Courses & Units

Microbes and Man KLA256


Microorganisms, though invisibly small, collectively make up the majority of the living matter on Earth and have profound influences on many aspects of our lives. This unit will draw on contemporary, real-world examples to explore the influence and impact of microorganisms - both positive and detrimental - on human activities and aspirations. Students will be introduced briefly to the ecology and biology of the main groups of microorganisms and then to the ways in which microorganisms affect and underpin our lives, e.g. through disease of humans, animals and plants, their effects on natural and human-controlled environments, in agriculture and food production and deterioration, and their exploitation in a wide range of (bio)technologies. A range of excursions and tutorial activities will be used to extend, enrich and exemplify the lecture content. The emphasis in this unit is on understanding the significance of microorganisms in Nature and their interactions with humans and human society, rather than developing microbiology laboratory skills. This understanding will be assessed via a number of communication methods and students will be given training in, and encouraged, to become critical thinkers and effective communicators of science.


Unit name Microbes and Man
Unit code KLA256
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

Sustainable Development Goals

The Unit Coordinator has identified that this unit aligns with the following UN Sustainable Development Goals. We welcome your thoughts and feedback on the alignment of the unit with these goals.


Location Study period Attendance options Available to
Hobart Semester 2 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 2 22/7/2024 16/8/2024 9/9/2024 27/10/2024

* 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 of microorganisms in natural or managed ecosystems
  • Apply microbiological knowledge and principles to evaluate the potential for microorganisms to solve, or cause, ‘real world’ problems.
  • Communicate microbiology principles to a non-expert audience using a range of media.

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
059901 $1,118.00 $1,118.00 not applicable $3,068.00

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.


Teaching Pattern

2 x lectures and 1 x 3-hr practical, excursion or tutorial classes per week

Assessment2 Minute Tease|Field Trip Medical Disclosure and Authorisation Form|Supermarket Microbiology|Course Content Connections (10%)|Excursion Reports (x2) (10%)|Selfies (10%)|Poster (30%)|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.

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