Master of BioInnovation and Design

Is It For You?

Please note: there will be no intake in 2017 for this program. You can however submit an application to start study in Semester 1, 2018.

Make your next move

Are you looking for the next vehicle to make your mark in allied health, medical or biomedical fields? Count your fortunes because such an opportunity exists in the University of Newcastle Master of BioInnovation and Design. 

The Master of BioInnovation and Design is a highly-specialised master program aimed at fast-tracking graduates with a Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) or related background to create, design and deliver high-impact, innovative products to the commercial sector. 

What’s on offer:

  • The Master of BioInnovation and Design has been purpose-built to draw out the collaborative potential of targeted graduates across a number of key disciplines.
  • Engage with established inter-disciplinary leaders to deliver solutions to local and global challenges in the fields of health, science and biotechnology – to name a few.
  • Leverage this opportunity to join an elite team who mix strong research and design with an entrepreneurial focus.
  • Become an agent of collaboration to facilitate solutions for the industry and research sectors - identified by past and present Chief Scientists as being essential for the expansion of a knowledge-based economy.
  • This higher degree combines strategic research with project-work, commercial innovation with design ethics.

The 2017 program is interspersed with keynote speakers throughout each semester who will offer advice and key learnings from their own projects; addressing pitfalls and opportunities in design and delivery particularly in biotech and biomedical industries.

Once you have been successfully engaged in a bioinnovation and design project to complement your degree, this program gives you hands-on experience in all phases of delivery. You will implement start-up strategies to support the inception phase of the project, develop your design theories using evidence-based research, and work through challenges in design, prototypes, and commercialisation stages.

All this is delivered in an environment that cultivates entrepreneurship that will position you for many successful endeavours in the future.

The 2017 Master of Bioinnovation and Design offers three cutting edge projects seeking input from graduates from a range of suitable disciplines.

Information about prior study and academic requirements can be found here.

Domestic Student Program and Fee Summary

Note: This Program and Fee Summary is intended to provide an overview of the Program Requirements. It is the prospective student’s responsibility to investigate the Program and Enrolment Terms and Conditions carefully prior to applying.

Program Intake
  • Semester 1
Tuition Fees

Note: Fees are indicative and may be subject to annual increase. Overall program fee may vary based on course selection.

Please click here to view your indicative one year program fees.

Number of Courses

Note: 1 course is equal to 10 units of study.


Program Code


View full program details


The Master of BioInnovation and Design is an 80-unit (4 course) AQF Level 9 program to be completed over one year of full-time study.

There are two project-based bioinnovation and design courses (BIID6001A BIID6001B) in which you will work with a team of peers and experts from the university faculty and or industry partners on a single project.

The bioinnovation and design projects have been preselected for their relevance to and solutions for the commercial space by an established College of Experts and require student input from cross-disciplinary backgrounds.  You will move through a process of needs analysis, business planning, product development and proof of concept testing.

You will also take ARBE6521 - Design for Innovation and STAR4000 - Innovation, Startups and Entrepreneurship.  These courses will sharpen your project management, entrepreneurship and startup business creation skills, which will complement the knowledge and abilities gained through developing and pitching your product.

What is the pitch?

Upon meeting all the course requirements and completing your project work, your team will pitch the design to the College of Experts that includes academics, Venture Capitalists and an industry-based audience.

The College of Experts relies on the evidence you can present that your team’s project can meet a critical need in society by resolving a challenge in allied health, biotech, medicine or biomedicine fields. The College will consider how your product(s) might form the basis of a startup business or a novel concept in health innovation.

New Projects for 2017

Each project is selected by a College of Experts and requires students from different backgrounds. If you are interested and feel you may be a good fit for one of the projects below, please apply online and select the project you are interested in.

PROJECT 1: Using biology and materials science to improve wetsuit design for protection from first strike shark attacks. 

College of Experts: Associate Professor Chris Dayas, Associate Professor Thomas Fiedler and Dr Colin McHenry

Recent advances in wetsuit design have focused largely on flexibility and thermal efficiency. 

Our project aims to research innovative design changes to wetsuits to maximise survivability from a first strike shark attack, while retaining key elements of performance and functionality. The key to the success of this project is our multidisciplinary approach that brings together experts in human and shark anatomy, materials and mechanical engineering, marine science, wetsuit design and surfers.

