1 x 1-hour lecture-1 weekly
2 x 1-hour workshops weekly
1 x 3-hour practical weekly
1 BIOL1102 - Molecular Basis of Life
2 1 of CHEM1101, CHEM1202, CHEM1010
Must Satisfy: (1 and 2)
Enrolment not permitted
BIOL8008 has been successfully completed
Topic description
This topic is designed to give students majoring in Molecular Bioscience knowledge of the fundamental aspects of the actions of microorgansims as well as laboratory skills in isolating, handling, enumerating and identifying microorganisms. The aim is to promote understanding and awareness in these students of the important roles microorganisms have in major areas such as human health and the environment. Assessment will be made on the basis of assignments and written examination and also performance in the laboratory.
Educational aims
The topic aims to provide students with an increased awareness and understanding of the fundamental importance of microbiological processes in the world around them. Students will gain an understanding of the impacts microbial processes have on diverse areas such as human health, food, drinking water quality, the environment etc. The topic aims to enhance students' learning of laboratory skills and practices.

The specific aims and objectives of this topic are to:

  1. Develop bacteriological techniques, such that students can conduct laboratory work with bacteria with confidence and safety
  2. Examine some of the diversity of form and fundamental biological activity found amongst bacteria
  3. Learn strategies for isolating and enumerating microbes from environmental samples
  4. Learn methods for confirming the identity of specific bacteria
  5. Begin to study bacteria which have a direct impact on human welfare
  6. Develop techniques for recording observations accurately in a notebook which is then available as a definitive long-term record of experimental work
  7. Develop numerical skills relevant to practical microbiology
Expected learning outcomes
At the completion of the topic, students are expected to be able to:

  1. Understand key processes in microbiology, including microbial cell biology, microbial genetics, microbial interactions with and impacts on humans and the environment
  2. Possess the technical skills required to handle microorganisms safely as well as to work safely in a laboratory
  3. Participate in a range of laboratory practices; analytical, critical thinking and communication (reporting) skills applied to microbiological laboratory experiments
  4. Communicate results of experiments