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MICR221 Microbes to Medicine

Fundamental concepts in microbiology, building from the characteristics of microorganisms, through the handling and containment of microorganisms, to medical microbiology and immunology.

Microbes are all around us, all over us and all over every surface on earth. Microbes compose greater than 50% of life forms on our planet and yet it is estimated that only 1% have been identified and studied. We can’t live without microbes and they benefit our lives immensely.

Many of the microbes that surround us can cause disease and our immune system helps protect us from these microbes. The specialised cells of the immune system work as key defenders, protecting us from infection and disease.

MICR 221 will introduce you to the wonderful world of Microbiology and Immunology. You will learn about the immune system and the key cells and pathways of the immune system and also learn about the world of microbes.

The labs will teach you essential skills in handling and manipulating microorganisms and include looking at the treatment of microbial infections with different pharmaceutical preparations.

MICR 221 is essential if you want to carry on in Microbiology but it is also a useful addition to a wide variety of courses.

Paper title Microbes to Medicine
Paper code MICR221
Subject Microbiology
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,141.35
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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CELS 191 and (CHEM 191 or CHEM 111) and 36 further 100-level points
MELS 221 and PHCY 219 and PSCI 202
Recommended Preparation
HUBS 191
Recommended Preparation or Concurrent Study
GENE 221
Schedule C
Appropriate for students majoring in Microbiology and all other biological and health sciences.
Dr Judith Bateup, convenor of MICR221:
Teaching staff

Convenor: Dr Judith Bateup

Other lecturers:
Associate Professor Keith Ireton
Professor Alex McLellan
Associate Professor Matloob Husain
Professor Gregory Cook

Paper Structure

Lectures cover the following areas:

  • Bacteria at the Aerobic-Anaerobic Interface
  • Microbial growth and control
  • Medical microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Virology


  • Lecture test 15%
  • Laboratory test 15%
  • 3-hour final exam 70%
Teaching Arrangements

31 lectures and six 4-hour laboratory sessions.


Required: Prescott's Microbiology by Wiley, Sandman and Wood, 12th edition, 2023, McGraw-Hill Publishers.
ISBN: 978-1-265-12303-1

Recommended: Kuby Immunology, published by Palgrave Macmillan. 8th edition, 2019.

Course outline

View the MICR 221 course outline

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Lifelong learning, Communication, Critical thinking, Self-motivation, Teamwork
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
  • Be able to demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of microbiology and immunology in preparation for advanced laboratory skills in 300-level and in graduate papers
  • Display a practical knowledge of fundamental microbiology and immunology, with the ability to assimilate complex information on a spectrum of interdisciplinary topics and to use this knowledge for applications in the workplace
  • Develop an ability to communicate ideas about science

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Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 11:00-11:50 9-14, 16-22
C1 Wednesday 11:00-11:50 9-14, 16-22
E1 Friday 11:00-11:50 9, 11, 13, 17, 19, 21


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A2 Wednesday 14:00-17:50 10, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21
A3 Thursday 14:00-17:50 10, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21
A4 Tuesday 14:00-17:50 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 22
A5 Wednesday 14:00-17:50 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 22