Course Title: Microbiology

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Microbiology

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016


City Campus


171H School of Science


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

Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Taghrid Istivan

Course Coordinator Phone: 9925 7107

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Level 1, Building 223, Bundoora West Campus

Course Coordinator Availability: By Appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Pre-requisites: a pass in BIOL2256/BIOL2257 Introduction to Microbiology, Immunology and Genetics or an equivalent introductory microbiology course with a practical component.It is assumed that students will  have the basic practical skills and knowledge of aseptic technique to work safely in the microbiology laboratory.

Course Description

This second level microbiology course follows on from introductory studies in microbiology. It enhances the depth of knowledge and practical skills in microbiology with emphasis on bacteria and other microorganisms of importance to humans including viruses, fungi and parasites. This general microbiology course provides the background and fundamental skills for the study of higher level applied courses including food microbiology, environmental microbiology and medical / clinical microbiology.

The course has a comprehensive compulsory practical component that is undertaken to complement the lecture/ theory component.

The capabilities developed in this course include knowledge, technical expertise, critical analysis, communication skills and professional awareness of important medical and industrial microorganisms.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Course Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Describe characteristics, taxonomy, and classification of bacteria and other microorganisms of importance to humans, and apply this knowledge to various microbiology fields (such as medicine & health, environment, and food industries).
  2. Isolate and identify bacteria and other microorganisms in the laboratory safely, applying knowledge of specific microbial characteristics for detection, prevention and control.
  3. Perform microbiology laboratory skills safely and carefully, and demonstrate knowledge of hazards, their prevention and safety.
  4. Work effectively and cooperatively in small groups.
  5. Critically analyse and discuss the results of laboratory investigation into selected case studies demonstrating creativity, initiative and a high level of autonomy.
  6. Communicate clearly and effectively via oral and written approaches using the proper scientific language in the field.

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes in MC111 Master of Biotechnology and MC237 Master of Food Science and Technology:

PLO 1 Understanding science:
1.1 You will demonstrate an advanced understanding of biological sciences by articulating the methods of science, explaining why current biological knowledge is both contestable and testable through further inquiry, and explaining the role and relevance of biotechnology in society.
1.2 You will have an understanding of recent developments in a specialised
area of biotechnology
1.3 You will demonstrate knowledge of research principles and methods
applicable to biological sciences

PLO 2. Advanced skills to critically analyse and solve problems in biotechnology:
2.1 You will demonstrate cognitive skills in mastery of advanced theoretical knowledge in biotechnology and apply this knowledge to solve complex problems in existing and new areas.
2.2 You will generate and evaluate complex ideas and concepts at an abstract level.

PLO 3. Application of knowledge and skills.
You will critically analyse and solve problems in biotechnology by:
3.1 Demonstrating creativity, initiative and a high level of autonomy in research and/or professional practice
3.2 Planning and executing a substantial research or work-based project and/or pieces of scholarship.

PLO 4. Communication:
You will be able to effectively communicate concepts of biotechnology to specialist and non-specialist audiences, using a variety of presentation modes.

PLO 5. Personal and professional responsibility:
5.1 You will be accountable for individual learning and scientific work by being an independent and self-directed learner
5.2 You will work effectively, responsibly, ethically, and safely in an individual or team context

Overview of Learning Activities

You will learn in this course by:

  • Face to face and online lectures in which syllabus material will be presented and explained.
  • Compulsory participation in practical classes which complement the lectures enabling you to acquire and practise skills to handle microorganisms in the laboratory. Discussion sessions during practical classes aim to ensure proper understanding of the topics.
  • Preparation of written practical reports and the application of different e-media tools to produce oral presentations.
  • Private study, working through the course as presented in classes and learning materials provided by the Canvas learning management system.
  • You will work both individually and collaboratively with your peers and subject experts.


Total study hours:


A total of 120 hours of study is expected during this course, comprising:

Teacher-guided hours (60 hours): Each week there will be 2 hours of face-to-face lecture (24 hours) plus 3 hours of laboratory practical sessions for 11 weeks and a 3 hour seminar session (36 hours). You are encouraged to participate during lectures through asking questions, commenting on the lecture material based on your own study.

Student-directed hours (60 hours): You are expected to be self-directed, studying independently outside class. A minimum of 5 hours per week is recommended.

Overview of Learning Resources

A textbook will be prescribed or recommended for this course. Other reference material (e.g. texts in the library, journal articles, websites) will be referred to during classes or on the myRMIT Studies website.

The course is supported by the Canvas learning management system which provides specific learning resources.

See the RMIT Library Guide at

Overview of Assessment

Note that: This course has the practical component as a HURDLE which represents (50 %) of the total mark. The skills learned in practical classes are essential for accreditation and to ensure that you can operate safely and competently as a professional in microbiology laboratory settings.

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).


A: The practical component assessment (HURDLE):

You will be required to demonstrate knowledge of basic microbiological laboratory skills in an online quiz.

You will be required to demonstrate knowledge of and practical competence in basic microbiological laboratory skills as assessed by your teachers  during classes and during the practical examination.

The practical assessment hurdle includes:

1. An online laboratory safety quiz  (5 %)

This assessment supports CLO 3, 6


2. Laboratory Investigations (30 %)

These assessments support CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6


3. Practical Examination (15 %)

This assessment supports CLO 1, 2, 3, & 6


B: The theory component assessment (50%) includes:

1. Online Quizzes (5%)

This assessment supports CLOs 1, 2, 5 & 6.

2. Seminar Presentation (10%)

This assessment supports CLO 1, 2, 4 & 6

3. Written Examination (35 %)

This assessment supports CLOs 1, 2, 5 & 6.


Please note that postgraduate students are expected to demonstrate deeper and a higher level application of knowledge and skills than the undergraduate students. There will be a postgraduate and an undergraduate version for both the mid-semester test and the end-of-semester examination.