BSc Hons Immunology & Microbiology

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Key facts

  • UCAS Code: CC59
  • Start date: Sep 2020
  • Accreditation: Royal Society of Biology
  • High Flyer Programme: qualified applicants can complete course in 3 years

  • Flexible degree: flexibility to change to other Biomolecular Science courses throughout your studies

Study with us

  • Immunology is the study of how the body defends itself against disease
  • Microbiology is the study of the smallest living organisms (micro-organisms or microbes)
  • opportunity to choose specific degree combinations will allow you to go into specialist biomedical science areas such as neuroscience, cardiovascular research, immunopharmacology, industrial immunology, drug research, biochemistry, microbiology and bacteriology
  • we're ranked in the UK Top 10 for Biological Sciences (Complete University Guide 2020)
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Why this course?

Immunology helps us understand how the immune system is tricked into attacking its own tissue, leading to diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes or allergy.

Microbiology is the study of the smallest living organisms (micro-organisms or microbes). Microbes are a major cause of disease in humans but they can also be useful in industrial processes from pollution control to the production of important therapeutic compounds.

The development of both has long been linked with the development of vaccines for smallpox and anthrax by Jenner and Pasteur respectively.

More recently, the application of modern techniques of biology to the immune system has led to a dramatic increase in our understanding of the immune system and its impact on body function, as well as in the control of microbial and other types of disease.

The interface between immunology and microbiology is a very active area for both fundamental research and for the development of new biotechnological products to diagnose or prevent disease.

Modern techniques based on monoclonal antibodies are revolutionising the identification of micro-organisms in the clinical laboratory, as well as in the food industry and agriculture.

Students examining petri dish in lab

Years 1 & 2

Students on all the biosciences degrees study the same classes in the first two years. This means you can defer your ultimate choice of degree until the end of Year 2.

In Year 1, you’ll study classes in cells and their molecules, organisms and diseases and Bio-organic chemistry.  These are all underpinned by the ‘Being a Biomolecular Scientist’ class which begins with basic laboratory skills, statistical and data analysis and presentation, report writing, health and safety and ethics.

You also choose 20 credits of elective subjects from across the University.

In Year 2, you’ll gain an introduction to each of the four disciplines: biochemistry, immunology, microbiology and pharmacology again supported by the ‘Being a Biomolecular Scientist’ class which develops various skills gained in Year 1.

Years 3 & 4

You'll specialise in the area in which you plan to graduate. In the Honours year, you’ll carry out a research project in either subject and present a dissertation of your work. This could be lab-based research.

You can also take part in enterprise projects of commercial significance for a pharmaceutical or biotechnology company in the west of Scotland. Student exchange programmes offer the chance to study and take part in lab-based research abroad.

Transfer to the MSci Biochemistry or Immunology may be possible at the end of Year 4, subject to performance.

High Flyer Programme

Well-qualified applicants with appropriate A Levels and Advanced Highers will be admitted to the Faculty of Science prestigious 'High Flyer' Programme, which allows students to complete an Honours degree in three years and an Integrated Masters degree in four. If you are studying the relevant subjects you may receive a dual offer, specifying grades to direct entry to Year 2 as a High Flyer and also standard Year 1 entry.

Find out more about our High Flyer Programme.

Accreditation

Accredited by the Royal Society of Biology.

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Course content

In Year 1, you’ll study classes in cells and their molecules, organisms and diseases and Bio-organic chemistry.  These are all underpinned by the ‘Being a Biomolecular Scientist’ class which begins with basic laboratory skills, statistical and data analysis and presentation, report writing, health and safety and ethics.

In Year 2, you’ll gain an introduction to each of the four discipline biochemistry, immunology, microbiology and pharmacology again supported by the "Being a Biomolecular Scientist” class which develops various skills gained in Year 1.  There’s a strong emphasis on practical laboratory skills and the development of generic skills such as scientific writing and problem-solving.

In Years 3 and 4 you'll take specialist classes in Immunology and Microbiology. You will also undertake a substantial research project in Immunology or Microbiology in Year 4 and present a dissertation of the work.

