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 2018,
Sem 2 2019

Course Coordinator: Assoc Prof Danilla Grando

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 99257135

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 223.1.66

Course Coordinator Availability: Please email as first preference for contact

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

You must have completed university level first year studies in anatomy and physiology.

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

On 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

A heavy emphasis on case presentations will be used in the clinical microbiology lectures. It is very important to attend lectures as the active learning environment created in this lecture space will help you determine your learning progress.
The practical session combines some hands on activity with a predominantly problem-solving approach to learning. The practical session is the main opportunity for you to discuss your understanding of concepts with tutoring staff. Practical sessions are compulsory. You will attain hand hygiene competency through the 4 prac sessions. These prac sessions are designed to deepen your understanding of concepts.
Material presented in these classes is assessed in both the week 12 written paper and in the final MCQ exam.
Please bring a lab coat to these practical sessions and it is mandatory to wear closed shoes.
Learning will be supported by lectures and online tutorials (clinical microbiology and genetics) and quizzes (immunology).

Total study hours

You will undertake around 5 hours per week of laboratory classes and lectures. In addition you can expect to spend a minimum of 5 hours per week in independent study.


Overview of Learning Resources

Learning resources for this course include a prescribed text and online resources referred to in the course online learning site at myRMIT.

Overview of Assessment

Note that:
This course has no hurdle requirements.

The assessment tasks are

Early Assessment Task 1:
Immunology online quiz Week 6
Weighting 20%
This assessment task supports CLO 2

Assessment Task 2:
Written test Clinical Microbiology and Genetics Week 12
Weighting 40%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4

Assessment Task 3: Final Examination
Weighting 40%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 4