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 develops students' understanding of fetal and neonatal infections, underlying risk factors, prevention, diagnostic investigations, management and long-term implications.

Specifically, the following topics are addressed: (1) fetal period—the effects of chorioamnionitis and funisitis, intrauterine transmission of infection (TORCH group), hepatitis B, C and HIV transmission and related neonatal management; (2) neonatal infections—early and late onset sepsis, risk factors, clinical features, diagnostic and adjunct laboratory investigations and management [coagulase-negative staphylococcus, Candida, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), cytomegalovirus (CMV) and other viral infections]; (3) nosocomial infections (including colonisation/infection with multi-resistant organisms): incidence, appropriate monitoring, risk factors, preventive interventions (hand hygiene, catheter management, responsible antibiotic use, etc.); and (4) neonatal immunology—the role of innate and adaptive defences relevant to neonatal pathogens. Novel strategies for decreasing the rate of infections as well as treatments aimed at modifying the inflammatory response are discussed.

6 points
Not available in 2024OnlineOnline flexible

Students are able to (1) thoroughly understand the role of infection in neonatal mortality and morbidity, clinical features and management of early and late onset infection; (2) demonstrate knowledge of the short and long-term sequelae of intrauterine and perinatal infections and relevant investigations; (3) demonstrate knowledge of host immune factors contributing to the risk of infection in the fetal and neonatal periods; (4) plan the management of early and late onset sepsis including investigations, antibiotic choice, duration and the correlation of both clinical and laboratory evidence of response; (5) analyse the risks of healthcare associated infection and the steps required to minimise these; and (6) advise strategies for limiting the spread of multi-resistant organisms in a nursery and counsel parents as to their baby's risk of colonisation and infection.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) a two-hour multiple choice question examination at the end of the semester and (2) audit activity or research study in neonatal infection/neonatal immunology including literature review and oral presentation. Further information is available in the unit outline.

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

Unit rules
Approved quota: 6—places will go preferentially to Senior Registrars and Fellows based at King Edward Memorial Hospital. If there are more than six interested students, places are allocated based on proximity to completion of their advanced training program (places going preferentially to those closest to completion).
  • 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.