We are now looking for three graduates with separate expertise in human anatomy, materials science/engineering and design to work with us on this project. By applying these skill sets we aim to produce a proof of principle concept design for testing.


PROJECT 2: Development of smart metabolite sensors to detect biomarkers in urine and faeces: the smart toilet

College of Experts: Laureate Professor John Aitken, Professor Sally Chan, Dr Antony Palmer, Dr William Palmer and Dr Jamie Flynn

Using modern advances in technology for early detection can bring healthcare to the home by enabling clients to self-monitor their health conditions. This proof of concept project aims to develop smart sensors in the toilet, which can detect some elevated lab markers in urine, such as protein, glucose and blood.  In principle, the smart sensors will relay health information to the individuals’ smartphones, as well as their GP’s, in order to signal when elevated lab markers have been detected.

We are now looking for three graduates from nursing/health, chemistry, and engineering to join our team and apply their skills to bring this diagnostic support device technology into reality.


PROJECT 3: Development of the biosensors for the detection of ovulation

College of Experts: Professor Paul Dastoor, Dr Zamira Gibb & Laureate Professor John Aitken

Ovulation is a key event in female reproduction in all mammalian species. In humans, understanding the reproductive cycle and the markers of ovulation can be crucial to achieving pregnancy in an often fraught and emotional environment. Yet, the benefits and impacts of this technology are not limited to human reproduction.

This project is centred on the concept that biosensors could be developed to enable non-invasive detection of the endocrine events associated with ovulation via a smart skin patch, it would revolutionise reproduction in both domestic animal species as well as our own and open the door on a technology that would be worth billions. Those in the fields of animal husbandry would reap enormous benefit from the exact science in detecting female mammal ovulation that this smart skin patch concept is designed to develop. 

We are now looking for three graduates from physics, engineering and biomedical science/biology. Applying your skills in calculation, measurement and design or expertise in biological functionality, your contribution can assist the team to explore the real potential in this concept.

Where will it take you?

The Master of BioInnovation and Design focuses on collaboration and engagement with experts in academic fields, as well as leaders in commercial, public and creative sectors. Upon completion you will be armed with finely tuned entrepreneurial qualities that have been developed in tandem with strong research and innovation skills.

This program is designed to prepare you to continue to think, plan, develop, create and deliver worthwhile solutions to the limitless marketplace that is bioinnovation.

Be inspired.

Recent statements by the Australian Government and the Chief Scientist send a strong message to graduates like you who are driven to expand knowledge are highly sought after.

Some recent innovations that have been making their mark include:

  • $25,000 BioChallenge prize winner targeting disease affecting preterm babies
  • The BioAg Alliance Launches New Yield-Boosting Microbial Seed Coating
  • Portable device detects soil contamination

Be part of the next solution with the University of Newcastle’s Master of Bioinnovation and Design program.


Courses and Details

Program Code 40098
Graduate Level Postgraduate Coursework
  • Newcastle (Callaghan)
Contributing Schools and Faculties
Admission Instructions:

How to apply as a:

Program Award Rules and Schedules
Mode of delivery Face to Face


The Master of BioInnovation and Design is a new postgraduate program that focuses on collaboration to solve challenges with both local and global impact in the allied health, medical or biomedical field. This program emphasises inter-disciplinary learning in design and innovation through team learning. You will work on cross-disciplinary projects and collaborate with peers with experts from the University Faculties and Industry. Keynote speakers throughout the program will offer their advice on opportunities and pitfalls in the biotechnology and biomedical industry. You will gain experience in design processes, such as strategies to support innovation, design ethics and research as well as an introduction to entrepreneurship and startup business models. This program is aimed at fast tracking students with a STEMM or related background towards pathways in industry requiring a background in design, innovation and commercialisation. The purpose is to provide STEMM based graduates with experience in design, innovation, commercialisation and entrepreneurship. Graduates will become agents for facilitating collaborations between industry and the research sector - a resource - identified by present and past Chief Scientists as being necessary for the expansion of a knowledge based economy.

This program is subject to final University approval.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must have an Honours or equivalent degree (eg Master, PhD or relevant work experience) in a background relevant to one of the proposed projects. Applicants will submit a 200 word expression of interest indicating their suitability for a chosen project. Performance in Honours and undergraduate degree may be considered and an interview may be required where necessary. The selection of participants will be undertaken by an expert panel including project supervisors.

