Medical Microbiology 2016/17

Study AbroadYear in IndustryIntegrated Masters
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What is Medical Microbiology?

Medical microbiology is the study of the ways in which microbes, including bacteria, fungi and viruses, affect our health and this is the major focus of the BSc Medical Microbiology programme. However, a broader knowledge of microbiology and the biosciences in general is essential for a full understanding of medical microbiology.

Why study Medical Microbiology

You should study Medical Microbiology, not only because the skills of a microbiologist will always be in demand, but also because there is hardly an area of medicine unaffected by microbes. From recent influenza epidemics to the ongoing threat of HIV, if you choose Medical Microbiology you will be studying a course that is significant to human health on a global scale and vital for the medical advances that save lives all over the world.

  • 97% of our graduates are employed or in further study six months after graduation (DLHE 2013/14).

MBiol, BSc Medical Microbiology (Integrated Masters) has received interim accreditation by the Society of Biology.

Useful websites

Society for general microbiology

Microbiology online

See also: Microbiology


Course overview

On the Medical Microbiology degree you will focus not only on the importance of microbiology in the world of medicine, but because a broader knowledge of microbiology and the biosciences in general. You will also learn about a range of biosciences, including the disciplines of immunology, biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology.

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

Our courses have a modular structure where you will be required to study 120 credits per year.

This is an indicative list and actual content can vary as we regularly review the content of our courses in light of new experiences and developments in the field.

BSc Year 1 BSc Year 2 BSc Year 3

Programme modules

  • Introduction to microbiology
  • Molecules of life
  • Introduction to genetics
  • Introduction to immunology
  • Tissues, organs and body processes
  • Introduction to cell biology
  • Practical skills for microbiologists
  • Theoretical and core skills for microbiologists

Choice of elective modules.

Modules selected from

  • Practical skills for microbiologists
  • Theoretical and core skills for microbiologists
  • Cell biology of disease
  • Molecular virology
  • Genetic engineering
  • The power of bacterial genomics
  • Medical immunology
  • Medical virology
  • Medical bacteriology
  • Chemotherapy as an elective

Programme modules

  • Advanced topics in medical microbiology
  • Medical microbiology research project
  • Skills in medical microbiology
Total Credits: 120 Total Credits: 120 Total Credits: 120

Course changes may occur given the fast-moving nature of the field and the above is an indicative list only.

BSc year one

All of our Microbiology courses offer the same content for year one, with key modules introducing you to the essentials required to be successful at degree level. Via lectures, practicals and tutorials you will be introduced to topics such as immunology and genetics, laying the foundations that can then be built upon in years two and three.

BSc year two

In year two you will continue to develop an all-round understanding of the essential topics in biosciences, such as biochemistry, whilst also beginning to specialise in topics such as medical virology and medical immunology. The end of second year also offers the chance to undertake a study year abroad or a year in industry to further develop your skills.

BSc year three

In the final year of your degree you will focus on the laboratory diagnosis of infectious diseases, the problems of antibiotic resistance, and specialist study of fungal and viral infections. You will be offered the chance to study advanced topics in medical microbiology, developing cutting-edge knowledge and laboratory techniques as well as essential transferable skills that will help you really shine in the graduate job market.


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

Typical timetable (3 year BSc)

  • 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.

Discover more about our teaching.

The structure of your course will depend on the pathway that you choose:


Course Title



Medical Microbiology

3 years


Medical Microbiology with industrial placement year

4 years


Medical Microbiology with a study year abroad

4 years

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Graduate Employment

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.

"Microbiology has taught me how bacteria evade human immune responses, why pandemics occur, what we can do to prevent them and how genetic information can be manipulated to better the everyday lives of people. Microbiology has given me life skills and abilities that employers are interested in; the course does not only lead to laboratory based careers." Katherine McCausland, Medical Microbiology

Careers Support

We take personal development and career opportunities very seriously and the Faculty has a dedicated Employability Officer who works closely with the careers centre. We offer a host of additional opportunities beyond core course content, including volunteering and placement opportunities.

We organise regular careers workshops designed especially for biological sciences students to help develop their career opportunities, including the annual Bioscience Careers Networking Event, offering a chance to meet bioscience employers, speak to alumni, attend workshops and get masses of information.

Careers Centre

The Faculty works closely with the University’s Careers Centre, which is one of the largest in the country. The centre provides high-quality professional support and advice for all our students and access to thousands of opportunities for graduate employment, placements and internships.