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Course overview

Learn state-of-the-art microbiology techniques, acquire a broad base of theoretical knowledge and gain hands-on practical experience in clinical microbiology.  This masters programme is perfect for NHS staff looking to expand their understanding of microbiology in a hospital or clinical setting.  

The course aims to provide training in theoretical and practical aspects of medical microbiology with a focus on clinical methods for diagnosis and patient management, and molecular biological techniques in research and diagnostic labs. You will gain basic and advanced knowledge of important viral, bacterial and parasitic infections and how these infections are diagnosed and treated in the clinic.

Part-time for NHS trust laboratory workers

You can choose to study this course full-time for one year or part-time for two years. Students wanting to register on a part-time basis must be affiliated to a NHS trust laboratory whereby they can attend academic lectures at the University of Nottingham on one day release per week from their place of work, and conduct their research project in their employer laboratory. We welcome applications from home, EU and international students.

Why choose this course?

We're accredited

The course has received full accreditation by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS)

Novel research project

Undertake a four-month research project in the laboratory within the faculty.

International Research

95% of the School of Life Sciences research was deemed to be of international quality.

Research Excellence Framework 2014

9th for research power

The School of Life Sciences was ranked 9th for research power in our unit of assessment.

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014

Gold-standard teaching

Our teaching is recognised as of the highest standard

Course content

In addition to 120 credits of taught modules, you will also undertake a 60-credit Research Project conducted over four months in the laboratory of a member of research staff within the school or faculty.

This module will enable you to experience contemporary research methods by performing experiments, systematic reviews, or other research activities aimed at solving a specific biomedical problem or hypothesis. The Research Project is conducted during the spring semester and continues into the summer months.

Modules

Core modules

Introduction to Medical Microbiology

You will gain the necessary foundations in medical microbiology through this introductory module, through studying the properties and host range of various micro-organisms involved in infection, as well as the development of appropriate immune responses.

Core Research Methods: Transferable Research Skills

You will gain an understanding of how to plan, prepare and execute research in the field of molecular biology, microbiology immunology and genetics. As well as learning how to manage the various stages of research projects, you will gain experience presenting research data and preparing publications. This module will also enhance your ability to critically assess published literature and analyse data.

Human Pathogens

An overview of the major bacterial, fungal and parasitic human pathogens of clinical importance is provided on this module.

Pathogens covered may include: Campylobacter jejuni; Legionella pneumophila; Staphylococcus aureus; Helicobacter pylori; Anaerobes of Clinical Importance; Coagulase negative Staphylococci; Haemophilus spp.; Listeria monocytogenes; Burkholderia and Stenotrophomonas; Pseudomonas aeruginosa; Yeast and yeast-like fungi; Filamentous and dimorphic fungi; Vibrionacea; Pathogenic Neisseria Spp.; Streptococcus pneumoniae; Group A Streptococci; Mycobacterium tuberculosis and atypical mycobacteria; Enterococcus; Escherichia coli; Enterobacteriaceae; Leishmania and Trypanosoma; Protozoa (Intestinal, Toxoplasma, Trichomonads and Amoebae); Bacillus Spp.

Viral Pathogenesis and Infection

This module illustrates how viruses interact with cells, what are the underlying molecular mechanisms of infection and replication, and how these interactions lead to clinical disease.

Prevention and Treatment of Infection

This module facilitates an understanding of antimicrobial therapies for the control of infection and disease – encompassing the study of the action of specific antimicrobial compounds, mechanisms of resistance and the development of preventative and therapeutic vaccines.

Research project

Research Project

On this 60 credit module you will design and execute a research programme – performing experiments, surveys, analysing data and undertaking other research activities aimed at solving a specific biomedical problem in the subject area you are studying. You will discuss the research project with your academic supervisor before the project begins.

As well as gaining the technical and project management skills required for contemporary research, you will develop the ability to write scientific texts through producing a dissertation based on your research findings. This report is discussed with academic staff during an oral examination.

The topic and form of project may vary from laboratory-based work, bioinformatics or extended literature reviews, depending on the expertise of our academic staff and which course you are enrolled on.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Thursday 19 November 2020.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

  • Lectures
  • Problem-based learning
  • Practical classes
  • Tutorials

The problem-based learning approach on the Applied Molecular Microbiology and Bacterial Pathogenesis and Infections modules allows you freedom for investigative research of a given topic. You can work as individuals, in pairs or collectively in groups to solve a problem.

