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Students who commenced study in 2016 should refer to this area of study entry for direction on the requirments; 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.

Monash University

Commencement year

This area of study entry applies to students commencing this course in 2016 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.

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

Managing faculty

Faculty of Science

Offered by

Department of Microbiology


Dr Priscilla Johanesen


Faculty of Science

Department of Microbiology



Microbiology is a highly interdisciplinary science that involves the study of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, protozoa, algae and fungi. Throughout history some of the most important scientific discoveries have been made by microbiologists, including the elucidation of the germ theory of disease, the development of vaccines, the discovery of antibiotics, the demonstration that our genetic material is encoded by DNA molecules and the development of recombinant DNA technology. Microbiology impacts upon a wide range of areas including, human and animal health, the environment, food technology and safety, and the biotechnology industry. Today, like no other time in history, the importance of microorganisms can be seen from the impact of infectious diseases throughout the world, the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance, the Human Microbiome Project and the use of microorganisms to provide alternative sources of fuel.

Microbiology at Monash is concerned with the study of microorganisms, their diversity, structure, molecular biology and how they interact with humans and other living organisms in both harmful and beneficial ways. At the undergraduate level the area of study defined as microbiology is designed for students that have a specialised interest in microorganisms and wish to study the field in greater depth. Our lecturers are drawn from the Microbiology department, many world-renowned microbiologists, all of whom focus on elucidating the various mechanisms by which pathogenic microorganisms cause infectious diseases and on the development of new methods for the control and treatment of these diseases.

A Microbiology major opens up a range of opportunities in the field of biomedical sciences and biotechnology. Our graduates will be well prepared for a range of further learning or training activities in microbiology or related areas, including honours studies with a research focus, and are also suitable for employment in a range of disciplines that include teaching, the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, agriculture and food production, microbiology diagnostic and analytical laboratories, sales and marketing in the scientific supply industry, other commercial organisations, the media and government bodies. The skills acquired in microbiology provide invaluable experience where critical and analytical aptitude is required.


Microbiology is listed in S2000 Bachelor of Science, S3001 Bachelor of Science Advanced - Global Challenges (Honours) and S3002 Bachelor of Science Advanced - Research (Honours) at Clayton as a major, extended major or minor.

The microbiology minor, major and extended major are not available in the double degree course S2007 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Biomedical Science.


In addition to achieving the broad outcomes of their course, students successfully completing this major 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 proficiency in a set of core microbiological and molecular biological technical methods, including both an understanding of their principles and utilisation in laboratory settings
  • demonstrate a practical understanding of how 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.


Minor requirements (24 points)

12 points at level 1 and 12 points at level 2.

Students complete the following units (24 points):

  • BIO1011 Biology I
  • BIO1022 Biology II
  • MIC2011 Introduction to microbiology and microbial biotechnology
  • MIC2022 Microbes in health and disease

Major requirements (48 points)

12 points at each of level 1 and level 2, and 24 points at level 3.

Students complete:

(a.) The requirements for the minor in Microbiology (24 points)

(b.) Four level three units (24 points) from the following:

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

Extended major requirements (72 points)

12 points at level 1, 24 points at level 2, and 36 points at level 3.

Students complete:

(a.) The requirements for the major in Microbiology (48 points)

(b.) The following two units (12 points):

(c.) Two units (12 points) from the following:

  • BCH3031 Advanced molecular biology: Modern concepts and applications
  • GEN3040 Genomics and its applications
  • BCH3052 Protein biology: from sequence to structure and desease
  • BCH3990 Action in biochemistry research project

Requirements for progressing to honours

24 points of relevant level 3 units, of which normally 18 points are microbiology or biochemistry, developmental biology, human pathology, immunology, pharmacology and physiology units.

Refer to S3701 Bachelor of Science (Honours) for full details.

Relevant courses


Single degrees

Successful completion of this area of study can be counted towards meeting the requirements for the following single degrees:*

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

Students in other single bachelor's degrees may be eligible to complete the minor or major by using 24 or 48 points of their free electives.

Double degrees

Successful completion of this area of study can be counted towards meeting the requirements for the Bachelor of Science component in the following double degrees:*

  • B2023 Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Science
  • B2016 Bachelor of Commerce Specialist and Bachelor of Science
  • D3005 Bachelor of Education (Honours) and Bachelor of Science
  • E3007 Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) and Bachelor of Science
  • C2003 Bachelor of Information Technology and Bachelor of Science
  • L3007 Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Bachelor of Science
  • S2006 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts
  • S2004 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Computer Science
  • S2003 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Global Studies
  • S2005 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Music

* Students cannot complete a minor, major or extended major in the same area of study.