Microbiology major: Bachelor of Science

Kate Rolinson
Student Profile – Kate Rolinson

Bachelor of Science graduate Kate Rolinson puts her interest in microbiology into practice in her role as a microbiology laboratory technician at Eurofins Scientific New Zealand. Read more of Kate’s story.

Interested in how micro-organisms interact with the environment? Keen to know how to detect causal micro-organisms of diseases and spoilage? Want to be part of industries that produce valuable products for society, such as antibiotics, foods and drinks, and alternative fuels? Microbiology is the study of living organisms and infectious agents that cannot be seen by the naked eye. Microbiology is an interesting and dynamic field where basic knowledge of micro-organisms is applied to human health, industry, agriculture and the environment.

As well as developing knowledge of the role of micro-organisms across many areas you will acquire the practical skills required in research and industry to become a skilled and highly adaptable employee, capable of working in a wide variety of settings, whether in industrial, research or government organisations.

Bachelor of Science: degree outline


Below is a summary only. For a comprehensive overview of this qualification, please refer to the academic calendar.

You will study the following compulsory papers:

Year 1

Level 5

In your first year you take 6 compulsory papers. These papers provide a general scientific grounding that is important for students:
CHEM501 Principles of Chemistry
HEAL506 Knowledge, Enquiry and Communication
HEAL507 Health and Environment
CHEM502 Biological Chemistry
ECOL501 Ecology and Evolution
MICR501 Microbiology

At least 2 of:
BIOL501 Biological Sampling and Interpretation
ENVS521 Physical and Human Geography
BIOL502 Plants and Animals

Year 2 and 3

Level 6

CHEM602 Biochemistry
MICR601 Environmental Microbiology
MICR602 Industrial Microbiology
FOOD602 Food Microbiology
MELS607 Medical Microbiology I
GENE601 Genetics

Plus 2 electives.

Level 7

MICR701 Biotechnology
GENE701 Molecular Genetics
MICR702 Advanced Food Microbiology

Plus 5 electives OR 3 electives and SCIE701 Research Project.

Research project
In the final year of your degree you will have the opportunity to enrol in the Research Project paper (30 points) if you had a B-grade average in 60 points at level 6. This may involve a placement in an employer organisation related to your major and undertaking a mini research project.
SCIE701 Research Project


The School of Applied Sciences offers competitive fee-only scholarships for the first year of Bachelor of Science (one for every major). Some of these scholarships are for the full three years and are co-funded by external institutions, such as the Department of Conservation.
Visit the scholarship website to find out more

Career opportunities

  • Environmental microbiologist
  • Food quality assurance scientist
  • Food microbiologist
  • Research scientist
  • Technical brewer
  • Science teacher*

*Upon completion of the Graduate Diploma in Secondary Teaching (1 additional year of full-time study and training in how to teach, subject to meeting entry and selection criteria).

Graduates and students of science

Other majors and pathways in the Bachelor of Science

Other courses you may be interested in

Last updated: 13-Dec-2017 3.50pm

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.