Module Overview

Introduction to Microbiology

Microbiology is the study of microscopic organisms, organisms that play a critical role in shaping the environment we live in. This module aims to develop in students a fundamental understanding of the classification, structure and function of the wide range of microorganisms studied in Microbiology. This includes the role played in human health, biotechnology and environmental management. The practical component reinforces the lecture material and aims to introduce essential laboratory skills in aseptic technique and develop the competence and confidence to identify and handle microorganisms safely.


Module Code

BIOL 1604

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change


An introduction to Microbiology- Essential concepts and terminology, key discoveries and developments.

Classification and key features of domains and kingdoms - prokaryotic cells: domains of Bacteria and Archaea. Eukaryotic cells: domain Eukarya: Fungi, Protozoa and Algae.

Classification, structure and function of cellular microorganisms.

Classification, structure and replication of viruses.

Emerging applications of Microbiology in biotechnology: including but not limited to food production and bioremediation.

Routes and establishment of infection.

The interaction between host and microbe: an introduction to virulence factors and host immunity.


Practical programme:

Aseptic technique as applied to the safe handling of microorganisms and inoculation methods

Basic characterisation and colonial morphology

Introduction to the use of selective culture media

Isolation of microorganisms from different environmental sites

Use of the staining methods and microscopy to visualise and identify microorganisms


The module theory content will be delivered through 2 lectures per week for the duration of semester 2. Teaching methods will incorporate online learning resources, tutorials, discussion, readings and self-directed learning. Students will learn practical skills through 2.5 hour laboratory practical classes delivered over 6 weeks.


Module Content & Assessment
Assessment Breakdown %
Formal Examination60
Other Assessment(s)40