Course Outline

MBT301 Pharmaceutical and Food Microbiology

Course Coordinator:Dilber Kurtboke ( School:School of Science, Technology and Engineering

2024Semester 1

UniSC Sunshine Coast

UniSC Moreton Bay

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.

Please go to for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


In this course you learn the essential microbiological processes that play significant roles in the current and future global food and pharmaceutical industries. You learn how to implement relevant microbiological safety, preservation and quality assurance strategies to prevent food spoilage and food-borne infections. Laboratory practicals are designed to complement your learning. The course also addresses ethical and professional issues related to both industries. Gain of laboratory skills is an essential component of the course as well as understanding the theory behind each experiment.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Learning materials – Asynchronous learning material 1hr Week 1 13 times
Laboratory 1 – Laboratory sessions every fortnight 3hrs Week 3 6 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – Tutorial (online) 1hr Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 2 – Tutorial (face to face) 1hr Week 1 13 times

Course Topics

The Big Picture; Pharmaceutical and Food Microbiology and current issues related to these industries

Food borne diseases and Food handling and safety

Principals and industrial aspects of food and pharmaceutical fermentation

Fermentation related to beverage industry

Fermentation related to dairy and meat industry

Exotic foods and microbial biomass as food source

Principals and stages of pharmaceutical fermentation and microbial products

Advanced laboratory skills, ethics, communication and professionalism

What level is this course?

300 Level (Graduate)

Demonstrating coherence and breadth or depth of knowledge and skills. Independent application of knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts. Meeting professional requirements and AQF descriptors for the degree. May require pre-requisites where discipline specific introductory or developing knowledge or skills is necessary. Normally undertaken in the third or fourth full-time study year of an undergraduate program.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming...
1 Describe and apply theoretical and practical knowledge of:fermentative production of beverages and food; pharmaceutical industry related strategies used to discover new drugs or produce the known ones effectively current issues related to food borne diseases and food safety Knowledgeable
2 Interpret and analyse data and other information related to food fermentation and spoilage as well as testing of pharmaceutical/health compounds of microbial origin Knowledgeable
3 Act professionally by demonstrating graduate level laboratory skills and biosafety adhering to ethical codes of conduct in data collection and analysis Knowledgeable

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the UniSC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


MBT263 or LFS261


Not applicable


Not applicable

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

Competent laboratory skills and scientific report writing

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

A formative exam will take place in week 4 covering the first 3 weeks of the learning materials of the course, this early assessment item will prepare students to the mid-term exam. In addition, in weeks 5-7 of the semester students will be provided additional information on the laboratory report writing. 

