University Handbook 2018

Bachelor of Science (Wildlife and Conservation Biology)

Course code/s: SBSWCB

Course details
Location Melbourne (Bundoora)
Course code SBSWCB
Mid year intake available No
Course coordinator Dr Nick Murphy
Available to international students Yes
CRICOS 071128G
Course duration 3 years full-time, or part-time equivalent
Credit points 360 credit points
Exchange opportunity Yes
Leave of absence available Yes, for a maximum of 12 months
Study plan guide To assist with planning your enrolment, you can download the course structure PDF here
Course queries Current students: ASK La Trobe
Prospective students: Future Students

Course description

Under the influence of the biodiversity crisis, the discipline of conservation biology and ecology has developed into a field of study, drawing material from all areas of biology and from law and management, and with its own conceptual and theoretical strengths. The aim of the degree program is to:

  • provide students with a multidisciplinary education in conservation biology and ecology based on the core subjects of zoology, botany and genetics, plus appropriate areas from mathematics and statistics, management, law and policy
  • lead to employment in conservation-based positions in local, state and federal government, not for profit conservation organisations, environmental consultancies and in research in biology generally
  • provide a degree leading to postgraduate studies in any of the core disciplines covered in the course.

Student exchange & overseas short programs

Student exchange and overseas short programs offer a unique opportunity for a meaningful learning and educational experience abroad.  La Trobe University encourages all students to make the world their campus by participating in an exchange or overseas short program that fits within your degree structure.  Student exchange and overseas short programs may also be eligible for a mobility grant.

College of Science, Health and Engineering students with a third-year elective option in their course have a unique opportunity to enrol in SHE3ISP, with permission from their course coordinator and the subject coordinator.  Please note: enrolment into SHE3ISP requires students to be accepted into an LTU approved short term international program.

Essentials subjects

The three Essentials - Global Citizenship, Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Thinking are specialist areas designed to give you an edge with employers. Essentials will enable you to adapt your knowledge and skills to new contexts in a rapidly changing world. Subjects addressing the Essentials are part of all undergraduate La Trobe degrees and can be identified in the subject search by distinct icons. The list of approved subjects can be found on the Essentials webpage.

Course intended learning outcomes

Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs) are brief statements defining what students are expected to demonstrate they know and can do by the end of a course.

Produce clear, concise, grammatically correct written work (e.g., scientific reports, essays, summaries) that present coherent evidence‐based explanations to communicate appropriately to the intended audience (e.g. peers, scientific community, non‐scientific community).
Conduct oral presentations that use correct terminology to communicate logically the results of scientific experiments, current scientific/discipline issues, or theoretical concepts to the intended audience (e.g. peers, scientific community, non scientific community).
Utilise quantitative literacy skills and basic mathematical techniques to analyse and summarise numerical experimental data into tables and/or graphs; and evaluate data from sources such as scientific reports and journal articles.
Display independent learning and research skills by locating, interrogating and evaluating relevant scientific information to generate scientific reports.
Develop rational and rigorous arguments to interrogate assumptions, synthesise scientific information, formulate hypotheses, draw unbiased conclusions and defend scientific ideas.
Analyse using a systematic approach to reasoning and conceptualising scientific ideas to solve constructed and real world scientific and technical problems.
Demonstrate effective teamwork in a range of roles using team‐building, self assessment and communication skills to complete tasks.
Employ academic integrity and scientific rigour in conducting and evaluating scientific research, and managing self in professional practice.
Use scientific terminology to discuss the fundamental ecological concepts and current issues of the discipline area of conservation biology and be able to apply relevant concepts to analyse and evaluate the results of investigations into real world problems.
Use a systematic approach to develop a management plan addressing a real world conservation issue that is based around SMART objectives.

Course structure

The course requires the completion of 360 credit points over three years full-time or equivalent part-time duration.

