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NSW Syllabuses

Biology Stage 6 - Year 12 Module 7: Infectious Disease


A student:

  • BIO11/12-1

    develops and evaluates questions and hypotheses for scientific investigation

  • BIO11/12-2

    designs and evaluates investigations in order to obtain primary and secondary data and information

  • BIO11/12-3

    conducts investigations to collect valid and reliable primary and secondary data and information

  • BIO11/12-4

    selects and processes appropriate qualitative and quantitative data and information using a range of appropriate media

  • BIO12-14

    analyses infectious disease in terms of cause, transmission, management and the organism's response, including the human immune system

Content Focus

This module examines the treatment, prevention and control of infectious disease both locally and globally. It includes study of the human immune system and its response to an infectious disease.

The value of studying infectious disease and its causes and effects is highlighted by the cost to humans in terms of losses in productivity and production and the impact on overall health. The module also considers medical and agricultural applications that draw on the work of a variety of scientists.

Working Scientifically

In this module, students focus on developing and evaluating questions and hypotheses when planning and conducting investigations to analyse trends, patterns and relationships in data about infectious diseases. Students should be provided with opportunities to engage with all Working Scientifically skills throughout the course.


  • Causes of Infectious Disease

  • Inquiry question: How are diseases transmitted?
  • Students:
  • describe a variety of infectious diseases caused by pathogens, including microorganisms, macroorganisms and non-cellular pathogens, and collect primary and secondary-sourced data and information relating to disease transmission, including: (ACSBL097, ACSBL098, ACSBL116, ACSBL117)
  • classifying different pathogens that cause disease in plants and animals (ACSBL117)
  • investigating the transmission of a disease during an epidemic
  • design and conduct a practical investigation relating to the microbial testing of water or food samples ICT
  • investigate modes of transmission of infectious diseases, including direct contact, indirect contact and vector transmission
  • investigate the work of Robert Koch and Louis Pasteur, to explain the causes and transmission of infectious diseases, including: LWE
  • Koch’s postulates
  • Pasteur’s experiments on microbial contamination
  • assess the causes and effects of diseases on agricultural production, including but not limited to: SEWE
  • plant diseases
  • animal diseases
  • compare the adaptations of different pathogens that facilitate their entry into and transmission between hosts (ACSBL118)
  • Responses to Pathogens

  • Inquiry question: How does a plant or animal respond to infection?
  • Students:
  • investigate the response of a named Australian plant to a named pathogen through practical and/or secondary-sourced investigation, for example:
  • fungal pathogens
  • viral pathogens
  • analyse responses to the presence of pathogens by assessing the physical and chemical changes that occur in the host animal's cells and tissues (ACSBL119, ACSBL120, ACSBL121, ACSBL122) CCTICT
  • Immunity

  • Inquiry question: How does the human immune system respond to exposure to a pathogen?
  • Students:
  • investigate and model the innate and adaptive immune systems in the human body (ACSBL119)
  • explain how the immune system responds after primary exposure to a pathogen, including innate and acquired immunity
  • Prevention, Treatment and Control

  • Inquiry question: How can the spread of infectious diseases be controlled?
  • Students:
  • investigate and analyse the wide range of interrelated factors involved in limiting local, regional and global spread of a named infectious disease EUIU
  • investigate procedures that can be employed to prevent the spread of disease, including but not limited to: (ACSBL124) CCTEUICTIU
  • hygiene practices
  • quarantine
  • vaccination, including passive and active immunity (ACSBL100, ACSBL123) EUICT
  • public health campaigns
  • use of pesticides
  • genetic engineering
  • investigate and assess the effectiveness of pharmaceuticals as treatment strategies for the control of infectious disease, for example: CCTEUICTIU
  • antivirals
  • antibiotics
  • investigate and evaluate environmental management and quarantine methods used to control an epidemic or pandemic CCTIU
  • interpret data relating to the incidence and prevalence of infectious disease in populations, for example: ICTN
  • mobility of individuals and the portion that are immune or immunised (ACSBL124, ACSBL125)
  • Malaria or Dengue Fever in South East Asia A
  • evaluate historical, culturally diverse and current strategies to predict and control the spread of disease (ACSBL125) AHCACCTIUL
  • investigate the contemporary application of Aboriginal protocols in the development of particular medicines and biological materials in Australia and how recognition and protection of Indigenous cultural and intellectual property is important, for example: AHCSE
  • bush medicine
  • smoke bush in Western Australia