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


City Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2020

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

It is assumed that you have knowledge and capabilities of microbiology at a third year undergraduate level as learnt in these required prior study courses or equivalent courses or work experience.
Required Prior Study: ONPS1054/2118 Medical Microbiology 1

or ONPS2120/1048 Medical Microbiology 2

or equivalent bacteriology courses at another institution,

and/ or ONPS Medical Microbiology 1 ONPS1054 as a co-requisite

or equivalent work experience in a microbiology laboratory .

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 the student’s understanding of the pathogenesis, epidemiology, laboratory diagnosis and control of infections, particularly those of the respiratory, intestinal and genital tracts. 
The course is delivered in face-to-face lectures and practical classes with individual and group work and aims to encourage development of capabilities in critical review of microbiology literature, scientific communication, problem solving, learning in small groups, independent learning and time management. 
This course has a vocational focus. It aims to prepare you in particular for a career in medical and veterinary diagnostic microbiology and research in clinical microbiology.

This course has a hurdle of 50% for both the theory and practical components of the course. This is to ensure that graduates are competent and meet industry standards.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the MC111 Master of Biotechnology (Clinical Microbiology, and MC158 Master of Laboratory Medicine Program Learning Outcomes,:

PLO-1 Understanding science

PLO1-2 You will demonstrate a coherent understanding of biological sciences by explaining the role and relevance of biological sciences in society. You will develop an in-depth knowledge of the specialist field of microbiology, specifically microbial pathogenesis, antimicrobial agents, clinical microbiology, and diagnosis. This will be complemented with the technical capability in handling, examining, isolating and identifying microbes,

PLO-2 Scientific knowledge

PLO2-1 You will exhibit depth and breadth of knowledge by demonstrating a well-developed understanding of biological science.
PLO2-2 You will exhibit depth and breadth of knowledge by demonstrating knowledge that biotechnology has interdisciplinary connections with other sciences.These skills will develop your research capability by, problem solving, in participating in problem-based laboratory exercises. And further your reflective capability in applying knowledge of microbiology to identify unknown organisms, to reach a diagnosis based on clinical notes and technical analysis, and also in answering case studies or quizzes.

PLO-3 Inquiry and problem solving

PLO3-1 You will be able to critically analyse and solve problems in biotechnology by gathering, synthesizing and critically evaluating information from a range of sources.
PLO3-2 You will be able to critically analyse and solve problems in biotechnology by designing and planning an investigation, including developing a testable hypothesis.
PLO3-3 You will be able to critically analyse and solve problems in biotechnology by selecting and applying practical and/or theoretical techniques with technical competence in conducting field, laboratory-based, or virtual experiments.
PLO3-4 You will be able to critically analyse and solve problems in biotechnology by collecting, accurately recording, interpreting, and drawing conclusions from scientific data.

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.

PLO-5 Personal and professional responsibility

PLO5-1 You will be accountable for individual learning and scientific work in biotechnology by being an independent and self-directed learner.
PLO5-2 You will be accountable for individual learning and scientific work by working effectively, responsibly, ethically, and safely in an individual or team context.

On completion of this course you should be able to:

CLO 1. Demonstrate an understanding at an advanced level of microbial virulence mechanisms and host response to infection; application of molecular techniques to medical microbiology, immunology and pathogenesis, detection of bacterial infections by being able to explain the pathogenic mechanism that are important for diagnosis of infection and understanding of the mechanisms of infectious disease.

CLO 2. Demonstrate an understanding of respiratory, gastrointestinal and urinogenital tract infections (microbial causes, pathogenesis, transmission of infection, diagnosis, prevention and treatment) by being able to identify a unknown organisms in clinical samples, and describe the pathogenesis of important pathogens.

CLO 3. Demonstrate an understanding of the pathogenesis of some important parasitic infections of humans, by being able to describe the pathogenesis, and be able to identify the causative agents.

CLO 4. Work cooperatively with a small group, by working with peers on laboratory tasks and case studies.

CLO5: Critically assess and interpret scientific literature by reading recommended literature and discussing with teaching staff and your peers.

CLO 6. Acquire, analyse and report on complex research questions, and solve problems, by working on case studies and preparing a written report on the diagnosis of the infectious agents. Develop your 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.

CLO 7. Demonstrate safe working practices in microbiology, adhere to PC2 requirements for safe work procedures.

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

This course is worth 24 credit points.

A total of 240 hours of study is expected during this course, comprising:

Teacher-guided activities (76 hours): 3 hours of face-to-face lectures per week, and 5 full days of practical laboratory class (equivalent to 3.3 hour per week).

Student-directed activities (164 hours): In addition, you should expect to spend at least an additional 14 hours of independent study, research and preparation of assessment tasks per week.
You are expected to study independently managing your own learning progress.



Overview of Learning Resources

In addition to material given during lectures and practical classes, students are expected to use the course material provided, and to read the literature and textbooks recommended provided by lecturers.

Overview of Assessment

It is a hurdle requirement that you must demonstrate technical competency by achieving at least 50% in the theory AND practical component of the course (that is at least 50% overall, and at least 20/40% for the combined practical assessment, and at least 30/60%for the theory component).

Postgraduates are expected to develop an integrated understanding of subject matter, demonstrate advanced judgement in the selection of materials used to support discussions and comprehensively review data analysis results in order to provide relevant, succinct interpretations of any findings.

A: The theory component assessment is (60%) of the course. It includes:

Theory Task 1: Written Examination (40%) 
Three hour written examination covering the theory aspects of the course 
This assessment addresses CLOs 1-3.

Theory Task 2: Essay on literature research on a selected topic (10%)
This task will develop your skills to research and critically assess scientific literature in the field. 
This assessment addresses CLO 5.

Theory Task 3: On-line Quizzes (10%)
The quizzes are designed to provide you with early feedback on your progress so that you can manage your learning. 
This assessment addresses CLOs-1-3.

B: The practical component assessment is (40%) of the course. Practical assessment is based on industry practices and is supervised and assessed by people with experience in medical microbiology.
It includes:

Practical Task 2: Practical Examination. (15%)
Written and practical examination covering the practical aspects of the course. 
This assessment addresses CLO 2, 6 &7.

Practical Task 2: Laboratory Report (15%) 
The laboratory report will develop your skills in designing and performing and identification strategy, and reporting the results in an accurate manner.
This assessment addresses CLOs 4-6.

Practical Task 3: Laboratory Notebook, Technical Competence and lab reports (10%) 
Laboratory Notebook will be written in class each week and submitted before leaving the laboratory. Data recording and analysis is to be at industry standard level.
Technical competence includes demonstration of prior preparation for the class, safe working practices and contribution to answering questions set by demonstrator.
This assessment addresses CLOs 5-7.