University of Sydney Handbooks - 2021 Archive

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Study in Virology is offered in partnership between the Discipline of Infectious Diseases and Immunology in the Faculty of Medicine and Health and the Discipline of Microbiology in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences in the Faculty of Science. Units of study in this minor are available at standard and advanced level.

About the minor

A minor in Virology will equip you with knowledge and skills relating to the role of viruses in human, animal and plant hosts. Students are introduced to viruses, their distinctive biology, their role in the biosphere and as etiological agents for some of the most important human diseases. This minor is designed to introduce students who have a basic understanding of molecular biology to the rapidly evolving field of virology. Viral infection in plant and animal cells and bacteria is covered by an examination of virus structure, genomes, gene expression and replication. Building upon these foundations, this minor progresses to examine host-virus interactions, pathogenesis, cell injury, the immune response to viral infection, emerging viral infections of global importance, and new approaches to the prevention and control of infection and outbreaks in the human population. Students taking the minor will acquire the fundamental skills required for working safely with viruses through hands-on practical classes that draw on current research platforms at the University of Sydney. Students are challenged with current topics and findings in the field of virology and provided with forums to develop their critical thinking capabilities and communication skills.

Requirements for completion

The Virology minor requirements are listed in the Virology unit of study table.

Contact and further information


Infectious Diseases and Immunology
Level 5 (East), Charles Perkins Centre hub (D17)
University of Sydney NSW 2006

Associate Professor Helen Agus

T +61 2 9351 6043

Associate Professor Barry Slobedman
T +61 2 9351 4334

Learning Outcomes

Students who graduate from Virology will be able to:

  1. Describe the role of viruses as agents of disease, their function in the ecosphere, abundance and diversity.
  2. Define the key characteristics of the classes of viruses that distinguish them from each other.
  3. Perform culture, microscopy, diagnostic and molecular techniques used in the modern diagnostic virology laboratory, and explain and critically evaluate the scientific principles behind these important techniques.
  4. Describe virus virulence mechanisms and their role in invasion, establishment and progression of infection.
  5. Examine the major causes of important viral diseases in the general community and hospital environments.
  6. Explain how viral diseases emerge or re-emerge to impact human and global health.
  7. Explain the ways in which important viral pathogens pose a challenge for public health.
  8. Evaluate measures that have been developed to control viruses and the conceptual basis of the control strategies.
  9. Critically evaluate the research literature dealing with pathogenic processes of viruses and epidemiology and apply this knowledge to virology research.