BIOSCI 741 : Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


2022 Semester One (1223) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Historical overview of the development of industrial microbiology. Diversity and complexity of applications. Biodiversity of fermentations. Microbial metabolism and the assimilation of carbon, nitrogen, and sulphur. Interconnections between catabolic and biosynthetic pathways. Metabolic considerations in continuous culture. Selection, isolation and construction of useful organisms. Manipulation of growth conditions to optimise process yield. Contemporary examples of industrial processes using microbes. A sound understanding of BIOSCI 348 or equivalent is assumed.

Course Overview

The application of microbes to enhance our everyday lives is widespread throughout society. This course, based on scientific literature and selected modern applications, aims to stimulate and structure individual learning by introducing students to contemporary thinking on selected topics within three broad areas of applied microbiology and biotechnology: industrial biotechnology, environmental biotechnology and medical biotechnology. A sound background in general microbiology, microbial metabolism, protein biochemistry and genomics are expected. Students can expect to develop skills in locating, summarising, critically interpreting and communicating scientific literature. A remote version of the course will be provided to students located overseas.

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Describe how microorganisms can be utilised for different biotechnological purposes and the regulatory requirements required (Capability 1 and 5)
  2. Critically analyse information and research data to identify knowledge gaps and suggest solutions in the microbial biotechnology space (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 4)
  3. Develop skills to effectively communicate complex scientific concepts and ideas in a range of formats appropriate for different audiences (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 4)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Assignments 40% Individual Coursework
Presentations 25% Individual Coursework
Discussion and Class Participation 5% Individual Coursework
Exam 30% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3
Discussion and Class Participation


For more information and to find contact details for the School of Biological Sciences Tuākana coordinator, please see

Special Requirements

Students must attend all sessions.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 20 hours of lectures, 40 hours of reading and thinking about the content, and 40 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

A remote version of the course can be made available to students located overseas because of border restrictions, or those with an exemption to study remotely.

Attendance is required at scheduled activities including lectures, tutorials and seminars to complete components of the course.

Lectures may not be available as recordings. Other learning activities including seminars will not be available as recordings.

The course may include live online events including group discussions.

Attendance on campus is required for the exam.

The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

There is no prescribed textbook for this course, and relevant journal articles will be made available as required during the semester.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 10/11/2021 12:46 p.m.