Microbiology is the study of microscopic living organisms: bacteria, viruses, fungi, algae, protozoa, helminths (parasitic worms) and arthropods (ticks). These organisms have a major impact on all aspects of life, and research drives innovation and delivers solutions for global challenges across health and biotechnology. 

Diseases caused by microbes are well-known and can involve viruses (such as influenza, HIV and Ebola), bacteria (such as meningococcus, Staphylococcus and E. coli) and protozoa (such as malaria). Our understanding of these organisms and how they interact with humans and animals is linked to the development of novel therapies in medicine to control and prevent infectious diseases.

Removal of pollutants using microorganisms, and the key role they play in the cycling of molecules in the biosphere, has led to major growth of environmental microbiology and genomics to study natural microbial communities in the oceans, soils and even inside humans and animals. Microbiologists also play a key role in biosecurity, where identifying animal and plant disease is crucial in agricultural applications for implementing quarantine policies and solutions. 

Why choose UQ?

  • Microbiology at UQ is driven by world-renowned researchers who contribute to global research initiatives and actively teach into UQ courses. Our teaching teams comprise educators and researchers from the Australian Society for Microbiology, the Australasian Virology Society and the Australasian Society for Immunology.
  • We are ranked #19 in the world and #1 in Australia for microbiology in the 2023 NTU Performance Ranking of Scientific Papers for World Universities.
  • You can contribute to research in these areas through undergraduate research experiences embedded into your studies.
  • Research experiences in microbial biotechnology, virology, immunology, environmental microbiology and clinical microbiology are offered across several courses at UQ, which can lead to career opportunities in research, biotechnology, agriculture, veterinary science and clinical diagnostic testing.