• Class Number 3672
  • Term Code 3030
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • AsPr Aude Fahrer
    • AsPr Naresh Verma
    • Peter Kerr
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 24/02/2020
  • Class End Date 05/06/2020
  • Census Date 08/05/2020
  • Last Date to Enrol 02/03/2020
SELT Survey Results


This course will investigate host responses to microbial infections: innate reactions including the complement system, and phagocytic cells; adaptive immunity including clonal selection theory, antibodies, roles of B and T lymphocytes, antigens and antigen presentation, and molecular genetics of antigen receptors; bacterial diseases, focussing on molecular explanations of pathogenesis and virulence of selected pathogens and toxins; viruses and viral infections with an emphasis on replication strategies, host and tissue specificity, effects of viruses on cells (cell death, transformation, latency), and determinants of viral virulence. 


Honours Pathway Option (HPO)

An honours pathway option may be offered this year. The HPO typically involves participation in a journal club analysing and presenting recent advances in immunology.   Demonstrations of advanced viral immunology techniques may also be replaced by practical exercises.  If offered, the HPO provides an opportunity to develop more complex interpretive skills and will provide an extension of the theory taught in the course.

In the assessment: an oral presentation replaces one laboratory report.

Entry to the HPO is subject to a quota, and will be determined based on grades obtained in the prerequisite subject, BIOL2142.


Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Understand basic concepts in immunology, virology and microbiology.
  2. Be able to apply this knowledge in both scientific and general settings.
  3. Obtain laboratory skills in microbiology, immunology and virology.
  4. Be able to source, understand and evaluate published literature relating to immunology, virology and microbiology.
  5. Be able to analyse and interpret laboratory results, relate them to the published literature and write them up clearly and concisely.

Research-Led Teaching

• BIOL 3141 is taught by three lecturers, all of whom are actively involved in research and have international reputations in the specific disciplines they will be lecturing in.

BIOL3141 has a substantial practical component designed to train students in practical, analytical and writing skills required for research.

• The BIOL3141 Honours Pathway Option is entirely research oriented.

Additional Course Costs

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is required in the laboratory.

Safety glasses must be purchased. Lab coats will be provided, and do not need to be purchased for this course. You must wear closed shoes to be admitted to the laboratory.

Examination Material or equipment

No extra materials may be brought into the examination room.

Required Resources

The current year’s BIOL3141/6141 practical manual:

The manual costs $15 and is available for purchase online using a credit card from Science Shop at http://scienceshop.anu.edu.au/ Please print the receipt and bring to the Biology Teaching and Learning Centre (BTLC) Office to collect the manual.

Recommended texts:

• Janeway's Immunobiology, Murphy K. Garland Science, 9th edition 2017.

• Mim’s Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease. Nash A. et al Academic Press, 6th edition 2015

• Basic Virology, Wagner E.K. and Hewlett, M.J. Blackwell publishing, 3rd edition 2008.

• Cellular and Molecular Immunology, Abbas A.K. et al. Saunders/Elsevier, 9th edition 2017.

Reference text:

• Field's Virology. Fields B.N. et al. Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins. 5th Ed. 2007

All texts are available on two hour reserve, or in electronic book format from the library.

Additional useful texts are also available on reserve in the library. A link to all of these resources is provided in the Wattle on-line site for this course.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

• All practical assignments are returned with feedback. Due dates have been designed to ensure that each assignment can be returned in time for students to incorporate this feedback before submitting their next assignment; allowing for progressive improvement in scientific writing.

• A practical test will be held, and the results handed back to students, so that any techniques requiring improvement can be identified, discussed with a demonstrator and corrected.

• Questions are encouraged during and after lectures, so that students can get immediate feedback on any aspects they are unsure of. Some lecturers will also ask direct questions of the class during lectures, to help students gauge their understanding of key concepts.

• The convenor and demonstrators are available during each practical session to answer questions and clarify any feedback received.

• Once results are released, appointments may be made with the convenor to view your exam, and receive feedback on where you performed well, or could improve.

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

* Honours Pathway Option (optional, as the name suggests)

There may be an honours pathway option available in this course. Entry will be restricted to approximately 12 students. Participation is voluntary. Should there be more applicants than places, entry will be decided based on the mark achieved in BIOL2142 "Microbiology" and/or on your answer to an extra (voluntary) practical question.

Differences between the honours pathway option and the standard BIOL3141 course:

The standard course will involve the completion of 5 practical modules, running over 12 weeks. A written practical report is completed at the end of each of the modules, which is assessed. These five practical reports together with the practical test, account for 40% of the assessment for BIOL3141. Students undertaking the standard BIOL3141 course will complete all five practical modules.

