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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Undergraduate - Area of Study

All areas of study information should be read in conjunction with the relevant course entry in the Handbook. The units listed for this area of study relate only to the 'Requirements' outlined in the Faculty of Science component of any bachelors double degrees.

Managing facultyFaculty of Science
Offered bySchool of Applied Sciences and Engineering
Course coordinatorMs Jenny Mosse


Microbiology is an absorbing science that is at the core of exciting new developments that have occurred in modern molecular biology. Microbiology is concerned with the study of micro-organisms such as bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses, their structure and way of life, how they interact with people and other living organisms in both harmful and beneficial ways and how they can be exploited to our advantage. Level two studies highlight the diversity of the microbial world, examine how microbes grow and survive, interact with their environment, and interact with the human body to cause disease. There is a strong emphasis on the techniques of recombinant DNA technology and the key role of bacterial plasmids and viruses as essential vehicles for genetic manipulation. At level three, specialised units address specific applications of microbiology in medical diagnostics; in food manufacture and other industrial settings; and in microbial ecology, waste minimisation and bioremediation.


On completion of a major sequence in applied microbiology, students will:

  • have achieved a broad understanding of the diversity and range of microorganisms, and their role in the development of the techniques that underpin modern molecular biology
  • have developed a broad understanding of the interactions between humans and microorganisms
  • be proficient in a set of core microbiological and molecular biological technical methods, in terms of understanding the principles of the methods as well as their utilisation in laboratory settings
  • be suitable for employment in a range of activities in which their studies in microbiology and related areas can be applied in a specific or generic manner to the requirements of the position (that may entail further specific training), in areas that include teaching, biotechnology-based industry, diagnostic and analytical laboratories, sales and marketing, commercial organisations, media and government bodies
  • be prepared for further studies in microbiological and allied sciences including undertaking higher research degrees
  • have developed, in the context of the discipline, the graduate attributes of effective communication, quantitative literacy, information and communication literacy, inquiry and critical thinking, and ethical, social and international understanding
  • be eligible, upon obtaining sufficient practical experience, to apply for membership of the Australian Society for Microbiology, the professional society for microbiologists in Australia.


Level two

  • BTH2732 Recombinant DNA technology
  • MIC2011 Introduction to microbiology and microbial biotechnology

Level three

  • BTH3711 Food and industrial microbiology
  • BTH3722 Medical microbiology
  • BTH3732 Environmental microbiology
  • BTH3752 Molecular biology and biotechnology
  • BTH3990 Biotechnology in action research project

Sequence requirements

Minor sequence in applied microbiology (24 points)

Major sequence in applied microbiology (48 points)

Requirements for honours in microbiology

  • 24 points of relevant level-three units, of which normally 18 points are from units listed above

Additional information

All level three units incorporate a week-long laboratory program that simulates employment in a diagnostic, food, or analytical microbiology laboratory. Site visits to hospital laboratories, dairy processing plants, breweries and wastewater treatment facilities also provide valuable insights into industrial operations.


In addition to the requirements listed above, students must meet the entry requirements for the Science honours program relevant to the course of enrolment. See the entry for 0051 Honours degree of Bachelor of Science for full details regarding the course structure for honours in microbiology on the Gippsland campus.

Relevant Courses

  • 0050 Bachelor of Science