Being a Biomolecular Scientist 1

This class aims to give students:

  • the foundation practical skills required for a biological biochemistry
  • the foundation practical skills based around 'health and the body'
  • foundation presentation skills
Cells & their molecules

The aims of this class are to:

  • provide Foundation level knowledge relating to basic functions of cells
  • set out principles of biological action and function that will be encountered through all four years
  • expose students to the basic suite of teaching, learning and assessment paradigms used throughout their degree with particular focus on oral communication and presentation
Organisms & Disease

From this class, students will gain:

  • foundation level knowledge relating to basic evolution, species diversity, development, homeostasis, and infectious disease
  • principles of biological action and function that will be encountered through all four years
  • learn about methods of teaching, learning and assessment used throughout the degree, with particular focus on finding, citing and using information, and teamwork
Bio-Organic Chemistry

The aims of this class are to:

  • understand nucleotide/nucleic acid molecular structure, stereochemistry and conformation as the foundation of nucleic acid chemical and biological potential
  • understand amino acid/protein molecular structure, stereochemistry and conformation as the foundation of protein chemical and biological potential
  • understand monosaccharide/polysaccharide molecular structure, stereochemistry and conformation as the foundation of carbohydrate chemical and biological potential
  • understand the chemistry, stereochemistry and biological roles of polyketide/polyisoprene natural products and their biosynthetic origins
Being a Biomolecular Scientist 2

The aims of this class are to:

  • give students the fundamental practical skills required for a biochemist
  • give students the fundamental practical skills required for an immunologist
  • give students the fundamental practical skills required for a microbiologist
  • give students the fundamental practical skills required for a pharmacologist
  • give students fundamental skills in presentation and teamwork
Introduction to Biochemistry

The aims of this class are:

  • to understand gene structure and function and the regulation of gene expression
  • to understand how human genetic variation arises and its uses in medicine and forensics
  • to understand the basic structure and function of proteins, lipids and carbohydrates
  • to appreciate the key metabolic pathways in the absorptive and post-absorptive states
  • to understand the pathways involved in cell growth and cell death
Introduction to Immunology

By studying this class, students will be able to demonstrate:

  • an understanding of how immune cells recognise antigens
  • an understanding of key concepts in induction of acquired immunity
  • an understanding of effector mechanism of the immune system
  • an understanding of helpful immune responses
  • an understanding of harmful immune responses
Introduction to Microbiology

The aims of this class are to help students to:

  • understand the fundamental taxonomic grouping and evolutionary relationships of microbes
  • appreciate physiological, structural and molecular differences between different microorganisms
  • understand the role and control of microorganisms in disease
  • learn how organisms adapt to hostile environments and appreciate the biotechnological exploitation of extremophiles
Introduction to Pharmacology

This class aims to:

  • develop understanding of systems biology and homeostasis
  • develop understanding of the somatic, autonomic and central nervous systems
  • develop understanding of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems
  • develop understanding of the hepatic and renal systems
  • develop understanding of the endocrine and reproductive systems
Being a Biomolecular Scientist 3

The aims of this class are to:

  • give students generic practical skills in biomolecular science
  • further develop students' practical skills in specific discipline (A) that align with the class choices of the degree programme
  • further develop students' practical skills in specific discipline (B) that align with the class choices of the degree programme
  • further develop students presentation skills
Fundamental Immunology

The aim of this class are:

  • to provide students with an understanding of how pathogens are recognised
  • to provide students with an understanding of how immune cells are activated
  • to provide students with an understanding of the cytotoxic mechanisms used by immune cells
  • to provide students with an understanding of how the immune system is regulated
  • to provide students with an understanding of immunological memory
Biomedical Immunology

The aims of this class are:

  • to give students an understanding of Immunodiagnostic: Principles of immunoassays: homogeneous and heterogeneous immunoassays, Examples of clinical immunoassays
  • to give students an understanding of hypersensitivity
  • to give students an understanding of Immunopathology and Immunity to infections
  • to give students an understanding of mucosal immunology
  • to give students an understanding of immunopharmacology
Fundamental Microbiology

The aims of this class are to:

  • understand the basis of gene regulation in microorganisms and how this influence bacterial physiology
  • describe the key mechanisms that drive evolution of microorganisms
  • demonstrate an understanding of the principles of mathematical modelling in predicting microbial growth and death
  • describe the basis of microbial form and function and how bioinformatics are fundamental to microbiology
Biomedical Microbiology

The aims of this class are to:

  • understand the difference between taxonomic and phylogenetic classification of microorganisms
  • understand the principles that underpin bacterial, fungal and viral identification
  • understand the structure, function and growth characteristics of bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa. Apply that knowledge to their role in disease development
  • describe the distinguishing features, pathogenic properties, epidemiology, treatment and control of medically important bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa
Being a Biomolecular Scientist 4

The aims of this class are:

