Module Overview

Environmental Microbiology

The emphasis in this module is on the isolation and identification of waterborne microorganisms and the control of microbial growth in drinking water.  The mode of action of disinfectants and validation of disinfectant efficacy will be discussed. The maintenance and use of HEPA filters, clean benches and biological safety cabinets will be described and safety legislation discussed.

The aim of this module is to build on key microbiology skills and evaluate microbial agents of waterborne disease and their impact on the human host. Laboratory skills in environmental microbiology are developed and enhanced by applying international standard methods to isolate, enumerate and identify waterborne microorganisms

Module Code

BIOL 3005

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change

1. The growth kinetics of microbes growing in batch culture and continuous culture.

2. The impact of physical and chemical factors that influence microbial growth.

3. The composition, preparation and principles of selective and non-selective media for growing bacteria and fungi.

4. Methods used for the sterilization and disinfection of media, materials and equipment.

5. Host-microbe interactions in health and disease including the innate immune response to bacterial infection and mechanisms of bacterial pathogenicity

6. Virulence strategies and identification profiles of selected pathogenic microbes.

7. Reservoirs of Infection and Disease Transmission

Practical programme to include:

1. Specialised staining of bacterial structures.

2. Isolation and identification of a selected range of pathogenic bacteria including Staphylococcus spp, Streptococcus spp, Enterococcus spp, Enterobacteriaceae and Pseudomonads using morphological, physiological and biochemical characteristics.

3. Data presentation and interpretation of experimental results.

4. Rapid identification methods in Microbiology (Analytical Profile Index Latex agglutination kits).

Lectures, tutorials, problem based learning, laboratory based practicals.

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