Overview


Ranked 1st in the UK with a 100% student satisfaction rating (NSS, 2015)

Microbiology is the study of microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi and viruses, and embraces numerous disciplines including immunology, biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology. Microbiology affects almost all aspects of medicine and is essential for the environmental cycles that regenerate the planet.

From the microbes that caused the foot and mouth epidemic to the photosynthetic microorganisms in the oceans that help alleviate global warming, microbiology offers the chance to study the organisms that affect so many aspects of our lives. By choosing to study this course not only are you choosing to develop a wide range of technical and transferable skills, but you will also gain an understanding of the how microbes interact, alter and influence the world around us.


On our microbiology course you will develop an understanding of the importance of microorganisms to all aspects of our lives, whilst developing the key skills and knowledge that puts microbiologists in such high demand.

Each programme is designed to provide you with a broad foundation in the diverse topics that constitute modern microbiology, with a particular emphasis on infectious disease. Leeds has the expertise to teach these at the highest level.

All our degree programmes allow you to undertake a placement year and study abroad year as part of your degree.

Accreditation

This programme has been accredited by the Royal Society of Biology. Advanced degree accreditation by the Society recognises academic excellence in the biosciences, and highlights degrees that educate the research and development leaders of the future. The advanced accreditation criteria require evidence that graduates from the programme meet defined sets of learning outcomes, including gaining a substantial period of research experience.

Related courses

Biochemistry MBiol, BSc
Biological Sciences (Biotechnology with Enterprise) MBiol, BSc
Biological Sciences MBiol, BSc
Medical Biochemistry MBiol, BSc


Student Profile

Immunology

"The highlight of my time at Leeds has definitely been my course - both the lectures and the practical modules have been endlessly fascinating to me."
Read more

Amy Roe , BSc Microbiology with Immunology


Course content: Microbiology BSc

As well as familiarising you with core practical and theoretical skills within microbiology, year one will also introduce you to broader themes within the biological sciences including genetics and immunology. Through practicals, tutorials and lectures you will develop the key foundations needed for success at degree level.

In second year you will begin to specialise in your preferred topics whilst building on your practical and research skills from first year. With a selection of modules from ‘Cell Biology of Disease’ to ‘Medical Virology’ you will continue to develop a broad understanding of key themes within biosciences, whilst also focusing on the areas that interest you most.

Year three will offer specialist topics such as the study of emerging viruses or an in depth study of the hepatitis viruses. Alongside this, a considerable part of your final year will involve an in-depth research project in which you will take all the skills you have developed in your degree and apply them to your own independent research whilst under the supervision of a leading academic. The culmination of your third year will be a portfolio of skills, knowledge, and experiences that will allow you to pursue your graduate career aspirations.


Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Year 1

COMPULSORY MODULES

Introduction to Genetics 10 credits
The Basis of Life 20 credits
Molecular Physiology 20 credits
Introduction to Microbiology 20 credits
Skills for Microbiologists 40 credits

Year 2

COMPULSORY MODULES

The Power of Bacterial Genomics 10 credits
Genetic Engineering 10 credits
Cell Biology of Disease 10 credits
Molecular Virology 10 credits
Medical Bacteriology 10 credits
Medical Immunology 10 credits
Medical Virology 10 credits
Skills for Microbiologists 2 40 credits

Year 3

COMPULSORY MODULES

Microbiology Research Project 40 credits
Advanced Topics in Microbiology 1 20 credits
Advanced Topics in Microbiology 2 20 credits
Advanced Topics in Microbiology 3 20 credits
Skills for Microbiologists 3 20 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Microbiology BSc in the course catalogue

Broadening your academic horizons

At Leeds we want you to benefit from the depth and breadth of the University's expertise, to prepare you for success in an ever-changing and challenging world. On this course you broaden your learning through core and/or optional modules. Find out more on the Broadening webpages.

Learning and teaching

Our degrees are delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials and practicals. The first and second year will see a focus these three teaching methods, building your skill, understanding and knowledge for your final year research project, which will see independent research and learning complemented with the guidance of leading experts.