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Quiz/zes Individual 0%
1 hour
Week 4 Online Test (Quiz)
All 2 Examination - not Centrally Scheduled Individual 20%
2 hour
Week 7 Online Submission
All 3 Practical / Laboratory Skills Individual 50%
a] 5x30min online quiz with 20 multiple choice questions per each practical
b] Report, up to 3000 words
Throughout teaching period (refer to Format) Online Submission
All 4 Examination - Centrally Scheduled Individual 30%
2 hours
Exam Period Online Test (Quiz)
All - Assessment Task 1:Early Assessment Quiz
This is an important quiz that allows you to consider how you are managing the foundational theoretical knowledge and progress in the course and will help you in being successful for the mid-term exam.
Product: Quiz/zes
Online exam related to the contents of the learning materials from weeks 1 to 3 and composed of multiple choice (40%), fill in the blanks (30%) and short essay questions (30%).
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Application of theoretical and practical knowledge of food borne diseases and food spoilage
Assessment criteria are mapped to the course learning outcomes.
1 2 3
All - Assessment Task 2:Mid-term exam
You will demonstrate your knowledge of principles and strategies covered in the learning material of the weeks 1 to 6. In particular, you will apply pharmaceutical and food microbiology knowledge to practical issues encountered in food industry.
Product: Examination - not Centrally Scheduled
Online exam related to the contents of the learning materials from weeks 1 to 6 and composed of multiple choice (40%), fill in the blanks (30%) and short essay questions (30%).
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Application of theoretical knowledge of:
i) principles of food fermentation & beverage production
ii) strategies and current issues related to food safety
Critical interpretation of learnings on:
i) effectiveness of food safety strategies
ii) concept of fermentation 
iii) large scale production of fermented beverages in industrial context
All - Assessment Task 3:Laboratory Portfolio
This assessment has been designed for you to specifically develop your competencies in the laboratory - which is an essential skill for Biomed students and for many other disciplines under general science umbrella including microbiology and biotechnology. At the end of the course you should have graduate level competence that is essential for gaining employment.
Product: Practical / Laboratory Skills
Laboratory quizzes: 30 min online exam after completion of each practical composed of 20 MC questions. Only students who actively participated in the laboratory activity can take these quizzes (20%). Laboratory report: Individual report (up to 3000 words) from practical number #1 (Probiotics and microbiology of milk and dairy products) that adheres to the given report structure (rubric) to be provided by the Course-Coordinator (30%). Submission will be online with plagiarism check report included.
Submit: Quizzes, weeks 3, 5, 7, 9, 11. Report, week 11.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Demonstration and application of theoretical and practical knowledge gained in the practicals
Interpretation and analysis of data and other information (e.g. water quality and safety, probiotics, microbial content of fresh and frozen food, beverage p
2 3
Interpretation and analysis of data and other information (probiotics)
Application of ethical codes of conduct
Scientific communication
2 3
All - Assessment Task 4:Final Exam
Describe and apply theoretical and practical knowledge of: fermentative production of food; pharmaceutical industry related strategies used to discover new drugs or produce the known ones effectively covering the material from weeks 7 to 13
Product: Examination - Centrally Scheduled
Online exam related to the contents of the learning materials from weeks 7 to 13 and composed of multiple choice (40%), fill in the blanks (30%) and short essay questions (30%).
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Application of theoretical knowledge of:
- specific food and pharmaceutical products and their production
Critical interpretation of information/data from case examples to assess the following in different industrial contexts:
effective production and quality and safety of fermented products
Act professionally by identifying issues related to: 
i) safe food production and biosafety 
ii) ethical codes of conduct in pharmaceutical, food and beverage industries

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

Please note that you need to have regular access to the resource(s) listed below. Resources may be required or recommended.

Required? Author Year Title Edition Publisher
Required Bibek Ray,Arun Bhunia 0 Fundamental Food Microbiology Latest edition CRC Press
Recommended James G. Cappuccino, Chad Welsh 0 Microbiology Latest Edition Pearson Education Ltd.
Recommended Michael J. Waites,Neil L. Morgan,John S. Rockey,Gary Higton 0 Industrial Microbiology Latest Ed Wiley-Blackwell

Specific requirements

Protective clothing for laboratory and strict adherence to the laboratory safety guidelines. Students fail to adhere the code or do not present a hard copy of their online laboratory safety quiz results in the first laboratory practical will not be admitted to the laboratory.

How are risks managed in this course?

Risk assessments have been performed for all studio and laboratory classes and a low level of health and safety risk exists. Some risk concerns may include equipment, instruments, and tools; as well as manual handling items within the laboratory. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Eligibility for Supplementary Assessment

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate (the rates are cumulative): 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day 
- 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. 
To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


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The SafeUSC Specialist Service is a Student Wellbeing service that provides free and confidential support to students who may have experienced or observed behaviour that could cause fear, offence or trauma. To contact the service call 07 5430 1226 or email

Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or

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Ability Advisers ensure equal access to all aspects of university life. If your studies are affected by a disability, learning disorder mental health issue, injury or illness, or you are a primary carer for someone with a disability or who is considered frail and aged, AccessAbility Services can provide access to appropriate reasonable adjustments and practical advice about the support and facilities available to you throughout the University.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 2890.

Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Administration of Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Academic Misconduct
  • Students with a Disability

For more information, visit

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