Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


The functions of micro-organisms are central to the foods, pharmaceutical and biotechnological industries; in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases in plants and animals; and in our understanding of biogeochemical processes in the biosphere. The lectures describe the structural and functional characteristics of micro-organisms; ecology and physiological diversity of bacteria, viruses, fungi, algae and protozoa; growth and control of micro-organisms; bacteria and viruses as agents of disease; and applications in biotechnology. This unit provides the basic background to understanding advanced microbiology and infectious disease units offered at Level 3.

6 points
Not available in 2023SingaporeFace to face

Students gain an understanding of the world of micro-organisms, including bacteria, viruses and fungi. The associated practical classes provide training in aseptic technique and associated methods necessary for the safe handling and culture of micro-organisms.


This comprises an examination (50 per cent), practical examination and continuous assessment (50 per cent).

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr David Sutton
Unit rules
SCIE1106 Molecular Biology of the Cell
or SCIX1106 Molecular Biology of the Cell
level 1 Chemistry
or WACE Chemistry 3A/3B
or TEE Chemistry
Contact hours
lectures: 24 hours
tutorials/labs: up to 30 hours

Willey, J. M. et al. Prescott's Microbiology, 8th edn: McGraw-Hill 2011 (the 6th and 7th editions of this text are also useful and should be available second-hand).

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.