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.