Course Title: Introduction to Biosciences

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Introduction to Biosciences

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012

Course Coordinator: Neil Robinson

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 1953

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Building 14, Level 6, Room 21

Course Coordinator Availability: Please email for appointment.

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Corequisite: BIOL2272 Biology of the Cell.

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to Microbiology (including parasitology and immunology) and Biophysics. The course will be delivered in two parts over 12 weeks at up to 5 hours per week.  Parts A (Microbiology) and B (Biophysics) will run concurrently.

Part A: Introduction to Microbiology.

Basics of microbiology: types of micro-organisms (viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites).  Diseases caused by these micro-organisms and clinical presentations.  Sterilisation and disinfection.  Disease transmission and the cycle of infection. Specimen collection and laboratory procedures.  Micro-environments of the human body and their relation to microbial growth. The human immune system and how the body fights disease. Antibiotics: use and abuse.

Part B: Introduction to biophysics.

Biophysics of Diagnosis:
Introduction: Measurement, quantities and units.
Biomechanics: Simple kinematics and dynamics, forces in the body, muscle-bone systems, lever systems, energy.
Optics for diagnosis: Reflection, refraction, optical instruments including opthalmoscope.
Physical properties of fluids: Density, pressure. Static and dynamic properties of fluids related to the cardiovascular system and auscultation of heart and lungs.

Biophysics of Intervention 
Forces associated with spinal adjustment. 
Waves: properties and propagation, ultrasonic waves and their uses in diagnostics and therapy.
Bioelectricity and Medical Instruments: Introduction to AC and DC electricity, simple electronic components and circuits, electricity in the body, simple description of medical instruments including the ECG, EMG etc.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Part A: Introduction to microbiology

By the end of the course, students will be able to:
Recognise and know how to deal with infections of humans caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites;
Understand what is required for the growth and isolation of infectious organisms in the laboratory;
Understand the mechanisms of transfer of infectious agents and the spread of disease;
Recognise the usefulness and consequences of the use of the various types of antimicrobial agents in disinfection, sterilisation and antibiotic treatment; and
Recognise the importance of correct hygienic procedures in the chiropractic or osteopathic clinic.

Part B: Introduction to biophysics

On completion of this part the student will have an understanding of the biophysics that underpins a range of common diagnostic procedures and manual therapeutic interventions.

In particular the student will:
(a) Understand measurement and quantities, biomechanics, optics and properties of fluids associated with diagnostic procedures.
(b) Understand properties of biomaterials and forces associated with spinal adjustment, and the use of ultrasound and electricity in diagnosis and manual therapeutic intervention.

Part A: Microbiology
At conclusion of this course you will have acquired a basic understanding of the role of viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites in human health.

Part B: Biophysics
At the completion of this unit you will understand the principles of Biophysics that underscore diagnosis and treatment of patients in the Chiropractic Clinic.

Overview of Learning Activities

The course is presented in two weekly sessions of up to 3 hours each:
Part A: Introduction to Microbiology: Content will be presented by lectures and laboratory sessions.
Part B: Biophysics: Content will be presented in lectures and tutorials.

Overview of Learning Resources

Learning Hub.  Lecture notes, other documents and external links, will be made available through the Learning Hub.

Texts and references for prescribed reading will be advised during lectures or on the Learning Hub, otherwise referred to as the DLS (Distributed Learning System).

Overview of Assessment

Assessment will be weighted as follows: Part A (50%), Part B (50%).
In each part, the course will be assessed progressively during semester (50%) and by end-of-semester examination (50%).