• Total units 24 Units
  • Areas of interest Immunology and Microbiology
  • Specialisation code MBIM-SPEC
  • Academic career Undergraduate
Microbiology and Immunology Specialisation

Microbes can be beneficial to humans but are also a major cause of human mortality and morbidity. This specialisation explores the major classes of microorganisms and the mammalian and other immune systems, which have evolved to combat pathogenic microorganisms. Students will acquire theoretical and practical skills in microbiology and immunology. By understanding mechanisms used by pathogens to evade the immune response, and immune mechanisms used to control infectious agents and cancer, students will develop advanced knowledge in this fascinating field, highly relevant to human health. The specialisation will prepare students for professional and graduate degrees emphasizing these disciplines, and will provide a solid background for students pursuing career goals in laboratory science and public policy related to health and disease.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

1. Distinguish and classify a range of microorganisms, with specific emphasis on bacteria, viruses and parasites and describe the life cycles, metabolism, and genetics of classes of microorganisms.

2. Describe, in depth, immune responses, with particular reference to the organs and cells of the mammalian immune system, and how these develop, function and interact.

3. Explain the co-evolution of microorganisms and host immune systems. Use this knowledge to understand how to control human pathogens.

4. Apply the fundamental laboratory skills used in microbiology and immunology and understand how knowledge in the field is derived.

5. Critically evaluate experimental data and begin to understand the boundaries and uncertainties of cutting-edge knowledge in the field.

6. Communicate data and information in clear and effective ways to disciplinary and to non-disciplinary audiences.

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This specialisation requires the completion of 24 units, which must include:


12 units from completion of the following compulsory courses:

BIOL2142 General Microbiology

BIOL3141 Infection and Immunity


12 units from completion of courses from the following list:

BIOL3106 Biosecurity

BIOL3142 Parasitology

BIOL3144 Advanced and Applied Immunology

BIOL3193 Bacteria and Health: An Ecological and Evolutionary Perspective

BIOL3208 Biology Research Project

BIOL3209 Biology Research Project


This specialisation may only be undertaken in conjunction with one of the following majors:


Cell and Molecular Biology

Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology

Human Biology


Advice to Students

Students should complete BIOL1003, BIOL1004, CHEM1101 and CHEM1201 in first year.


For students taking BIOL3208 or BIOL3209 as part of this specialisation, the research project must be in the field of microbiology or immunology.


Students should seek further course advice from the academic convener of this specialisation.


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