This course may be available through clearing
BSc Microbiology / Course details
Year of entry: 2019
Our BSc Microbiology course involves the study of microorganisms with particular emphasis on the biology of bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoan parasites.
Microbiologists are needed to do the research required for the future battle against infectious diseases worldwide, understanding the environmental importance of microbes and to exploit them for food production, biotechnological and industrial applications.
The main focus of our course is the pathogenic potential of the organisms that cause disease in man. You will also cover aspects of the biochemistry, physiology and genetics of microorganisms.
You will spend your first year learning fundamental concepts before specialising in microbiology topics in your second and final year.
A range of study options
It is possible to broaden your degree by taking units from the University College , Business and Management for all Programmes or the University Language Centre in exchange for a few units from your degree.
Foundation year available
You can prepare for the full degree course if you do not have the appropriate qualifications for direct entry by undertaking our foundation course first.
Flexibility to transfer between courses
You can transfer between most of our biological sciences degree courses at the end of your first year or, in some cases, later.
Teaching and learning
You will benefit from a wide range of teaching and learning methods that suit the content and aims of each course unit.
These range from lectures and tutorials to practicals and research projects, including the final year project .
Find out more about how you will learn and see a typical Year 1 timetable on our teaching and learning page.
Coursework and assessment
Assessment methods vary widely to suit the nature of the course unit and each level of study.
- Lecture units are usually assessed by written exam (multiple choice or essay-based), which are held at the end of an academic semester in either January or May/June.
- Field courses are usually assessed via oral and written presentations, group work and/or projects.
- Practical units are usually assessed by experimental report and/or short written assignment and/or written exam.
- The proportion of independent study assignments increases during each year of study.
Lecture units are usually assessed by e-learning activities during the unit and multiple choice exams at the end of the semester.
If you wish to continue on the modern language or industrial/professional experience course, you must normally obtain a mean mark of at least 60% in Year 1.
Year 1 contributes 10% to your overall degree mark.
Lecture units are usually assessed by essay-based exam.
Year 2 contributes 30% to your overall degree mark.
Lecture units are usually assessed by essay-based exam. Students also take two 'honours' papers: degree programme-specific examinations comprising essays and data-handling problems.
A significant part of the year (accounting for one-quarter of the overall degree mark) is the project, which is assessed by literature review and a written report.
The final year contributes 60% to your overall degree mark.
Course unit details
This course is modular. You will study compulsory course units and choose some optional units.
Most units are assigned 10 credits and you will take 120 credits each year.
Course content for year 1
You will gain a broad introduction to biological sciences, covering key concepts such as:
- molecular biology.
Year 1 also provides an introduction to the essential data handling and laboratory skills required for all biological scientists.
Course units for year 1
|Academic Tutorials Year 1||BIOL10000||10||Mandatory|
|From Molecules to Cells||BIOL10232||10||Mandatory|
|Introduction to Laboratory Science||BIOL10401||10||Mandatory|
|Introduction to Experimental Biology - Molecular & Cellular Biology||BIOL10412||10||Mandatory|
|Genes, Evolution and Development||BIOL10521||10||Mandatory|
|Microbes, Man and the Environment||BIOL10532||10||Mandatory|
|Writing and Referencing Skills (online unit)||BIOL10741||0||Mandatory|
|Displaying 10 of 20 course units for year 1|
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Course content for year 2
You will continue your studies in greater depth and begin to specialise. You will also undertake a dissertation.
In the Research Skills unit, you have the opportunity to carry out techniques that are widely used in current biological science research.
Course units for year 2
|Academic Tutorials Year 2||BIOL20000||10||Mandatory|
|Organismal Biology EDM||BIOL21051||10||Mandatory|
|Principles of Infectious Disease||BIOL21192||10||Mandatory|
|Introduction to Virology||BIOL21381||10||Mandatory|
|Genome Maintenance & Regulation||BIOL21101||10||Optional|
|Displaying 10 of 24 course units for year 2|
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Course content for year 3
Final year topics reflect the current hotspots of bioscience endeavour and the research interests of our staff, and are constantly being updated.
You will undertake an independent in-depth research project that may involve supervised practical work in a laboratory, or you may choose to work on e-learning, educational, data analysis, bioinformatics or enterprise topics.
Course units for year 3
|Academic Tutorials Year 3||BIOL30000||0||Mandatory|
|Project Literature Review||BIOL30101||10||Mandatory|
|Current Topics in Microbiology (E)||BIOL31351||10||Mandatory|
|Bacterial Infections of Man (E)||BIOL31362||10||Mandatory|
|Post-Genome Biology (L)||BIOL31301||10||Optional|
|Advanced Immunology (E)||BIOL31371||10||Optional|
|Evolution of Genes, Genomes & Systems (E)||BIOL31391||10||Optional|
|Biotic Interactions (L)||BIOL31511||10||Optional|
|Advanced Parasitology (E)||BIOL31792||10||Optional|
|Displaying 10 of 12 course units for year 3|
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What our students say
I find the practicals interesting and I feel like it's a specific degree which provides skills desirable to employers, as well as maintaining some flexibility to suit different students.
Find out more about what it's like to study at Manchester on the Biology, Medicine and Health Student Blog .
Our modern teaching labs are equipped for a range of biological and biomedical techniques. The following are just a few of the techniques you could undertake during your degree:
- polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
- DNA sequencing
- gel electrophoresis
- dissection and histology
- electroencephalography (EEG) and electrocardiography (ECG)
- immunofluorescence microscopy.
Our computing facilities include access to over 200 PCs in dedicated clusters and e-learning tools including online lecture notes, discussion boards, lecture podcasts and quizzes.
You will also have access to the University's other facilities for undergraduate students .
As a final year student, you have the opportunity to undertake a project in the labs of our world-class bioscience researchers.
To support our research, we have extensive research facilities equipped with high-quality technology.