BIOSCI 349 : Biomedical Microbiology


2021 Semester One (1213) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

The molecular biology of micro-organisms affecting human health. The characteristics of microbial pathogens, the origins of virulence, and the development of infectious disease. Routes of infection, evasion of host immune responses, and host-pathogen interactions. The molecular basis for vaccination and anti-microbial therapy, and the development of resistance to treatment.

Course Overview

This course outlines the biology of a diverse group of infectious microorganisms including Bacteria, Viruses and Parasites. The focus is on the molecular biology of microbial pathogens, how they interact with humans to cause disease, and strategies for the prevention and treatment of disease. The lecturing staff are drawn from both the Faculty of Science, and The Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, and are involved in cutting edge research and/or clinical practice in this area. 

This course is part of the Microbiology pathway in Biological Sciences. For students planning a career in Health Sciences this is an essential  paper.  Plus - as the events of 2020 have indicated - Biomedical Microbiology has very real impacts on Society and the way we live our lives. We need better societal understanding of the ways we can prevent, control and treat infectious disease, which is what this paper is all about. 

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: BIOSCI 201 and either BIOSCI 204 or MEDSCI 202

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Discuss and compare approaches to preventing and treating disease caused by bacteria, parasites and viruses (Capability 1, 2 and 4)
  2. Articulate and discuss the pathogenecity of selected organisms (Capability 1 and 4)
  3. Describe and explain how infectious diseases emerge and are transmitted (Capability 1 and 4)
  4. Demonstrate understanding of basic molecular and cellular biology relevant to infection by bacteria, parasites and viruses. (Capability 1 and 2)
  5. Critically evaluate media reporting on infectious disease, and methods for its prevention and treatment (Capability 1, 2, 4 and 6)
  6. Demonstrate competence in basic laboratory procedures used for characterizing bacteria and viruses (Capability 1 and 3)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Laboratories 20% Individual Coursework
Essay 10% Individual Coursework
Tests 20% Individual Test
Final Exam 50% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6
Final Exam
The breakdown of marks for the course as a whole is 70% Theory (Essay, Tests, and Final Exam) and 20% Practical (Written reports for the Laboratory Sessions). 

In order to pass the course, students must individually pass both the theory and the practical components, as well as achieve an overall passing mark.

Special Requirements

Participation in the Laboratory sessions is compulsory. Lab coats are required.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 34 hours of lectures, 58 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 58 hours of work on assignments, laboratories and/or test preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

  • Attendance is required at labs to complete the course.
  • Lectures will be available as recordings. 
  • The course will not include live online events.
  • Attendance on campus is required for the exam.
  • The activities for the course are scheduled according to a standard weekly timetable.

A remote version of the course can be made available to students located overseas because of border restrictions, or those with an exemption to study remotely.

Learning Resources

There is no single prescribed textbook for this course. Required or suggested readings are noted on the Canvas outlines for each topic.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Digital Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and your assessment is fair, and not compromised. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the University Website for information about how to proceed.

COVID19 considerations:

Alert Level 1: Course delivered normally, as specified in delivery mode
Alert Levels 2-4: You will not be required to attend in person. All teaching activities and assessments will be delivered remotely


Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.

Published on 16/12/2020 01:56 p.m.