A typical week in year one includes nine to twelve hours of lectures, a three hour practical session in the lab, additional tutorials, workshop and seminar sessions, plus use of computer-based learning exercises and private study.

Year two consists of (typically) eight lectures per week, a tutorial, laboratory classes lasting between three and six hours, plus use of computer-based learning exercises and private study time.

In year three you will do project work, which takes about two and a half days (mainly in Semester 1). You will also attend lectures, seminars, small-group teaching exercises (mostly in Semester 2) and occasional workshops, together with private study time.

Independent study and research are also crucial to every year of the course. We have excellent library and computing facilities to support your learning, and the University Library offers training to help you make the most of them.

Assessment

We use a variety of assessment methods to help you develop a broad range of skills. These include practical work, data handling and problem-solving exercises, multiple-choice tests, group work, online and face-to-face discussion groups, computer-based simulations, essays, posters and oral presentations.

Entry requirements, fees and applying: Microbiology BSc

Entry requirements

A-level: AAA-ABB

Including Chemistry or Biology and another science or science-related subject. Critical Thinking and General Studies excluded.

We accept the following science subjects: biology, human biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics. Science-related subjects: PE, geography, use of mathematics, psychology, statistics, geology and computing.

Applicants taking a Science A-level (in England) will be required to achieve a pass in the practical element in addition to the standard A-level grade requirement.

GCSE:

Typically Grade B or above at GCSE Maths and Grade C or above at GCSE English.

Alternative Qualifications

Access to HE Diploma

Overall pass with 60credits and a minimum of 45 credits at level 3, with distinctions in at least30 graded level 3 credits including Biology and Chemistry units (15 units ineach), and a merit in all the remaining graded credits.
Accept Access courses in Applied Science. Will also consider (depending on subjectcontent):
Biochemical SciencesBiological and Envionmental ScienceBiological and Health ScienceBiological SciencesBiosciencesCombined SciencesEnvironmental ScienceLife and Biological ScienceLife ScienceMedical and Health Science ProfessionsNatural SciencesPhysical & Natural Sciences.

BTEC

Applicants with BTEC Diploma or Extended Diploma qualifications are required to have A2 level Biology or Chemistry. Applicants with BTEC Subsidiary Diploma qualifications must normally have at least 2 A2 levels and at least one of these should be biology or chemistry. The preferred BTEC qualification subject is Applied Science. Offers would be grade A in the A2 level science subject and Distinctions in the BTEC qualification. An offer will be made dependent on the BTEC subject and module choices.

Cambridge Pre-U

D3/D3/D3-D3/D3/M2 including Pre-U Biology or Chemistry plus one other science or science-related subject.

International Baccalaureate

35-34 (with 18-16 at higher level) including 6 in higher level Chemistry or Biology and another science or science-related subject at higher level.

Irish Highers (Leaving Certificate)

AAAAAB-AAAABB including an A in higher level Chemistry or Biology and another science at higher level.

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

Advanced Higher: AAA-ABB including Biology and another science or science-related subject. General Studies and Critical Thinking excluded.

We accept the following science subjects: biology, human biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics. Science-related subjects: Science- related subjects: PE, geography, use of mathematics, psychology, statistics, geology and computing.

Scottish Higher: Scottish Highers not accepted on their own.

Welsh Baccalaureate

AAA-ABB including Biology and another science or science-related subject. General Studies and Critical Thinking excluded.


We accept the following science subjects: biology, human biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics. Science-related subjects: computing, environmental science, food science, geography, geology, PE, psychology, science in society, statistics, use of mathematics.

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative Entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.

International

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in any component.. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for the programme may be able to study an English for Academic Purposes pre-sessional course with a progression route to the degree programme. For information and entry requirements, read Pre-sessional programmes.