  • to give students the opportunity to carry out original research
  • to provide students with the skills to critically interpret data and develop conclusions or hypotheses based upon their findings
  • to provide students with the skills to analyse and present their data
  • to provide knowledge in a key area that is relevant to the career aspirations of the student
Advanced Immunology

The aims of this class are:

  • to give students an understanding of immune responses that occur against viral infections
  • to give students an understanding of immune responses that occurs against bacteria
  • to give students an understanding of immune responses that occurs against protozoan parasites
  • to give students an understanding of immune responses that occurs against helminth parasites
  • to give students an understanding of Immune responses induced by vaccination
Advanced Microbiology

The aims of this class are to:

  • understand how to analyse and interpret the genomes of microorganisms
  • understand the mechanisms that permit bacteria to sense and interact with the environment
  • understand of the mechanisms of bacterial growth and development
  • understanding microbial populations through ‘omic analysis
Choose one class from the following:
Clinical Immunology

The aims of this class are:

  • to give students an understanding of the immune responses associated with Immune responses associated with transplantation
  • to give students an understanding of the immune responses associated with cancer
  • to give students an understanding of the immune responses associated with autoimmunity
  • to give students an understanding of the immune responses associated with immune responses associated with allergy
  • to give students an understanding of the immune responses associated with immunodeficiency
Applied Immunology

The aims of this class are:

  • to give students an understanding immunotherapy in disease
  • to give students an understanding of the production of immunological reagents
  • to give students an understanding of the use of immunological assays
  • to give students an understanding of vaccination strategies

Choose one class from the following:

Clinical Microbiology

The aims of this class are to:

  • understand the principles of epidemiology in infectious diseases
  • understand the diagnosis of microbial identification using genotyping and viable and non-viable approaches
  • understand the mechanisms of antimicrobial agents and antimicrobial resistance as well as the significance of biofilms in antimicrobial resistance
  • understand the mechanisms and importance of infection control in the immune-compromised host
Applied Microbiology

The aims of this class are to:

  • understand the basics of fermentation technology and how microbes can be exploited for human benefit
  • understand the impact of modern molecular biology techniques on industrial biotechnology and how this can be employed in an industrial setting
  • understand the importance of bioprocess monitoring and downstream processing
  • provide an understanding of how microbial processes affect our environment in beneficial and deleterious ways

Assessment

Knowledge and understanding are assessed by written examinations, essays, presentations and computer-aided learning (CAL) exercises and quizzes, available on our virtual learning environment, Myplace.

Competence is assessed through practical tests, practical write-ups, project reports and CAL exercises and quizzes.

Communication skills are assessed through essays and oral presentations.

Project work is assessed from project reports and oral presentations.

There’s an individual research project in the final year of the course where you’ll demonstrate research skills, problem-solving and a research approach.

Learning & teaching

You’ll gain knowledge and understanding through around 240 hours of lectures, including review-type lectures, practical classes, tutorials and computer-aided learning.

To allow you to prepare, class hand-outs are available in advance from Myplace. Hand-outs will also be supported by tasks such as essays, oral and tutorial/workshop presentations.

Quantitative skills are taught by the Department of Maths & Statistics, the Department of Pure & Applied Chemistry as well as the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences.

Most laboratory classes, including the chemistry classes in Year 1, include number and numeracy and statistical skills that are used in the Institute. Communication skills are taught throughout the course. Information retrieval, interpretation and research skills are gained through project work which also develops team-working skills.

Lickson Munjoma, BSc Immunology & Microbiology 3rd Year student
I was looking for a university that was doing an accredited degree course of my choice and a university that had core values similar to mine. The University of Strathclyde had both.
Lickson Munjoma
Immunology & Microbiology (BSc) student
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Entry requirements

Required subjects are shown in brackets.

Highers

Standard entry requirements:

Year 1 entry: AABB/AAAC

(two sciences – Biology/Human Biology B and Chemistry B; Maths and English National 5 B)

Minimum entry requirements*: 

AABB /AABCC

(Biology B, Chemistry B, Maths and English National 5 B)

*Find out if you can benefit from this type of offer.

Advanced Highers

Year 2 entry: BB

(Chemistry B, Biology/ Human Biology B, plus Year 1 above)

A Levels

Year 1 entry: ABB-BBB

(two sciences, – Biology B or Chemistry B; Chemistry (if not at A Level) GCSE 6/B; GCSE Maths 6/B, GCSE English Language 6/B or Literature 6/B)

Year 2 entry: AAA-ABB

(Chemistry and Biology (AB/BA), Maths and English as for Year 1 entry)

International Baccalaureate

Year 1 entry: 32

(two science subjects (Chemistry/ Biology/Physics) HL5; English SL5; Maths SL5)

Year 2 entry: 36

(Chemistry & Biology HL6; English SL5; Maths SL5)

HNC/HND

Year 1 entry: HNC, Graded Unit B
Year 2 entry: HNC, Graded Unit A or HND, Graded Units BB
Year 3 entry: HND, Graded Units AB

International students

Find out entry requirements for your country by visiting our country pages.

