Medical Microbiology

The details
Life Sciences (School of)
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 5
Thursday 03 October 2019
Saturday 14 December 2019
05 September 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BSC B990 Biomedical Science,
BSC B991 Applied Biomedical Science (NHS placement),
BSC B995 Biomedical Science (Including Year Abroad),
BSC B999 Biomedical Science (Including Placement Year),
BSC BD00 Biomedical Science (Including Foundation Year)

Module description

This module will introduce students to the theory and practice of the science of general microbiology through consideration of the diversity of structure, function, methods of genetic transfer and replication of DNA among microorganisms.

Infectious agents are major causes of human disease. This module will detail some of the infectious diseases that remain a major problem despite many advances in prevention and treatment. The module looks at some of the main types of infectious agents and how they cause the diseases they do. It details the theory and practice of hospital-based biomedical science.

Novel drug design, based on a detailed knowledge of the biochemical mechanism of the disease, has already made an important contribution in several cases. This module will discuss molecular mechanisms of infectious disease and how this is being combated.

Module aims

The aim of this module is to introduce students to the theory and practice of the science of general microbiology

Module learning outcomes

To pass this module, students will need to be able to:

1. Define microbiology and demonstrate an understanding of the importance of micro-organisms in ecology, disease and industry;
2. Explain how micro-organisms are classified, describe the basic structure of bacteria and viruses, and describe the key differences between Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes;
3. Demonstrate understanding of the morphological, physiological and genetic diversity of
micro-organisms and their roles in the natural environment and in infectious disease;
4. Describe the structure of viruses and how they interact with cells in infected organisms;
5. Work effectively with micro-organisms in the laboratory, demonstrating in particular aseptic techniques, response to antibiotics, staining and examination under the microscope;
6. Give an understanding of the diagnosis of viral disease;
7. Provide an overview of control of hospital-acquired infections;
8. Examine the transmission of disease including food-bourne infections;
9. Examine systemic infections and causes of Pyrexia of Unknown Origin;
10. Provide an overview of Protozoa;
11. Describe the social impact and mechanisms associated with diseases caused by infectious agents (viruses, bacteria, protozoans, fungi, prions), and inflammatory disorders;
12. Discuss the drugs used to treat these diseases, including their mechanism of action, efficacy, side effects and toxicity;
13. Demonstrate competence in written communication and data analysis and interpretation.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

10 x 2 hour lectures


  • Anthony J. Strelkauskas; Angela Edwards; Beatrix Fahnert; Gregory Pryor; Jennifer Strelkauskas. (©2016) Microbiology: a clinical approach, New York, NY: Garland Science.
  • Michael Ford. (2019) Medical Microbiology, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • S. H. Gillespie; Kathleen B. Bamford. (2012) Medical microbiology and infection at a glance, Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell. vol. At a glance series

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Prac 1 Worksheet - Med Micro    35% 
Coursework   Prac 2 Worksheet - Urine Analysis    35% 
Coursework   Prac 3 Worksheet - Parasites & Fungi    30% 
Exam  60 minutes during January (Multiple Choice) 
Exam  60 minutes during January (Main) 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
50% 50%


Coursework Exam
50% 50%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Selwa Alsam, email:
Dr Selwa Alsam, Dr Vassiliy Bavro, Dr Aurelie Villedieu
School Undergraduate Office, email: bsugoffice (Non essex users should add to create the full email address)



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
Of 101 hours, 20 (19.8%) hours available to students:
81 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Life Sciences (School of)

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