Microbiology

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In general, Microbiology is the study of tiny “living things” (microbes) that are too small to be seen with the naked eye. Microbes (bacteria, viruses, moulds, yeasts and algae) are important for human, animal and plant health and welfare, food production and the environment. Several aspects of microbes are studied to gain an understanding of how to minimise their harmful effects and maximise their beneficial applications.
Cheese, beer, wine, bread, amasi, ting, vinegar, vaccines and diseases such as sexually transmitted diseases, tuberculosis or HIV/AIDS or food spoilage are all products and aspects with which we are familiar with in our daily lives.  Different types of microbes play a role in the above just mentioned.  Most people tend to see microbes only as “germs” associated with uncomfortable and sometimes deadly diseases or agents responsible for spoiling food.  However, the majority of microbes are essential to the welfare of all living things and the environment.  Microbes are found everywhere on or inside animals, plants, humans, oceans, rivers, soil and in the air.  Microbiology is therefore essentially the study of these tiny, fascinating living organisms; a science that was born 300 years ago.

Microbes are important for human, animal and plant health and welfare, food production, and the environment.  Therefore it is essential to study all aspects of the various kinds of microbes such as bacteria, viruses, moulds, yeast and algae.  We study the taxonomy, physiology, pathogenicity, biochemistry, genetics, ecology and biotechnological applications of microbes to improve our lives.

Why study microbiology at the University of Limpopo?
A modern centre of excellence in Microbiology exists, boasting well equipped laboratories and teaching facilities.  We have friendly, dynamic and well qualified lecturers and support staff.  The department is dedicated to quality teaching and research, and provides an environment in which you can study effectively and develop as a person, thus ensuring that your future career is built on a solid foundation.  Our graduates are found at the top of national companies as well as in civil service, scientific research and education.

Microbiology is a two year major subject and can only be taken in the second year of study.
Entry assumptions for Microbiology modules are: Chem101 and 102, or Chem 110 and 120, as well as BIOS 101.  BIOS 102 and BIOS 103 will give students an added advantage.
Microbiology can be taken together with many other science subjects, depending on your interests.  Subjects such as: Biochemistry and Biotechnology complement Microbiology well.  Others such as Botany, Zoology and Environmental Health are also good second majors to take with Microbiology.

Career opportunities
Microbiologists are in demand with the food, pharmaceutical and brewing industries.  Government and semi-private institutions cover microbiological research in areas such as development of new vaccines and antibiotics, dairy research, bio-pesticides, nitrogen fixation, epidemiology of infectious diseases, their prevention and treatment, bio-mining and water-quality