Faculty of Science

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 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.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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




Mr Mohamed Mohideen (clayton); Andrew Greenhill (Gippsland)



  • First semester 2016 (Day)


  • First semester 2016 (Day)


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 microbial DNA replication, gene structure and expression, regulation of gene expression and mechanisms of genetic variation;

  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): 10% (lecture theory component)
Examinations: Theory Paper I (2 hours) - 40% and Practical Paper II (2 hours) - 15%
In semester practical assessment: 35%
A pass in both the theory and practical components of the unit must be obtained to pass the unit.

Workload requirements

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

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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


12 points of level one Chemistry or one of BIO1022, BMS1021 or BIO1722. Recommended: MCB2011 and MCB2022 (or MOL2011 and MOL2022)


BTH2711, BTH2830