MCR101 Introduction to Microbiology (8)

The subject introduces the importance of micro-organisms in the environment. It provides an overview of microbiology that encompasses the effect of microbes on human health, the environment and applied aspects of microbiology, including agricultural, industrial and food/wine microbiology. The cultivation, enumeration and identification of micro-organisms and control of microbial growth are emphasised in laboratory classes. The mechanisms by which micro-organisms cause disease in humans, plants and animals and defences against these infections are introduced.


* Offering has a residential school. Please view following information for further details.

Session 2 (60)
On Campus
Orange Campus
Wagga Wagga Campus
Online *
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: MCR101. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Biomedical Sciences

Incompatible Subjects

BIO118, BMS115

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to describe the structure and function of microorganisms;
  • be able to demonstrate a good understanding of the processes used to study microorganisms,
  • be able to describe the means by which microorganisms can be cultivated and assayed;
  • be able to demonstrate knowledge of the means by which the growth of microorganisms can be controlled;
  • be able to demonstrate a good understanding of the interactions of microorganisms with human beings, with particular emphasis on the microorganisms of importance to human and animal health, the environment and the agriculture, food and beverage industries.


This subject will cover the following topics:

1 Introduction to the microbial world 2 Cellular Structure (Composition and structure of micro-organisms including microbial nomenclature and classification; comparison of the major groups of micro-organisms; bacterial anatomy including size, shape, cell membrane, cell wall, flagella, pili, capsules and endospores; microscopy and staining techniques including the Gram stain and the acid fast stain); 3 Methods used to study micro-organisms (including microscopy) 4 Growth and Culturing (cultivation of bacteria: types of solid and liquid media; methods of anaerobic cultivation; the isolation of pure cultures; nutrition of micro-organisms including energy sources and growth factors; environmental requirements including temperature, pH and oxygen); 5 Control of Growth (reproduction and growth: the growth cycle of bacteria; measurement of growth; principles of heat sterilisation including moist heat, dry heat, drying and freezing; antimicrobial chemical agents including characteristics of an ideal disinfectant and factors affecting disinfectant potency; antibiotics including their mode of action, types, and methods of testing antibiotics); 6 Microbial Genetics (structure and function of genetic material: regulation of gene expression: mutation: gene transfer and recombination); 7 The Bacteria (an introduction to those bacteria of medical, environmental or industrial importance: structure and composition; classification; modes of transmission); 8 Mycology (structure, growth and classification of fungi and fungi-like organisms); 9 Virus, Viroids, Prions and Parasites ((an introduction to those organisms of medical, environmental or industrial importance: structure and composition; classification; transmission); 10 Principles of Disease & Epidemiology (interactions between microbes and humans: a description of the various antimicrobial defences of the host; the normal flora of the body; Kochs postulates); 11 Mechanisms of Pathogenicity (pathogens, virulence and infection: pathogenesis of disease; factors influencing infection and virulence); 12 Immunology (antigens, antibodies and Immunity: an introductory description of antibodies and antigens and the types of immunity); 13 Environmental Microbiology (including soil and water analysis) 14 Applied Microbiology (including fermentation and applications/problems associated with human health and in the agriculture/food/wine industries)

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of MCR101 in Session 2 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Minitests tests
Mid session examination
End of session examination

Residential School

This subject contains a 4 day Compulsory Residential School.Laboratory sessions in this subject allow practical experience in the identification and growth of micro-organisms and the prevention and control of microbial growth in a variety of contexts. The laboratory sessions allow students to gain experience in aseptic technique. Transmission of micro-organisms and environmental sources of microbial contamination are also stressed. Laboratory sessions provide essential support for the theoretical knowledge provided in the lecture notes/study guide and are integral to introductory microbiology in all situations.

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.