Microbiology is the study of microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi and viruses, and embraces numerous disciplines including immunology, biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology. Microbiology affects almost all aspects of medicine and is essential for the environmental cycles that regenerate the planet.
From the microbes that caused the foot and mouth epidemic to the photosynthetic microorganisms in the oceans that help alleviate global warming, microbiology offers the chance to study the organisms that affect so many aspects of our lives. By choosing to study this course not only are you choosing to develop a wide range of technical and transferable skills, but you will also gain an understanding of the how microbes interact, alter and influence the world around us.
On our microbiology course you will develop an understanding of the importance of microorganisms to all aspects of our lives, whilst developing the key skills and knowledge that puts microbiologists in such high demand.
Each programme is designed to provide you with a broad foundation in the diverse topics that constitute modern microbiology, with a particular emphasis on infectious disease. Leeds has the expertise to teach these at the highest level.
This programme has been accredited by the Royal Society of Biology. Advanced degree accreditation by the Society recognises academic excellence in the biosciences, and highlights degrees that educate the research and development leaders of the future. The advanced accreditation criteria require evidence that graduates from the programme meet defined sets of learning outcomes, including gaining a substantial period of research experience.
As well as familiarising you with core practical and theoretical skills within microbiology, year one will also introduce you to broader themes within the biological sciences including genetics and immunology. Through practicals, tutorials and lectures you will develop the key foundations needed for success at degree level.
In second year you will begin to specialise in your preferred topics whilst building on your practical and research skills from first year. With a selection of modules from 'Cell Biology of Disease' to 'Medical Virology' you will continue to develop a broad understanding of key themes within biosciences, whilst also focusing on the areas that interest you most.
Year three will offer specialist topics such as the study of emerging viruses or an in depth study of the hepatitis viruses. Alongside this, a considerable part of your final year will involve an in-depth research project in which you will take all the skills you have developed in your degree and apply them to your own independent research whilst under the supervision of a leading academic. The culmination of your third year will be a portfolio of skills, knowledge, and experiences that will allow you to pursue your graduate career aspirations.
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
Entry requirements, fees and applying
A-level: AAA - ABB
Including Chemistry or Biology and another science or science-related subject. Critical Thinking and General Studies excluded.
Applicants taking a Science A-level (in England) will be required to achieve a pass in the practical element in addition to the standard A-level grade requirement.
GCSE: Typically Grade 6 (B) or above at GCSE Maths and Grade 4 (C) or above at GCSE English.
Number 1 for employability - the Faculty of Biological Sciences is ranked highest for employability amongst Russell Group universities. Higher than Oxford, Cambridge, UCL, Durham, Edinburgh, Kings College, Liverpool, Manchester, York.
In addition to providing subject-specific knowledge, we equip all our students with the best possible skills for future careers. All of our degrees have a strong emphasis on practical based teaching, small group teaching, online learning and problem solving. Throughout the degree, students gain a wide range of transferable skills which are highly valued by employers. The Leeds for Life scheme, and the academic personal tutor, are ideally placed to assist with academic and personal development and help students to make the most of their time at university.
Career prospects for microbiology graduates are good and the reason for this is to be found in the economic importance of microbes as well as their impact on human health and well-being. 96% of our graduates are employed or in further study six months after graduation.
The majority of our graduates pursue a career in which they make direct use of their degree in microbiology. Many of our graduates work in medically related posts in the National Health Service, the Health Protection Agency or medical research establishments. Some choose to embark on a scientific career in the Scientific Civil Service or in industry, where their skills are much in demand. Most popular are the food, drinks, brewing, water and pharmaceutical industries. A smaller number opt for careers in teaching or may take a law conversion course. About a quarter of our students go on to study for a higher degree (Doctorate or Masters) in microbiology or related subjects such as biochemistry, biotechnology, bioinformatics, immunology, ecology or genetics. Research and technical posts in universities are also popular and often allow the possibility of part-time registration for a higher degree.
Microbiology graduates also take graduate entry jobs in non sciences based areas such as finance, administration and management consultancy.
We have a dedicated Employability Officer in the Faculty of Biological Sciences who works closely with the University's Careers Centre. We offer a host of additional opportunities beyond core course content, including volunteering and placements. We also organise regular careers workshops designed specifically for sport sciences students to develop their career opportunities. These include our annual Bioscience Networking Event, which gives you the chance to meet bioscience employers, speak to alumni, attend workshops and get masses of information.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That's one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
Study abroad and work placements
On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. The University has partnerships with more than 400 universities worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America.
Find out more at the Study Abroad website.
If you choose to undertake a study abroad option, you will spend the third year of the BSc studying abroad. This will extend your studies by 12 months.
Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.
Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.
Industrial placements are typically taken between your second and final year. If you choose to undertake a placement year, this will extend your studies by 12 months. For your work placement in industry, staff at Leeds will help you with your CV and application letters and provide a list of organisations which may offer industrial placements.
Placements abroad are possible. We work together with your industrial supervisors to make sure you get the most out of this year. A year working in industry gives you an excellent opportunity to get used to the demands of the world of work, to develop new skills and to augment your CV.
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