Microbiology Major - Bachelor of Science

Want to know how to detect the microorganisms that cause diseases and spoilage? The Microbiology major prepares you for careers in this interesting and dynamic field.

Microbiology is the study of living organisms and infectious agents that can’t be seen by the naked eye. You explore the role of microorganisms across many areas – human health, industry, agriculture and the environment.

You develop the skills for careers in a wide variety of settings in industry, research or government organisations. Graduates of the Microbiology major could also be involved with the industries that produce antibiotics, foods and drinks, or alternative fuels.

The Bachelor of Science information published here relates to 2022. The 2023 offerings for this degree are still to be confirmed and will be added as soon as available.

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This is part of the Bachelor of Science.

Start date: 2022

Start date: 2023

Year 1

Complete the following courses

CHEM501 Principles of Chemistry
HEAL506 Knowledge, Enquiry and Communication
HEAL507 Health and Environment or MAOH501 Hauora Māori and Environment
CHEM502 Biological and Solution Chemistry
ECOL501 Ecology and Evolution
MICR501 Microbiology

And at least 2 of

BIOL501 Biological Sampling and Interpretation
BIOL502 Plants and Animals
ENVS501 Biodiversity
ENVS523 Human Geography
FOOD502 Food Science
SCIE503 Biophysics

Year 2 and 3

Level 6 courses

CHEM602 Biochemistry
MICR601 Environmental Microbiology
MICR602 Industrial Microbiology
FOOD602 Food Microbiology
GENE602 Principles of Genetics
GENE603 Cells, Genes and Molecules

Level 7 courses

MICR701 Biotechnology
GENE701 Molecular Genetics
MICR702 Advanced Food Microbiology

Plus five elective courses with at least two at level 7, or three electives and the Research Project course.

Workplace experience

In your final year you can enrol in the Research Project course (30 points) if you have at least a B grade average in 60 points at level 6. This may involve working on an industry-related project related to your major.

SCIE701 Research Project

Companies or research organisations involved include

  • Drapac Co. (NZ)
  • OceaNZ Blue
  • Sanitas NZ

The Bachelor of Science information published here relates to 2022. The 2023 offerings for this degree are still to be confirmed and will be added as soon as available.

Environmental microbiologist
Food quality assurance scientist
Food microbiologist
Scientific laboratory technician
Research scientist
Technical brewer
Science teacher*

*After completing a graduate diploma in education.


Find out more about industry trends, job descriptions and what employers may be looking for.

Microbiology Careers

Key features
  • Transferable skills for multiple industries
  • Diverse career options in human health, food, agriculture and biotech
  • Opportunities for research projects and industry placements
See yourself as
  • Persistent, enquiring and innovative
  • Analytical, accurate, careful and patient
  • Able to communicate complex ideas simply
  • Interested in biology

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

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