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

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

Microbiology to at least second year undergraduate level is an enforced requisite course with assumed knowledge and capabilities.

You must have successfully completed BIOL2159 Microbiology at RMIT, or equivalent course, 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 advanced course aims to extend your understanding and appreciation of interactions between microorganisms and parasites; antimicrobial agents and microbial resistance; characteristics of viruses, medically-important fungi, pathogenesis and diagnosis of viral infections; infections of the skin and respiratory tract;

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 (oral and written), 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.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

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; biochemical and genetic mechanisms of antimicrobial agent activity, microbial susceptibility and resistance to antimicrobial agents; replication of viruses, viral immunology and pathogenesis, detection of viruses;

CLO 2. Demonstrate an understanding of skin and respiratory 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 a basic understanding of the pathogenesis of some important fungal infections of humans, and be able to identify the causative agents;

CLO 4. Work cooperatively as part of a small group;

CLO 5. Critically assess and interpret scientific literature

CLO 6. Analyse and report on complex research questions, and solve problems, plan a work program or diagnostic strategy and learn independently;

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

This course contributes to the MC111 Master of Biotechnology (Clinical Microbiology) 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, mycology, virology, 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.

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.


Total study hours

A total of 120 hours of study is expected during this course, comprising:

Teacher-guided activities (72 hours):  3 hours of face-to-face lectures per week, and 3 hours of practical laboratory class.

Student-directed activities (48 hours): In addition, you are expected to spend at least an additional 4 hours of independent study 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 material presented on Canvas, and to read the relevant sections of prescribed and recommended textbooks as well as 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).

There is a theory and practical HURDLE for this course, meaning that you must achieve more than 45% on both the Theory and Practical components in order to pass the course. The skills learned are essential to ensure that you operate safely as a professional, and for accreditation purposes.


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 75% of the course. There is a theory HURDLE for this course, meaning that you must achieve more than 45% on the Theory components in order to pass the course. The theory component assessment includes:


Theory Task 1: Written Examination (45%)

This exam covers both the theory and practical aspects of the course

This assessment addresses CLOs 1-3.


Theory Task 2: Review of a Journal Article (20%)

This task aims to develop your skills to understand 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 25% of the course. Practical assessment is based on industry practices and is supervised and assessed by people with experience in medical microbiology. There is a practical HURDLE for this course, meaning that you must achieve more than 45% on the Practical components in order to pass the course. The practical component is a HURDLE of this course. It includes:


Practical Task 1: 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 2: Laboratory Notebook and Technical Competence (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 4-6.