Course Title: Industrial Microbiology

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Industrial Microbiology

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016


Bundoora Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 1 2020

Course Coordinator: Prof. Ian Macreadie

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 6627

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Room 223.1.06F

Course Coordinator Availability: Email for appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Students should have studied microbiology and biochemistry to second-year undergraduate level, i.e. BIOL2158/2159 or equivalent and are assumed to be familiar with microbiological techniques and terminology.   Students undertaking this course without this should realise this is assumed in the learning materials.

Course Description

The course is designed to develop the student’s ability to apply the techniques used in the different phases of industrial microbiology: discovery, production (including fermentation and scale-up), bioprocessing and cell banking. It includes the principles and practices in the main applications of micro-organisms to the industrial production of foods, pure chemicals, proteins and other useful products, including the use of genetically modified organisms. This course aims to enable graduates to enter industry with an appropriate level of understanding of the need for both the science and business aspects to be achievable to make a viable product.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes at AQF Level 9:

  • Scientific knowledge
  • Application of Knowledge and skills
  • Personal and Professional respponsibilities


On completion of this course, you should be able to:

  1. describe the main steps and processes used to produce biological products in industry
  2. discover new useful microorganisms and store them reliably for later use
  3. evaluate which molecular techniques are applicable to improve production (including transfer of useful genes to microorganisms that are more amenable to large-scale production and the use of molecular techniques to block and enhance specific metabolism)
  4. understand ethical and commercial issues such as record keeping, confidentiality, patenting, andlicensing
  5. perform microbiological  investigations, observe and  evaluate the data obtained, and report the findings accurately and precisely
  6. undertake an independent investigation to propose microbiological options for developing anewproductonalarge-scalecommercialbasis



Overview of Learning Activities

The learning activities included in this course are:
• attendance at lectures where syllabus material will be presented and explained, and the subject will be illustrated with demonstrations and examples
• completion of laboratory exercises designed to give further practice in the application of theory and procedures, and to give feedback on student progress and understanding
• private study, working through the course as presented in classes and learning materials, and gaining practice at solving conceptual and numerical problems.

Total Study Hours

Three hours each week are used for teacher guided activities, including lectures from experts in Industrial Microbiology as well as tutorials. In addition practical activities include seven 3 hour sessions. You are expected to spend a minimum of four hours per week on independent study.

Overview of Learning Resources

Students will be provided with lists of relevant texts, library resources (including appropriate journals) and freely accessible internet sites. Other material will be provided in class. Students will be able to access course information and learning material through the Learning Hub (via myRMIT).

Overview of Assessment

All hurdle requirements for this course are indicated clearly in the assessment regime that follows, against the relevant assessment task(s) and all have been approved by the College Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching).

The course will be assessed by individual or group projects and by theory examination (45%), on-line test (10%), practicals (15%), discovery research project (10%), lab record keeping (10%) and a critical analysis (of an aspect of Industrial Microbiology) (10%). Each assessment supports the following CLOs:

  1. Theory examination = CLO #1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6
  2. On-line test = CLO #1, 3, 4, 5 and 6
  3. Practicals (HURDLE) = CLO #3 and 5
  4. Research Project = CLO #2, 4 and 6
  5. Lab record keeping = CLO #4, 5 and 6
  6. Critical analysis = CLO #6