Course Title: Bacterial Infections

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Bacterial Infections

Credit Points: 24.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2016

Course Coordinator: Dr Anna Walduck

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 99257145

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 223.1.34

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Required Prior Study: ONPS1054 Medical Microbiology 1  and / or ONPS1048 Medical Microbiology 2

It is assumed that you have knowledge and capabilities of microbiology at undergraduate level as learnt in these required prior study courses or equivalent courses or work experience


Course Description

Medical Microbiology is a central discipline in the medical sciences and is concerned with the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases.

This course extends your understanding of the pathogenesis, epidemiology, laboratory diagnosis and control of infections, particularly those of the respiratory, intestinal and genital tracts.

A major part of the practical program of this course mimics the workplace in a diagnostic microbiology laboratory. The lecture series provides the theoretical background to this training. 

The course is delivered in face-to-face lectures and an intensive practical course with individual and group work, and aims to encourage development of capabilities in critical review and interpretation of microbiology literature, scientific communication (oral and written), problem solving, learning in small groups, independent learning and time management


Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the MC111 Master of Biotechnology (Clinical Microbiology) Program Learning Outcomes:

PLO-1 Understanding science

PLO1-1 You will demonstrate an advanced understanding of biological sciences by articulating the methods of science, explaining why current biological knowledge is both contestable and testable through further inquiry, and explaining the role and relevance of biotechnology in society.

PLO-4 Communication

PLO4-1 You will be an effective communicator of biological sciences by effectively communicating scientific results, information, or arguments using a range of modes (oral, written, visual) for a variety of purposes and audiences.


On successful completion of this course, you should be able to:

1. Describe at an advanced level, the principles of microbial pathogenesis with emphasis on selected bacterial infections.

  2. Describe the clinical manifestations, pathogenic mechanisms, transmission and laboratory diagnosis of selected infections of the respiratory, intestinal and genital tracts; and ethical issues in clinical microbiology, such as confidentiality of patient information and standards of laboratory behaviour and etiquette. 

3. Demonstrate knowledge of emerging mechanisms of resistance to antimicrobial agents; current and emerging methods of antimicrobial susceptibility testing. 

4. Describe the laboratory procedures used for the diagnosis of enteric, respiratory and genital tract infections. The ability to evaluate laboratory results in the light of clinical notes, to recognise unusual findings and to make decisions on the value and cost effectiveness of laboratory procedures. 

5. Demonstrate skills to work cooperatively with a small group of peers and to communicate to other scientists, both orally and in written form. 

6. Demonstrate skills to search and critically evaluate scientific literature, 

7. Demonstrate skills to solve unfamiliar problems, plan a work program and learn independently. 



Overview of Learning Activities

Lectures, laboratory classes, laboratory tutorials, independent learning, written assignments. A major part of the practical program of this course mimics the workplace in a diagnostic microbiology laboratory. The lecture series provides the theoretical background to this training.

This course has a vocational focus. It prepares you in particular for a career in medical and veterinary diagnostic microbiology and research in clinical microbiology.

Total Study Hours

A total of 120 study hours is expected, comprising:

Teacher-directed hours: 3 hours of face-to-face lectures per week, and 5 full days of practical laboratory class.

Student-directed hours: In addition, you are expected to spend additional hours per week of independent study.



Overview of Learning Resources

In addition to material given during lectures and practical classes and the prescribed textbooks, students are expected to use the material presented on Blackboard and to read the references provided by lecturers.


Overview of Assessment

Note that: All hurdle requirements for this course are indicated clearly in the assessment regime that follows, against the relevant assessment task(s) and all have been approved by the College Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching). 

It is a hurdle requirement that you must demonstrate technical competency by achieving at least 45% in the practical component of the course.

Assessment Tasks

The Course learning objectives are assessed through a variety of assessment types:

Online Quizzes (10%)

Three quizzes during the semester are designed to provide you with early feedback on your progress.

This assessment supports CLOs 1 & 2 

Theory Examination (45%)

This assessment supports CLO1-3. 

Lecture workbook (10%)

This assessment comprises regular research tasks on topical questions and literature

This assessment supports CLO 7

Practical Tasks (30%)

Practical tasks assessment is based on industry practices and is supervised and assessed by people with experience in medical microbiology. It comprises laboratory skills, laboratory notebook, and written practical report. Technical competence (at a postgraduate level) includes
safe working practices.
Prior preparation for the class, contribution to group discussions, and answering questions set by demonstrator will be expected to demonstrate your safety knowledge and skills.

This assessment supports CLOs 4, 5, 6 & 7 

Oral presentation in class (5%)

This assessment supports CLO 6