How to apply

Apply to this course through UCAS. The institution code for the University of Leeds is L23. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK/EU students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

Faculty of Biological Sciences Undergraduate Admissions Policy

Fees

UK/EU: See fees section below

International: £21,500 (per year)

For UK and non-UK EU full-time students starting in 2017, the fee for 2017/18 will be £9,250. 

The fee for undergraduate students starting in 2018 will be confirmed in September 2017.

The fee is likely to increase in future years of your course in line with inflation, and as permitted by law. For example, the increase of 2.8% for 2017/18 was based on the government’s forecast for the RPI-X measure of inflation.

The UK government has confirmed that non-UK EU students starting in 2017 will have home fee status and be eligible for UK government student loans for the duration of their course. Read the full government statement

The UK government has also confirmed that non-UK EU students in 2018-19 will have home fee status and be eligible for UK government student loans. The UK government has not confirmed the situation for future years, so keep checking our website for updates.

If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs

Scholarships and financial support

The Faculty of Biological Sciences offer a range of scholarships for UK, EU and International students. Find out more about our scholarships

Career opportunities: Microbiology BSc

Number 1 for employability – the Faculty of Biological Sciences is ranked highest for employability amongst Russell Group universities. Higher than Oxford, Cambridge, UCL, Durham, Edinburgh, Kings College, Liverpool, Manchester, York.

In addition to providing subject-specific knowledge, we equip all our students with the best possible skills for future careers. All of our degrees have a strong emphasis on practical based teaching, small group teaching, online learning and problem solving. Throughout the degree, students gain a wide range of transferable skills which are highly valued by employers. The Leeds for Life scheme, and the academic personal tutor, are ideally placed to assist with academic and personal development and help students to make the most of their time at university.

Career prospects for microbiology graduates are good and the reason for this is to be found in the economic importance of microbes as well as their impact on human health and well-being. 96% of our graduates are employed or in further study six months after graduation.

The majority of our graduates pursue a career in which they make direct use of their degree in microbiology. Many of our graduates work in medically related posts in the National Health Service, the Health Protection Agency or medical research establishments. Some choose to embark on a scientific career in the Scientific Civil Service or in industry, where their skills are much in demand. Most popular are the food, drinks, brewing, water and pharmaceutical industries. A smaller number opt for careers in teaching or may take a law conversion course. About a quarter of our students go on to study for a higher degree (Doctorate or Masters) in microbiology or related subjects such as biochemistry, biotechnology, bioinformatics, immunology, ecology or genetics. Research and technical posts in universities are also popular and often allow the possibility of part-time registration for a higher degree.

Microbiology graduates also take graduate entry jobs in non sciences based areas such as finance, administration and management consultancy.

Careers support

We have a dedicated Employability Officer in the Faculty of Biological Sciences who works closely with the University’s Careers Centre. We offer a host of additional opportunities beyond core course content, including volunteering and placements. We also organise regular careers workshops designed specifically for sport sciences students to develop their career opportunities. These include our annual Bioscience Networking Event, which gives you the chance to meet bioscience employers, speak to alumni, attend workshops and get masses of information.

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

Study abroad and work placements

Study abroad

On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. The University has partnerships with more than 400 universities worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America. 

Find out more at the Study Abroad website.

If you choose to undertake a study abroad option, you will spend the third year of the BSc studying abroad. This will extend your studies by 12 months.

Work placements

Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.

Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.

Industrial placements are typically taken between your second and final year. If you choose to undertake a placement year, this will extend your studies by 12 months. For your work placement in industry, staff at Leeds will help you with your CV and application letters and provide a list of organisations which may offer industrial placements.

Placements abroad are possible. We work together with your industrial supervisors to make sure you get the most out of this year. A year working in industry gives you an excellent opportunity to get used to the demands of the world of work, to develop new skills and to augment your CV.

Some of the places Microbiology students have been placed are:
  • Moslon Coors Brewers, Burton-on-Trent
  • AstraZeneca
  • Mayo Clinic, Florida
  • Novartis, San Francisco
  • Covance, Leeds