MEDSCI 202 : Microbiology and Immunology

Medical and Health Sciences

2024 Semester One (1243) (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):
Prof. Thomas Proft: 7 lectures in Microbiology/Infectious Diseases
Assoc. Prof. Mark Thomas: 10 lectures in Microbiology/Virology
Assoc. Prof. Simon Swift: 3 lectures in Microbiology/Infectious Diseases
Assoc. Prof. 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

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 3: Knowledge and Practice
Capability 4: Critical Thinking
Capability 6: Communication
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 3)
  2. Have knowledge of important bacterial, viral, fungal and parasite infectious diseases. (Capability 3)
  3. Explain nosocomial infections and infections in clinical practice. (Capability 3)
  4. Explain the main classes of antimicrobials and their use in treatments (Capability 3 and 4)
  5. Perform important microbiological and biochemical assays to identify microbes in the laboratories (Capability 3 and 4)
  6. Have a basic understanding of the human immune system and how it is regulated (Capability 3 and 4)
  7. Describe how vaccination activates the immune system to prevent disease (Capability 3 and 4)
  8. Develop their intellectual and cognitive skills to complete associated ‘on-task’ activities (Capability 4 and 6)
  9. Evaluate their own progress towards achieving personal and professional goals (Capability 4 and 6)
  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 and 6)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Laboratories 15% Group & Individual Coursework
Essay 15% Individual Coursework
Coursework 30% Individual Test
Final Exam 40% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Final Exam
The lab assessment is based on six reports (5 microbiology and 1 immunology) completed either individually, in pairs or in groups. The course work consists of two tests (mid-semester test and end-semester test, each worth 15%) and comprise of approximately 50 MCQs.
The final exam will be short answer questions covering the complete course including lab material.

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, eight 2-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 the day after the lecture, but attendance is strongly 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 tests which will be in person and invigilated.

The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning 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.

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.

Over recent years, this course received very positive student feedback with average SET scores consistently higher than the faculty and university scores. Specific comments from students:
     "LAAAAAAAAAAABBBBBSSSSS. They teach us useful skills that we will actually use in future which make us feel like we are actually preparing for our careers. The lab instructors are great too. The time frame in which our test results were delivered back to us was also very good. Most lecturers are very engaging, have good content and teach at a reasonable pace." (2017)
     "I really liked that the labs covered things we were learning in lectures and there were plenty of opportunities to practice techniques like streaking and Gram staining, as well as trying out different diagnostics. All the lecturers were great, this was my favourite course so far." (2018)
     "The labs and lab assignments helped reinforce the lecture content. The lecture content was really interesting and helped me to stay
engaged." (2019)
     "The lecturers were really good! I felt that each were passionate about what they were teaching and thoroughly enjoyed each section." (2020)

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 for potential plagiarism or other forms of academic misconduct, using computerised detection mechanisms.

Please note that this also includes your own previously submitted work. For example, you are not allowed to copy paste from a previously submitted essay to answer an exam question.

The use of AI chatbots like ChatGPT is not allowed for assessments.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

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 course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

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 students may be asked to submit 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. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 10/11/2023 09:49 a.m.