All modules and module resources, such as lecture PowerPoints, podcasts and supporting literature are uploaded and accessed through Moodle, the University’s online virtual learning environment. The University has invested in the lecture capture software, Echo 360 which allows faithful recording of all lectures that are timetabled in University lecture rooms.

How you will be assessed

  • Examinations
  • Coursework
  • Practical exams
  • Presentation
  • Dissertation

MFQ for all taught course modules are delivered online through the University’s Rogo™ software which is accessed through the Student Portal. This allows each test to be marked by the software quickly and accurately.

The Core Research Methods: Molecular Techniques 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, and the research project dissertation will be written up as a scientific paper.

BlueCastle, the student online learning and administrative system of the school, can be accessed through the University portal and provides a central point for you to access your assessment results and tutorial records. Timetables are accessed through University central timetabling.

You will be expected to work both independently and as part of a group.

Contact time and study hours

As a guide, one credit equals approximately 10 hours of work. For the taught-stage of the course, you will spend approximately a third of your time (around 400 hours) in lectures, tutorials, workshops, practical classes, including the directed study which is necessary in preparation for workshops/practical classes. The remaining time will be completed as independent study. Tutorial sessions are built into the timetable and there are several group and individual meetings timetabled throughout the year. Additional meetings can be requested as needed.

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2021 entry.

Undergraduate degree2:1 honours degree in any relevant subject

Applying

Our step-by-step guide covers everything you need to know about applying.

How to apply

Fees

Qualification MSc PGCert PGDip
Home / UK £8,500 £2,833 £5,667
International £25,000 £8,333 £16,667

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland starting your course in the 2021/22 academic year, you will pay international tuition fees.

This does not apply to Irish students, who will be charged tuition fees at the same rate as UK students. UK nationals living in the EU, EEA and Switzerland will also continue to be eligible for ‘home’ fee status at UK universities until 31 December 2027.

For further guidance, check our Brexit information for future students.

Additional costs

Our libraries contain all relevant books and research journals you might require, however, if you wish to purchase these materials for yourself, you should take this into consideration.

Funding

There are many ways to fund your postgraduate course, from scholarships to government loans.

The University also offers masters scholarships for international and EU students. Our step-by-step guide contains everything you need to know about funding postgraduate study.

Postgraduate funding

Careers

We offer individual careers support for all postgraduate students.

Expert staff can help you research career options and job vacancies, build your CV or résumé, develop your interview skills and meet employers.

More than 1,500 employers advertise graduate jobs and internships through our online vacancy service. We host regular careers fairs, including specialist fairs for different sectors.

Graduate destinations

Our alumni have varied prospects and inspirational careers – including working for NASA as a Planetary Protection Engineer

Students from our full suite of MSc courses have gone on to a wide variety of positions – here are a few examples:

  • Senior House Officer (SHO) in Medical Microbiology
  • Research Technicians - Oncology
  • Senior Registrar (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 Managers
  • Application Specialist Biological Sciences - Japan
  • Biomedical Scientists (BMS1)
  • PhD – School of Life Sciences, University of Nottingham
  • Research Technician – School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Nottingham
  • Research Scientist – Glaxo SmithKline

Career progression

94.9% of postgraduates from the School of Life Sciences secured work or further study within six months of graduation. £21,400 was the average starting salary, with the highest being £40,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates who were available for employment, 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS)

The course has full accreditation of the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS), which is a professional acknowledgement of the quality and relevance of the course to individuals employed as biomedical scientists. It helps career progression of biomedical scientists already employed and state registered, allowing those BMS1 technical officers to apply for promotion and higher grades.

Two masters graduates proudly holding their certificates
" It has always been a dream of mine to study abroad at a prestigious university that allows exploration of the field of microbiology. The highlight of the course was having a suite of research projects to choose from while given the opportunity to learn and work with leading experts in the field. "
Emily Pui-Yee Seto, MSc Clinical Microbiology

Related courses

The University has been awarded Gold for outstanding teaching and learning (2017/18). Our teaching is of the highest quality found in the UK.

The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) is a national grading system, introduced by the government in England. It assesses the quality of teaching at universities and how well they ensure excellent outcomes for their students in terms of graduate-level employment or further study.

This content was last updated on Thursday 19 November 2020. Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but changes are likely to occur given the interval between the date of publishing and course start date. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply.