MSc Medical Microbiology / Course details

Year of entry: 2019

Course description

Our long-running MSc Medical Microbiology course is ideal if you are a graduate looking to develop your skills as a microbiologist.

The course is unique because you will spend much of your time actually in the laboratory, learning how to be a microbiologist. You will cover the medical and molecular aspects of bacteriology, virology, mycology and immunity to infection.

We aim to give you a significant level of theoretical and practical understanding of the subject, which will be important if you want to follow a career in clinical sciences or academic and industrial research.

This course runs alongside our MSc Medical Virology course.


We aim to provide you with an understanding of the scientific basis of traditional and modern microbiological concepts.

In addition, you will develop the knowledge, specialist practical skills and critical awareness needed to pursue a career in medical microbiology.

Special features

IBMS accreditation

This course is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science and meets the requirements for registration with the Science Council as a Chartered Scientist (CSci).

Extensive practical learning

The lab-focused nature of this course means you will gain maximum exposure to both the practical and theoretical aspects of a wide range of clinically relevant pathogens, helping develop practical skills that are valued by potential employers.

Various study options

You can study either full-time or part-time on both the MSc and PGDip routes, enabling you to fit learning around your other commitments if needed. Our part-time option comprises full-time study, one semester per year (approximately 12 weeks).

Research experience

You will typically carry out research projects within one of the University's microbiology, virology or mycology research groups. The close relationship between the diagnostic microbiology and virology services and the University department enable our research activities to be directly related to current relevant issues in medical microbiology.

Teaching and learning

This course is delivered by academics from the University and NHS specialists in infectious disease and medical microbiology.

You will learn via a range of methods, including lectures, seminars, tutorials and comprehensive practical classes.

We use both face-to-face sessions and blended learning methods, with some material delivered and assessed online.

Find out more by visiting the postgraduate teaching and learning page.

Coursework and assessment

You will be assessed via continual assessment and formal theory and practical examinations.

Course unit details

The course consists of 120 credits of taught material and followed by a 60-credit research project (MSc only).

  • Practical Microbiology (15 credits)
  • Research Methods (15 credits)
  • Understanding Infection (15 credits)
  • Molecular Diagnostics (15 credits)
  • Antimicrobials and Infection Control (15 credits)
  • Clinical Microbiology 1 (15 credits)
  • Clinical Microbiology 2 (15 credits)
  • Global Health and Epidemiology (15 credits)

All MSc students carry out a three-month research project after the taught components have been successfully completed.

Full-time (FT) students take the above units and research project in Year 1. Part-time (PT) students can undertake the MSc over two years, one full semester per year.

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Practical Microbiology MEDN68511 15 Mandatory
Understanding Infection MEDN68621 15 Mandatory
Molecular Diagnostics MEDN68631 15 Mandatory
Global Health and Epidemiology MEDN68642 15 Mandatory
Antimicrobials and Infection Control MEDN68652 15 Mandatory
Principles of Microbiology MEDN68660 0 Mandatory
Clinical Microbiology 1 MEDN68662 15 Mandatory
Clinical Microbiology 2 MEDN68672 15 Mandatory
Research Methods MEDN69910 15 Mandatory


This course is based in Stopford Building on Oxford Road, where you will find state-of-the-art teaching and research laboratories, a student common room and good access to University computing clusters.

You will attend lectures across the University campus.

You will be able to access a range of facilities throughout the University.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service .

CPD opportunities

We offer units from this MSc as standalone courses for continuing professional development (CPD). Please see the  Medical Microbiology CPD units  page for further details.