Course Title: Clinical Microbiology, Immunology and Genetics

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Clinical Microbiology, Immunology and Genetics

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016


Bundoora Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 2 2017,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 2 2020,
Sem 2 2021,
Sem 2 2022,
Sem 2 2023

Course Coordinator: Dr Tahnee Manning

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Assumed Knowledge

Knowledge of introductory biology (which includes microbiology) will be assumed however bridging materials will be available on line if you have not undertaken study in biology recently. You should be aware that this course is an advanced course in the clinical diagnosis of infectious disease. This course is suitable for nursing and allied health students in second and third years of their studies as it has strong relevance and application to the clinical setting. This course is not suitable if you are taking it instead of a microbiology course that is required in programs that develop capabilities in laboratory practice nor should it be taken by students who have not completed university level first year studies in anatomy and physiology.

Course Description

This course explores the scientific basis for the occurrence of infectious disease by applying that knowledge to the clinical situation. It aims to provide allied health practitioners (nurses, chiropractic, osteopathic and Chinese medicine practitioners) with the ability to recognise infectious disease and communicate with health care professionals about the issues pertaining to susceptibility to disease and infection control. You will study clinical microbiology using a body systems approach, with separate modules for immunology and genetics. The study in immunology and genetics will help you understand why susceptibility to infectious disease differs between individuals. The study in this course will enable you to discuss issues pertaining to genetic abnormality and infectious disease in an informed, compassionate and professional manner.

In this course you will learn to:

  • Diagnose infectious disease through an understanding of the clinical signs and symptoms
  • Familiarise yourself with the organisms responsible for infectious disease
  • Source relevant and accurate information pertaining to the safe conduct of clinical practice and infection control
  • Understand the role that immunity and genetics plays in the manifestations of infectious disease
  • Problem solve and research, including both critical and lateral thinking in the context of infectious disease
  • Communicate in the language used to describe infectious disease

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes (PLO) for BP278 Bachelor of Health Science/Bachelor of Applied Science (Chinese Medicine): 

  • PLO 1 Provide specialised health care within a patient-centred, evidence-based framework.
  • PLO 2 Gather clinical information to make accurate differential diagnoses, assessment and management plans and carry out effective treatment.
  • PLO 3 Practice as a competent health care professional in a safe, ethical and legally responsible manner.

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes (PLO) forBP280 Bachelor of Health Science/Bachelor of Applied Science (Chiropractic) 

  • PLO 5 Communicate effectively in a range of forms (written, online, oral) and with diverse audiences (patients, community/public, agencies and health professionals).

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes (PLO) for BP279 Bachelor of Health Science/Bachelor of Applied Science (Osteopathy):

  • PLO 1 Provide patient-centred care as a competent, safe primary healthcare professional
  • PLO 3 Gather and interpret health information, and employ clinical reasoning to develop differential diagnoses, to inform assessment and management
  • PLO 5 Manage all aspects of clinical practice to comply with ethical, legal, and regulatory standards in an evolving healthcare industry

Upon completion of this course you should be able to:

  1. Predict possible infectious disease aetiology using patient clinical signs and symptoms.
  2. Describe how immunity and genetics influences the outcome of an infectious disease.
  3. Communicate clinical findings in the language used to describe microbiology and genetics.
  4. Practice effective hand hygiene and infection control.

Overview of Learning Activities

You will be actively engaged in a range of learning activities such as lectorials, tutorials, practicals, laboratories, seminars, project work, class discussion, individual and group activities. Delivery may be face to face, online or a mix of both. 

A heavy emphasis on case presentations will be used in the clinical microbiology, immunology and genetics lectorials. It is very important to keep abreast of the lectorials on a weekly basis and your attendance is encouraged where possible as your knowledge will build progressively throughout the semester. The lectorials use exercises designed to promote active learning and this will also provide feedback on your learning progression. Regular in-class assessments will be held to help you monitor your learning progress. 

Case study reports are designed to deepen your understanding of concepts and to enable you to reflect on how your learning changes habits that are important in the clinic e.g., those that may hinder the safe performance of hand hygiene practice and common pitfalls of disease detection and prevention of transmission. You will also attend 4 mandatory tutorial sessions where you practice your communication skills as you provide explanations for the case scenarios.

You are encouraged to be proactive and self-directed in your learning, asking questions of your lecturer and/or peers and seeking out information as required, especially from the numerous sources available through the RMIT library, and through links and material specific to this course that is available through myRMIT Studies Course

Overview of Learning Resources


RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through myRMIT Studies Course

There are services available to support your learning through the University Library. The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help as well as a range of study support services. For further information, please visit the Library page on the RMIT University website and the myRMIT student portal.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1: In Class assessment of foundation concepts in clinical microbiology
Weighting 20%
This assessment supports CLOs 1, 3 

Assessment Task 2: In class assessment of foundation concepts in Immunology and Genetics 
Weighting 20%
This assessment supports CLO 2 

Assessment Task 3: Oral presentations and written submission of case study investigations
Weighting 40% 
This assessment supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4 

Assessment Task 4: In-class short answer assessment
Weighting 20%
This assessment supports CLOs 1, 2, 3