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5 science degrees you didn’t know you could apply for

study food science nutrition university of queensland

Wondering what science study path to choose? Don’t forget to think outside the box!

The best thing about science is you’re only restricted by your imagination when it comes to choosing what you want to focus on.

Whether you’re into space, insects or saving our oceans, there are a bunch of scientists out there who share your passion and are waiting for you to join them.

To get the ideas flowing, here are 5 areas of science you can study at university which you may not have considered:

1. Astrophysics

Study astrophysics science degree university of queensland
With Australia poised to launch its space industry, astrophysicists will be well placed to provide specialist technical knowledge to support manned and unmanned missions to the Moon and beyond.

Ever wondered how the universe works or if there could be life on other planets? Study astrophysics and examine how galaxies and planetary systems form and how environments for life develop.

As an astrophysicist you’ll study stellar atmospheres, the mysteries of gravitational waves, how matter is created and learn more about the twin puzzles of dark energy and dark matter.

You’ll ask questions about how the Universe formed and how could it end to unlock the secrets of the past and predict the future!

To tackle these problems you will use complex computer simulations and specialist research tools and instruments. You’ll refine your skills in computing, data management, and research methods.

With Australia poised to launch its space industry, astrophysicists will be well placed to provide specialist technical knowledge to support manned and unmanned missions to the Moon and beyond.

2. Occupational Health and Safety Science

study occupational health and safety science university of queensland
UQ graduate Michael Holmes is the Health and Safety Officer for Brisbane Motorways Services.

Take your science outside the lab! You can use your science to save lives in any workplace you can think of. From theme parks to mine sites, offices or movie sets – occupational health and safety scientists are on the job to make sure everyone makes it home safely at the end of the day.

They combine science, health, psychology, law, business, and risk management skills to create safe working conditions and protect the health and wellbeing of employees.

They analyse workplace hazards, create safety protocols and train workers to report and minimise risks in their workplaces. Like detectives, they identify chemical, mechanical, electrical, acoustical and other hazards to come up with solutions to create safe and productive environments.

With workplace safety a global problem, a role as an occupational health and safety scientist can take you anywhere in the world. You’ll also be highly paid for your specialist expertise, with starting salaries well above average!

3. Microbiology, Infection and Immunology

The University of Queensland COVID-19 vaccine team.
The University of Queensland COVID-19 vaccine team.

Often when we think about the people looking after our health, doctors and nurses come to mind, but when you study microbiology, infection and immunity you’ll be the one making the medical breakthroughs and developing new treatments that will ultimately help those doctors and nurses to treat their patients.

This group of scientists work to better understand the microscopic organisms – bacteria, viruses and parasites – that can make us unwell, and the innovative ways our bodies fight off infection and illness. They can also find new ways to prevent, treat and cure diseases.

Working in this field, you could be just like one of the scientists at The University of Queensland working on one of Australia’s most promising candidates for a COVID-19 vaccine!

4. Food Science

study food science nutrition university of queensland
Food scientists at The University of Queensland are looking at innovative ways to improve the foods we love.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that food technology is just about cooking the perfect steak – it’s really about understanding the scientific composition of foods and the chemical reactions that take place during processing.

Food scientists are working on everything from 3D-printing foods, to finding ways to control the speed at which fruit ripens in transport trucks, to developing soft, nutrient-rich foods for people who can’t swallow easily. They also make sure the foods we produce and consume are safe.

Food science and nutrition is similar, but looks more at the systems behind our food – from farming, processing and distribution, all the way through to the effects the foods we eat have on our health.

With the world’s population set to reach 10 billion people by 2050, making sure we have enough nutritious, sustainable, safe and delicious food to feed everyone is going to be a full-time job!

5. Biotechnology

study biotechnology university of queensland science degree
UQ biotechnology graduate Ann Damien helps bring new medical devices to market.

Combine your love of science and business with a degree in biotechnology!

This is an exciting field where you’re not only discovering ways to use the power of living organisms to create new technologies, you’re also learning the legal and business skills you’ll need to make your discoveries a commercial success.

Biotechnologists work across a range of sectors, including health, agriculture, and engineering, creating products and establishing the companies which manufacture and sell them.

As an agricultural biotechnologist you could research plant pathogens to improve crop resistance and help feed the world’s growing population. Or how about becoming a pharmaceutical biotechnologist and working on the next treatment for Parkinson’s disease?

This global industry is at the forefront of some amazing science and this could be your chance to be part of cutting-edge discoveries.

Explore your options!

Don’t get stuck thinking your only options for studying science are biology, chemistry, physics or mathematics – dig a little deeper and you may discover the perfect fit for you!

This post was brought to you in partnership with The University of Queensland. Check out their full range of science programs here.

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