Monash University

Undergraduate - Area of study

Students who commenced study in 2015 should refer to this area of study entry for direction on the requirements; to check which units are currently available for enrolment, refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your area of study.

print version

This area of study entry applies to students commencing this course in 2015 and should be read in conjunction with the relevant course entry in the Handbook. Any 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 byDepartment of Microbiology
School of Science
Campus(es)Clayton, Malaysia
CoordinatorDr Priscilla Johanesen (Clayton); Dr Emily Goh Joo Kheng (Malaysia)


  • Unit codes that are not linked to their entry in the Handbook are not available for study in the current year.


Microbiology is an absorbing science that is at the core of exciting new developments that have occurred in modern molecular biology. It involves the analysis and genetic manipulation of bacteria, parasites and viruses.

Recent developments such as the swine influenza outbreak, SARS, legionnaire's disease and the rise of antibiotic resistance in medically important bacteria emphasise the importance of understanding infectious diseases for human health. Microbiology is concerned with the study of these emerging diseases and 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. All these aspects are featured in units commencing at level two. These involve the study of the diversity of the microbial world, food microbiology and an analysis of how microbes grow and survive. At the practical level, students will learn about how micro-organisms interact with their environment, and about how they interact with the human body to cause disease. Several major diseases such as malaria, influenza and tuberculosis will be studied in depth.

At level three, studies progress to the molecular biology of bacteria and viruses, bacterial and viral pathogenesis, and medical microbiology. In the current era of recombinant DNA technology and genetic engineering, bacterial plasmids and viruses provide the essential vehicles for genetic manipulation and expression in recipient cells, emphasising the core role of microbiology in the biomedical sciences. Practical classes in microbiology are designed to provide laboratory skills in safe handling of micro-organisms, experimental procedures illustrating their properties and functions, laboratory diagnosis, and genetic manipulation and expression. There is a strong emphasis on training in the techniques of recombinant DNA technology.

Learning outcomes

Graduates from Clayton will be able to:

  • describe the range and diversity of microorganisms within the living world, including bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites that inhabit the natural environment as well as those that colonise human and animal hosts
  • demonstrate a set of core microbiological and molecular biological skills, gaining an understanding of both the principles behind the techniques as well as their utilisation in laboratory settings
  • critically evaluate published literature and data sources to provide a comprehensive account of how microorganisms interact with their environment and contribute to human and animal diseases
  • demonstrate a practical understanding of the way microorganisms affect our lives; specifically, their role in the environment and the food industry, in animal production, the importance of infection control and personal responsibility in community health, and the continuing rise of emerging infectious disease as a global public health crisis
  • demonstrate basic skills in laboratory research and the scientific method of hypothesis testing and investigation, including how to collect, organise, analyse and interpret experimental data specifically related to the field of microbiology
  • demonstrate written, visual and oral presentation skills to communicate scientific knowledge, including the presentation of scientific posters, scientific reports, and oral presentations
  • work independently as well as cooperating effectively with others in a collaborative research team
  • develop, in the context of the discipline of microbiology, the graduate attributes of effective communication, quantitative literacy, information and communication literacy, inquiry and critical thinking, and ethical, social and international understanding.

Graduates from Malaysia will be able to:

  • demonstrate a broad understanding of the diversity and range of microorganisms, the interactions between humans and microorganisms, the role of microorganisms in industrial and environmental processes, and their role in the development of the techniques that underpin modern molecular biology
  • demonstrate proficiency in a set of core microbiological and molecular biological technical methods, including both an understanding of the principles of the methods and their utilisation in laboratory settings
  • demonstrate familiarity with the risk assessment process, and use this information to operate safely in the laboratory environment
  • collect, organise, analyse, evaluate and interpret experimental data using appropriate quantitative, technological and critical thinking skills
  • critically evaluate relevant scientific data and literature and comprehend the nature and scope of the scientific literature in microbiology and related areas
  • communicate microbiological principles and information effectively to diverse audiences, using a variety of formats
  • work and learn effectively, both independently and collaboratively, in a manner that respects the needs and views of others.


