Microbiology 2016/17

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

What is Microbiology?

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.

Why study Microbiology?

From the microbes that caused the foot and mouth epidemic to the photosynthetic microoganisms 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.

Advanced Accredited Degree

Both our Integrated Masters (MBiol) programme and BSc with Industrial Placement Year programme has been awarded advanced accreditation by the Royal Society of Biology for the purpose of meeting in part the academic and experience requirement for the Membership and Chartered Biologist (CBiol).

Useful websites

Society for general microbiology

Microbiology online

Show stats for BSc or MBiol

Course Overview

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.

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

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
  • Microbiology research project
  • Skills in microbiology
Total Credits: 120 Total Credits: 120 Total Credits: 120

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

BSc year one

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.

BSc year two

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.

BSc year three

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.

MBiol year three and four

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.

Please note that year one and two are the same as the BSc for the MBiol.

To find out more about this MBiol degree programme download our guide and our overview on MBiol programmes.


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.

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




3 years


Microbiology with industrial placement year

4 years


Microbiology with a study year abroad

4 years

MBiol, BSc


4 years

MBiol, BSc

Microbiology with industrial placement year

5 years

MBiol, BSc

Microbiology with a study year abroad

5 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. For information on microbiology related careers visit: www.sgm.ac.uk/careers

"Living in the city of Leeds is an amazing experience. There's something around to satisfy a diverse range of needs and interests; be it with regards to nightlife, culture, shopping or work. A major bonus for me was the fact that the University campus is in such a close proximity to the city centre." Khush Bakht: BSc 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. http://careerweb.leeds.ac.uk