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Module MSE-1022:
Introduction to Microbiology

Module Facts

Run by School of Medical Sciences

10 Credits or 5 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Mr Merf Williams

Overall aims and purpose

The aim of this module is to introduce the student to Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic micro-organisms. The differential characteristics and structures of microbial cells will be studied together with microbial growth dynamics, introduction to antibiotic resistance mechanisms, pathogenesis and microbial involvement in human disease. There follows a section on mycology where fungal life cycles will be reviewed and their impact, both positive and negative, on everyday life. The diversity of viruses, including medically important viruses will then be considered from the aspect of their morphology, genome type and strategies for growth. A brief introduction to parasites will also be included.

Course content

The taxonomic study of some bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites, together with structural characteristics, metabolic diversities, microbial growth dynamics and microbial involvement in human disease. The module will also consider the diversity of fungi, viruses and parasites and how they impact on human life.

Assessment Criteria


Category B (60%-69%):

A good student should have a thorough factual knowledge across all aspects of the module, and be able to detail examples where appropriate. Written answers should demonstrate an ability to critically synthesise lecture material. There may be limited evidence of background reading.

C- to C+

Category C (50%-59%):

A less engaged student should have a sound knowledge of the lecture material. There may be knowledge gaps or some incorrect information in the answer. The content is limited to the lecture material. The answer may contain mainly statements with little or now explanation or context.


Category A (70%-100%):

An excellent student should have very good command of the lecture materials with evidence of background reading. Written answers should have a high standard of presentation, structure and clarify with a very well argued coverage of accurate and relevant information.

Evidence of critical thinking & wider reading is essential for A+ and A* marks.


Category D (40%-49%):

A threshold student should have a basic knowledge of the essential facts and key concepts in introductory bacterial, viral and fungal microbiology, presented in this module. Written answers may contain incorrect statements, errors and lack generally context and explanation.

Learning outcomes

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the pathogensis of some medically important bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses studied in this module.

  2. Demonstrate an undestanding of the diversity and structure of micro-organisms (bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses).

  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the taxonomy, metabolism and growth of micro-organisms (bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses) and virulence factors with their effect on the human body and how we try to overcome.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
CLASS TEST Mid module MCQ test

This will be a timed on-line MCQ test consisting of 25 questions.

EXAM End of module exam

A timed on-line MCQ exam consisting of 50 questions.


Teaching and Learning Strategy

Private study

Self directed and directed reading around the topic to supplement lecture material. Revision for mid module test and end of module exam.


Didactic teaching with blended learning. Synchronous and Asynchronous Lectures, tutorials and discussions. All sessions will be panopto recorded to aid revision.


2 x 1hr revision tutorials to review topics within the curriculum and to prepare students for the upcoming mid module test and end of module exam. These will be interactive Q & A sessions.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

Medicine benchmarks:

Knowledge and understanding of psychological concepts of health, illness and disease. (benchmarks: 4.2. j, k, n)

Assess a medical situation and diagnose disease and cause and suggest therapeutic and other interventions (benchmark: 6.2.1.a, b, c, d).

Synthesise information from a variety of sources to aid knowledge and understanding of medical sciences. (benchmark: 6.1.b)

Will have gained transferable employability skills in presentation, numeracy, statistics, problem solving. (benchmark: 5.1)

Biomedical Science benchmarks:

The programme aims to give students a comprehension of scientific investigation of human diseases. Upon graduation students should have acquired good knowledge and experience of the following areas including health and disease (theoretical, analytical and practical aspects): Medical Microbiology & Microbiology. (benchmarks: 5.1; 5.3; 5.5)

On successful completion of the course, students will be able to engage with essential facts, major concepts, principles and theories associated with medical microbiology. (benchmark: 6.4)

Graduates will be able to apply their knowledge to a professional, evidence-based approach to research into the pathogenesis and origins of disease processes and the diagnosis and monitoring of disorders. (benchmark: 6.2)

Biomedical sciences graduates should recognise and apply subject-specific theories, paradigms, concepts or principles to reach evidence-based decisions. (benchmark: 4.2)

To be able to receive and respond to a variety of sources of information (textual, numerical, verbal, graphical), carry out sample selection, produce record scientific records & analyse data within a statistical context (an understanding of statistical significance and statistical power), and to communicate the outcomes to a variety of audiences using a range of formats, media and approaches including the avoidance of plagiarism. (benchmark: 4.4; 4.5)


Resource implications for students

All resources needed to complete this module are provided. Computers can be accessed in multiple locations across the university. All teaching materials will be available on Blackboard. Completed assignments will be uploaded onto Turnitin through Blackboard. A limited number of the recommended textbooks can be found within the library.

Talis Reading list

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules