• Class Number 6205
  • Term Code 3360
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof Peter Solomon
    • Dr Denisse Leyton
    • Dr Emily Furlong
    • Prof Peter Solomon
    • Prof Ulrike Mathesius
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 24/07/2023
  • Class End Date 27/10/2023
  • Census Date 31/08/2023
  • Last Date to Enrol 31/07/2023
SELT Survey Results

Microorganisms play a significant role in medicine, agriculture, the environment, and many facets of our daily lives. This course focuses on the general principles of microbiology, providing students with an understanding of the fundamental concepts of the biology of microorganisms. The course 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.

Practical skills are an essential part of microbiology. The laboratory classes in this course aim: (1) to teach and develop basic microbiological techniques and experimental skills; (2) to illustrate some of the concepts presented in the lectures.

This course is co-taught with undergraduate students but assessed separately.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, 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
  6. Critically think and integrate factual and conceptual information required for an understanding of microbiology

Research-Led Teaching

All 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.

Required Resources

BIOL2142/6142 lab manual is available to print from the Practical module in Wattle. All students must have a printed hardcopy of the practical they are undertaking each prac day.

Prescribed texts: Prescott’s Microbiology by Willey, Sandman and Wood, McGraw-Hill (11th 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.

Recommended student system requirements 

ANU courses commonly use a number of online resources and activities including:

  • video material, similar to YouTube, for lectures and other instruction
  • two-way video conferencing for interactive learning
  • email and other messaging tools for communication
  • interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities
  • print and photo/scan for handwritten work
  • home-based assessment.

To fully participate in ANU learning, students need:

  • A computer or laptop. Mobile devices may work well but in some situations a computer/laptop may be more appropriate.
  • Webcam
  • Speakers and a microphone (e.g. headset)
  • Reliable, stable internet connection. Broadband recommended. If using a mobile network or wi-fi then check performance is adequate.
  • Suitable location with minimal interruptions and adequate privacy for classes and assessments.
  • Printing, and photo/scanning equipment

For more information please see https://www.anu.edu.au/students/systems/recommended-student-system-requirements

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). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Class Schedule

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

Tutorial Registration

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Learning Outcomes
Practical Report 15 % 1,4,5
Tutorial Quizzes 10 % 1,2,3
Final Exam 50 % 1,2,3
Literature review 15 % 1,2,6
Pre-prac method proposal 5 % 1,4,5
Pre-prac multiple choice quizzes 5 % 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 Integrity 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 Academic Skills website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

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 achieve at least 40% in the end-of-semester exam to pass the course.

Please note, that where a date range is used in the Assessment Summary in relation to exams, 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: 15 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,4,5

Practical Report

One written report of a laboratory practical class (Practical 2), showing an understanding of lab skills, experimental design, concise reporting and scientific writing.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Tutorial Quizzes

Online quizzes will be held in a 12 hour window immediately after the tutorial (starting from week 2). These will cover the lecture material from the week the tutorial is held.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 50 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Final Exam

An exam comprising short answer and multiple choice questions. Please check published ANU exam timetable for date and time.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 15 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,6

Literature review

A 1500 word literature review will be assessed that is focussed on a current technique relevant to microbiology.

Assessment Task 5

Value: 5 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,4,5

Pre-prac method proposal

Students will prepare a 1 page experimental methods proposal for Practical 3 for submission through Turnitin.

Assessment Task 6

Value: 5 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Pre-prac multiple choice quizzes

Pre-prac quizzes will be held for practicals 1, 2, 4 and 5/6 (combined) to assess the students basic understanding of the methods and also the health and safety aspects of each practical.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

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

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

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. Extensions may be granted 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).

Prof Peter Solomon

Research Interests

Pathogenic microbes of plants

Prof Peter Solomon

By Appointment
Dr Denisse Leyton

Research Interests

Pathogenic microbes of plants

Dr Denisse Leyton

Dr Emily Furlong

Research Interests

Pathogenic microbes of plants

Dr Emily Furlong

Prof Peter Solomon

Research Interests

Prof Peter Solomon

By Appointment
Prof Ulrike Mathesius

Research Interests

Pathogenic microbes of plants

Prof Ulrike Mathesius


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