The science and consequences behind individual inheritance

Explore what is biologically inherited, in humans and other organisms, and how this information can be used to change lives.

Why study genetics?

We've all been coded with a unique set of genes which give instructions to our body on how to survive. The genes we inherit from our parents will have consequences – positive and negative – and this information can make a difference, particularly when an aspect of our health is going wrong.

We've only seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how genetic information can be used to understand, prevent and potentially cure illnesses. Genetic information can be useful at the individual level or by population. In addition to the wealth of information we can learn about illnesses and disease, genetics can teach us about family relationships and DNA can play a pivotal role in solving crimes. There is also a lot to be learnt about our environment through examining the genes of other species.

Where can genetics take me?

There is scope to build a career in a research-focused environment within in a specific industry such as pharmaceuticals or forensics and identification. Some graduates pursue a career in a people-focused role, educating and supporting the general public through genetic counselling.

There are also opportunities in ecology and the environment, species protection, biological pest control and bioethics.
You may work locally or internationally for a research institution, university, hospital, government or corporate organisation. The opportunities for biochemists continue to expand.

Why La Trobe?

  • We've invested more than $500 million into new learning and research centres.
  • This includes the $100 million La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science (LIMS) - a state-of-the-art facility with 10,000 square metres of usable space including 18 new research and support laboratories, an equipment barn, and extensive teaching facilities.
  • You'll also have access to AgriBio, the Centre for AgriBioscience.
  • We attract a strong, international research community and this feeds down to students at all levels of study, including you as you commence your degree in first year.

Further study options

If you're an undergraduate with a strong academic record and an appropriate major, Honours in Genetics awaits. Your Honours year will give you the chance to combine coursework and research in a specialised area of study.

Complete the Honours program with high grades to qualify for entry into the Masters by Research program or direct entry into the PhD program.

Get to know our staff

View all the staff in the College of Science, Health and Engineering or focus on those teaching in Biochemistry and Genetics.

How to apply

Apply through VTAC or UAC if you're a current Year 12 student or if you're applying to more than one institution. If you're not in Year 12 and applying only to La Trobe, you can apply direct.

Key dates

Direct applications normally close in February for entry in semester 1, and July for entry in semester 2. For more details visit our apply direct page.


VCE Units 3 and 4: a study score of at least 25 in English (EAL) or 20 in English other than EAL; and a study score of at least 20 in Maths (any).

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