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


This unit provides students with an introduction to the key infectious agents which may pose a public or environmental health threat to the community. The unit discusses surveillance and notifiable disease; water and air quality; food processing and micro-organisms from soil/air/food/water sources involved in outbreaks of disease. The laboratory methods introduce students to the detection of microbes in food processing. Guest lecturers from the Departments of Health and Water present a contemporary view of public health infectious disease in Western Australia. A unique feature of the unit is the involvement of PathWest, which has a strong reputation in public and environmental health microbiology.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth), QEII Medical CentreFace to face

Students are able to (1) describe areas of knowledge basic to public health microbiology including surveillance, epidemiology and prevention; (2) identify the sources of infectious diseases including air, water, food and sexually transmitted disease; (3) explain the principles governing air, water and food quality; (4) evaluate the methods for detection of pathogens and toxins in the air, food and water enviroments; (5) explain the delivery of public health measures to the community including hospitals and remote areas; and (6) discuss the application of preventative measures to control infectious disease in diverse environmental and clinical settings.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) tests ; (2) laboratory assessments; and (3) end-of-semester examination. 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)
Dr Mitali Sarkar-Tyson
Unit rules
enrolment in
the Graduate Diploma in Infectious Diseases.
or Master of Infectious Diseases
Advisable prior study
MICR5829 Foundations of Infectious Diseases.
MICR5842 Principles of Infection and Immunity.
PUBH4403 Epidemiology I.
MICR5830 Principles of Mycology and Parasitology
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week
practical classes: 3 hours per week

Burlage, Robert S., ed. Principles of Public Health Microbiology: Jones and Bartlett Learning 2012

Grumezescu, A. M. and Holban, A. M. Foodborne Diseases: Elsevier Science & Technology 2018

Percival S. L. Microbiology of Waterborne Diseases: Microbiological Aspects and Risks: Elsevier Acad. Press, 2014

  • 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.