Faculty of Science

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

print version

6 points, SCA Band 0 (NATIONAL PRIORITY), 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Science
OfferedClayton First semester 2012 (Day)
Gippsland First semester 2012 (Day)
Sunway First semester 2012 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Mr Mohamed Mohideen (Clayton); Dr Lee Sui Mae (Sunway); Ms Jennifer Mosse (Gippsland)


The unit deals with the study of micro-organisms: their morphological and physiological characteristics, diversity and relationships and their importance to humans and the environment. Practical applications include, the study of selected micro-organisms in the environment and human body, concepts in microbial biotechnology including fermentation processes, control and use of micro-organisms in the food industry, water quality and bioremediation. The practical program includes microscopy, staining techniques, culturing, appropriate handling procedures and methods of enumeration and identification of micro-organisms. This unit provides a basis for the more advanced microbiology study.


On completion of this unit students will appreciate the diversity among micro-organisms, and the relationships between them. They will understand aspects of microbial cell structure, function, nutrition, physiology and growth, and be aware of the theoretical basis of common sterilisation and disinfection methods. Students will understand the role of micro-organisms in the preservation, fermentation, preparation and spoilage of food, and be aware of the important bacteria involved in medicine. Students will also have an understanding of the role of micro-organisms in the environment and their importance in the biogeochemical cycles, environmental pollution, water quality and treatment, bioremediation, bioleaching and waste treatment. Additionally, students will acquire skills in the use of basic microbiological equipment such as the microscope and steam steriliser, and in microscopic staining and visualisation techniques. Students will be able to culture and identify common species of bacteria and fungi, and will gain experience in report preparation and oral presentations.


Mid-semester test (50 min): 15%
Examinations (2 x 2 hours): 40% (Paper I) and 25% (Paper II)
Practical reports and quizzes: 15%
Laboratory practical skills: 5%

Chief examiner(s)

Mr Mohamed Mohideen

Contact hours

Three 1-hour lectures and one 3-hour practical/tutorial/self-directed learning exercise per week


12 points of level one Chemistry or one of BIO1022, BMS1021 or BIO1722. Recommended: MOL2011 and MOL2022