BSc Microbiology with a Modern Language

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Current Topics in Microbiology (E)

Course unit fact file
Unit code BIOL31351
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? No


You will study some of the most recent advances in Microbiology including in the areas of evolutionary microbiology, antimicrobial resistance, microbial pathogenesis, synthetic/systems biology, microbiomes, CRISPR-Cas, and microbial genomics.


Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Fundamentals of Bacteriology BIOL21181 Pre-Requisite Recommended


To provide students with an insight into some of the most recent advances in Microbiology.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course students will have an appreciation of;

  • Evolutionary microbiology
  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Mechanisms of microbial pathogenesis
  • Genetic engineering of microbes for synthetic/systems biology applications
  • Microbiome ecology and its effects on health and disease
  • Horizontal gene transfer and genome evolution


The syllabus will be based around 5 main themes; evolutionary microbiology,  antimicrobial resistance, microbial pathogenesis, genetic engineering for synthetic/systems biology applications, microbiomes, and microbial genomics.

Employability skills

Opportunity to deliver talks with a creative use of visual aids and verbal communication.
Oral communication
Students will record a 5 minute video on a suggested topic related to the course.
Students will be taught from recent research articles and reviews and will have to research the topic and extract the most pertinent details for their 5 minute talk and for the written assessment.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 80%
Oral assessment/presentation 20%

Written assignments (80%):

To complete two ‘News & Views’ style written assignments (open book) on subjects covered in the lectures (2x 40% each)

Oral assessment/video presentation (20%):

Record a 5 minute video on a Current Microbiology topic

Feedback methods

Individual feedback will be given on the 5 min recoded talk.

Written individual feedback will be provided for the two ‘News & Views’ style assignments.

Recommended reading

Primary papers and review articles selected by lecturers teaching on the unit

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 18
Independent study hours
Independent study 82

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Michael Brockhurst Unit coordinator

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