Course Title: Viruses and Infections

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Viruses and Infections

Credit Points: 12.00

Important Information:

To participate in any RMIT course in-person activities or assessment, you will need to comply with RMIT vaccination requirements which are applicable during the duration of the course. This RMIT requirement includes being vaccinated against COVID-19 or holding a valid medical exemption. 

Please read this RMIT Enrolment Procedure as it has important information regarding COVID vaccination and your study at RMIT:

Please read the Student website for additional requirements of in-person attendance: 

Please check your Canvas course shell closer to when the course starts to see if this course requires mandatory in-person attendance. The delivery method of the course might have to change quickly in response to changes in the local state/national directive regarding in-person course attendance. 


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 1 2017


City Campus


173H School of Health and Biomed


Sem 1 2019,
Sem 1 2021,
Sem 1 2022

Course Coordinator: Prof Christian Doerig

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 9577

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 201.09.009B

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Aseptic technique and basic laboratory skills are a required pre- requisite for you to be able to perform the practical classes. These skills are not taught in this class.

Course Description

This course aims to provide students with an understanding of (i) the general principlesof parasitism as illustrated by viral replication cycles, (ii) the core molecular aspects of viral infections, (iii) the pathogenesis of selected viral diseases of humans and animals and (iv) the principles underlying the use of diagnostic tools and of control strategies such as antiviral drugs and vaccines.

The recorded online lectures and screencasts will be complemented by tutorials aimed at (i) consolidating students’ understanding of essential concepts, and (ii) providing a platform for oral presentations of selected topical issues in current virology.

The practical sessions will introduce students to classical viral propagation, quantification and diagnosis techniques.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes for MC158 Master of Laboratory Medicine:

  • PLO1. 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.
  • PLO 5. Reflective capability - Ability to reflect and integrate based upon experiences in relation to theory and work practices to demonstrate creativity in the identification of problems and their solutions. Identify personal skill deficiencies that require further professional development.

On successful completion of this course you will be able to:

  1. Describe  the principles underlying parasitism and the main molecular features of viral replication cycles, and discuss the aetiology, pathophysiology and laboratory diagnosis of various viral diseases of humans.
  2. Compare and contrast types of viral vaccines and antiviral therapies used in humans.
  3. Perform classical virological techniques and calculations for determining viral and antibody titres.
  4. Present in both oral and written formats, and in a formal scientific style, selected aspects of viral infections

Overview of Learning Activities

Students will be guided through the course by online lectures screen casts, tutorials and a practical course. The weekly recorded lecture load will be distributed where possible in short, “bite-sized” screencasts. Some of the recorded material will be run by invited experts form outside RMIT University.

The practical course will address specific topics relating to virus quantitation or diagnostic approaches. Tutorials will consolidate concepts acquired through the lectures and encourage deeper understanding of virology, and will include oral presentations by students on specific topics.

Students are expected to be active learners and will have the responsibility to attend and actively participate in all planned schedules tutorials and practical classes. They will be expected to undertake such other private study as will benefit their learning towards the objectives of the subject.

Anonymous and voluntary student feedback on course content and evaluation processes will be sought at the end of the semester, and used by the course team for improving the course in subsequent iterations.

Overview of Learning Resources

In addition to prescribed and recommended textbooks, references to specific learning materials will be given during lectures and practical classes. Links to videos and other materials that can support learning in virology will be displayed on the course Canvas site, accessed through myRMIT.

Overview of Assessment

This course has no hurdle requirements.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1:  Written Assignment (Problem-based short answer questions)

Weighting 50%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1 & 2

Assessment Task 2: Oral presentation

Weighting 15%

This assessment task supports CLO 1, 2 & 4

Assessment Task 3: Written Essay

Weighting 15%

This assessment task supports CLO 1, 2 & 4

Assessment Task 4: Practical Assessment

Weighting 20%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3 & 4