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MICR463 Trends in Microbiology

Microbiology and Immunology staff are experts in a wide array of topics across their field. This tutorial-based paper explores diverse hot topics that reflect the active research interests of the presenting staff. You will develop in-depth knowledge of current issues, as well as critical analysis skills through the discussion of research literature. The tutorial format will provide you with the opportunity to work in small groups and develop oral presentation skills.

Paper title Trends in Microbiology
Paper code MICR463
Subject Microbiology
EFTS 0.1667
Points 20 points
Teaching period Second Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,333.93
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $6,318.60

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Students who are interested in this paper but are not majoring in Microbiology, Genetics, Biochemistry or Molecular Biotechnology are invited to discuss course content with the department.


Appropriate for BSc(Hons), MSc and PGDipSci students majoring in Microbiology, Genetics, Biochemistry or Molecular Biotechnology.

Teaching staff

Convenor: Dr Xochitl Morgan
Other Lecturers: Professor Miguel Quinones-Mateu, Dr Matloob Husain, Professor Sergio Morales, and Dr Mihnea Bostina

Paper Structure

This tutorial-based paper is divided into five modules of two weeks' duration. Generally the tutor will introduce the topic in week 1, with the students (often in small groups) leading the discussion of original research papers in week 2. The topics covered may change from year to year, reflecting topical issues in microbiology.
Modules in 2019 were:

  • HIV mutation, drug resistance, and function
  • Genome-wide RNAi screening to understand host-virus interactions
  • Principles of bacteriophage structure
  • Statistical applications in research
  • Survival vs growth: a new paradigm for microbes and microbial ecology


  • Oral examination 25% (a 20-minute exam in the last week of September or the first week of October)
  • Final exam 75%
Teaching Arrangements
This is a second semester paper with one tutorial per week for 10 weeks. The duration of tutorials will vary from one up to three hours.

Textbooks are not required for this paper.
Course readings are reviews and original papers from the literature. PDFs of these will be placed on Blackboard.

Course outline

View the course outline for MICR 463

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Communication, Critical thinking, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
  • Be able to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of topical issues in microbiology
  • Develop skills in critically evaluating the scientific literature and in experimental design
  • Develop communication and teamwork skills

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Second Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Wednesday 09:00-11:50 28-34, 36-41