Students in white coats wearing gloves and working in the lab

Microbiology BSc

Sutton Bonington Campus, Leicestershire, UK

Course overview

This course is accredited by the Royal Society of Biology. You will spend a lot of time in our £5 million Super Lab gaining hands-on lab experience. Practical learning and laboratory experience starts early in semester one of the first year. Your lab skills will improve throughout the first and second years. In your final year, you will become a member of a research laboratory and carry out your own year-long research project. Some students have even had their work published in scientific journals.

What you will study

Microbiologists play an important role in helping to prevent disease, develop new treatments, clean up the environment, and keep food safe. You will study the micro-organisms which affect the environment, human, animal and plant health, and find out how to use microbes to make medicines and vaccines.

 

Indicative modules

Mandatory

Year 1

Essential study skills

Mandatory

Year 1

Foundation Science for Bioscientists

Mandatory

Year 1

An Introduction to Biotechnology

Mandatory

Year 1

An Introduction to Genetics and Biochemistry

Mandatory

Year 1

Micro-organisms and Disease

Mandatory

Year 1

Microbes and You

Mandatory

Year 1

The Physiology of Microbes

Mandatory

Year 2

Analysis of Bacterial Gene Expression

Mandatory

Year 2

Bacterial Biological Diversity

Mandatory

Year 2

Fundamentals of immunology

Mandatory

Year 2

Medical Microbiology

Mandatory

Year 2

Microbial Mechanisms of Foodborne Disease

Mandatory

Year 2

Research Techniques for Microbiologists

Mandatory

Year 2

Virology

Optional

Year 2

Bacterial Genes and Development

Optional

Year 2

Computer Modelling in Science: Introduction

Optional

Year 2

Fundamental and Applied Yeast Physiology

Optional

Year 2

Infection and Immunity

Optional

Year 2

Microbial Biotechnology

Optional

Year 2

Molecular Biology of the Cell

Optional

Year 2

Structure, Function and Analysis of Genes

Optional

Year 2

Structure, Function and Analysis of Proteins

Optional

Year 2

The Genome and Human Disease

Optional

Year 2

Yeast and Fermentation Technology

Mandatory

Year 3

Undergraduate Research Project

Optional

Year 3

Ageing, Sex and DNA Repair

Optional

Year 3

Omics: At the Forefront of Biotechnology

Optional

Year 3

Environmental Biotechnology

Optional

Year 3

Microbial Fermentation

Optional

Year 3

Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology

Optional

Year 3

Molecular Microbiology and CRISPR Systems

Optional

Year 3

Molecular Parasitology

Optional

Year 3

Pathogens: Vaccines and Therapeutics

Optional

Year 3

Plant Cell Signalling

Optional

Year 3

Plant Pathology

Optional

Year 3

Rapid Methods in Microbiology

Optional

Year 3

Microbial Isolation and Identification Methods

Optional

Year 3

Virology and Cellular Microbiology

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About modules

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer, but is not intended to be construed or relied on as a definitive list of what might be available in any given year. This content was last updated on Thursday 13 June 2024.

Teaching methods

  • Computer labs
  • Lab sessions
  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops
  • Problem classes

We use a range of assessment methods, including exams, essays, verbal presentations and practicals. You will receive a copy of our marking criteria which provides guidance on how we will assess your work. Your work will be marked on time and you will receive regular feedback.

Your final degree classification will be based on marks gained in your second and third years of study.

You must pass each year to progress. This typically means that you will need to achieve marks of at least 40% in each module. Full details on our marking criteria and structure will be provided at your induction.

To study abroad as part of your degree, you must meet minimum academic requirements in year one.

Assessment methods

  • Coursework
  • Group project
  • Lab reports
  • Poster presentation
  • Research project
  • Written exam

In your first year, you will take 120 credits in core modules. As a guide, one credit equals approximately 10 hours of work. You will spend around half of your time in lectures, seminars and practicals. The remaining time will be independent study.

Core modules are typically taught by professors or associate professors. PhD students help supervise or demonstrate in some practical classes.

This hands-on lab experience will give you skills to work in a laboratory when you graduate. You could work in healthcare and medical research, or the pharmaceutical or food industry.

You will be qualified to work with microbial pathogens, this means you can work in a laboratory immediately. You could work in industry or study for a PhD.

Microbiologists work in:

  • hospitals
  • pharmaceutical companies
  • biotechnology companies
  • regulatory and environmental agencies
  • the food industry

Recent destinations of graduates include:

  • research institutes and universities
  • pharmaceutical and food industries
  • healthcare and medicine research and development
  • agricultural and environmental disciplines
  • biotechnology research
  • advisory and management roles in government agencies such as Defra, the Food Standards Agency and the Health Protection Agency
  • scientific writing and communication

Average starting salary and career progression

93.90% of undergraduates from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual starting salary for these graduates was £28,993.

HESA Graduate Outcomes (2017- 2021 cohorts). The Graduate Outcomes % is calculated using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

Studying for a degree at the University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take.

Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

Have a look at our careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers (Ranked in the top ten in The Graduate Market in 2013-2020, High Fliers Research).

Sutton Bonington campus during lockdown June 25th 2020.Copyright blongs to University of Nottingham. Photography by Lisa Gilligan-Lee

Course data

Open Day June 2022