For more information about Microbiology at The School of Science and Technology, Nottingham Trent University, please visit the webpage using the button above.

The award
BSc (Hons)

How long you will study
3 years

Domestic course fees
find out

How you will study

Course starts

International course fees
find out

All study options

About Microbiology at The School of Science and Technology, Nottingham Trent University

This modular microbiology degree gives a sound foundation to the study of Microbiology and allows students to specialise in their chosen field of interest with an emphasis on microbes and the diseases they cause. This is a highly applied course in which practical work plays a major role.

This course provides an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the fascinating world of bacteria and viruses, paying attention to microbes of medical importance.

Why choose this course?

  • We are very proud to be one of the top three universities in the whole of the UK for student satisfaction in BSc (Hons) Microbiology (National Student Survey 2015).
  • You will be taught by internationally renowned experts.
  • Your course has a strong emphasis on practical, hands-on learning, much of which will be carried out in a newly developed high-tech laboratory environment.
  • You will be introduced to the micro-organisms associated with global health issues such as HIV, TB and influenza.
  • You'll then build on this to understand how infections spread and their significance to the global population.
  • You will examine how bacteria and viruses function, how they cause diseases, how the body reacts to infections and how bacteria and viruses can be positively applied in food and healthcare.
  • Focusing on microbial diagnostics you will explore the use of molecular biology and bioinformatics in microbial forensic investigations.

You'll be encouraged to take a year-long, paid work placement in your third year, which will enhance your career prospects by giving you valuable vocational experience. In your final year, you'll have the opportunity to conduct a major research project in a specialist field you enjoy.

What our students say

Before I came to NTU I hardly knew anyone who'd studied Microbiology, but it's an amazing course and I highly recommend it. There's a focus on broader microbiology and diseases, which is different to courses at other universities. Classes are small, staff are helpful and the course is very up-to-date.

Maria Gillett, BSc (Hons) Microbiology
Winner of the Society for General Microbiology Undergraduate Award 2009

What you'll study

On average, your contact time with lecturers will be around 16 hours per week over 26 weeks (the final four weeks of the year are reserved for exams). Approximately 30% of your time will consist of laboratories and workshops with the rest divided between lectures and seminars. You will also have at least 12 sessions with your personal tutor.

Microbiology Research and Expertise

Research within the Microbiology Team falls within five main areas.

  • Host-pathogen interactions
  • Evolution of pathogenesis
  • Molecular epidemiology
  • Rapid diagnostics
  • Other host / public health related issues.

Your tutors include a wide range of research active academic staff who can teach you from first hand experience of doing the kind of jobs you will be able to undertake in the real world.

The Microbiology specific modules are taught by a team of six microbiology academic staff all of whom have extensive research experience ranging from Foodborne intestinal disease to neonatal meningitis, from hospital acquired infections to evolution of bacterial pathogens, from bacterial cell division to cutting edge genomics and evolutionary studies.

Visit our academic team pages to find out more about our approach to teaching, our partners and research interests.

Where will I study?

You will be taught mostly on our Clifton Campus within the Rosalind Franklin building and Erasmus Darwin facilities. The School of Science and Technology has an impressive range of facilities, including new accommodation, a Sports Centre and excellent laboratories. You will also go on field trips and residentials as part of the course, both of which are covered by your course fee.

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.

  • Year One

    Practical Techniques for Biology

    Considers the principles of experimental design, data collection and analysis, including techniques in centrifugation, chromatography, electrophoresis, microscopy and radiobiology.

    Genetics and Immunology

    Develops genetic concepts and introduces basic aspects of the immune system, including the molecules, cells and interactions involved.

    Introduction to Microbiology

    Introduces you to the key concepts of microbiology and the defining characteristics of bacteria and viruses, as well as safe working practices with microbes.

    Living Systems

    Introduces levels of biological organisation from molecules to cells and ecosystems, providing a platform of knowledge and skills upon which other modules are developed.

    Introduction to Biochemistry

    Study the key aspects of macromolecules, cell structure and function, and interrelationships in both practical and theoretical contexts.

    Human Physiology

    Introduces the physiology of human organ systems (respiratory, nervous, cardiovascular, urinary, endocrine and muscular) and examines the process of homeostasis.

  • Year Two

    Applied Microbiology

    Reviews the use of micro-organisms in the production of industrially important products and biofuels, and considers lactic acid bacteria and the production of fermented products.

    Clinical and Public Health Microbiology

    Learn the importance of microbial infections, how they might be diagnosed, the sources of these infections and how sterilisation and disinfection procedures can be used to control them.

    Microbial Metabolism and Genetics

    Investigate the energy-yielding mechanisms in aerobic, anaerobic and fermentative systems and their diversity and importance to humans.

    Microbial Structure, Identification and Distribution

    Explore the function of important subcellular structures of micro-organisms, as well as the taxonomy and identification of the main groups of bacteria, fungi and viruses relating to forensic investigations.

