Course Title: Medical Microbiology 1

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Medical Microbiology 1

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016


Bundoora Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 1 2020,
Sem 1 2021,
Sem 1 2022

Course Coordinator: Assoc. Prof. Danilla Grando

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Microbiology to at least second year undergraduate level is a prerequisite requirement with assumed knowledge and capabilities. As such it is advised that you have successfully completed BIOL2173 Microbiology at RMIT, or BIOL2416/2417 Diagnostic Microbiology or equivalent course

Course Description

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

This advanced course aims to extend your understanding and appreciation of interactions between microbes and their human hosts; antimicrobial agents and microbial resistance; pathogenesis and diagnosis of microbial infections; and infections of body systems. 

The course is delivered through a blended learning approach where you will be guided through online pre-class learning activities that will prepare you for face-to-face practical classes and tutorials. You will develop skills in 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 Program Learning Outcomes:

PLO-1 Understanding science

1.2 You will have an understanding of recent developments in a specialised area of biotechnology.

PLO-2 Advanced skills to critically analyse and solve problems in biotechnology

2.2 You will generate and evaluate complex ideas and concepts at an abstract level.

PLO-3 Application of knowledge and skills

You will critically analyse and solve problems in biotechnology by:

3.1 Demonstrating creativity, initiative and a high level of autonomy in research and/or professional practice

PLO-4 Communication

You will be able to effectively communicate concepts of biotechnology to specialist and non-specialist audiences, using a variety of presentation modes.

PLO-5 Personal and professional responsibility

5.1 You will be accountable for individual learning and scientific work by being an independent and self-directed learner

5.2 You will work effectively, responsibly, ethically, and safely in an individual or team context.

This course contributes to the MC158 Master of Laboratory Medicine

1. Knowledge capability

Have a comprehensive understanding of key scientific principles underpinning laboratory medicine and have developed a systemic knowledge of core cellular and molecular processes underlying health and disease. Have advanced knowledge of two core clinical speciality disciplines of laboratory medicine and advanced management skills.

2. Technical capability

Ability to develop and perform a range of diagnostic techniques relevant to the field of laboratory medicine. To use logical and systemic thinking and high-level critical analysis skills to solve problems by utilising diagnostic techniques and methodologies in the chosen areas of clinical laboratory specialisation.

3. Professional work practices

Have a critical awareness of principles relating to scientific integrity, ethical issues and legal framework that underpins the field of laboratory medicine. Contribute to professional work settings through effective interpersonal and teamwork skills to support constructive interactions.

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

  1. Demonstrate an understanding at an advanced level of microbial virulence mechanisms, selection of the most appropriate diagnostic testing for specific infections, select appropriate microbial susceptibility testing for the infectious agent identified and understand methods to detect resistance to specific antimicrobial agents.
  2. Competently and safely perform microbiological tests on biological specimens in a laboratory environment that adhere to PC2 requirements for safe work procedures.
  3. Select and perform appropriate quality control for the processing and manipulation of clinical samples and the tests associated with infectious disease diagnostics.
  4. Effectively communicate scientific and microbiological concepts clearly, concisely and logically.
  5. Critically assess and interpret scientific literature.
  6. Analyse and report on complex diagnostic scenarios, and solve problems, plan a diagnostic strategy and learn independently.

Overview of Learning Activities

Online learning activities with recorded explanations from industry experts, laboratory classes (face to face), tutorials (online-interactive), independent learning, written assignments.

A major part of the practical program of this course mimics the workplace in a diagnostic microbiology laboratory.

The online learning activities provide the theoretical background to this training.

Overview of Learning Resources

Students are expected to interact with the material presented on Canvas, and to read the relevant sections of prescribed and recommended textbooks as well as references provided.

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 competency by achieving at least 50% in the practical components of the course. The skills learned are essential to ensure that you operate safely as a professional, and for accreditation purposes.

Overview of Assessment 

Practical report/s, laboratory skills and recording of results, critical review, written theory and practical assessment tasks. Practical assessment is based on industry practices and is supervised and assessed by people with experience in diagnostic microbiology.

Theory Component Assessment

Weighting: 50%

Assessment item 1: Critical review of a Journal article

Weighting 10%

This assessment addresses CLO 5

Assessment item 2: In-class invigilated theory tests

Weighting 40%

This assessment addresses CLOs 1, 2, 3 and 5


Practical Component Assessment

Weighting 50%

Assessment item 3 : Laboratory Practical Performance

Weighting 30%

This assessment addresses CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, & 6

Assessment item 4 : In-laboratory invigilated performance assessments

Weighting 20% 

This assessment addresses CLOs 1, 2, 3 & 4