6 x 1-hour tutorials per semester
1 x 2-hour workshop weekly
10 x 3-hour practicals per semester
BIOL3761 - Foundations in Microbiology
Enrolment not permitted
BIOL8009 has been successfully completed
Topic description

This topic is designed to give students a broad understanding of major elements of microbiology including bacteriology, microbial genomics, the role of microbes in disease and microbial ecology, expanding on the material covered in Foundations of Microbiology. The practical work is designed both to extend skills in handling bacteria and to apply these skills to the study of microbes in particular environments. The theme of this topic is life from the micro-organisms' perspective - for example, the activity of micro-organisms and how this activity impacts on microbial habitats and environments (from waterways to human skin). Included are fundamental areas of microbiology, such as isolation, enumeration and identification of bacteria by traditional and new techniques, microbial physiology, microbial structure, microbial ecology, medical microbiology and pathogenesis, and immunology.

Educational aims

The laboratory-based experimental section of the topic will provide students with practical experience in the handling, isolation and identification of microbes and will provide them with opportunities to work independently and as part of a team. The topic will present information to prepare students for further study in specific areas of molecular biosciences that include a microbiological aspect, including; biology, biotechnology and aquaculture.

The specific aims and objectives of this topic are to:

  • Consolidate bacteriological techniques, such that students can conduct work with bacteria with confidence and safety
  • Examine some of the diversity of form and biological activity found amongst bacteria
  • Learn strategies for isolating and enumerating specific bacterial species and viruses
  • Learn methods for confirming the identity of specific bacteria
  • Study bacteria which have a direct impact on human welfare
  • Develop techniques for recording observations accurately in a notebook which is then available as a definitive long-term record of experimental work
  • Learn analytical skills relevant to practical microbiology
Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Understand the basic principles governing the function, organisation and manipulation of micro-organisms
  2. Possess the technical mastery required to handle micro-organisms safely
  3. Assimilate, formulate and interpret information in microbiology, all of which can be applied to other fields
  4. Communicate results of experiments