HONOURS SUBJECT AREA
Microbiology is the study of organisms that are too small to be seen by the unaided human eye. Such organisms include protozoa, algae, fungi, lichens, bacteria and viruses. Microbiology is one of the most important and exciting of the biological sciences. Not only is it a basic biological science, which has provided us with much of our understanding of the chemical and physical principles behind living processes, but it is also an applied biological science, dealing with aspects of medicine, agriculture, biotechnology, food technology and pollution control.
The honours year
The microbiology honours course is strongly recommended for any student wishing to enter a research career or undertake further work leading to a higher degree.
During honours, you will challenge yourself intellectually and practically, by conducting original research under the supervision of a member of our academic staff, culminating in the presentation of a thesis. With help from your supervisor, you will formulate a topic to be researched, and in carrying out your research, you will develop your laboratory skills and critical thinking skills.
The School of Molecular Bioscience offers microbiology honours projects in a wide range of research areas including molecular microbiology, microbial genetics, applied and environmental microbiology, biotechnology, and virology.
Workload and assessment
In the honours year in microbiology you will complete a thesis (60%), a final seminar (15%) and research skills training (25%).
The research thesis is expected to be approximately 50 pages in length (less than 12,000 words). You will also undertake a short (20-30 minutes) oral examination to defend your research.
The final seminar will involve a presentation of approximately 20 minutes describing the aims of your project, the results obtained and the significance of the results in the context of the published literature.
The research skills training task consists of 6 x 2 hour tutorials run by the Honours Committee in small groups of 6-10 students, usually aligned with the School discipline. In these tutorials, you will be assigned a scientific paper and conduct a discussion amongst the group on the qualities of that manuscript. You will be assessed on your presentation as well as your participation in the group discussions. In the final examination, you will generally receive a scientific paper and will be required to write an appraisal of that paper, highlighting your opinions of the research described.
The School of Molecular Bioscience offers opportunities to students to complete microbiology honours research as part of a larger academic project. Microbiology honours projects can be done in a wide range of research areas including molecular microbiology, microbial genetics, applied and environmental microbiology, biotechnology, and virology.
Related subject areas
Anatomy and Histology