First year

First year (120 credit points)
Teaching period Subject name Subject code Credit points
TE-SEM-1 Academic Integrity Module (online) * LTU0AIM 0
TE-SEM-1 Wominjeka La Trobe: Indigenous Cultural Literacy for Higher Education (online) ** ABS0WOM 0
TE-SEM-1 Molecules, Genes and Cells BIO1MGC 15
TE-SEM-1 Students to select  two first-year level subjects to the value of 30 credit points. The following are recommended: STA1DCT and GEO1PRO .   30
Students must enrol in either CHE1CHF or CHE1GEN.
Students who have passed VCE Chemistry Units 3 & 4 (or equivalent), must enrol in CHE1GEN. All other students must enrol in CHE1CHF.
TE-SEM-1 Chemistry Foundations CHE1CHF 15
TE-SEM-1 General Principles of Chemistry CHE1GEN 15
TE-SEM-2 Statistics for Life Sciences STA1LS 15
TE-SEM-2 Ecology, Evolution and Biodiversity BIO1EEB 15
TE-SEM-2 Animal, Plant and Microbial Life BIO1APM 15
TE-SEM-2 Climate, Sustainability and Society ENV1CSS 15

Key: *LTU0AIM is a not-for-credit subject that you are required to complete at the commencement of your first semester. The subject is designed to enhance your knowledge and awareness of issues concerning academic integrity.
** ABS0WOM is a not-for-credit subject that you are required to complete at the commencement of your first semester. The subject is designed to introduce students to Indigenous Australian perspectives, experiences, history, culture and customs.

Second year

Second year (120 credit points)
Teaching period Subject name Subject code Credit points
TE-SEM-1 Australian Fauna and Ecology ZOO2FE 15
TE-SEM-1 Issues in Conservation WCB2IC 15
TE-SEM-1 Practice of Science BIO2POS 15
TE-SEM-1 Ecological Genetics and Evolution GEN2EGE 15
TE-SEM-2 Remote Sensing and GIS ENV2REM 15
TE-SEM-2 Plant Diversity and Ecology BOT2PDE 15
TE-SEM-2 Environmental Law LST2EL 15
TE-SEM-2 Students to select a second-year level science subject or elective chosen from the recommended list below to the value of 15 credit points. Other subjects can be chosen with the approval of the course coordinator.   15
TE-SEM-2 Topics in Infectious Disease MIC2ID 15
TE-SEM-2 Medical & Veterinary Microbiology MIC2MMV 15
TE-SEM-2 Animal Physiology ZOO2AP 15

Third year

Third year (120 credit points)
Teaching period Subject name Subject code Credit points
TE-SEM-1 Endangered Species Biology and Management ENV3ESB 15
TE-SEM-1 Quantitative Research Methods ENV3QRM 15
TE-SEM-2 Landscape Ecology and Conservation ENV3LEC 15
  Students to select third-year level subjects to the value of 75 credit points from the following list:   75
TE-SEM-1 Animal Behaviour EEE3ANB 15
TE-SEM-1 Mallee Field Course ENV3MFC 15
TE-SEM-1 Advanced Medical and Veterinary Microbiology MIC3AMM 30
TE-SEM-1 International Politics of Climate Change: Triumph or Tragedy? POL3IPC 15
TE-SEM-2 Climate Change Economics and Policy ECO3CCE 15
TE-SEM-2 Advanced Microbiology MIC3AM 30
TE-SEM-2 Animal and Plant Interactions ENV3API 15
TE-SEM-2 Animal Reproduction EEE3ANR 15
TE-SEM-2 Ecological Genetics and Evolution EEE3EGE 15
TE-SEM-2 Ecological Genetics and Evolution Research Project EEE3PRJ 15
TE-SEM-SUM 1 Heron Island Marine Physiology Field Course ZOO3HIF 15
TE-WK-04-12 Mountain Ecosystems Field Course B ENV3ME 15
TE-WK-35-47 Freshwater Ecosystems Field Course ENV3FRE 15
TE-WK-50-51 Geology and Plant Life Field Course ENV3GPL 15
TE-SEM-1/TE-SEM-2 Research Project ENV3ENP 15

Please note: Some of these subjects may not be offered in the current year. For a full description of subjects, including the subject name, subject code, credit points, campus/location, teaching period and availability, subject coordinator, class requirements, assessment, prerequisites and readings, please click on the appropriate subject code.


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