Overview


Microbiology is the study of living organisms that are too small to be visible with the naked eye, including bacteria, fungi and viruses. These microbes are key to our understanding of life on this planet – from human and animal disease, to better food production and microbial involvement in global cycles.

The study of microbiology requires expertise in a range of areas, such as immunology, genetics, biochemistry and cell biology, which we'll train you in throughout your degree.

You’ll study a range of microbiological topics affecting humanity today, such as bacterial resistance to antibiotics, use of microbes in biotechnology for food production and agriculture, and how microbes cause disease.

There’s a focus on practical and analytical training in microbiological and molecular techniques, equipping you for a wide range of future careers in scientific and health research, and beyond.

Our integrated Masters offers you an additional year of specialist training and an advanced qualification. You’ll study specialist research topics and undertake an extended research project.

Course highlights

  • Choice: As well as building a broad understanding of microbiology you’ll have the chance to develop specialist knowledge through in-depth study on optional modules.
  • Learn from experts: Our academics are active researchers and leaders in the field and have the expertise to teach microbiology at the highest level.
  • Research opportunities: You’ll receive extensive training opportunities in microbiological and molecular techniques – essential for careers in scientific research.
  • Flexibility: Common core modules in the first year of many of our courses mean you could have the opportunity to transfer onto a related degree course as your interests develop.
  • Excellent student satisfaction: We received a 100% satisfaction score for Microbiology in the most recent National Student Satisfaction survey (NSS, 2017)
  • Accreditation: Our MBiol and BSc with Industrial Placement Year courses have been awarded advanced accreditation by the Royal Society for Biology.

Accreditation

Our BSc with Industrial Placement Year and MBiol courses have 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

Medical Microbiology BSc
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

During Year 1 you’ll study an introduction to microbiology, genetics, immunology, biochemistry and cell biology themes and will learn more about tissues, organs and body processes.

You’ll have plenty of opportunities to develop your practical skills with hands-on laboratory sessions, while tutorials and lectures will help strengthen your core theoretical skills – the key foundations needed for success at degree level.

From the knowledge and skills base acquired in Year 1, you’ll proceed to more advanced, specialised topics in your chosen area of interest.

At the end of Year 1, there are opportunities to transfer between the Microbiology, Biological Sciences and Biology courses (including Genetics).

In Year 2 you’ll continue to develop a broad understanding of key themes within biosciences while building on your practical and research skills from first year.

You’ll also get to engage in more in-depth study of the areas that interest you the most, with modules in areas such as virology, bacteriology, immunology and genetic engineering. This allows you to specialise in the detailed examination of infection, from the medical perspective and in relation to the biochemistry and cell biology of microbial replication and pathogenesis.

You’ll have the opportunity to gain a comprehensive understanding of how micro-organisms cause disease and the options available for the treatment of these conditions.

The end of second year also offers you the chance to take a study year abroad or a year in industry to further develop your skills.

Year 3 offers you specialist topics such as study of emerging infections, an in-depth study of the hepatitis viruses to gene therapy in humans.

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 while 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.

Integrated Masters (MBiol)

Years 1 and 2 are the same as for the BSc and provide a foundation in the subject.

In Year 3 of the MBiol will prepare you for the Masters level topics and research you’ll be immersed in during your final year.

You’ll undertake a research project, and study compulsory and optional modules as well as a research preparation module, using many of the Faculty’s research facilities.

In Year 4, alongside a selection of Masters level modules covering areas such as human diseases, you’ll also manage your own extended-research project in collaboration with a professional researcher. This final year aims to prepare you for a career in research as well as equipping you with the enhanced skills and expertise valued for the graduate entry level jobs.

Find out more about choosing between an integrated Masters and a BSc degree

Course structure

Details of typical modules/components for this course will be published on May 1st. These may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

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

You’ll have access to the very best learning resources and academic support during your studies. We’ve been awarded a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF, 2017), demonstrating our commitment to delivering consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for our students.

You’ll experience a wide range of teaching methods including lectures, tutorials and practicals. Your first and second years will focus on these three teaching methods, building your skills, understanding and knowledge in preparation for your final year research project, which will see you take on independent research and learning with the guidance of leading experts.

Across all years, additional workshop and seminar sessions will complement your lectures and lab practicals, and you will also undertake private study.

As a guide, a typical week in your first year includes nine to twelve hours of lectures, three to six hours of practical sessions in the laboratory, tutorials, workshop and seminar sessions, plus private study.

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

Entry requirements

A-level: AAA - ABB

BSc:

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.

MBiol:

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:

Grade 6 (B) or above at GCSE Maths and Grade 4 (C) or above at GCSE English.

Alternative Qualifications

Access to HE Diploma

BSc:

Pass 60 credits overall with 45 credits at Level 3, graded at D45M0P0 to D30M15P0 including distinctions in Biology and Mathematics or Chemistry. Accept Access courses in Applied Science. Will also consider (depending on subject content):

  • Biochemical Sciences
  • Biological and Envionmental Science
  • Biological and Health Science
  • Biological Sciences
  • Biosciences
  • Combined Sciences
  • Environmental Science
  • Life and Biological Science
  • Life Science
  • Medical and Health Science Professions
  • Natural Sciences
  • Physical & Natural Sciences.

MBiol:

We do not accept Access to HE.

BTEC

BSc:

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.

MBiol:

We do not accept BTEC qualifications.

Cambridge Pre-U

BSc:

D3/D3/D3-D3/M1/M1 including D3 in Biology or Chemistry plus one other science or science-related subject.

MBiol:

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

International Baccalaureate

BSc:

35-33 (with 18-17 at higher level) including 6 in higher level Chemistry or Biology and another science or science-related subject at higher level.

MBiol:

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)

BSc:

H2,H2,H2,H2,H2,H2 - H2,H2,H2,H3,H3,H3 including H2 in Chemistry or Biology and another science at higher level.

MBiol:

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

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

BSc:

Advanced Higher: 5 x Highers AABBB-ABBBB, with AA-AB in 2 Advanced Highers 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.

MBiol:

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

BSc:

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.

MBiol:

AAA 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: To be confirmed

International: To be confirmed

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

As well as providing you with subject-specific knowledge, we aim to equip you with the best possible skills for a variety of 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, you’ll gain a wide range of transferable skills which are highly valued by employers. Supported by the Leeds for Life scheme and your academic and personal tutor, you’ll be ideally placed to focus on your personal development and make the most of your time at university.

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

Dedicated employability team

We have a dedicated employability team in the Faculty of Biological Sciences who work closely with the University’s Careers Centre to support your development.

We offer a host of additional opportunities beyond core course content, including volunteering and placements. These include our annual Faculty Graduate Panel, where graduates are invited back to talk about their work and network with our students, and our STEM Careers Fair, which gives you the chance to meet bioscience employers, such as AstraZeneca, Covance, GSK, Nuffield Health, RSPB, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, 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 your course 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 after your second year. If you choose to undertake a placement year, this will extend your studies by 12 months. For your work placement, 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, Harrogate