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Microbiology Logo Microbiology & Immunology
Te Tari Moromoroiti me te Ārai Mate

400 level Microbiology and Immunology

Are you interested in further study in Microbiology and Immunology beyond 300-level?

Fourth-year students undertake an original research project and can continue on to further postgraduate study, such as a MSc (by thesis only) or a PhD.

The following courses are available at 4th year level:

These courses each include one or more of the following papers:


Why do BSc Honours?

This is for students who want to experience a research project, investigate contemporary research in Microbiology and/or Immunology and gain laboratory experience before entering the work force.  In particular, it is the fastest direct route to PhD study if you achieve sufficiently high grades.

The BSc (Hons) degree is a separate degree to the BSc. It requires an extra year of study and includes a significant research project.

How do you get into the Honours programme?

Entry to BSc (Hons) is at the end of 3rd year and to gain entry, students must have passed five relevant 300-level papers and achieved a minimum of a B+ average (average GPA = 6.0 or above) over the four best MICR 300-level papers to be considered for entry to BSc(Hons).

How do you apply?

You apply following completion of a BSc or equivalent 3 year degree. Application is online. Entry to BSc (Hons) is not automatic, and subject to HoD approval.

What do you do in the BSc(Hons)?

At 4th year you will take three tutorial-based 20 point 400-level papers designated MICR 461, 463 and 464, and your 60 point project paper MICR 490.  The project paper MICR 490 involves you in a six month research project within one of the research labs in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology.

In the first week of Semester 1 you will be given a list of the projects on offer in the Department and supervisors will give short presentations of their projects. You meet with supervisors of projects that you are interested in and then provide a 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice for projects in different labs. We then endeavour to match students with their top choices.  You will then be informed of lab positions within a few days.

Find out more

If you would like to discuss your options, please contact the Department’s 4th year convenor, Associate Professor Alex McLellan.


Why do BBiomedSc Honours?

This is for students who want to experience an eight-month research project, investigate contemporary research in Microbiology and/or Immunology and gain laboratory experience before entering the work force, or entering a higher degree. Like the BSc(Hons), the BBiomedSc(Hons) is one of the fastest and most direct routes to PhD study. The BBiomedSc(Hons) degree is a separate one-year postgraduate degree completed after the BBiomedSc undergraduate course and involves a significant 100-pt research project. The content of a BBiomedSc thesis is normally between that of a BSc(Hons) and an MSc thesis.

How do you get into the BBiomedSc(Hons)?

Entry generally requires a B+ average in four major subjects: including MICR332 and MICR334 (for INIM majors) and two other 300-level papers from the schedule of BBiomedSc 300-level papers. Applicants must normally have passed papers worth at least 126 points at 200-level or above, during their third year of study. Students that have completed a BBiomedSc in an appropriate area (including, but not limited to: Infection and Immunity, Drugs and Human Health or Molecular Basis of Health and Disease) will be able to undertake research projects within the Department of Microbiology and Immunology.

How do you apply?

For BBiomedSc students enrolled at the University of Otago, admission is by invitation at the end of the third year of study. Third year students who are interested in undertaking an Honours project in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology should contact Associate Professor Keith Ireton for advice and further information. Application is online.

What do you do in the BBiomedSc(Hons)?

It involves a significant research component (eight month research project) and presentation of a thesis. You will also undertake an internal theory component, including participation in local journal clubs.

Find out more

For further information on the BBiomedSc (Hons), see the Otago University website or the Otago School of Medical Sciences website.

If you would like to discuss your options, please contact the Department’s BBiomedSc convenor, Associate Professor Keith Ireton


Why do PGDipSci?

If you have already completed your Bachelor degree but are interested in further study, the Postgraduate Diploma in Science (PGDipSci) or the Diploma for Graduates in Science (DipGradSci) might be suitable for you. Unlike the BSc(Hons) or MSc, direct entry to PhD is not possible for PGDipSci graduates. However, students that achieve high grades in PGDipSci are often able to progress to MSc-by-thesis-only the following year (5th year) and following completion of the MSc further study (e.g. as PhD) is possible. 

How do you get into the PGDipSci?

PGDipSci may offered to students whose GPA falls below that required for entry into BSc(Hons) or MSc. Your overall academic performance at undergraduate level is also an important consideration, and entry is not automatic and is at the discretion of the 400-level convenor and Head of Department. Entry may require an interview / advising session. Application is online.

Find out more

If you are interested in undertaking postgraduate study, you should first check out the University of Otago Postgraduate Office.

If you are interested in postgraduate study in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, do you know which area you most interested in? Is anyone there doing that type of research? Depending on what stage you are at with your decision-making, your first step will be to make contact with either: