Available in 2022
Course code



10 units


3000 level

Course handbook


Microorganisms are by far the most abundant and diverse life-forms. BIOL3100 will explore the range of microorganisms that exist and how they have adapted to live in almost every environment on the planet. It will also examine the involvement of pathogens in human disease, how the immune system fights infection and how epidemiology can be used to monitor, track and prevent further spread of infectious disease. Microbes are also of great use to us; the modern biotechnology applications of microbes will be examined showing how microorganisms have been used by industry to produce a range of products essential to modern society, including the development of novel antibiotics to combat the growing threat of antimicrobial drug resistance.



  • Semester 1 - 2022

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Describe the biotechnology processes for which microorganisms can be used and manipulated;

2. Outline the dynamic nature of symbiotic interactions and apply this knowledge to the changing environment;

3. Explain the problems involved in antimicrobial therapy and the need for development of new chemicals for the control of microorganisms;

4. Contrast the protective role of the human immune system with strategies of pathogenic microorganisms to evade the immune system and cause disease;

5. Describe the application of microbiology to industrial processes and environmental management in the modern world.


Evolution and Diversity

  • Archaea and Proteobacteria
  • Eukaryotic microbes
  • Microbial interactions
  • Environmental microbiology

Microbial Biotechnology

  • Molecular microbiology
  • Fermentation and degradation
  • Virology

Human Disease

  • Pathogenesis and antimicrobial strategies
  • Mobile DNA and antimicrobial drug resistance
  • Epidemiology


Students must have successfully completed BIOL2090 to be enrolled in in this course.

Assumed knowledge


Assessment items

Quiz: On-line Quiz

Written Assignment: Essay/Written Assessment

Formal Examination: Formal Examination

Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Tutorial Exercises

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 3 hour(s) per Week for 8 Weeks

Any 8 weeks across the entire semester.


Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for 8 Weeks

Any 8 weeks across the entire semester.

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.