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.

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Unit Overview


This unit considers the importance of microbes in human and animal ecosystems and in nature. It presents concepts and principles in microbial ecology including the role of the human microbiome in health and disease, microorganisms at the interface between animals and humans, endemic and epidemic disease. It considers the role of infectious disease surveillance, interventions to prevent infectious disease transmission and probiotic interventions. Key ecological roles of microbes including in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, interactions with biota and the physicochemical environment, and their consequences (beneficial and detrimental) for human activities are investigated. In addition to expanding the breadth of knowledge of microbiology, students will develop analytical skills for interpretation of microbial genomic and surveillance datasets in the context of disease outbreaks.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2QEII Medical CentreFace to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 core unit in the Microbiology and Immunology major sequence

Students are able to (1) describe the ecological roles and activities of microbes in the natural environment, the human host, animal reservoirs and at the human-animal interface; (2) explain the principles and appropriate use of a range of environmental microbiology techniques including water quality analysis, the effects of environmental variables on microbial activity, biogeochemical cycling and the application of microbes to pollution remediation; (3) communicate scientific findings using a range of communication modes including individual scientific writing activities; and (4) analyse microbial genomic and surveillance datasets, and published scientific manuscripts.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) tests; (2) worksheets/case studies; and (3) written 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 Kate Hammer
Unit rules
Successful completion of
MICR2208 Introductory Microbiology
and MICR2209 Introduction to Infectious Diseases and Immunology
Contact hours
Tutorials/Workshops/Laboratory sessions: 2–3 hours per week
Lectures: 2 hours per week
  • 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.