Designed to provide you with a multidisciplinary approach to the study of the molecular biology of micro-organisms.
You'll study the key concepts associated with molecular microbiology and use these when considering their role in health, disease and in the natural environment.
This course provides you with opportunities to study advanced principles of the metabolism and genetics of microbes, microbes involved in clinical health and the natural environment and infectious diseases. Further studies specialise in modern genomics and infectious disease diagnosis. Practical work forms a large proportion of your learning to ensure that you have extensive skills for employment or research and there is an emphasis on developing knowledge and understanding such that you acquire the skills, qualities and attributes expected by employers or for postgraduate research.
Gain an additional Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Practice on your one-year paid-work placement
This course benefits from the excellent facilities and equipment available in the School of Science and Technology.
Postgraduate open events: We hold postgraduate open events throughout the year. Find out more and book a place.
Contact details: Email us
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 8351
What you'll study
This Molecular Microbiology Masters is made up of six core modules and a research project. If you are part-time or a sandwich student, you will continue to study the second year from the modules listed below.
Research Methods and Bioethics (20 cp) - This module encourages you to think beyond your own subject, and interact accordingly. You'll gain a solid foundation in literature review, research design and planning, data analysis and a poster presentation by focusing your studies on a related ethical issue. Ethical issues in research will also be explored, as you discover when and how to obtain ethical clearance in accordance with ethical governance at NTU.
Molecular Microbiology (20 cp) - This module provides you with a strong grounding in microbial structure, physiology and behaviour at the molecular level. The module content draws on recent research findings, to provide our students with awareness of the current trends in the field. By working through case studies, you'll uncover the essentials of microbial genetics and molecular biology, including microbial structures and physiology; cell-cell communication; global regulatory circuits, and host -pathogen interaction.
Medical Microbiology (20cp) - Interactive and interesting eLearning material will be the basis for the module. You'll develop an appreciation of the importance of medical microbiology in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of disease, and gain a high-level of understanding of the subject.
Business and Enterprise (20cp) - You'll approach ideas generation in a creative manner to understand the role of new business concepts, and their development in the biosciences industry. You'll explore all aspects of starting up a new biosciences company, including new product development, marketing and research, pricing, distribution, and promotion.
Microbial Diagnostics (20cp) - This module aims to provide you with an understanding of the rationale and process of designing modern microbial diagnostic assays. Furthermore, you'll explore the theory and rationale of techniques such as culture-based diagnosis, serology, PCR, real-time PCR, microarrays, and sequencing for infectious disease diagnostics. You'll gain practical experience of performing real-time PCR detection from a sample.
Techniques in Macromolecular Analysis (20 cp) - The aims of this module are to provide an advanced knowledge and understanding of the techniques that can be used to isolate and purify macromolecules, and the approaches that can be used to track, study and predict macromolecular structure and function. You'll explore a range of current topics, and their application to macromolecular analysis. These topics will include the macromolecular analysis of proteins, protein purification programs and simulations, and protein bioinformatics.
Research Project (60 cp) - In consultation with a supervisor at NTU, you'll select a research topic comprising an original, defined research question (or series of such questions), and develop a written research proposal for the Project. You'll then present this proposal as part of the Research Methods and Bioethics module. Working individually with the guidance of supervisors, you'll design your experiments and computer-based approaches to address the research questions. A diary-style record of protocols or methods will be used to generate entries for your skills portfolio. You'll communicate your findings through a written thesis, and a poster presentation. For the MRes course, an interim written report and oral presentation will be assessed after six to eight months of work, in order to review your progress.
Learn a new language
Alongside your study you also have the opportunity to learn a new language. The University Language Programme (ULP) is available to all students and gives you the option of learning a totally new language or improving the skills you already have.
Learning a new language can:
- enhance your communication skills
- enrich your experience when travelling abroad
- boost your career prospects.
Find out more about the ULP.
- Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) - choose to study 60 credit points (cp) of taught modules
- Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip) - choose 120 cp of taught modules for the award, does not include a research project
- Masters of Science (MSc) - full 180 cp of taught modules and research project, accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science
If you are unsuccessful in completing the 180 cp required for MSc, you will be awarded PG Cert if you have passed at least 60 cp, or PG Dip if you have passed 120 cp. All PG Cert, PG Dip and Masters students are taught together.
- 100% of our bioscience research activity achieved world-leading, internationally-excellent or internationally-recognised status (latest Research Excellence Framework 2014)
- 95% of our postgraduates are in work or further study within just six months of finishing their degrees (latest Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2014-15)
- 83% of NTU postgraduate taught students said that overall they were satisfied with the quality of their course (Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey 2016)
- Leading university in the UK for the number of postgraduate students taking professional qualifications (latest Higher Education Statistics 2014/15)
View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change
How you're taught
How will I learn?
You will learn through:
- Guided reading supported by the University's virtual leaning portal
- Written and oral presentations
- Research reports
- Attendance regular research seminar
- Developing your skills portfolio
You will be assessed by a variety of methods including:
- Research project
- Written assignment
- Case studies
- Poster and oral presentations
- Laboratory reports
- In-class tests
- Skills portfolio
Careers and employability
There are a wide range of career opportunities within microbiology. You will work with leading academics on your course, so you will have gained important academic and professional skills necessary to help you obtain employment in this field. At the end of the course, you will also have developed many transferable skills that will make you more attractive to potential employers in related areas of molecular bioscience and microbiology.
The Research Project and/or Placement will give you the skills you need to follow a career in research and development.
You will gather together relevant practical skills throughout laboratory classes producing a training record. This can be presented to potential employers as proof of competence in a laboratory setting. It also provides you with experience of managing what is essentially a personal development portfolio, which is now a standard tool for monitoring progression and performance in a scientific career as well as out in the sector.
The University's Employability Team has an enviable reputation for helping our graduates find employment and offers individual consultations. Sessions are available to all students at NTU on CV writing and interview technique.This course offers you the opportunity to take a one-year placement or several smaller placements. If you start your this course in September/October then you will complete your placement following your taught modules and research project. If you start in January you will complete one term of taught modules and your project then go one placement before returning to NTU for your final term of modules.
Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Practice
To qualify for the additional qualification of Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Practice (PGDIPP) you must submit a work placement portfolio which includes a placement diary, reflective report and updated CV, as well as deliver an oral presentation on your placement experience.
Help and support
We will work closely with you to help you strengthen your CV and interview techniques. During the placement year, an academic member of staff will visit at least twice to check on your progress and offer any advice.