• Class Number 8668
  • Term Code 3060
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • AsPr Naresh Verma
    • AsPr Naresh Verma
    • Prof Ulrike Mathesius
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 27/07/2020
  • Class End Date 30/10/2020
  • Census Date 31/08/2020
  • Last Date to Enrol 03/08/2020
SELT Survey Results

This course focuses on the general principles of microbiology and includes the following topics: bacterial cell structure and function; genetic systems of bacteria, bacteriophages and plasmids; microbial growth and metabolism; energy and nutrient harvesting; microorganisms and the environment; control of microorganisms; introduction to viruses; food and industrial microbiology.

Note: This is a co-taught course. Undergraduate and graduate students attend joint classes but learning outcomes and assessment are slightly different.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

1. Describe diversity of microorganisms, bacterial cell structure and function, microbial growth and metabolism, and the ways to control their growth by physical and chemical means
2. Explain the basic genetic systems of bacteria, bacteriophage and plasmids
3. Explain the role of microorganisms in food production and preservation, and their ability to cause food-borne infections
4. Demonstrate practical skills in fundamental microbiological techniques
5. Systematically apply the scientific method of investigation and hypothesis testing including the development of theoretical and practical skills in the design and execution of experiments as well as the development of oral and writing skills necessary for the effective communication of experimental results

Research-Led Teaching

Both lecturers involved in teaching the course are international experts in their specific field of research. In one practical of the course, you will assess the rate of killing of two test organisms by different commercially available domestic disinfectants, in the presence and absence of organic matter. Furthermore, as part of writing reports for practicals, you will search and read recent research articles related to a particular practical topic.

Additional Course Costs

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is required in all wet labs. A lab coat will be provided to every student to be used only for this course. Safety glasses must be purchased. You must wear closed shoes to be admitted to the laboratory.

Examination Material or equipment

Online exam

Required Resources

BIOL2142/6142 lab manual is available for purchase online using a credit card only from Science Shop at http://scienceshop.anu.edu.au/. Please print the receipt and bring to the Biology Teaching and Learning Centre (BTLC) Office to collect the manual.

Prescribed texts: Prescott’s Microbiology by Willey, Sherwood and Woolverton, McGraw-Hill (Latest Edition)

Reference Texts:

A number of other microbiology texts are held in Hancock library.

Microbiology: Fundamentals and Applications by Atlas

Brock Biology of Microorganisms by Madigan et al.

Microbiology: Dynamics and Diversity by Perry and Staley


In relation to general reading, students are encouraged to search current and earlier issues of Annual Review of Microbiology, Trends in Microbiology, Microbiological Reviews, Science and Nature.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • Written comments
  • Verbal comments
  • Feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups
  • Students are encouraged to ask questions during and after lectures. The convenor and demonstrators are available in each practical session to provide feedback on any aspect of the course content.

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 2 lectures, 1 practical class
2 2 lectures, 1 practical class
3 2 lectures, 1 practical class
4 2 lectures, 1 practical class
5 2 lectures, 1 practical class
6 2 lectures, 1 practical class Practical report
7 2 lectures, 1 practical class Practical report
8 2 lectures, 1 practical class
9 2 lectures, 1 practical class Practical report
10 2 lectures, 1 practical class
11 2 lectures, 1 practical class
12 2 lectures, 1 practical class Practical Test
13 Optional tutorial during Exam period Exam

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Practical Reports and Test 40 % * * 1,4,5
Mid-term test 20 % 31/08/2020 25/09/2020 1,2,3
Final Exam 40 % 05/11/2020 03/12/2020 1,2,3

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


You must attend all practical sessions or complete the remote option where  practicals are replaced with other practical-related activities.


Students must pass the exam to pass the course.

Please note, that where a date range is used in the Assessment Summary in relation to exams, the due date and return date for mid-semester exams indicate the approximate timeframe in which the exam will be held; the due and return date for end of semester exams indicate the approximate timeframe in which the exam will be held and the date official end of Semester results are released on ISIS. Students should consult the course wattle site and the ANU final examination timetable to confirm the date, time and venue of the exam.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 40 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,4,5

Practical Reports and Test

Three written reports of laboratory practical class, showing an understanding of lab skills, experimental design, concise reporting and scientific writing. Details of tasks are included in the practical manual. Further instructions will be given in the practical class for each task.

Report 1: Due Week 6

Report 2: Due Week 7

Report 3: Due Week 9

Practical test: Week 12

There are three reports due over the semester. It is intended that the marked reports will be returned within 2 weeks after submission. Further details can be found on the Course Wattle site. The practical test will be comprising multiple-choice questions.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 31/08/2020
Return of Assessment: 25/09/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Mid-term test

Comprising multiple-choice questions. This will be from the content covered in the first six weeks of lectures. Please check published ANU exam timetable for date and time.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 05/11/2020
Return of Assessment: 03/12/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Final Exam

Online exam comprising short answer questions. Please check published ANU exam timetable for date and time.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Marked assignments will usually be returned through Wattle.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

No resubmission of assignments is permitted.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information. In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service — including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy. If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes. Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

AsPr Naresh Verma

Wednesday 12:00 13:00
AsPr Naresh Verma

Research Interests

AsPr Naresh Verma

Wednesday 12:00 13:00
Prof Ulrike Mathesius

Research Interests

Prof Ulrike Mathesius

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions