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Unit of study_

MICR3942: Microbiology Research Skills (Adv)

Semester 2, 2020 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

Research in molecular microbiology is needed to tackle problems in medicine, agriculture, environmental science, and biotechnology. This Unit of Study focuses on developing practical skills and training in experimental approaches that are essential for laboratory research in molecular microbiology, together with knowledge of the underlying theoretical concepts. In this Unit the practical component is entirely replaced by a research project undertaken in an academic microbiology lab. The lecture material in MICR3942 focuses on the areas of microbial biotechnology and bioremediation, and the genetic and molecular diversity of medically important eukaryotic microbes.

Unit details and rules

Unit code MICR3942
Academic unit Life and Environmental Sciences Academic Operations
Credit points 6
MICR3022 or MICR3922 or MICR3042?
[6cp from (BIOL1XX7 or MBLGXXXX) and a mark of 75 or above in 6cp from (MEDS2004 or MICR2X22 or MIMI2X02)] OR [BMED2401 and BMED2404 and a mark of 75 or above in 6cp from (BMED2401 or BMED2404)] OR [6cp from (MICR2024 or MICR2X31) and a mark of 75 or above in 6cp from (GEGE2X01 or GENE2002)]
Assumed knowledge

MICR2X21 or MICR2024 or MICR2X31

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Nicholas Coleman,
Lecturer(s) Nicholas Coleman,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Skills-based evaluation Supervisor assessment
Lab skills assessment
10% Multiple weeks Variable
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3
In-semester test (Open book) Type C in-semester exam In-semester theory exam 1
Short answer and MCQ
20% Week 03
Due date: 10 Sep 2020 at 10:00
50 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2
Assignment Report 1
Written report
15% Week 04
Due date: 20 Sep 2020 at 23:59
1000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO4
In-semester test (Open book) Type C in-semester exam In-semester theory exam 2
Short answer and MCQ
20% Week 06
Due date: 01 Oct 2020 at 10:00
50 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2
Presentation Video presentation
Video presentation
35% Week 12 5-8 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO6 LO2
Type C in-semester exam = Type C in-semester exam ?
Type C in-semester exam = Type C in-semester exam ?

Assessment summary

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100

At HD level, a student demonstrates a flair for the subject as well as a detailed and comprehensive understanding of the unit material. A ‘High Distinction’ reflects exceptional achievement and is awarded to a student who demonstrates the ability to apply their knowledge and understanding of the subject to produce original solutions for novel or highly complex problems and/or comprehensive critical discussions of theoretical concepts.


75 - 84

At D level, a student demonstrates an aptitude for the subject and a well-developed understanding of the unit material. A ‘Distinction’ reflects excellent achievement and is awarded to a student who demonstrates an ability to apply their knowledge and understanding of the subject to produce good solutions for challenging problems and/or reasonably well-developed critical analysis of theoretical concepts.


65 - 74

At CR level, a student demonstrates a good command and knowledge of the unit material. A ‘Credit’ reflects solid achievement and is awarded to a student who has a broad general understanding of the subject and can solve routine problems and/or identify and superficially discuss theoretical concepts.


50 - 64

At P level, a student demonstrates proficiency in the unit material. A ‘Pass’ reflects satisfactory achievement and is awarded to a student who has a threshold knowledge of the subject and can solve simple problems and can accurately identify key theoretical concepts.


0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Multiple weeks Molecular microbiology research theory Lecture (11 hr) LO1 LO2
Independent research project in microbiology research lab Project (48 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Lecture revision and guidelines for assessment tasks. Tutorial (5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO6

Attendance and class requirements

  • Pass requirement: To pass this unit students must perform to an acceptable standard in both the theory component and the practical component.
  • Attendance: The Faculty of Science has a minimum 80% attendance requirement for a student to pass any unit of study. Students are expected to attend all lectures, practical classes and tutorials. A variety of notes, handouts, data sheets and information provided throughout the unit of study are intended to supplement the lectures, not to substitute for them. For all scheduled practical sessions any absences must be explained and supported by appropriate documentation. Even if special consideration has been granted, it is your responsibility to know and understand the material covered in the missed session.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. describe and apply research principles and methods in molecular microbiology
  • LO2. explain how different molecular methods can be used in different microbiology contexts: medical, environmental and industrial
  • LO3. demonstrate practical skills essential for molecular microbiology research
  • LO4. plan experiments in microbiology and molecular biology
  • LO5. correctly use lab notebooks and/or lab eNotebooks
  • LO6. analyse and present microbiological and molecular data.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

No changes have been made since this Unit was last offered.

Work, health and safety

We are governed by the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 and Codes of Practice. Penalties for non-compliance have increased. Everyone has a responsibility for health and safety at work. The University’s Work Health and Safety policy explains the responsibilities and expectations of workers and others, and the procedures for managing WHS risks associated with University activities.

General laboratory safety rules

  • No eating or drinking is allowed in any laboratory under any circumstances 
  • A laboratory coat and closed-toe shoes are mandatory 
  • Follow safety instructions in your manual and posted in laboratories 
  • In case of fire, follow instructions posted outside the laboratory door 
  • First aid kits, eye wash and fire extinguishers are located in or immediately outside each laboratory 
  • As a precautionary measure, it is recommended that you have a current tetanus immunisation. This can be obtained from University Health Service:


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

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