To be read in conjunction with the program of study requirements for the



This major aims to provide students with a broad-based foundation in science together with the ability to acquire extensive subject knowledge in the discipline of microbiology. It also aims to develop a range of transferable research, analytical and communication skills including the capacity to:

  • understand and apply relevant scientific principles in a microbiological context
  • retrieve and present scientific information about microbiology, including communicating effectively with lay, general scientific and specialised scientific audiences in written and spoken form
  • critically analyse and evaluate information relevant to microbiology in order to solve problems
  • appreciate the multidisciplinary nature of microbiology and engage positively with people and ideas within the associated disciplines and beyond
  • appreciate the the role of microbiology in society, the regulatory frameworks which apply to and the ethical issues it raises
  • work independently and take responsibility for updating and adapting their knowledge and skills
  • work effectively and productively within a team.

The major provides the foundations that will underpin ongoing professional development, preparing graduates for further study in microbiology or another science or non-science related discipline or for a career in a microbiology related field or in other areas where the range of skills and knowledge acquired is needed or desirable. 

Learning outcomes

On completion of the major students will be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge of and critically apply theories, subject content, professional methodologies and research procedures relevant to microbiology
  • understand and describe the processes through which the current knowledge about the discipline of microbiology was developed
  • analyse and critically evaluate ideas, data and information and apply relevant scientific principles to solve problems by, for example, creating hypotheses, testing theories and predictions, designing and carrying out experiments and analysing reported data
  • design and carry out experiments using appropriate techniques and protocols
  • communicate their findings to lay, general scientific and specialised scientific audiences in written and spoken form
  • appreciate that microbiology has connections to other science and non-science disciplines
  • work and learn independently and appreciate the need for continuing professional development
  • interact effectively as part of a team in order to achieve common goals
  • work in a microbiology laboratory, with an appreciation of work practices relating to WH&S, animal/human ethics and biosafety
  • use a variety of IT applications essential to the practice of microbiology
  • culture and identify microorganisms
  • understand the microbiological nature of disease.

Program of Study

Major - Microbiology - Year 1 topics

18 units comprising:

Core - Year 1 Topics

 BIOL1101  Evolution of Biological Diversity  (4.5 units)
 BIOL1102  Molecular Basis of Life  (4.5 units)
 STAT1122  Biostatistics  (4.5 units)

Option - Year 1 Topics

Plus one of:

 CHEM1101  Chemical Structure and Bonding  (4.5 units)
 CHEM1201  General Chemistry  (4.5 units)


 CHEM1202  Chemistry for the Life Sciences  (4.5 units)

Major - Microbiology - Year 2 topics

18 units comprising: 

 Core - Year 2 Topics

 BIOL2701  Experimental Design and Statistics for Biology  (4.5 units)
 BIOL2702  Genetics, Evolution and Biodiversity  (4.5 units)
 BIOL2722  Disease and Immunology  (4.5 units)
 BIOL3761  Foundations in Microbiology  (4.5 units)

Major - Microbiology - Year 3 topics

18 units comprising: 

 Core - Year 3 Topics

 BIOL2761  Virology  (4.5 units)
 BIOL3782  Advanced Microbiology: Microbial Ecology and Infectious Disease  (4.5 units)
 BTEC3004  Environmental Biotechnology  (4.5 units)
 MMED3939  Medical Virology, Immunology and Immunopathogens  (4.5 units)