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Medical and General Microbiology

Module titleMedical and General Microbiology
Module codeBIO2078
Academic year2021/2
Module staff

Dr Tobias Bergmiller ()

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

Through this module you will develop your knowledge of major topics within both medical and general microbiology.

We will cover topics such as:

  • The modes of infection of the body by microbial organisms and methods used to counter the effects of pathogens
  • How microorganisms are used to our advantage, and methods for their detection and enumeration
  • Some current trends in global human microbial disease infection rates

The skills you will develop through this module include the reading of scientific articles and research papers, scientific writing and self-directed learning. This knowledge and skills development is aimed to  enhance your employability and suitability for working within research and industrial environments.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module aims to widen  and deepen your knowledge of major topics within both medical and general microbiology. Initially, emphasis is given to the modes of infection of the body by microbial organisms and the various methods used to counter the effects of pathogens. In addition this module develops knowledge of how we use microorganisms to our advantage in research, clinical or industrial contexts. Some current trends in global human infection rates and implication of these will be considered. Additionally, the module aims to develop an understanding of key methods used for the safe handling of microorganisms and relevant environmental samples. This will enhance your employability for relevant research and industrial careers.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Understanding of methods for the safe handling of microorganisms in the laboratory
  • 2. Assess the role of microorganisms in human health and the range of defence mechanisms to combat disease
  • 3. Present examples of microorganisms used in specified industrial processes and explain why such microorganisms are used in that capacity

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. Describe and evaluate approaches to our understanding of medical and general microbiology with reference to primary literature, reviews and research articles
  • 5. Describe in some detail essential facts and theory across a sub-discipline of the biosciences
  • 6. Identify critical questions from the literature and synthesise research-informed examples from the literature into written work
  • 7. With some guidance, deploy established techniques of research, analysis, critical evaluation and enquiry within the biosciences

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 8. Communicate ideas, principles and theories fluently by written means in a manner appropriate to the intended audience
  • 9. Develop, with some guidance, a logical and reasoned argument with valid conclusions
  • 10. Collect and interpret appropriate data, drawing on a range of sources, with limited guidance

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

The module will commence with an 'orientation' session to provide full details of the module aims, content and what is expected of students. Thereafter, the module content is organised into topics with a logical progression towards the understanding of disease processes and their management. The module also includes understanding and consideration of key industrial and microbial ecological topics. The recommended textbook, reading list and library texts provide foundation and background knowledge.

Topics covered will include: General microbiology; Methods in microbiology; Applied microbiology; Medical microbiology; Public health microbiology; Linking humans and environment; fungal and bacterial pathogenesis.

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching22Lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching12Laboratory practicals
Scheduled Learning and Teaching3Revision session
Guided Independent Study113Exam preparation, wider reading


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Lecturer and/or GTA feedback during contact sessions (lectures & practicals)Ad hocAllOral
Feedback via ELE forumAd hocAllWritten

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay examination601 hour1-6, 8-10Written
MCQ and short answer test4090 minutes1-5, 7-10Written


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Essay examinationEssay examination1-6, 8-10August Ref/Def
MCQ and short answer testMCQ and short answer test1-5, 7-10August Ref/Def

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to sit a further examination. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of referral will count for 100% of the final mark and will be capped at 40%.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Brock Biology of Microorganisms, 12th Edition 2008. Pearson. ISBN 0132324601/978-0132324601
  • Campbell NA, Reece JB (2008) Biology, 8th Ed. Pearson. ISBN 0-321-53616-7/0-321-53616-9
  • Oxford Textbook for Medical Mycology ISBN 9780198755388

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

  • ELE page: (material for support of lectures and practical class schedules, and specific reading material detailed during lectures.)
  • World Health Authority (WHO)  website – as directed during the module

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Infection,microbial organisms, pathogens, microorganisms, infection rates, microbiology, fungi, bacteria, microbial ecology

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

BIO1337 Microbiology

Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date