Overview


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.

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 MBiol, 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 of the MBiol will offer research preparation modules and a research project that will prepare you for the Masters level topics and research you will undertake in your final MBiol year. In year four, alongside a selection of Masters level modules covering areas such as human diseases, you will also manage your own extended-research project in collaboration with a professional researcher.


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

Research Tools and Applications 20 credits
Extended Research Project Preparation 20 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

Year 4

COMPULSORY MODULES

Extended Research Project 90 credits
Specialised Research Topics and Skills 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Microbiology MBiol, 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, while you’ll also benefit from our range of online resources such as Virtual Labs @ Leeds.

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 MBiol, BSc

Entry requirements

A-level: AAA

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, Maths and Physics. Science- related subjects: PE, Geography, Use of Maths, 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 6 (B) or above at GCSE Maths and Grade 4 (C) or above at GCSE English.

Alternative Qualifications

Access to HE Diploma

We do not accept Access to HE.

BTEC

We do not accept BTEC qualification.

Cambridge Pre-U

D3/D3/D3 including D3 in Biology or Chemistry plus one other science or science-related subject.

International Baccalaureate

35 (with 18 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)

H1,H1,H2,H2,H2,H2 including H1 in Chemistry or Biology and another science at higher level.

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

Advanced Higher: 5 x Highers AABBB, with AA in 2 Advanced Highers including Chemistry or Biology and another science or science-related subject. General Studies and Critical Thinking excluded.

We accept the following science subjects: Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Physics.Science- related subjects: PE, Geography, Use of Maths, Psychology, Statistics, Geology and Computing.

Scottish Higher: Scottish Highers not accepted on their own.

Welsh Baccalaureate

AAA 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, Maths and Physics. Science- related subjects: PE, Geography, Use of Maths, Psychology, Statistics, Geology and Computing.

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 2018, the fee for 2018/19 will be £9,250. 

The fee for undergraduate students starting in 2019 will be confirmed in September 2018.

The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation, and as permitted by law. For example, the increase of 2.8% in 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 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

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.

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 MBiol, 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.

Given the huge importance of microorganisms to all aspects of our lives, microbiologists will always be in demand. Microbiology is an exciting, challenging and rewarding subject; it has a key role to play in the health and development of mankind. Typical graduate destinations include employment in laboratories in academia, healthcare and industry, as well as careers in law and other professions. Some graduates go on to further study at MSc or PhD level.

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 fourth year of the MBiol 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 third and final 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