Course Outline

MBT361 Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

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

2022Semester 1

USC Sunshine Coast

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

What is this course about?


Microbial products such as antibiotics, microbial enzymes and bio-fuels contribute to global health and development. This course provides an overview of the diversity of microorganisms and their metabolic activities such as the microbial productsof major social, economic and environmental importance. Laboratory practicals in this course complement the theory through testing microbial compounds, their effects on pathogens and their hydrolytic and degradative effects. 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
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – Theory related tutorial 1hr Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 2 – Practice related tutorial 1hr Week 1 13 times
Laboratory 1 – Laboratory sessions 3hrs Week 3 6 times

Course Topics

The Big Picture; Applied and Environmental Microbiology and its place in sustainable global development

Biodiscovery of novel therapeutic agents and alternative therapies to combat superbugs

Marine biodiscovery and extremophiles and extremozymes

Bioremediation and biological control to replace environmentally hazardous chemicals

Microbial enzymes and industrial applications

Waste treatment, composting and landfills

Biofuels and bio-metallurgy

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 Demonstrate and apply theoretical and practical knowledge of:production and large-scale applications of microbial metabolitesinnovative approaches & strategies for discovering products of social, economic and environment importance Knowledgeable
2 Critically analyse data generated by isolating and testing microbial compounds to determine:their beneficial and detrimental effects their large-scale use for environmental regional and global sustainabilitypossible implications for decision making & new biotechnologies Knowledgeable
3 Demonstrate advanced 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 USC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


MBT263 or LFS261


Not applicable


MBT363 or MBT364

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 learning material 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 hours
Week 7 In Class
All 3 Practical / Laboratory Skills Individual 50%
a] 30 min quiz (20%) b] 3000 word report (30%)
Throughout teaching period (refer to Format) In Class
All 4 Examination - Centrally Scheduled Individual 30%
2 hours
Exam Period Exam Venue
All - Assessment Task 1:Early Assessment Quiz
This is an important quiz that has been specifically designed to expose you to the key foundational theoretical knowledge you need in this course.This formative quiz directly relates and assists you to be successful for the mid-term exam. Covers the contents of the learning material from weeks 1-3
Product: Quiz/zes
Online multiple choice question exam
No. Learning Outcome assessed
antibiotics and resistance issues and the search for new microbial bioactive metabolites
alternative approaches and strategies to combat infectious diseases
types of microbial metabolites and principles of fermentation
Assessment criteria are mapped to the course learning outcomes.
All - Assessment Task 2:Mid-term exam
This exam will allow you to demonstrate your knowledge of principles and strategies related to applications of microbiology (learning materials covered in weeks 1 to 6). Key ideas here will be theoretical and practical knowledge of: production and large-scale applications of microbial metabolites innovative approaches & strategies for discovering products of social, economic and environment importance.
Product: Examination - not Centrally Scheduled
Written exam composed of five essay questions
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Demonstration and application of theoretical knowledge of:
i) principles of fermentation 
ii) strategies and current issues related to bioremediation
Critical interpretation of information on:
i) effectiveness of current antibiotic discovery strategies 
ii) large scale production and application of microbial products 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 in science, business and education. At the end of the course you should have graduate level competence in lab skills.
Product: Practical / Laboratory Skills
Laboratory quizzes (20%): 30 min exam after completion of each practical and a written exam composed of essay questions. Only students who actively participated in the laboratory activity can take these quizzes. Laboratory report (30%): up to-3000 words. Individual On practical #1 (Assessment the effectivity of Antibiotics produced by Actinomycetes) that adheres to the given report structure(rubric) to be provided by the Course-Coordinator. Submission will be online with plagiarism check report included.
Submission due: Quizzes - week 5,7,9,11,13. Report - end of semester.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Demonstration and application of theoretical and practical knowledge gained in the practicals Interpretation and analysis of data and related information (e.g. actinomycetes, bacteriophages, microbial enzymes, plant pathogenic fungi)
2 3
Interpretation and analysis data and related information (e.g. actinomycete isolations from environment, cfu calculations)
2 3
Application of ethical codes of conduct to work safely while gaining laboratory skills and collecting data
2 3
Scientific communication
2 3
All - Assessment Task 4:Final Exam
This exam will allow you to demonstrate your knowledge of principles and strategies related to applications of microbiology (learning materials covered in weeks 7 to 13). Key ideas here will be theoretical and practical knowledge of: production and large-scale applications of microbial metabolites innovative approaches & strategies for discovering products of social, economic and environmental importance.
Product: Examination - Centrally Scheduled
Written examination composed of five essay questions
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Application of theoretical and practical knowledge of:
i) production of microbial metabolites
ii) innovative approaches and strategies for discovering products of social, economic and environment importance (e.g. biofuels, enzymes)
Critical analysis of data generated by isolating and testing microbial compounds to determine:
i) their effects on environmental regional and global sustainability
ii) possible implications for decision making and new biotechnologies

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. Directed study hours may vary by location. 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 Michael J. Waites,Neil L. Morgan,John S. Rockey,Gary Higton 2001 Industrial Microbiology Latest edition Wiley-Blackwell
Recommended James G. Cappuccino,Natalie Sherman 2007 Microbiology Latest Ed Benjamin Cummings
Recommended Ronald M. Atlas,Richard Bartha,David Atlas 1998 Microbial Ecology n/a Benjamin-Cummings Publishing Company
Recommended Ian L. Pepper,Charles P. Gerba,Terry J. Gentry 0 Environmental Microbiology 3rd Ed n/a

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 laboratory classes and a moderate level of health and safety risk exists. Moderate risks are those associated with laboratory work such as working with chemicals and hazardous substances. You will be required to undertake laboratory induction training and it is also your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety 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

Wellbeing Services

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To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 1226.

AccessAbility Services

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

Visit the USC website:

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