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Infectious Diseases

Study in Infectious Diseases is offered in partnership between the Discipline of Infectious Diseases and Immunology in the School of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health, and the Discipline of Microbiology in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences in the Faculty of Science.

About the major

Infectious diseases occur as a result of interactions between microbial pathogens and their hosts. The Infectious Diseases major is a multidisciplinary pathway of study that emphasises how infectious agents interact with human hosts at the molecular, cellular, individual patient and community levels to cause disease.

This major begins with developing an understanding of the relevance of infectious diseases within the concept of ‘One Health’ in which the multifactorial interrelationships between human, animal and environmental health are critical. Central is the context of microbes: bacteria, viruses, fungi and protists being beneficial for good health as well as effective causative agents of disease. The structural and functional cellular and molecular mechanisms that enable establishment and progression of infectious diseases are covered with a particular focus on pathogens: microbial virulence mechanisms; their capacity to evade the human response to injury and infection; their ability to cause tissue damage; their resistance to antimicrobial therapy and the development of new tools to control infectious agents. This progresses to explore patterns of incidence and the epidemiology of outbreaks of infectious diseases within communities.

Requirements for completion

The Infectious Diseases major and minor requirements are listed in the Infectious Diseases unit of study table.

Contact and further information

W Discipline of Infectious Diseases and Immunology

Associate Professor Timothy Newsome (SOLES)

Dr Scott Stimpson (SOMS)
T +61 2 9114 4601

Learning outcomes

Students who graduate from Infectious Diseases will be able to:

No. Learning outcomes
1 Exhibit a broad and coherent body of knowledge of the role of microbes as agents of disease, their virulence mechanisms, functions in the ecosphere, abundance and diversity.
2 Exhibit an integrated knowledge of the key characteristics of the classes of microbes that distinguish them from each other.
3 Critically evaluate culture, microscopy, diagnostic and molecular techniques used in the modern diagnostic microbiology and infectious diseases laboratory.
4 Explain and critically evaluate the scientific principles behind important infectious diseases techniques.
5 Communicate concepts and findings in infectious diseases through a range of modes for a variety of purposes and audiences, using evidence-based arguments that are robust to critique.
6 Assess the design and efficacy of measures to prevent and control infectious disease agents.
7 Critically evaluate the research literature in pathogenic processes of infectious organisms and epidemiology and apply this knowledge to address questions in infectious disease research.
8 Address authentic problems in infectious disease research, working professionally and ethically within collaborative, interdisciplinary teams.
9 Develop creative and innovative approaches to problem solving in the field of infectious diseases research and work effectively, responsibly and safely in individual and collaborative contexts.
10 Examine the reasons why infectious diseases emerge and re-emerge, across the general community and within hospital environments, and with consideration of social and cultural aspects.
11 Evaluate the impact of major infectious diseases on human and global health from a range of ethical, social and cross-cultural perspectives.