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

Course Coordinator: Associate Prof. Taghrid Istivan

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7107

Course Coordinator Email:

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

Course Coordinator Availability: by appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

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

On successful completion of this course you should be able to achieve the following Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs):

  • CLO 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;
  • CLO 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
  • CLO 3 Critically analyse the results of clinical investigations;
  • CLO 4 Perform laboratory tests to investigate anti-microbial agents;
  • CLO 5 Communicate using the proper scientific language of the field including clinical laboratory reports written with a professional approach.
  • CLO 6 Work collaboratively and evaluate team work in small groups.

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes for:

MC158 Master of Laboratory Medicine

PLO 1.  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 2. Technical capability
Ability to develop and perform a range of diagnostic techniques relevant to the field of laboratory medicine.  To use logical and systemic thinking and high level critical analysis skills to solve problems by utilising diagnostic techniques and methodologies in the chosen areas of clinical laboratory specialisation.

PLO 3. Professional work practices
Have a critical awareness of principles relating to scientific integrity, ethical issues and legal framework that underpins the field of laboratory medicine.  Contribute to professional work settings through effective interpersonal and teamwork skills to support constructive interactions.

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 will also participate in intensive 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 myRMIT studies.

Overview of Assessment

NOTE: 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) (50%)of the total mark.

This assessment supports CLO 1-6

Assessment Task 2 Authentic assessment presentations

Weighting (20%)

This assessment task supports CLOs  1, 2, 3)

Assessment task 3 Theory assessment model including theory case studies (30%)

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3 & 5