MSci Microbiology

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Key facts

  • UCAS Code: C500
  • Flexible degree: flexibility to change to other Biomolecular Science courses throughout your studies

Study with us

  • a five-year integrated Masters degree with entry into either Year 1 with Highers or Year 2 with Advanced Highers or A Level
  • study the smallest living organisms (micro-organisms or microbes), which include viruses, bacteria, fungi, algae and protozoa
  • our courses are underpinned by our strong research base, links with industry, the NHS and international partners
  • integrated masters, research-led fifth year
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Why this course?

Microbiology is the study of the smallest living organisms (micro-organisms or microbes), which include viruses, bacteria, fungi, algae and protozoa. Microbes are a major cause of disease in humans but are useful in industrial processes from pollution control to the treatment of disease.

This Masters degree is for students who want to specialise in a single biomedical science. It’s particularly relevant if you want to pursue a research career.

In Years 1 to 4, you’ll follow the same curriculum as one of the joint Honours biomedical sciences degrees. In Year 5, you’ll focus on developing research skills and knowledge. A significant part of this course is project-based.

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THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner

What you’ll study

Years 1 & 2

In Year 1, you’ll study modules in Cells and their Molecules, Organisms and Disease and Bio-organic Chemistry.  These are all underpinned by the ‘Being a Biomolecular Scientist’ module which begins with basic laboratory skills, statistical and data analysis and presentation, report writing, ethics and health and safety.

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’  module which develops various skills gained in Year 1.

Years 3 & 4

You’ll specialise in Microbiology.

Year 5

You’ll carry out a research project and specialise in one subject

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Course content

Semester 1 & 2

Being a Biomolecular Scientist 1 - 40 credits

This module aims to give you:

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

Semester 1

Cells & their Molecules - 20 credits

The aims of this module are to:

  • provide you with Foundation level knowledge relating to basic functions of cells
  • set out the principles of biological action and function that you will encounter through all four years
  • expose you to the basic suite of teaching, learning and assessment paradigms used throughout your degree with a particular focus on oral communication and presentation

Semester 2

Organisms & Disease - 20 credits

From this module, you will gain:

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

Bio-Organic Chemistry - 20 credits

The aims of this module are to:

  • understand nucleotide/nucleic acid molecular structure, stereochemistry and conformation as the foundation of nucleic acid chemical and biological potential
  • learn about amino acid/protein molecular structure, stereochemistry and conformation as the foundation of protein chemical and biological potential
  • study 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

Semester 1 & 2

Being a Biomolecular Scientist 2 - 40 credits

The aims of this module are to give you the fundamental:

  • practical skills required for a biochemist
  • practical skills required for an immunologist
  • practical skills required for a microbiologist
  • practical skills required for a pharmacologist
  • skills in presentation and teamwork

Semester 1

Introduction to Immunology - 20 credits

By studying this module, you'll be able to demonstrate an understanding of:

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

Semester 2

Introduction to Biochemistry - 20 credits

The aims of this module are for you:

  • 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 Microbiology - 20 credits

The aims of this module are to help you 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 - 20 credits

This module aims to develop your understanding of:

  • systems biology and homeostasis
  • the somatic, autonomic and central nervous systems
  • the cardiovascular and respiratory systems
  • the hepatic and renal systems
  • the endocrine and reproductive systems

Semester 1 & 2

Being a Biomolecular Scientist 3 - 40 credits

The aims of this module are to:

  • give you generic practical skills in biomolecular science
  • further develop your practical skills in specific biomedical biochemistry, microbiology, immunology, histopathology and serology that align with the module choices of the degree programme
  • enhance your report writing and presentation skills

Semester 1

Fundamental Microbiology - 20 Credits

The aims of this module 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

Semester 2

Biomedical Microbiology - 20 Credits

The aims of this module are to:

  • understand the difference between taxonomic and phylogenetic classification of microorganisms
  • gain knowledge on the principles that underpin bacterial, fungal and viral identification
  • become familiar with the structure, function and growth characteristics of bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa and 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

Paired with one module from Biochemistry, Immunology or Pharmacology.

Semester 1 & 2

Being a Biomolecular Scientist 4 - 40 credits

The aims of this module are:

  • to give you the opportunity to carry out original research
  • to provide you with the skills to critically interpret data and develop conclusions or hypotheses based upon your findings
  • to provide you with the skills to analyse and present your data
  • to provide knowledge in a key area that is relevant to your career aspirations.

Semester 1

Advanced Microbiology 20 Credits

The aims of this module 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

Semester 2

Clinical Microbiology - 20 Credits

The aims of this module are to:

  • understand the principles of epidemiology in infectious diseases
  • become familiar with 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
  • recognise the mechanisms and importance of infection control in the immune-compromised host

In addition to the modules above, you’ll also choose one module from the Pharmacology, Biochemistry or Immunology Year 4 curriculum.