    Host-Pathogen Interactions

    Explore ways in which pathogenic organisms and their human hosts interact with each other, and learn how we might exploit this knowledge to develop new drugs and vaccines.

    Professional Skills in Microbiology

    Explores current "hot topics" in microbiology such as emerging infectious diseases, antimicrobial resistance and food security.

  • Year Three

    Optional work placement

  • Final year

    Forensic Microbiology

    Learn the molecular methods of microbial identification and see its role in accidental and deliberate contamination investigations, quality of data collection, analysis and presentation of evidence.

    Molecular Microbiology

    Study advanced concepts in bacterial genetics, including regulation of bacterial gene expression, molecular biology of bacterial pathogenesis and the application of knowledge in industry.

    Immunology and Virology

    Study advanced concepts in immunology, including immune responses to infection, cancer and autoimmunity. You'll also look at concepts in the molecular biology of viral infections.

    Infectious Diseases and their Control

    Learn about the global importance of infectious diseases, their effect on individuals and the population as a whole and how they can be controlled.

    Project / Dissertation

    You have the option of either completing a 40 credit point project / dissertation.


    If your interests lie in a career in teaching or scientific journalism,you can take Communicating Science and Technology (which includes school placements) and a short dissertation.

    Your daily work pattern will be more variable in this year, since time will be set aside for you to carry out your project, and is likely to average about 16 hours per week, of which well over half is practical work.

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

Careers and employability

Your career development

NTU has an excellent graduate employment record. 100% of our full-time BSc(H) Microbiology graduates are employed or engaged in further study six months after leaving (latest DLHE Survey Undergraduate results 2011/12).

With a degree in Microbiology you will be equipped to be competitive for any bioscience related job role. Our strong emphasis on research led teaching will also put you in good stead for a continued progression into postgraduate study and doctoral training.

You have the option to go on to:

  • postgraduate study, or employment research and development
  • management and technical sales in the bioscience sector
  • technical positions in the food and beverage industry and environmental sector.

Recent graduates have secured jobs at Diageo alcoholic beverages, Northern Foods and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.

Typical job roles include:

  • biomedical sales
  • food microbiologist
  • genome sequencing
  • microbiology technician
  • trainee biomedical scientist posts.

Many graduates also choose to undertake further study on one of our Masters-level courses or MPhil and PhD research degrees.

Excellent placement opportunities

Great work placements can influence career choices and importantly, enhance employability. That's why we continue to develop our links with industry and our students get some of the best opportunities around.

Placements are between Years Two and Three and are usually paid. On completion of a successful placement, you will be eligible to receive an additional award - the Placement Diploma in Professional Practice.

Our placement team will help you find a relevant UK or overseas placement. Recent placements include:

  • National Institute for Medical Research
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Veterinary Laboratories Agency
  • Health Protection Agency.

Your placement will be assessed by your visiting tutor and work-place supervisors. You will be asked to keep a diary, and write a placement report. On return you give a presentation on your work to your tutors and fellow students.

Our students often gain additional qualifications from their place of work - all excellent additions to your CV.

You will be actively encourage and supported by our dedicated placement team who will help you find and apply for positions that will benefit your study. They will also provide support while you are in your place or work, whether that is home or abroad.

Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardBSc (Hons)How you will studyFull-timeHow long you will study3 years
    Course startsSeptemberDomestic course fees find outInternational course fees find out
  • The awardBSc (Hons)How you will studySandwichHow long you will study4 years
    Course startsSeptemberDomestic course fees find outInternational course fees find out

Notes about fees for this course

UK Fees

Once our 2018/19 fees have been set, they will be available on our fees and funding pages.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service on telephone +44 (0)115 848 2494.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

International Fees

We offer prestigious scholarships to new international students holding offers to study at the University.

  • For more information on these and other opportunities for funding please visit our international scholarships page.
  • For information on how to pay your fees to the University please visit our international fee payment page.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

  • A-levels - BBB, including Biology; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma - DDM, including relevant Biology modules; or
  • 120 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications, including an A-level grade B equivalent in Biology; and
  • GCSEs -  English and Maths grade C/4

Applicants without A-levels will have their qualifications assessed for subject compatibility. We also consider equivalent qualifications and combinations. Please see UCAS Course Search for more details.

International qualifications

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our UG and PG degrees. If you're not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

Foundation courses

If you are an international student who does not meet the direct entry requirements for this course, you can prepare for it at Nottingham Trent International College. Their Foundation Certificate in Science and Engineering (life sciences) offers students a guaranteed progression route to this degree on successful completion to the required level.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study.   We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

  • For a list of our language requirements please visit our English language page.
  • If you need to do a pre-sessional English language course to meet the English requirements please visit our pre-sessional English course page.

Help and support

If you have any questions about your qualifications or about making an application to the University please contact our International Team for advice.

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