Master of Medical Science

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Master of Medical Science

If you're a professional working in the medical or clinical sciences and you're aiming to make even more impact in your world through cutting-edge research or science leadership, this James Cook University (JCU) Master’s degree equips you with knowledge and skills that will help you achieve your goal.

Working with JCU's internationally recognised lecturers as well as experts who are currently working in science fields, you will gain advanced and integrated understanding of underlying scientific concepts and recent research advances in biomedical, clinical and medical science.

You will experience:

  • Work integrated learning opportunities
  • Supervised research and work specific projects that may be undertaken in the specific context of your work area or interest.
  • Opportunities for independent research to improve or value add to your profession, continuing professional development and contribute to papers for publication.
Start dates
February, July
2 years full time
Part time available
Study mode
On campus

Career opportunities

The skills you'll gain by undertaking JCU's Master of Medical Science are uniquely suited for career opportunities such as a senior scientist in:

  • A clinical investigations unit
  • The pathology sector
  • As a research scientist.

This Master’s degree will not only enhance your knowledge and understanding of clinical and laboratory medical science, but will hone your clinical and analytical reasoning and problem solving skills, so you can take your place in research and science leadership roles throughout Australia and internationally.

These leadership skills are particularly sought after in regional and remote locations, where a generalist multidisciplinary scientist with research expertise would be invaluable. Imagine the difference you could make changing practice to improve your community’s healthcare through evidence gathering and research.

Course highlights

The Master of Medical Science has been designed as a continuing professional development model for scientific allied health professionals. The approach taken to designing curriculum has been to embrace adjunct appointments of professionals working in the medical and clinical sciences in regional Queensland.

A blended learning design allows for flexible delivery as work integrated learning. Theoretical knowledge is delivered in a practical and relevant context and is followed up with authentic and technical reinforcement during on-the-job learning.

The research component of JCU's Master of Medical Science allows your research and work specific projects to be undertaken under the joint supervision of your own clinical and academic supervisors. You'll be part of a JCU approach that delivers research skills to professional scientists, while building the research capacity of the profession and providing publishable work to raise the profile of the profession.

Course overview

This 2 year full-time (or equivalent part-time) JCU course provides you with a dynamic range of skills, encompassing many specialities. Designed to be undertaken externally with limited attendance, you can continue to work as you study. Your study options will depend on your choice of subjects and will be discussed with the academic advisor and course co-ordinator.

You will gain advanced understanding and knowledge in diverse subjects such as:

  • Research Planning and Projects in Tropical Health and Medicine
  • Epidemiology for Public Health
  • Biostatistics for Public Health.

You can select from three Majors:

  • Clinical Sciences
  • Future Leaders in Tropical Health Research
  • Medical Laboratory Science.

Professional recognition

The Medical Laboratory Science stream for this course is pending accreditation with the Australian Institute of Medical Scientists. Students studying the Medical Laboratory Science stream will be eligible to apply for membership with the Australian Institute of Medical Scientists (AIMS).

How to apply

Complete an online application through our Online Application Portal.


Master of Medical Science

Handbook year


Course code


Course type

MCW – Masters by Coursework (AQF Level 9)

Professional accreditation status

The Medical Laboratory Science stream for this course is pending accreditation with the Australian Institute of Medical Scientists. Students studying the Medical Laboratory Science stream will be eligible to apply for membership with the Australian Institute of Medical Scientists (AIMS).


Division of Tropical Health and Medicine

Award Requirements

Admission Requirements

Course pre-requisites

Completion of at least an AQF7 Biomedical Science Degree or Medical Laboratory Science degree at this or another University or equivalent determined by Course Co-ordinator.

Students who complete the Graduate Diploma of Medical Science will be eligible for entry.

Minimum English language proficiency requirements

Applicants of non-English speaking backgrounds must meet the English language proficiency requirements of Band 3a Schedule II of the JCU Admissions Policy.

Special admission requirements

Applicants who have graduated with a bachelor (pass) degree from another university may be required to complete coursework or assessment as deemed necessary by the Course Co-ordinator to comply with AIMS minimum requirements for accreditation.

