Course Title: Diagnostic Microbiology

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Diagnostic Microbiology

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 2 2017,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 2 2020,
Sem 2 2021,
Sem 2 2022,
Sem 2 2023

Course Coordinator: Associate Prof. Taghrid Istivan

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7107

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Location: Bundoora campus, Building 223, Level 1

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

It is assumed that you have knowledge of introductory microbiology theory and practical microbiology laboratory skills. Aseptic technique is required for microbiology practical laboratories.

Course Description

In our increasingly populated and mobilized world, infectious disease remains a core public health issue. This medium level microbiology course will consolidate your understanding of infectious microorganisms and their extraordinary ability to adapt and survive. It will enhance the depth of knowledge and practical skills in microbiology with emphasis on bacteria and other microorganisms of importance to humans such as viruses, fungi and parasites. The learning skills developed in this course include knowledge, technical expertise, critical analysis, scientific communication and professional awareness of important medical microorganisms. The course contains a comprehensive and compulsory practical component that is undertaken to complement the lecture/ theory component.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes for:

BP147 Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Laboratory Medicine)

  • Knowledge capability: Understand appropriate and relevant, theoretical concepts of scientific knowledge with the ability to use and apply the knowledge in a wide range of problem solving, challenging and interpretative situations within the professional laboratory medicine discipline.
  • Technical capability: Ability to apply a range of diagnostic technologies and methodologies relevant to the fields of Clinical Biochemistry, Haematology, Histopathology, Cytopathology or Microbiology. These methodologies will identify pathological changes which deviate from the normal physiological range. Students will use logical and systematic thinking to solve problems with diagnostic techniques and procedures, and apply high level analytical skills to the chosen area of clinical laboratory specialisation.
  • Professional practices:  Contribute to academic and professional work settings through responsible, self- managed, independent work, interpersonal skills which support constructive interactions with individuals and teams, and understand the ethical and legal framework that underpins the field of diagnostic pathology.

BP293 Bachelor of Science (Biotechnology)/Bachelor of Biomedical Science

PLO 1 Demonstrate a coherent understanding of biotechnology and biomedical sciences by:
1.1. Articulating the methods of biotechnology and biomedical science and explaining why current scientific knowledge is both contestable and testable by further inquiry

PLO 2 Exhibit depth and breadth of scientific knowledge by:
2.1. Demonstrating knowledge across disciplines contributing to biotechnology and biomedical science 

PLO 3 Critically analyse and solve scientific problems by:
3.1. Gathering, synthesising and critically evaluating information from a range of sources 
3.3. Selecting and applying practical and/or theoretical techniques or tools in order to conduct an investigation 
3.4.Collecting, accurately recording, interpreting and drawing conclusions from scientific data. 

PLO 5 Demonstrate accountability for your own learning and scientific work by:
5.1. Becoming an independent and self-directed learner
5.2. Working effectively, responsibly and safely in an individual or team context

This course also contributes to the Program Learning Outcomes for BP231 Biomedical Sciences.

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

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the taxonomy of microorganisms and their importance in clinical microbiology, public health, as well as food and water microbiology, the molecular basis of antibiotic resistance and how to control the growth and spread of microbes in the environment;
  2. Apply theory, microbiology knowledge and technical skills to identify bacteria, fungi and parasites in the laboratory, appreciating the hazards associated with handling microorganisms in the laboratory and the subsequent safety requirements
  3. Critically analyse the results of clinical investigations;
  4. Perform laboratory tests to investigate anti-microbial agents;
  5. Communicate using the proper scientific language of the field including clinical laboratory reports written with a professional approach.
  6. Work collaboratively and evaluate team work in small groups.

Overview of Learning Activities

The course includes a wide range of learning activities designed to stimulate an interest in the topics being covered. This includes lectures with integrated active learning, as well as self-directed learning online. You also will participate in immersive laboratory sessions in which you should learn and apply the techniques used in contemporary Microbiology. You will work both individually and also collaboratively with your peers and subject experts at the interface of theory, experimentation, and application. The course is supported by the Canvas learning management system.

Overview of Learning Resources

Your learning resources include:

On-campus and/or online lectures in which syllabus material will be presented and explained;

Compulsory attendance of practical classes which complement the lectures and to acquire skills to handle microorganisms in the laboratory;

Discussion sessions during practical classes and preparation of written practical reports; and

Textbooks with internet sites provided by the publishers.

You will be able to access course information and learning material on the Canvas studies page.

Overview of Assessment

NOTE: 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 (Leaning & Teaching). This course has the practical component as an approved HURDLE based on accreditation and OH&S requirements.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1: Practical assessment HURDLE
Weighting 50%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6

Assessment Task 2: Authentic assessment presentation
Weighting 20%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2 & 3

Assessment Task 3: Theory assessment model including theory case studies
Weighting 30%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3 & 5