuses.


Explore your study options further. Refer to enrolment information found on the following qualification pages:

Programme requirements

Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences (BBiomedSc) majoring in Reproduction, Genetics and Development

Year Papers Points
1st year

BIOC 192  Foundations of Biochemistry

CELS 191  Cell and Molecular Biology

CHEM 191  The Chemical Basis of Biology and Human Health

HUBS 191  Human Body Systems 1

HUBS 192  Human Body Systems 2

36 further points
HUNT 141 Understanding Human Nutrition, PHSI 191 Biological Physics, STAT 110  Statistical Methods or STAT 115 Introduction to Biostatistics highly recommended.







2nd year

ANAT 243  Reproductive and Developmental Biology

GENE 221  Molecular and Microbial Genetics

GENE 223  Developmental and Applied Genetics

At least 54 points from ANAT 241, ANAT 242, BIOC 221, GENE 222, MICR 223, PATH 201, PHSL 231
(GENE 222 required if intending to take GENE 313 in third year)

18 further points







3rd year

Three of:
ANAT 333 Reproductive Biology
ANAT 334 Developmental Biology
GENE 314 Developmental Genetics
GENE 315 Genomes

At least 18 points from ANAT 332, ANAT 333, ANAT 334, ANTH 322, BIOC 352, GENE 313, GENE 314, GENE 315, MICR 332, MICR 334, PATH 301, PATH 302, PHSL 341, PHSL 342

36 further points

Note: Due to timetable constraints the following paper combinations are not possible:
(i) ANAT 333 and PATH 301 cannot be taken concurrently. Students wishing to include PATH 301 must also take ANAT 334, GENE 314, 315.
(ii) ANAT 334 and PATH 302 cannot be taken concurrently. Students wishing to include PATH 302 must also take ANAT 333, GENE 314, 315.
(iii) ANAT 332, ANAT 334 and GENE 314 cannot be taken concurrently. Students wishing to include ANAT 332 must also take ANAT 333, (GENE 314 or ANAT 334), and GENE 315.








Total   360

Key information for future students

Contact us

Web (School of Biomedical Sciences, Dunedin campus)
Web (University of Otago, Christchurch)
Web (University of Otago, Wellington)