UniversityUniversity of Otago
This course is available
Level of Study
Next start date
Expected Jul 2023
University of Otago
The Master of Science (MSc) is a two-year degree which encompasses both coursework and research. The first year involves mainly coursework and preliminary research preparation. Students will have the opportunity to contribute to existing fields of research, or to begin to develop new areas.
Why study Microbiology and Immunology?
Microorganisms are everywhere – in our bodies, our food, the air, soil, and water. Because they’re everywhere, they’re involved in almost every aspect of our lives.
They are used in producing foods such as cheese, wine, and beer, as well as many pharmaceutical, chemical and agricultural products. They are important for soil fertility and the decomposition of materials but can cause major diseases in humans, animals and plants.
The harmful effects of some microorganisms link microbiology with immunology. Immunologists investigate how we can protect humans and animals from infectious diseases by using vaccines, and the role of the immune system in non-infectious diseases such as cancer.
What will I learn?
In your first year, which covers general biology and chemistry subjects, you will learn about the diversity of microorganisms, microbial virulence and diseases and gain basic knowledge of the immune system and how it functions.
In your second year, specialist microbiology and immunology papers will introduce you to microbes in health and disease, immunology, applied and environmental microbiology, microbial plant and animal interactions, biotechnology, ecology, environmental microbiology, molecular genetics and microbial genetics.
In your third year, the papers offered build on your knowledge from second year. Topics cover food production and safety, microbial disease and antibiotic resistance, the body’s response
to diseases, microbial ecology, molecular microbiology and virology.
An Otago graduate of Microbiology and Immunology will be limited only by their imagination.
Recent developments in fields such as biotechnology, aquaculture, molecular biology, microbial genetics, immunology and medicine have increased the demand for graduates with a microbiology and immunology major. The range of job opportunities continues to expand. Along with the traditional areas of teaching and research, graduates work in medical or veterinary laboratories and biotechnological and agricultural industries. Graduates are also employed as managers and advisers in government agencies.
Graduates with Microbiology and Immunology qualifications find employment in a wide variety of areas.
Duration of the Programme
A candidate achieving the degree by papers and a thesis shall normally follow a programme for the equivalent of not less than two years of full-time study and not more than three years of full-time study, and a candidate achieving the degree by thesis alone shall normally follow a programme of study for the equivalent of not less than one year of full-time study and not more than two years of full-time study. Exceptions shall be permitted only with the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sciences).>Intake: Anytime for thesis-only option
Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sciences).
Every applicant must either
An applicant seeking admission to the thesis-only option of the programme (see regulation 2(c) below) on the basis of the degree of Bachelor of Science with Honours or the Postgraduate Diploma in Science or equivalent must have achieved a grade of at least B+ for the research report, thesis preparation, or dissertation requirement of the qualification concerned.
In considering an applicant's qualifications, regard will be had to the detail of the course of study followed to gain the qualification, as well as the applicant's performance in the programme.
English language requirements