The human race is constantly challenged by new, emerging and re-emerging infectious pathogens. Students will learn how a healthy immune system can defend its host against these agents and how this defence is compromised in immunodeficient states. They will extend their knowledge to current topics such as biosafety, epidemiology, surveillance, infectious disease management, drug resistance and immunization. Laboratory exercises on asepsis, microbial characteristics and immune status will give students an opportunity to further broaden their understanding, build practical skills and manage bio-risk.

Teaching Periods
Start and end dates
Last self-enrolment date
Census date
Last withdraw without fail date
Results released date
Semester 2
Start and end dates
Last self-enrolment date
Census date
Last withdraw without fail date
Results released date

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this unit will be able to:

  • Compare and contrast the characteristics and pathogenesis of communicable disease agents.
  • Examine the role of the structural and cellular components of the immune system in homeostasis, infection and immune-disorders.
  • Interpret data on disease surveillance to assess how communicable diseases spread and existing control strategies.
  • Discuss contemporary issues such as immunization, spread of drug resistance and zoonotic diseases.
  • Perform and analyze basic laboratory experiments used in infectious disease and immunology, while applying principles of biosafety.

Teaching methods


Type Hours per week Number of weeks Total (number of hours)
Face to Face Contact (Phasing out)
2.00 12 weeks 24
Face to Face Contact (Phasing out)
Tutorial Labs
2.00 6 weeks 12
Specified Learning Activities (Phasing out)
5.00 12 weeks 60
Unspecified Learning Activities (Phasing out)
Independent Learning
4.50 12 weeks 54


Type Task Weighting ULO's
AssignmentIndividual 25% 1,2,3,4,5 
AssignmentGroup 30% 1,2,3,4 
AssignmentIndividual 45% 1,2,3,4 


  • Infectious diseases – classification of pathogens, infections, clinical samples and diagnostic approaches
  • Epidemiology of infectious diseases – new, emerging, re-emerging diseases; extent of disease outbreaks; surveillance; biosafety
  • Antibiotics and drug resistance 
  • The Immune system – Innate and Adaptive immune cells, proteins (complements, receptors, antibodies), immune response, immunological memory
  • Immune disorders – Hypersensitivity, Autoimmunity, Immunodeficiency
  • Immunization – Types of vaccines
  • Transplantation immunology
  • Laboratory measurements of infectious disease and immunity

Study resources

Reading materials

A list of reading materials and/or required textbooks will be available in the Unit Outline on Canvas.