Semester 1 & 2

Microbiology Project and Thesis - 80 credits

After completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • devise a hypothesis and plan and execute a research project, using advanced practical techniques to answer this hypothesis.
  • write a thesis which includes a critical summary of current knowledge, describes the experimental and/or research techniques used, presents the findings in a clear and concise manner and discusses the significance of the findings in relation to present knowledge.
  • prepare and deliver a PowerPoint presentation that describes the research project

Research Topics in Microbiology - 20 credits

After completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • read and critically evaluate primary literature in Microbiology
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of current research approaches and techniques in Microbiology
  • summarize and present research data to an audience

Assessment

Knowledge and understanding are assessed by written examinations, essays, presentations and computer-aided learning (CAL) exercises and quizzes. These are all 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, approaches and problem-solving.

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, tutorial and 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, 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.

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Entry requirements

Required subjects are shown in brackets.

Highers

Standard entry requirements*:

Year 1 entry: AAAB/AABBC

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

Minimum entry requirements**:

AABB /AABCC

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

Advanced Highers

Year 2 entry: AB

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

A Levels

Standard entry requirements*:

Year 1 entry: BBB

(Chemistry and Biology, GCSE Maths 6/B, GCSE English Language 6/B or English Literature 6/B)

Year 2 entry: ABB

(Chemistry and Biology, GCSE Maths 6/B, GCSE English Language 6/B or English Literature 6/B)

International Baccalaureate

Standard entry requirements*:

Year 1 entry: 30

(Chemistry HL5, Biology HL5 . Maths SL5 and English SL5)

Year 2 entry: 32

(Chemistry and Biology, one at HL6, the other at HL5. Maths SL5 and English SL5)

HNC/HND

Year 1 entry: HNC, Graded Unit A/HND, Graded Units BB
Year 2 entry: HND, Graded Units AB 
Year 3 entry: HND, Graded Units AA

International students

View the entry requirements for your country.

Deferred entry

Accepted

*Standard entry requirements

Offers are made in accordance with specified entry requirements although admission to undergraduate programmes is considered on a competitive basis and entry requirements stated are normally the minimum level required for entry.

Whilst offers are made primarily on the basis of an applicant meeting or exceeding the stated entry criteria, admission to the University is granted on the basis of merit, and the potential to succeed. As such, a range of information is considered in determining suitability.

In exceptional cases, where an applicant does not meet the competitive entry standard, evidence may be sought in the personal statement or reference to account for performance which was affected by exceptional circumstances, and which in the view of the judgement of the selector would give confidence that the applicant is capable of completing the programme of study successfully.

**Minimum entry requirements

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

Contextual Admissions for 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'll 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 140 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

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Fees & funding

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

Fees may be subject to updates to maintain accuracy. Tuition fees will be notified in your offer letter.

All fees are in £ sterling, unless otherwise stated, and may be subject to revision.

Annual revision of fees

Students on programmes of study of more than one year should be aware that tuition fees are revised annually and may increase in subsequent years of study. Annual increases will generally reflect UK inflation rates and increases to programme delivery costs.

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Scotland
  • 2024/25: TBC
  • 2023/24: £1,820

Fees for students who meet the relevant residence requirements in Scotland are subject to confirmation by the Scottish Funding Council. Scottish undergraduate students undertaking an exchange for a semester/year will continue to pay their normal tuition fees at Strathclyde and will not be charged fees by the overseas institution.

England, Wales & Northern Ireland

£9,250

Assuming no change in fees policy over the period, the total amount payable by undergraduate students will be capped. For students commencing study in 2024/25, 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.

 

International

£25,250

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:

  • approximately £25  

Visa & immigration:

International students may have associated visa and immigration costs. Please see student visa guidance for more information.

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

Fees for students who meet the relevant residence requirements in Scotland, 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

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 right in the very heart of Glasgow. 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.

Life in Glasgow

Diana Githwe, MSci Microbiology graduate
The university met and also exceeded my expectations. The teaching staff are excellent and very supportive both personally and professionally.
Diana Githwe
Microbiology (MSci) graduate
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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 find 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 on to postgraduate studies and research.

The transferable 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?

NHS Microbiologists start their career as a Healthcare Scientist by applying for a place on the graduate-entry NHS Scientist Training Programme. The starting salary for Band 6 is £26,041.*

Salaries in other sectors will vary.

*Information is only intended as a guide.

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Apply

Start date:

Microbiology (1 year entry)

Start date:

Microbiology (2 year entry)

Start date: Sep 2024

Microbiology (1 year entry)

full-time
Start date: Sep 2024

UCAS Applications

Apply through UCAS if you are a UK applicant. International applicants may apply through UCAS if they are applying to more than one UK University.

Apply now

Direct Applications

Our Direct applications service is for international applicants who wish to apply to Strathclyde University at this time.

Apply now

Start date: Sep 2024

Microbiology (2 year entry)

full-time
Start date: Sep 2024

UCAS Applications

Apply through UCAS if you are a UK applicant. International applicants may apply through UCAS if they are applying to more than one UK University.

Apply now

Direct Applications

Our Direct applications service is for international applicants who wish to apply to Strathclyde University at this time.

Apply now
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Contact us

Dr RuAngelie Edrada-Ebel

Telephone: +44(0)141 548 5968

Email: sipbs-biomed@strath.ac.uk

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