Medical Microbiology

The details
Life Sciences (School of)
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 5
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 13 December 2024
16 April 2024


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),
MSCIB099 Biomedical Science,
MSCIBA99 Biomedical Science (Including Placement Year),
MSCIBB99 Biomedical Science (Including Year Abroad),
BSC C555 Microbiology,
BSC C556 Microbiology (Including Foundation Year),
BSC C557 Microbiology (Including Year Abroad),
BSC C558 Microbiology (Including Placement Year),
MSCIC559 Microbiology and Biotechnology

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.

Module aims

The aim of this module is:

  • To introduce students to the theory and practice pf the science of clinical microbiology.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected 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, how they interact with cells in infected organisms, and describe the key differences between Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes.

  3. Demonstrate understanding of the morphological, physiological and genetic diversity of micro-organisms including, bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa, and their roles in the natural environment and in infectious disease.

  4. Work effectively with micro-organisms in the laboratory, demonstrating in particular aseptic techniques, response to antibiotics, staining and examination under the microscope.

  5. Give an understanding of the diagnosis of bacterial, viral, fungal and protozoal diseases and drugs used to treat their infections including mechanisms of action, efficacy, side effects, toxicity and inflammatory disorders.

  6. Provide an overview of control of hospital-acquired infections.

  7. Demonstrate competence in written communication and data analysis and interpretation.

Module information

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.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  • One 1-hour lecture per week.
  • Practical sessions.
  • Revision.


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 Coursework weighting
Coursework   Prac 1 Worksheet (Group 1)    35.7% 
Coursework   Prac 2 Worksheet (Group 1)    35.7% 
Coursework   Case Study    28.6% 
Exam  Main exam: In-Person, Closed Book, 120 minutes during January 
Exam  Reassessment Main exam: In-Person, Closed Book, 120 minutes during September (Reassessment Period) 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
70% 30%


Coursework Exam
70% 30%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Prof Selwa Alsam, email:
Dr Selwa Alsam, Dr Aurelie Villedieu, Dr Stathis Giotis
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 775 hours, 0 (0%) hours available to students:
775 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)

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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