Major in Computational Biology

 

With continued advances in the technologies for collecting biological information and data, there is an ever-increasing demand for professional scientists with skills in computational biology.

This major relies on contributions from biology and computer science, as well as mathematics and statistics. Students will gain an understanding of the analysis and interpretation of biological phenomena using mathematical and statistical models and state-of-the-art computational tools. You will learn how to develop new algorithms and study biological data.

From advanced genomics to quantitative ecology, the major will expose you to a diverse array of life sciences specialisations in which mathematics and computation are an essential tool.

In the first year of your degree your program depends upon your studies and results at VCE level.

Course plans for three common entry levels are shown below. Students with combinations of studies or results not matching those below should seek individual course advice from the School of Mathematics and Statistics.

For students who have completed
  • VCE Maths Methods, and
  • VCE Chemistry
but have not completed (or have a study score of ≤ 29 in) VCE Specialist Mathematics
For students who have completed
  • VCE Specialist Mathematics, with a study score of 29-39, and
  • VCE Chemistry
For students who have completed
  • VCE Specialist Mathematics, with a study score ≥ 38, and
  • VCE Chemistry, with a study score of ≥ 35

MAST10005 Calculus 1 Stream

For students with VCE Maths Methods and VCE Chemistry but no (or ≤ 29 in ) VCE Specialist Mathematics
Semester 1 MAST10005 Calculus 1 COMP10001 Foundations of Computing* CHEM10003 Chemistry 1 Breadth
Semester 2 MAST10006 Calculus 2 COMP10002 Foundations of Algorithms CHEM10004 Chemistry 2 BIOL10005 Genetics & the Evolution of Life
Summer semester MAST10007 Linear Algebra

Students in this stream must complete the subject MAST10007 Linear Algebra over summer semester before commencing second year. As a consequence they will have a lighter study load in another semester later in their course, see note # below.

Second and third year is common to all students.

Notes:
* Students with previous computer programming experience may be able to skip this subject by passing an additional programming competency test.

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MAST10006 Calculus 2 Stream

For students with VCE Chemistry and a study score of 29-39 in VCE Specialist Mathematics
Semester 1 MAST10006 Calculus 2 COMP10001 Foundations of Computing* CHEM10003 Chemistry 1 Breadth
Semester 2 MAST10007 Linear Algebra COMP10002 Foundations of Algorithms CHEM10004 Chemistry 2 BIOL10005 Genetics & the Evolution of Life

Second and third year is common to all students.

Notes:
* Students with previous computer programming experience may be able to skip this subject by passing an additional programming competency test.

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Accelerated Stream

For students with a study score of ≥ 38 in VCE Specialist Mathematics and ≥ 35 in VCE Chemistry
Semester 1 MAST10008 Accelerated Mathematics 1 COMP10001 Foundations of Computing* CHEM10009 Advanced Chemistry for Biosciences Breadth
Semester 2 MAST10009 Accelerated Mathematics 2 COMP10002 Foundations of Algorithms BIOL10005 Genetics & the Evolution of Life Breadth**

Second and third year is common to all students.

Notes:
* Students with previous computer programming experience may be able to skip this subject by passing an additional programming competency test.
** MAST10010 Data Analysis 1 may be taken here instead of breadth, see note †† below.

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Second and third year

Semester 3 GENE20001 Principles of Genetics COMP20008 Elements of Data Processing MAST20004 Probability††
or
MAST20006 Probability for Statistics††
Breadth
Semester 4 BCMB20002 Biochemistry & Molecular Biology MAST20005 Statistics†† Breadth/Elective Breadth
Semester 5 MAST30032 Biological Modelling & Simulation BIOL30003 Case Studies in Computational Biology Elective Breadth/Elective#
Semester 6 MAST30033 Statistical Genomics Elective Elective Breadth/Elective#

Notes:

† At least one of these electives must be a Level 3 subject from an approved Science discipline to complete the major. See the handbook for a complete list of approved disciplines.
†† These subjects are optional if MAST10010 Data Analysis 1 was taken in first year.
# Students from the MAST10005 Calculus 1 stream will take only 3 subjects in one of these semesters, as a result of taking MAST10007 Linear Algebra over summer, and hence one of these slots will be empty.