Module and Programme Catalogue

Search site

Find information on

2024/25 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

MICR1211 Introductory Microbiology

20 creditsClass Size: 150

Module manager: Dr Chris Randall

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

Pre-requisite qualifications

A-level (or equivalent) in Biology


MICR1210Introductory Skills in Microbiology

Module replaces

MICR1125 MICR1202

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Microorganisms are constantly in the news, primarily because of their disease-causing properties. However, microbes also have an amazing array of positive attributes which contribute to the well-being and indeed enjoyment of humankind, particularly in the area of food production, development of antibiotics and soil fertility. Just where would we be without microbes? Find out more as we explore this microbial world we live in.


This module will introduce learners enrolled on Microbiology and Biological Sciences undergraduate programmes to Microbiology as an academic discipline, ensuring a grounding in foundational concepts that will be built upon in years two and three of their degrees. The module will relate microbial structures to their function(s), providing the basis for exploring how microorganisms interact and exploit both the environment around them and other organisms through symbioses. With these key concepts in place, learners will explore how we apply these concepts in two key areas:

* Learners will be introduced to microbial symbioses with humans, in particular the parasitism we know as infectious disease. Learners will use concept of the cycle of infection to explore the molecular and cellular biology of infection, and how this cycle can be used to predict (and therefore prevent) infection spread in individuals and populations.

* Learners will also explore how we exploit microorganisms for our own benefit, in areas such as food production, creating compounds (natural products) of value, ensuring the production of clean drinking water, and supporting biodiversity in terrestrial environments.

Learning activities will take place as in-person large-group lectures, with active learning opportunities embedded throughout for students to test and apply their understanding of concepts against questions and scenarios provided by staff. This will be supported with online resources created by the module team and external partners, and through practical classes and workshops as part of the Introductory Skills in Microbiology module.

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of the module students will be able to:
1. Describe the key structures of microorganisms, their function(s) and how this information can be exploited by humanity.
2. Describe the roles of microorganisms in water pollution; pest control; food production processes and food spoilage and preservation.
3. Use the cycle of infection to:
a. explain how microorganisms cause disease in individuals and populations,
b. identify appropriate infection control measures.
4. Apply knowledge of microbial metabolism, growth, and diagnostic tests to identify an unknown microorganism and/or define the environment it inhabits in nature.
5. Apply understanding of microbial symbioses in the natural environment to address relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals.


Introduction to Microbiology is broken down into eight distinct units, introducing learners to essential introductory concepts of Microbiology as a discipline. These Units comprise:
1. The world of bacteria
2. The world of viruses
3. The world of fungi
4. Interrogating the microbial world
5. Introduction to infectious disease
6. Treatment & prevention of infection
7. The microbiology of natural environments
8. The microbiology of food

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours167.00
Total Contact hours33.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

This module will employ several approaches to ensure learners have continual formative feedback:
• In-class feedback through engaging with active-learning components of in-person teaching.
• Completion of End of Unit and revision question banks (with questions in a similar format to those found in summative assessments), and reviewing feedback comments (automated).
• Completion of a formative exam, identical in style to both summative assessments (i.e. fully invigilated, closed-book, timed assessment). This provides not only formative feedback on learner attainment against learning outcomes, but also allows learners to experience the exam environment – a hidden curriculum element for learners new to University.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Online AssessmentIn-person, closed book. Assessment to comprise MCQ/MRQ (including single best answer, assertion/reasoning, matching) and 1-2 short answer question(s).50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc) (S1)1 hr 50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

Assessment to comprise MCQ/MRQ (including single best answer, assertion/reasoning, matching) and 1-2 short answer question(s).

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/04/2024 16:18:19


Browse Other Catalogues

Errors, omissions, failed links etc should be notified to the Catalogue Team.PROD

© Copyright Leeds 2019