Course Title: Parasites

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Parasites

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 1 2015


City Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 1 2017

Course Coordinator: Dr Nathan Bott

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7143

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Bundoora campus 223.1.48

Course Coordinator Availability: by appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Although there are no prerequisite studies, a solid knowledge of microbiology and immunology is required, such as found in ONPS2299/2239 Clinical Microbiology and Immunology and ONPS2120/1054 Medical Microbiology 2.

Course Description

This course will cover the basic fundamentals of biomedical parasitology; including an understanding of the range and diversity of parasitic organisms of biomedical importance, as well as understanding of their life cycles and transmission pathways. The course will also cover more applied parasitology topics; including host-parasite immune responses, genomics, diagnostics and other specialist topics. Students will obtain practical experience in the identification of parasitic life-cycle stages and learn some common laboratory diagnostic techniques.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes at AQF level 9:

PLO 1 Understanding science
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.
1.2 You will have an understanding of recent developments in a specialised area of biotechnology
You will develop an in-depth knowledge of the specialist field of parasitology, specifically an understanding of different parasitic groups, their transmission pathways, life-cycles, treatments and diagnosis. This will be complemented with the technical capability in examining and identifying various parasites.

PLO 3. Communication
3.1 You will be able to effectively communicate concepts of biotechnology to specialist and non-specialist audiences, using a variety of presentation modes.
In this course you will develop communication skills in working groups in laboratory exercises, presenting written material for laboratory reports and participating in class discussions.

PLO 4. Personal and professional responsibility.
4.1 You will be accountable for individual learning and scientific work by being an independent and self-directed learner; working effectively, responsibly, ethically, and safely in an individual or team context; and demonstrating knowledge of the regulatory frameworks and ethical principles relevant to biotechnology.
You will employ professional work practices in learning to consider diagnostic issues such as cost effectiveness, workflow and compliance with regulatory requirements, and sustainable organisational management in understanding correct handling and disposal of biological materials and maintaining a high standard of ethics; patient confidentiality and consultation.



1. An understanding, of the principles of parasitology with emphasis on selected parasitic infections.

2. An understanding of the clinical manifestations, pathogenic mechanisms, transmission and laboratory diagnosis of selected parasitic infections.

3. Knowledge of emerging mechanisms of resistance to anti-parasitic agents; current and emerging methods in immunology, genomics, diagnostics and other applied parasitology.

4. A thorough understanding of the laboratory procedures used for the diagnosis of a range of parasitic infections.

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

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

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

Overview of Learning Activities

The course consists of weekly lectures, and intensive practical classes that will be run on whole days throughout the semester- Dates will be advertised before the beginning of Semester.

Independent study is an essential part of this course. As well as study related to the lectures, this will include research and preparation for the written submissions and oral presentation, preparation for practical classes and discussions.

It is recommended that you attend and participate in all scheduled teaching sessions and complete formal items of assessment to achieve satisfactory completion of the course. Formal teaching sessions are available only at the times specified and cannot be repeated. You are expected to spend an appropriate amount of time out of classes reviewing theoretical and practical material in textbooks, journals and on the internet, preparing self-directed leaning exercises and writing reports.

Oral and written student evaluation of the course will be formally solicited and considered annually by the Program Team in course and program review.

Overview of Learning Resources

Learning resources for this course include the prescribed/recommended and reference texts and other material referred to in classes.

You will be able to access course information and learning material on the course Blackboard site through myRMIT.

Lecture topics will include: Introduction to Parasitology, all major parasitic groups as well as focus on parasites of major socio-economic importance, immunology, genomics and diagnostics

Overview of Assessment

This course is assessed by written examinations and quizes, written submissions,  and practical assessment. Regular attendance at classes is essential as some assessment will be carried out during scheduled classes.

Online quizzes cover theory and practical material.

Written assessment is in the form of written laboratory reports, critical review of literature and a final theory examination.

Attendance and participation in practical classes, as well as a laboratory notebook are also assessed.