Clinical Microbiology MSc


Fact file

MSc Clinical Microbiology
1 year full-time
Entry requirements
2.1 - upper second class UK honours bachelor degree (or international equivalent) from a recognised institution.
Other requirements
Applicants with a lower second class degree (or international equivalent) may be considered on an individual basis.
7.0 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
Start date
Queen's Medical Centre
Tuition fees
You can find fee information on our fees table.


This fully accredited course provides training in theoretical and practical aspects of medical microbiology and infectious diseases.
Read full overview

The MSc Clinical Microbiology aims to provide training in theoretical and practical aspects of medical microbiology and infectious diseases, with particular emphasis on laboratory diagnosis, patient management and infection control.

You will gain basic and advanced knowledge of important viral, bacterial and parasitic infections and learn how these infections are diagnosed and treated by clinicians.

Students completing the course will acquire relevant transferable skills incuding: data management; interpretation and presentation; time management and organisation; and effective verbal and written communication skills. In addition, the students' analytical and creative thinking skills will also be improved.

The course has full accreditation of the Institute of Biomedical Sciences, which is an acknowledgement of the quality and relevance of the course to individuals employed as biomedical scientists. If you are already employed and state-registered as a Grade 1 Biomedical Scientist the course is likely to enhance your career progression by improving your promotion prospects.

Lectures are delivered by a panel of leading national and international experts including academics from the University of Nottingham as well as leading experts in their respective fields from other leading institutions and relevant organisations. You will have the opportunity to learn state-of-the-art microbiology techniques, acquire a broad base of theoretical knowledge and gain hands-on practical experience in clinical microbiology. 

Each student will join and active research group to undertake a high quality, clinically-orientated research project under the supervision of a research-active academic. This will be of particular relevance for those students wishing to go on to study for a PhD.

Key facts

  • The MSc Clinical Microbiology is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Sciences, and the Scottish Government.
  • The latest Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) confirmed The University of Nottingham's position as a world class research-led institution. Over 60% of the University's RAE scores identified research as being of a level of international excellence.
  • The achievement has helped Nottingham to achieve a top 10 ranking in the UK and top 75 ranking in the world according to The Newsweek World University Rankings, the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and QS World University Rankings. Nottingham climbed 18 places to 73rd in 2010, up from 91st in 2009, reflecting its outstanding reputation for teaching, learning and research.
  • The research carried out within Clinical Microbiology is recognised at an international level.

Course details

In addition to the core modules, you will also undertake a 60-credit research project conducted over five months, usually in the laboratory of a member of faculty of the school. In some cases, the research project will be undertaken in the laboratory of one of our NHS colleagues, in collaboration with a member of the school. This module will enable you to experience contemporary research methods by designing a research programme and performing experiments, surveys, or other research activities aimed at solving a specific biomedical problem. 

This module is designed to increase your ability to critically analyse laboratory results and to use them to make decisions. You will also acquire skills in analysing research, time management and communication of scientific information. 

Types of projects vary from laboratory-based projects to surveillance, audit, analytical clinical case studies and others, as approved by course organisers. Where possible, the student’s preferences are taken into account when allocating projects. The project will be written up in a concise format modelled on that of a peer-reviewed scientific paper.

The MSc Clinical Microbiology is taught on a full-time basis over one year. 

This course comprises 180 credits, made up of 120 credits from the taught modules and a 60-credit research module. The taught modules are delivered through a mixture of lectures, problem-based and student-centred learning methods, in which you will direct and manage your own teaching and learning with help from academic facilitators.

The last module is a practical module which allows an efficient cooperation between the student and the module facilitator, and provides you with hands-on experience of practical techniques that you can further develop during your research project.

Each student is allocated a personal tutor at the beginning of the course, and regular meetings are scheduled throughout the year.

The course uses a variety of assessment methods that are dictated by the nature of the module. Forms of assessment include examinations in both essay and multiple-choice formats, written and verbally assessed coursework, and your practical knowledge in the Diagnostic Microbiology and Laboratory Methods module will be assessed by short-answer questions based on clinical scenarios.

Multiple choice assessments for many of the taught course modules are delivered online through the ‘Rogo' on-line assessment package, which is accessed through the Student Portal. This allows each test to be automatically marked quickly and accurately.

The Clinical Microbiology Research Methods module has an element of peer-assessment, where student members of the audience are invited to assess their colleagues' performances according to set criteria and descriptors.

Assessment of the Research Project will include a number of elements including observations of the student’s abilities made by the project supervisor, and assessment of the project write-up, which will be in the form of a scientific paper and assessment of the student's performance in a viva voce (oral) examination. In each case, assessment will be according to set criteria. 

