Courses & Units

Microbiology KLA210

Students who have undertaken any first year unit in the Biological or Natural Sciences not listed in the pre-requisites should contact the Unit Co-ordinator to discuss possible entry to the unit.


Microbiology is the study of microorganisms- how they work and their role in our world. Microorganisms encompass huge diversity and include bacteria, viruses, fungi and single-celled animals and algae. Although not visible to the naked eye, microorganisms have a profound effect on our world. They are fundamental to the basic nutrient and biogeochemical cycles that underpin life on Earth; they cause infectious diseases, including diseases of crops and farmed animals; and they are used to make foods and a vast array of chemicals used in agriculture, food processing, mining and other industries. Importantly, the study of microorganisms can tell us much about the origin and history of life, and has taught us about basic life processes that are now being exploited in the various fields of molecular biology. This unit provides students with a basic knowledge of microbiology with particular emphasis on the structure, function and ecophysiology of bacteria and viruses. The unit considers the place of microorganisms in the evolution of life on earth, their structure, chemistry, biology and ecology, and their role in disease, ecosystems, food production and biotechnology. The practical component equips students with skills in the cultivation and identification of bacteria and mycelial fungi as well as an introduction to techniques in molecular microbiology. Combined, the theory content and training in laboratory skills prepares students for advanced level Microbiology subjects.


Unit name Microbiology
Unit code KLA210
Credit points 12.5
College/School College of Sciences and Engineering
Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
Discipline Agriculture and Food Systems
Coordinator Doctor Lyndal Mellefont
Available as an elective? Yes
Delivered By University of Tasmania
Level Intermediate


Location Study period Attendance options Available to
Hobart Semester 1 On-Campus International Domestic
Launceston Semester 1 On-Campus International Domestic


International students
Domestic students

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Key Dates

Study Period Start date Census date WW date End date
Semester 1 26/2/2024 22/3/2024 15/4/2024 2/6/2024

* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (refer to How do I withdraw from a unit? for more information).

Unit census dates currently displaying for 2024 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2024 will be available from the 1st October 2023. Note census date cutoff is 11.59pm AEST (AEDT during October to March).

About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  • Describe the importance, both beneficial and harmful, of the five major groups of microorganisms to human welfare and related activities
  • Describe how the physiological characteristics of specific groups of microorganisms and how this affects the range of environments they occupy and their activities within them
  • Determine appropriate methods for control, study and exploitation of microorganisms for practical and research applications
  • Perform laboratory techniques used within PC 1 and 2 microbiology laboratories
  • Select, undertake and interpret appropriate tests to differentiate and classify microorganisms on the basis of the morphology, metabolism and genetics

Fee Information

Field of Education Commencing Student Contribution 1,3 Grandfathered Student Contribution 1,3 Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2,3 Domestic Full Fee 4
010911 $1,118.00 $1,118.00 not applicable $2,596.00

1 Please refer to more information on student contribution amounts.
2 Please refer to more information on eligibility and Approved Pathway courses.
3 Please refer to more information on eligibility for HECS-HELP.
4 Please refer to more information on eligibility for FEE-HELP.

If you have any questions in relation to the fees, please contact UConnect or more information is available on StudyAssist.

Please note: international students should refer to What is an indicative Fee? to get an indicative course cost.



KZA161 OR KPA161 OR KPZ164 OR KRA113 OR KRA121 OR CHG105 OR CZZ101

Mutual Exclusions

You cannot enrol in this unit as well as the following:



Teaching Pattern

2 x 50 min lectures weekly, 1x 3 hr practical weekly (Weeks 1-11)

Assessment'Mid' Term Theory Test (15%)|Weekly Assignments (15%)|Laboratory Practical Test (30%)|Theory Examination (40%)
TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



Required readings will be listed in the unit outline prior to the start of classes.


Brock’s Biology of Micro-organisms (latest Edn.), edited by Madigan, Martenko, Dunlap and Clarke (copies available to purchase from Booktopia, and to borrow from the Morris Miller Library, Hobart campus).

(Some copies of older Editions are available to borrow from the Morris Miller Library, Hobart campus in the Science Library, Hobart campus and the Launceston Library.  n.b. This text is revised every three years; revisions have usually been relatively minor)


Prescott’s Microbiology (latest Edn.), edited by Willey, Sherwood and Wolverton.

For those students intending to study microbiology at third year level, either of these excellent texts would be a worthwhile investment.

Other useful texts include:

Black. Microbiology Principles and Explorations (latest Edn.), Wiley (also available to borrow from the Morris Miller Library, Hobart campus and an older edition is located in the Clinical Library).

Slonczewski and Foster. Microbiology an Evolving Science (latest Edn) (also available to borrow from the Morris Miller Library, Hobart campus).

Wessner, Dupont and Charles, Microbiology, Wiley also available to borrow from the Morris Miller Library, Hobart campus.

LinksBooktopia textbook finder

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