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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

MICR1202 The Microbial World

10 creditsClass Size: 194

Module manager: Dr John Barr

Taught: Semester 2 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

Pre-requisite qualifications

Normally a pass in one science A level or equivalent qualification.

Module replaces

MICR1201 Introduction to Microbiology

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The module will introduce a wide range of microscopic life forms and viruses. It gives a sound introduction to Microbiology and it explores the diversity of microbial life with emphasis on how we interact with microbes that are responsible for infections as well as those that do not normally cause disease. Students will learn how microorganisms interact with each other and how they influence the lives of more complex organisms, for good or ill and will learn how fungi, bacteria and viruses are observed and manipulated safely.


The module will provide an introduction to the microbial world and its impacts, both positive and negative on humans and other organisms.

Learning outcomes
This module will provide an introduction to microbiology and, on completion of the module, students will:
1. Have had an introduction to the various forms of microbial life including how they are defined, distinguished, and also their phylogeny;
2. Have been introduced to the various techniques used to identify, enumerate, classify and study them;
3. Understand the general structures of microbes, especially fungi, bacteria and viruses;
4. Have a broad understanding of microbial metabolism and catabolism;
5. Have been introduced to the general concepts of microbial pathogenesis, and also specific examples of problematical microbial diseases that cause a global burden to human health.
6. Have a broad understanding of how microbes can be exploited for the benefit of humankind in such capacities pharmaceutical production;
7. Understand how microbes may be manipulated safely in the laboratory.

Skills outcomes
Students taking this module will learn how to contain and study microbes and understand how clinical microbiology can assist in the laboratory management of patients. They will also be given the opportunity to develop interpretative skills.


Introduction to microbial life; bacteria, fungi, viruses, algae and protozoa, their structure, function, mode of life and diversity. Microbial metabolism and exploitation. Anti-microbial strategies. Microbies and disease.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
On-line Learning101.0010.00
Class tests, exams and assessment31.003.00
Private study hours65.00
Total Contact hours35.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

Private study will be devoted to preparing for on-line material (~20 hours), preparation for lectures, producing good notes thereafter, reviewing lecture content, doing outside reading and preparation for examinations (~45 hours).

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress will be monitored through participation in the preparation for on-line exercises and in their performance in an in-course formative MRQ. Preparation for the on-line exercises needs to be undertaken each week, therefore students who are not progressing with the module will be identified early. In course MRQs are spread through the latter part of the module, beginning with the formative MRQ, and will identify students who are not engaging or finding difficulty with the module.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
In-course MCQFormative: available to students in MINERVA0.00
In-course MCQSummative x 220.00
AssignmentEngagement with on-line resources and completion of self-testing20.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)40.00

In-course assessment - each MRQ is 40 min (2 min/question) and is 10% of the module assessment.

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc) (S2)1 hr 30 mins60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)60.00

August re-sit opportunities will be available for students taking this module.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 13/09/2019


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