Students electing to do the honours pathway option will complete the first four practicals. They may also do some extra practical work for the fourth, “Myxomatosis” practical. However, these students will not undertake the fifth practical. Instead, a journal article-based module will replace these practical sessions. The aim will be to investigate current issues in immunology through in-depth analysis of recent journal articles. Students, working in small groups, will be awarded an individual mark based on their oral presentation of a paper, and on the quality of their participation in group discussions.

Value undergraduate students: 7% of total marks for the course, replacing Practical 5.

Both the standard BIOL3141 course and the honours pathway course should prove interesting and challenging to students. Students should decide which option to undertake based on their individual interests.

Adjustments to delivery in 2020

Course delivery and assessment in 2020 was adjusted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Any information below that replaces what was published in the Class Summary for Semester 1, 2020 was approved by the Associate Dean Education (as is required after 10% commencement of a course). Where an activity or assessment is not referenced below, it remains unchanged.

Teaching Activities

·      Lectures were pre-recorded and put on Wattle or 2019 lectures were used.

·      Tutorials were done on Zoom as scheduled

·      Practicals were replaced by online activities and resources.


Adjustments were made to assignment due dates; for details see the course Wattle site.

·      Practical test was cancelled.

·      Practicals were worth 40%.

·      Final exam was a timed take-home exam submitted on Wattle.

HPO cancelled.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 2 lectures
2 2 lectures, 1 practical class
3 1 tutorial, 2 lectures, 1 practical class Practical report
4 2 lectures, 1 practical class Practical report
5 2 lectures, 1 practical class
6 1 tutorial, 2 lectures, 1 practical class Practical report
7 2 lectures, 1 practical class Practical test, Practical report
8 2 lectures, 1 practical class
9 2 lectures, 1 practical class
10 2 lectures, 1 practical class
11 2 lectures, 1 practical class
12 2 lectures, 1 optional practical class Practical report
13 Exam period Optional tutorials Exam

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Practical Reports 35 % * * 2,3,4,5
Practical Test 5 % 24/04/2020 01/05/2020 3
Exam 60 % 04/06/2020 02/07/2020 1,2

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Integrity . In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Attendance at 10 Practical classes is compulsory, and will be recorded.


Students must pass the exam to pass the course.

Please note, that where a date range is used in the Assessment Summary in relation to exams, the due date and return date for mid-semester exams indicate the approximate timeframe in which the exam will be held; the due and return date for end of semester exams indicate the approximate timeframe in which the exam will be held and the date official end of Semester results are released on ISIS. Students should consult the course wattle site and the ANU final examination timetable to confirm the date, time and venue of the exam.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 35 %
Learning Outcomes: 2,3,4,5

Practical Reports

Five (5) practical reports are due throughout the semester.

The five practical modules are:

  1. Blood and tears
  2. Antigen/antibody reactions
  3. Normal microbiota of nose and throat
  4. Myxomatosis
  5. Pathogens of the intestinal tract. In this final exercise, students work independently, and with minimal direction from demonstrators to identify a pathogen causing a gastrointestinal disease. This practical runs during the last five weeks of semester. It may be replaced by a journal club course for postgraduate students and students electing to take the Honours Pathway Option.

Details, word limits, presentation requirements, due dates and the assessment rubric are given in the practical manual. We aim to mark and return practical reports rapidly, in time for feedback to be incorporated before the next report is due.

There are 5 reports due over the semester. It is intended that the marked reports will be returned in time for you to incorporate the feedback in your next report (reports will often be returned within 1 week). Further details can be found on the Course Wattle site.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 5 %
Due Date: 24/04/2020
Return of Assessment: 01/05/2020
Learning Outcomes: 3

Practical Test

A practical test taking approximately 1 hour will be held in week 7, and will be marked and returned to students in week 8. The practical test is worth 5% of total marks for the course.

Techniques tested may include: plating out bacteria for single colonies, gram staining, microscopy, dilutions, sterile technique.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 60 %
Due Date: 04/06/2020
Return of Assessment: 02/07/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2


Please check published ANU exam timetable for date and time. Three hour exam.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with.

The Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

No submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date will be permitted. If an assessment task is not submitted by the due date, a mark of 0 will be awarded.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Marked assignments will usually be returned through wattle.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

No resubmission of assignments is permitted.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

AsPr Aude Fahrer

Research Interests

Immunology, Cancer, Genomics

AsPr Aude Fahrer

Wednesday 14:00 17:00
AsPr Naresh Verma

Research Interests

AsPr Naresh Verma

Peter Kerr
02 6125 9090

Research Interests

Peter Kerr

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions