Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


Have you ever wondered whether probiotics really work? Do you wonder how the COVID-19 vaccines were developed so quickly? Do you know how the link between bacteria and stomach ulcers was discovered right here at UWA? The unseen world of microbiology and immunology is a powerful force shaping our lives, society and the planet. Ground-breaking discoveries in microbiology and immunology have been pivotal in the progression of human society through the first five waves of innovation and will remain critical as we progress through the current sixth wave of sustainability. Although great advancements in human health have been achieved, our activities, such as the widespread use of antibiotics and our industrial and agricultural practices, are now driving a crisis in planetary health.

This unit is suitable for students in a broad range of study areas, including both science and non-science disciplines. It will provide students with an understanding of how societies' achievements are underpinned by critical discoveries in microbiology and immunology, and how these discoveries are shaping the promises and challenges of the future.

6 points
AvailabilityLocationModeFirst year of offer
Not available in 2024UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 1 elective

Students are able to (1) recall and integrate key microbiology concepts and discoveries, and explain their roles in the advancement of society; (2) effectively communicate scientific concepts; and (3) critically assess information related to microbiology and immunology.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) individual assignments; (2) in-semester tests; and (3) group assignments. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Charlene Kahler
Contact hours
Lectures: 2 hours per week
Tutorials: 1-2 hours per week
Laboratory classes: 6 hours per semester
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.