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Principles of Microbiology & Immunology (MIIM20001)

Undergraduate level 2Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 2
Subject codeMIIM20001
Semester 1
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject introduces students to the excitingly diverse world of microbes and discusses the roles they play not only in causing infectious disease but also in both creating and maintaining life as we know it. Various types of microbes and their basic life processes are described, with the focus mainly on bacteria and viruses. Cell biology principles and roles of organelles in protein trafficking will be discussed. Bacterial genetics and metabolism are explored, with the emphasis on how these areas determine observed behaviours and activities. The components of the immune system are outlined and their interactions and functions described.

A central part of this subject is outlining some of the strategies used by microbes to cause disease, and the counter strategies employed by the immune system to prevent disease. Other ways of controlling microbes, including antibiotics and vaccines are also discussed. The key roles played by microbes and the immune system in medical and biotechnological research is described. This subject provides students intending to specialize in the biological sciences with an understanding of the basic concepts in the disciplines of both Microbiology and Immunology.

Intended learning outcomes

Upon completion of this subject, students should:

LO 1: be familiar with the terminology used by microbiologists and immunologists and have acquired a broad foundation for future subjects in microbiology and immunology;
LO 2: appreciate the importance of microbiology and immunology in the fields of medicine, genetics and biotechnology;
LO 3: have insight into the type of investigations fundamental to the development of basic microbiological concepts;
LO 4: be able to describe simple microbial life processes; and understand how these processes are involved in infectious disease and interactions with hosts' immune systems, adaptation and survival of microorganisms and the promotion or control of microbial growth;
LO 5: understand the different properties of Bacteria, Archaea and eukaryotic microbial cells and viruses and the significance of all these microorganisms in the environment;
LO 6: be able to describe the basic principles of the microbial life cycle (both bacterial and viral), identifying the key steps and proteins (both microbial and host) utilised during this process.

Generic skills

Upon completion of this subject, students should have developed the following generic skills:

  • An enhanced ability to seek information from textbooks and computer based sources;
  • The ability to comprehend a question, evaluate the relevant information and communicate an answer in writing; and
  • The ability to manage time effectively to ensure attendance at lectures and examinations.

Eligibility and requirements


Code Name Teaching period Credit Points
BIOL10004 Biology of Cells and Organisms
Semester 1
BIOL10005 Genetics & The Evolution of Life
Semester 2



Non-allowed subjects


Recommended background knowledge

The prerequisite subjects should have provided an appropriate background for this subject.

Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home


Additional details

  • 2 x 45 minute written examination held around week 5 and week 10 (20% each);
  • A 2 hour written examination in the end of semester exam period (60%);

Dates & times

  • Semester 1
    Principal coordinatorKarena Waller
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours36 lectures (three per week); 2 x 1.5 hrs practical sessions located in weeks 11 and 12
    Total time commitment170 hours
    Teaching period 4 March 2019 to 2 June 2019
    Last self-enrol date15 March 2019
    Census date31 March 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail10 May 2019
    Assessment period ends28 June 2019

    Semester 1 contact information

    Principal Coordinator

    Associate Prof Karena Waller


    Subject Coordinator

    Professor Jason Mackenzie


    Administrative Coordinator


Time commitment details

170 hours

Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts

    Prescott's Microbiology by Willey J, Sherwood L, Woolverton C. 10th edn, 2017

    Recommended texts and other resources

  • Subject notes

    This subject is available for science credit to students enrolled in the BSc (both pre-2008 and new degrees), BASc or a combined BSc course.

    This subject is not available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Biomedicine.

    Where appropriate:

    • whilst students will not be involved in the manipulation and handling of animals, tissues and other products obtained from appropriately euthanased animals will be used in some experiments.
    • These experiments will be approved by the University of Melbourne Animal Welfare Committee.
    • Experiments contained in this unit will also be approved by the Biosafety and Gene Technology Committee.
  • Breadth options
  • Available through the Community Access Program

    About the Community Access Program (CAP)

    This subject is available through the Community Access Program (also called Single Subject Studies) which allows you to enrol in single subjects offered by the University of Melbourne, without the commitment required to complete a whole degree.

    Entry requirements including prerequisites may apply. Please refer to the CAP applications page for further information.

  • Available to Study Abroad and/or Study Exchange Students

    This subject is available to students studying at the University from eligible overseas institutions on exchange and study abroad. Students are required to satisfy any listed requirements, such as pre- and co-requisites, for enrolment in the subject.

Last updated: 10 August 2019