Faculty of Science

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 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.

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6 points, SCA Band 2, 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 2014 (Day)
Gippsland First semester 2014 (Day)
Malaysia First semester 2014 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Mr Mohamed Mohideen (Clayton); Dr Lee Sui Mae (Malaysia); 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 be able to:

  1. Describe different micro-organisms and the relationships that exist between them;

  1. Describe microbial cell structure, function, nutrition, physiology and growth and how micro-organisms are controlled;

  1. Explain the role that micro-organisms play in the preservation, fermentation, preparation and spoilage of food;

  1. Outline environmental micro-organisms and their importance in the biogeochemical cycles, environmental pollution, water quality and treatment, bioremediation, bioleaching and waste treatment;

  1. Demonstrate basic microbiological laboratory skills such as the use of the microscope, microscopic staining and visualisation techniques, 'microbial culture', and be able to identify common species of bacteria and fungi;

  1. Demonstrate effective communication of microbial experiments by oral and written means.


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)

Workload requirements

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

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


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