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Course Breakdown


Mid-Semester MCQ Test: 15%
End-Semester MCQ Test: 15%
Laboratory Component:   15%
Exam (SAQ):                       55%

Course Information


Prescribed textbook:
No prescribed textbook. Everything you are required to know is in the course guide.


All lectures recorded. Official UoA Website: link.

Course Overview

This paper teaches students topics focused on microbiology, immunology and viruses. It is a very content heavy course, but it’s concepts are presented clearly and cover very interesting /relevant topics. The course has a primary focus on the microbial/viral causes of disease and how that specific disease is diagnosed/treated. The immune system is integrated to demonstrate how the body responds to these foreign antigens, and what happens when the immune system behaves incorrectly. Personally, I highly enjoyed this course as it incorporated what was taught in BIOSCI 107, MEDSCI 142 and even POPLHLTH 111 to deliver an engaging study of the relationship between microorganisms and disease.
By taking MEDSCI 202 the prerequisite for MEDSCI 314 (immunology) is met.


Key Topics of this Paper:

  • Microbiology
    An introduction to microbes, how they can cause disease, and their relationship with drugs (antibiotics).

  • Diarrhoeal Diseases and Urinary Tract Infections
    A focus on the epidemiology of diarrhoeal diseases and UTIs, considering the microbial causes behind these diseases and how they change in different environments.

  • Immunology
    This was divided into two sections, one continuing on from BIOSCI 107 immunology (innate + adaptive immune systems) and the other evaluating what occurs when the relationship between the immune system and the body fails (e.g. autoimmunity, hypersensitivity, immune deficiencies)

  • Mycology
    An overview of the causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatments of a variety of fungal diseases.

  • Infectious Diseases
    A look at the epidemiology of a variety of infectious diseases around the world. Epidemics such as ebola and zika were taught in addition to STIs.

  • Virology
    Covers the structure and transmission methods of viruses and how specific viruses can cause disease. Follow up lectures included a focus on well-known viruses such as HIV/AIDs, Hepatitis B etc.

  • Parasitology
    An overview of the common diseases caused by parasites and how these parasites contribute to the spread of disease.

  • Nosocomial Infections
    A look at hospital-acquired infections and how the spread of infection is reduced within the hospital.



MEDSCI 202 has weekly (we had 8 in 2018) 2 hour long labs. Although the fact these are weekly may make them seem unappealing, the lab structure and assessments are very straightforward in comparison to other stage II MEDSCIs. In 2018 we were taught a variety of practical skills important in the diagnostics of microorganisms, such as specific stains and streaking on agar plates. The assessments for labs included filling out group worksheets and being assessed for our streaking technique on agar plates. In general the class highly enjoyed the labs, as they were easy to follow and directly helped our understanding of what was being taught in lectures.

In 2018 what was covered in the labs was also assessed in the tests and final exam. For example, our first test covered labs 1-6 in addition to our lectures.


General Advice for this Course:

  • Very content heavy course so start early with revising (flashcards essential!!!)

  • Lecturers in infectious diseases and virology sections like to assess on statistics (e.g. what % of children get colds each year), so be prepared for this in tests

  • Immunology section 2 lectures were very content heavy on slides, with limited information in course guide, so come prepared to lectures with slides or to write a lot!

  • The assessment style changes quite drastically from test to exam, so be proactive in seeking out help to adjust to the SAQ question style. 

If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to message our friendly SAMS Exec team on Facebook:

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