MEDSCI 202 : Microbiology and Immunology

Medical and Health Sciences

2021 Semester One (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

An introduction to the nature and roles of bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites as the causative agents of human diseases. Topics include: the defence mechanisms of the body, the immune system including autoimmunity and allergy, control of disease by antimicrobials, sterilisation, disinfection and infection control practice.

Course Overview

The bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic pathogens of humans will be introduced with particular reference to how they cause infection. Clinical examples will be given in both lectures and laboratories. The main classes of antimicrobials and their use will be introduced. The laboratories are practically oriented with relevance to clinical cases.

The basics of the immune system and how it is regulated, and responds to microbial challenge will be introduced. The way the immune system can be stimulated in the form of vaccination to prevent disease will be covered. There will be an introduction into inflammatory diseases and immunodeficiencies that are acquired or inherited.

All lectures will be presented by active researchers from the Department of Molecular Medicine and Pathology (MMP):
Assoc. Prof. Thomas Proft: 7 lectures in Microbiology/Infectious Diseases
Assoc. Prof. Mark Thomas: 7 lectures in Clinical Microbiology/Virology
Assoc. Prof. Simon Swift: 3 lectures in Microbiology/Infectious Diseases
Assoc. Prof. Siouxsie Wiles: 3 lectures in Microbiology/Infectious Diseases
Dr. Nikki Moreland: 5 lectures in Immunology
Dr. Scott Graham: 5 lectures in Immunology

MedSci202 provides the basis for the third year courses MedSci314 (Immunology) and BioSci349 (Biomedical Microbiology).

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: BIOSCI 107, MEDSCI 142 Restriction: OPTOM 241, PHARMACY 203

Course Contacts

Associate Professor Thomas Proft
Course Director
Department of Molecular Medicine & Pathology
Phone: 923-86213
Room: 502-301C

Dr. Ho Joon Lee
Course and Lab Coordinator
Department of Molecular Medicine & Pathology
Phone: 923-81988
Room: 501-002

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 5: Independence and Integrity
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. Explain the microbiological features of important bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic human pathogens using clinical examples (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  2. Have knowledge of important bacterial, viral, fungal and parasite infectious diseases. (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  3. Explain nosocomial infections and infections in clinical practice. (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  4. Explain the main classes of antimicrobials and their use in treatments (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  5. Perform important microbiological and biochemical assays to identify microbes in the laboratories (Capability 4 and 6)
  6. Have a basic understanding of the human immune system and how it is regulated (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  7. Describe how vaccination activates the immune system to prevent disease (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  8. Develop their intellectual and cognitive skills to complete associated ‘on-task’ activities (Capability 2 and 4)
  9. Evaluate their own progress towards achieving personal and professional goals (Capability 5)
  10. Communicate their knowledge and understanding as a future healthcare and/or scientific professional with fellow students, the academic faculty and the community. (Capability 4)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Laboratories 15% Group & Individual Coursework
Essay 15% Individual Coursework
Coursework 15% Individual Test
Final Exam 55% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Final Exam

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 30 hours of lectures, 8 two-hour labs, 25 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 60 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is required at labs to complete/receive credit for components of the course

Lectures will be available as recordings, but attendance is encouraged. Other learning activities including labs will not be available as recordings.
The course will not include live online events.
Attendance on campus is required for the test/exam.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning Resources

Recommended Texts

  • Murray et al.; Medical Microbiology 7th Ed, 2013 
  • Engelkirk P et al.: Burton's Microbiology for the Health Sciences, Wolters Kluwer Lippincott, 10th Ed, 2015 

  • Male et al.: Immunology 8th Ed, 2013 
  • Murphy K.: Janeway's Immunobiology, 8th Ed. New York: Garland Publishing; 2012 
  • Tak W et al.: Primer to the Immune Response, AP Cell Press Elsevier 2nd Ed, 2014 

(Note: Recommended texts are available on desk loan in the Philson Library. You are not required to purchase them, but if you do, so we suggest purchasing whichever you find most readable).

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester 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 and respond with summaries and actions.

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

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

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.

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.

The delivery mode of this course may change in accordance with changes to New Zealand Government recommendations. Updates for this course will be provided on the course Canvas page.
Note: this course cannot be taken remotely at Level 1

Level 1: All main teaching activities will be conducted on campus and in person.
• Lectures: on campus, recorded lectures will be available.
• Labs: on campus, remote versions will NOT be available.
• Tests, exams: on campus, you must attend in person unless you are unwell or other circumstances outside your control prevent you from attending. You must complete the exam to pass the course.

Level 2: All teaching activities are remote
• Lectures: delivered remotely, available at the timetabled time (recorded lectures might be used instead).
• Labs: delivered remotely as recorded versions, available at the timetabled time.
• Tests: delivered remotely at timetabled time.
• Exams: delivered remotely at timetabled time. You must complete the exam to pass the course.

Level 3/4: All teaching activities are remote
• Lectures, labs: delivered remotely, available at the timetabled time and recordings of the sessions/online versions will be available.
• Tests: delivered remotely at timetabled time.
• Exams: delivered remotely at timetabled time. You must complete the exam to pass the course.

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.