Post admission

Your course may have specific admission requirements such as immunisation, the requirement to obtain a Suitability to Work with Children Card, federal police check and/or other requirements that you must comply with in order to stay enrolled in your course. You will find your course requirements here:

Academic Requirements for Course Completion

Credit points

48 credit points as per course structure

Additional course rules

Students must successfully complete the first year of the Master of Medical Science before they are able to progress to the Research/Projects subjects

Additional completion


Course learning outcomes

On successful completion of the Mater of Medical Science, graduates will be able to:

- Apply and adapt advanced and integrated knowledge, including an understanding of recent developments, in the area of biomedicine, medical laboratory science and clinical measurements science

- Demonstrate related professional competencies, behaviours and ethical frameworks

- Apply an integrated understanding of biomedical, medical laboratory and clinical measurement science and its application to improve human and animal health in rural, remote and indigenous community settings

- Analyse and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts and theories in new situations or contexts with creativity and independence

- Demonstrate a high level of personal autonomy and accountability for their own future professional development through reflection on current skills, knowledge and attitudes in the biomedical science arena

- Interpret and justify scientific propositions, methodologies and conclusions to specialist and non-specialist audiences through high level written and oral communication and numeracy skills.

- Plan and execute or critically evaluate a substantial body of novel research with a large degree of independence.

- Interpret and justify clinical case studies and interventional action

Inherent Requirements

Inherent RequirementsInherent requirements are the fundamental abilities, attributes, skills and behaviours needed to complete the learning outcomes of a course while preserving the academic integrity of the university’s learning, assessment and accreditation processes. Students and prospective students must be able to demonstrate that they have acquired or have the ability to acquire the inherent requirements for their degree. For more information refer to Inherent Requirements page.
Reasonable adjustmentsReasonable adjustments may be made to assist students manage additional circumstances impacting on their studies provided these do not change the academic integrity of a degree. Reasonable adjustments do not alter the need to be able to demonstrate the inherent requirements of the course.

Course Structure


RM8301:06 Research Planning in Tropical Health and Medicine

RM8302:06 Research Project in Tropical Health and Medicine

TM5515:03 Epidemiology for Public Health or TM5516:03 Biostatistics for Public Health


Select a Major from Table A


Select 9 credit points of any Level 5 BC, HS, MI, ML, PP or TM subjects

TABLE A (Majors)

Type of major

Mandatory, single

Credit points in major

24 credit points




Clinical Sciences


Available only as a single major

Future Leaders in Tropical Research


Available only as a single major

Medical Laboratory Science


Available only as a single major







Expected time to complete

2 years full time or equivalent part time

Maximum time to complete

5 years

Maximum leave of absence

1 years


Course progression


Course includes mandatory professional placement(s)

Clinical placement/professional practice:

This course includes prescribed professional or clinical placements. Students may be required to undertake such placements away from the campus at which they are enrolled, at their own expense. (Note: health professional courses generally involve extensive professional or clinical placements).

Further information about placements can be found at Enrolment Policy – Coursework Students

Special assessment


Professional accreditation


Maximum allowed Pass
Conceded (PC) grade


Supplementary exam for
final subject

Not applicable

Advanced Standing


Students may apply for advanced standing for previous tertiary study in accordance with the Credit and Articulation policy and associated procedures

Maximum allowed

24 credit points


Advanced standing will be granted only for subjects completed in the 10 years prior to the commencement of this course or equivalent recent work experience


Advanced standing gained for any subject shall be cancelled 15years after the date of the examination upon which the advanced standing is based if, by then, the student has not completed this course

Other restrictions

Studies and/or professional experiences undertaken to fulfil the entry requirements to JCU awards may not be used for advanced standing

Award Details

Award title


Approved abbreviation


Inclusion of majors on

Any major except the Future Leaders in Tropical Health Research Major may appear on the testamur

Exit with lesser award

Students who exit the course prior to completion, and have successfully completed 24 credit points of appropriate subjects, may be eligible for the award of:

Graduate Diploma of Medical Science

Course articulation

Not applicable

This website is intended as general guide. Prospective students should contact the university to confirm admission requirements and the availability of courses. James Cook University reserves the right to alter any course or admission requirement without prior notice.