All students must complete the requirements as outlined below for the campus at which they are enrolled.



Level two

  • MIC2011 Introduction to microbiology and microbial biotechnology
  • MIC2022 Microbes in health and disease

Level three

  • MIC3011 Molecular microbiology
  • MIC3022 Molecular virology and viral pathogenesis
  • MIC3032 Pathogenesis of bacterial infectious diseases
  • MIC3041 Medical microbiology
  • MIC3990 Action in microbiology research project


Minor in microbiology (24 points)

Minor in molecular biology (24 points)

Major in microbiology (48 points)

Extended major in microbiology (72 points)

* This unit has additional pre-requisites that need to be taken in addition to the units listed.

The BCH, GEN, IMM and MOL units and related majors and minors are described in the biochemistrybiochemistry (http://www.monash.edu.au/pubs/2015handbooks/aos/biochemistry-and-molecular-biology/), geneticsgenetics (http://www.monash.edu.au/pubs/2015handbooks/aos/genetics/) and immunologyimmunology (http://www.monash.edu.au/pubs/2015handbooks/aos/immunology/) entries in the Science areas of study section of this Handbook.

Requirements for honours in microbiology

  • 24 points of relevant level-three units, of which normally 18 points are microbiology or biochemistry, developmental biology, human pathology, immunology, pharmacology and physiology units.

Refer to the above science areas of studyscience areas of study (http://www.monash.edu.au/pubs/2015handbooks/aos/index-byfaculty-sci.html) in this Handbook for details of relevant level-three units.

Students who have completed other majors may be eligible with approval of the head of school.

Additional information

Level two

Students enrolling in MIC2011 and MIC2022 are strongly advised to enrol in the molecular biology units MOL2011 and MOL2022. Useful companion units are available from biochemistry, immunology, genetics and pharmacology. Students should also note that MIC2011 and MIC2022 are prerequisites for MIC3032 and MIC3041. Microbiology units are recommended for students planning future studies in medical or paramedical fields. They are also recommended for those students who are uncertain about the direction of their future career, as they offer a basic grounding that is considerably adaptable.

Level three

The final year of microbiology offers a broad range of specialist units that in combination provide well-structured training in most modern aspects of microbiology. Four of the five level-three MIC units are required for accreditation in the workforce as a professional microbiologist.


Coordinator: Professor Julian Rood

In addition to the requirements listed above, students must meet the entry requirements for the science honours program relevant to their course of enrolment. Enrolment in an honours project is subject to approval of the supervisor and the head of department. See the entries for:

  • S3002 Bachelor of Science Advanced - Research (Honours)
  • 0051 Bachelor of Science (Honours)
  • 2188 Bachelor of Science (Science Scholar Program) (Honours)

Full details regarding the course structure for honours in this area of study are outlined in course 0051 Bachelor of Science (Honours).



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
  • SCI3990 Science in action research project

Sequence requirements

Minor in applied microbiology (24 points)

Major 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 Bachelor of Science (Honours) for full details regarding the course structure for honours in microbiology.

Relevant courses

Single degrees

  • S2000 Bachelor of Science
  • S3001 Bachelor of Science Advanced - Global Challenges (Honours)
  • S3002 Bachelor of Science Advanced - Research (Honours)

Double degrees

  • 4642 Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering (Honours) and Bachelor of Science
  • 0530 Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science
  • 1469 Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Science
  • D3005 Bachelor of Education (Honours) and Bachelor of Science
  • 4646 Bachelor of Environmental Engineering (Honours) and Bachelor of Science
  • 4069 Bachelor of Journalism and Bachelor of Science
  • L3007 Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Bachelor of Science
  • 3517 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Computer Science
  • 4638 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)
  • S2003 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Global Studies

Honours degrees

  • 0051 Bachelor of Science (Honours)
  • 2188 Bachelor of Science (Science Scholar Program) (Honours)