Deferred entry

Accepted

Widening access

We want to increase opportunities for people from every background. Strathclyde selects our students based on merit, potential and the ability to benefit from the education we offer. We look for more than just your grades. We consider the circumstances of your education and will make lower offers to certain applicants as a result.

Find out if you can benefit from this type of offer.

Degree preparation course for international students

We offer international students (non-EU/UK) who do not meet the academic entry requirements for an undergraduate degree at Strathclyde the option of completing an Undergraduate Foundation year programme at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre.

Upon successful completion, you will be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.

International students

We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 100 countries across the world. Find out all you need to know about studying in Glasgow at Strathclyde and hear from students about their experiences.

Visit our international students' section

map of the world

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Fees & funding

2020/21

All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.

Scotland/EU

TBC

Fees for students domiciled in Scotland and the EU are subject to confirmation in early 2020 by the Scottish Funding Council.

(2019/20: £1,820)

Rest of UK

TBC

Assuming no change in RUK fees policy over the period, the total amount payable by undergraduate students will be capped. For students commencing study in 2020/21, this is capped at £27,750 (with the exception of the MPharm and integrated Masters programmes), MPharm students pay £9,250 for each of the four years. Students studying on integrated Masters degree programmes pay an additional £9,250 for the Masters year with the exception of those undertaking a full-year industrial placement where a separate placement fee will apply.

(2019/20: £9,250

International

£19,750

University preparation programme fees

International students can find out more about the costs and payments of studying a university preparation programme at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre.

Additional costs

Lab coats and safety goggles:

  • approx £25 
Available scholarships

Take a look at our scholarships search for funding opportunities.

Please note: All fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

How can I fund my studies?

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Students from Scotland and the EU

If you're a Scottish or EU student, you may be able to apply to the Student Award Agency Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid by the Scottish government. Scottish students may also be eligible for a bursary and loan to help cover living costs while at University.

For more information on funding your studies have a look at our University Funding page.

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Students from England, Wales & Northern Ireland

We have a generous package of bursaries on offer for students from England, Northern Ireland and Wales:

You don’t need to make a separate application for these. When your place is confirmed at Strathclyde, we’ll assess your eligibility. Have a look at our scholarship search for any more funding opportunities.

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International Students (Non-UK Scholarships, EEA)

We have a number of scholarships available to international students. Take a look at our scholarship search to find out more.

Glasgow is Scotland's biggest & most cosmopolitan city

Our campus is based in the very heart of Glasgow, Scotland's largest city. National Geographic named Glasgow as one of its 'Best of the World' destinations, while Rough Guide readers have voted Glasgow the world’s friendliest city! And Time Out named Glasgow in the top ten best cities in the world - we couldn't agree more!

We're in the city centre, next to the Merchant City, both of which are great locations for sightseeing, shopping and socialising alongside your studies.

Find out what some of our students think about studying in Glasgow!

Find out all about life in Glasgow
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Careers

You could be involved in the development of drugs, food processing, protecting the environment, fighting disease or even slowing down the ageing process.

Our graduates have found jobs in the pharmaceutical, biotech and agrochemical industries, hospitals and public service laboratories, environmental centres, analytical and forensic science labs, universities, the scientific civil service and teaching at all levels.

Many students also continue onto postgraduate studies and research.

The transferrable skills you gain from this course will not only prepare you for a career in science but also in areas such as finance, management, marketing, sales, business and media.

How much will I earn?

Salary will vary depending on the industry in which you work. The average (median) salary of graduates in full-time work is £20,000.

A Band 6 NHS Healthcare Scientist will start on £26,041 rising to £34,876.

*Information is intended only as a guide and based on NHS pay grades

Where are they now**?

The Proportion of graduates in work or further study is: 77.8%**

Job titles include:**

  • Scientist
  • Technical Sales Representative

Employers include:**

  • Bluetest Laboratories
  • Neogen

** Based on the results of the National Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education

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Immunology & Microbiology

Qualification: BSc

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Contact us

Dr Alan McCruden

Telephone: +44 (0)141 548 3749

Email: sipbs-biomed@strath.ac.uk