The online MSc database provides a central point for you to access your timetable, assessment results and easy access to additional module resources provided by lecturers and module convenors. You will be expected to work both independently and as part of a group.



This course requires you to complete the following core modules: 

  • Introduction to Medical Microbiology (10 credits) 
  • Infection Control and Public Health (10 credits) 
  • Viral Pathogenesis and Infections (20 credits) 
  • Prevention and Treatment of Infection (20 credits) 
  • Advanced Clinical Microbiology (40 credits) 
  • Clinical Microbiology Research Methods (10 credits) 
  • Diagnostic Microbiology and Laboratory Methods (10 credits) 

Please note that all module details are subject to change.

For more details on our modules, please see the Module Catalogue.

The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.



Home/EU students

The School of Life Science is offering a number of scholarships amounting to £1,000 each for students starting in 2015-16. To apply for these scholarships you need a copy of an acceptance letter confirming that you have a place to study. This is a competitive scheme and students will be awarded a scholarship on academic and individual merit.

Closing date is 12 mid-day (UK time) 14th August 2015.

Full details and application forms for these scholarships can be obtained by contacting:

Anita Purshottam
T: +44 (0)115 8232100

Fully funded places are available for health and social care professionals working in the East Midlands and having the support of their manager. These places are funded through the East Midlands Healthcare Workforce Deanery (SHA) contract with The University of Nottingham. To check if you qualify for funding please call (0115) 823 1213 or email

The Graduate School website at The University of Nottingham provides more information on internal and external sources of postgraduate funding. 

Please also visit our funding pages.

International students

The School of Life Science is offering a number of scholarships amounting to £1,000 each for students starting in 2015-16. To apply for these scholarships you need a copy of an acceptance letter confirming that you have a place to study. This is a competitive scheme and students will be awarded a scholarship on academic and individual merit.

Closing date is 12 mid-day (UK time) 26th June 2015.

Full details and application forms for these scholarships can be obtained by contacting:

Anita Purshottam
T: +44 (0)115 8232100

Opportunities for funding is also available to international students through the International Office at The University of Nottingham. 

Please also visit our funding pages



The MSc Clinical Microbiology will enable you to acquire advanced knowledge of molecular and clinical microbiology to prepare you for hospital-based clinical microbiology, infectious disease and public health positions.

You will be exposed to routine and specialised conventional and molecular techniques, trained to critically appraise clinical scenarios, and to make rational judgements for patient management.

You will also be trained on critical evaluation of published scientific papers, and be able to apply the results to a variety of related and unrelated scientific problems.

This course will encourage you to gain numerous transferable skills such as efficient time management and organisation, leadership skills, verbal and written communication skills, awareness of safety issues and decision making. These skills will be applicable to a wide variety of vocations and career opportunities, and make you highly desirable to the marketplace.

Our MSc graduates are very much in demand by employers in both the private and public sectors and have the opportunity to establish successful careers in a range of areas. Many will go on to do MRCPath exams, take up positions as trainee diagnostic microbiologists (Biomedical Scientists) or clinical scientists, or pursue higher degrees such as PhD or MD. 
Students from our full suite of MSc courses have found employment and further training in a very wide variety of positions. However, to give you a flavour of the possibilities, the list below provides a number of individual examples:

  • SHO in Medical Microbiology
  • Research Technician in Oncology
  • SpR in Medical Microbiology
  • PhD (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)
  • Infection Control Nurses
  • NHS Clinical Scientists
  • Regulatory Affairs Specialist (AMGEM Biotech)
  • PhD (School of Veterinary Sciences, University of Cambridge)
  • Clinical Trial Data Manager
  • Application Specialist in Biological Sciences (Japan)
  • Biomedical Scientists (BMS1)
  • PhD (School of Molecular Medical Sciences, University of Nottingham)
  • Research Technician (School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Nottingham)


Average starting salary and career progression

In 2014, 90.9% of postgraduates from the School of Life Sciences who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £23,717 with the highest being £40,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home and EU postgraduates, 2013/14.

Career prospects and employability

The acquisition of a masters degree demonstrates a high level of knowledge in a specific field. Whether you are using it to enhance your employability, as preparation for further academic research or as a means of vocational training, you may benefit from  careers advice as to how you can use your new found skills to their full potential. Our Careers and Employability Service will help you do this, working with you to explore your options and inviting you to attend recruitment events where you can meet potential employers, as well as suggesting further development opportunities, such as relevant work experience placements and skills workshops.  



PGT Team
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School of Life Sciences
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Get in touch
+44 (0)115 82 32100 or
+44 (0)115 82 30775
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