Minimum English Language Proficiency Requirements

Applicants who do not speak English as a first language must demonstrate that they meet the University's English proficiency requirement. Further information regarding English language proficiency requirements can be found at the English Language Proficiency for Admission Policy here.

Requirements and Structure

The Master of BioInnovation and Design is an 80-unit AQF Level 9 program studied over one year of full-time study. The program consists of two project based BioInnovation and Design courses in a multi-term sequence (BIID6001A Projects in BioInnovation and Design Part A and BIID6001B Projects in BioInnovation and Design Part B). Students will also undertake two coursework pieces ARBE6521 Design for Innovation and STAR4000 Innovation, Startups and Entrepreneurship. BIID6001A and BIID6001B cover a single project selected by a college of experts and require students of cross-disciplinary background. Projects will therefore involve working together in teams of peers and experts from the University Faculty and/or Industry. The students will move through a process of needs analysis, business planning, product development and proof of concept testing. In ARBE6521 and STAR4000 students will also learn the principles of project management, entrepreneurship and startup business creation, which will complement skills and knowledge gained in developing and pitching their product. At the conclusion of the degree, students will pitch their design to the College of Experts, Venture Capitalist and an Industry-based audience, that will consider how their product/s might form the basis of a startup business or a novel concept in health innovation.

Course Information

Core Courses

Choose 80 units from Core Courses.

Code Name Availability Units
ARBE6521 Design for Innovation Semester 1 - 2017 (Callaghan) 20 units
BIID6001A Projects in BioInnovation and Design Part A Not currently offered 20 units
BIID6001B Projects in BioInnovation and Design Part B Not currently offered 30 units
STAR4000 Innovation, Startups and Entrepreneurship Winter - 2017 (Callaghan) 10 units

Additional Information

All students can access additional learning development mechanisms provided by the Centre for Teaching and Learning.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students can draw on the assistance and support provided by the Indigenous Student Support and Development service through The Wollotuka Institute.

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrated the ability to critically and systematically integrate specialist knowledge in a multi-disciplinary environment to solve complex problems in biomedicine, health, healthcare and treatment.
  • Demonstrated the strategic skills to form industry linkages relevant to product development in biomedicine, health, healthcare and treatment.
  • Demonstrated the ability to collaboratively define and develop a program of work/project, and the ability to collaboratively manage the program of work to completion.
  • Demonstrated the collaborative selection of appropriate research/production methods, experimental work/testing strategies, analysis and evaluation.
  • Demonstrated a consideration of potential social, environmental and ethical consequences of design innovation.
  • Demonstrated an understanding of how products for use in biomedicine, health, healthcare and treatment are brought to market
  • Demonstrated the ability to articulate ideas and concepts in relation to product development and presentation of the final product for commercial consideration using a range of communication techniques including visual, verbal and written

Credit Transfer

If you wish to apply for credit for studies completed at another institution, or if you are changing programs within the University and wish to transfer your credit to the new program, visit the University’s credit website and click on ‘How to Apply for Credit’.

Special Needs

AccessAbility provides advice and reasonable adjustments to Students with a medical or health condition or disability. If you require adjustments to undertake your program,  contact the Student Support Advisors - AccessAbility  before semester or early in the semester. They will work with the Faculty or School to ensure that this happens in a timely manner.

Please note: All students must fulfil the inherent requirements of the programs and courses they are undertaking. While reasonable adjustments can be made, these adjustments cannot compromise academic integrity. It is the student’s responsibility to check all the requirements of courses, and consider the effects of any medical condition or disability on their ability to complete course requirements. More information is available online

Study a Language

All domestic students can now enrol in an undergraduate Diploma in Languages alongside their main degree program. This diploma will enhance proficiency in another language or languages, and will increase international career opportunities. Subject to course availability, this additional program will generally add an extra year to studies, and students will graduate with a Diploma in Languages as well as their other degree. Please note that all language courses are held on campus (face to face) at Callaghan.

International students cannot enrol concurrently in the Diploma in Languages alongside their primary program unless they can complete both programs within the duration of their primary program CoE. For more information please contact the ESOS Student Compliance Unit

Got a question?

Contact us for advice on how to apply, enrol, or for more information on any of GradSchool’s program options.

Ask a Question

Ready to start?

Once you’ve read our Application guide you’re ready to apply. It's completely online and doesn't cost anything.

Apply Now

For more information about this program

Call us

For all enquiries, please call 1800 882 121

Connect with us

Email us

For all email enquiries, please email