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BB20224: Medical microbiology

[Page last updated: 02 August 2022]

Academic Year: 2022/23
Owning Department/School: Department of Biology & Biochemistry
Credits: 6 [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 120
Level: Intermediate (FHEQ level 5)
Semester 2
Assessment Summary: EX 70%, PR 30%
Assessment Detail:
  • Practical (PR 30%)
  • Examination (EX 70%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Requisites: Before taking this module you must ( take BB10005 AND take BB10006 AND take BB20223 ) OR ( take BB10264 AND take BB20258 )
While taking this module you must take BB20027
Learning Outcomes: After taking this course the student should be able to:
* Describe the molecular and cellular features of bacteria and viruses
* Explain the etiology of pathogens (how they elicit their spread, infection and pathogenesis)
* Explain the strategies pathogens have evolved in order to circumvent the immunity system and barriers to infection
* Explain the form and function of the most common antimicrobials and how bacteria can develop resistance to them
* Explain the molecular basis for the laboratory detection of pathogens.

Aims: To provide students with an introduction to bacteriology and virology with especial reference to human pathogens (their roles in the maintenance of health and cause of disease, classic disease pathogens, etiology of infection and pathogenesis, and approaches to preventative treatment).

Skills: Knowledge and understanding T/F/A, Intellectual skills F/A, Written communication T/F/A, Numeracy F/A, Data acquisition, handling, and analysis T/F/A, Information technology T/F/A, Practical skills T/F/A, Problem solving T/F/A, Working independently and group working F/A.

Content: Bacterial and viral structure and molecular biology (including genome replication and gene expression); Molecular structures and strategies used to gain access to host cells and elicit pathogenic effects; Example gram positive and negative bacterial and viral pathogens (their defining cellular, molecular and disease characteristics, together with common treatments and associated issues); Antigenic variation mechanisms; Antiviral and antibiotic resistance; Detection methods; Clinical aspects of infection.

Programme availability:

BB20224 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Biology & Biochemistry
  • UXXX-AFB11 : BSc(Hons) Biomedical Sciences (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AKB11 : BSc(Hons) Biomedical Sciences with Professional Placement (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AFM11 : MBioMed(Hons) Biomedical Sciences (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AKM11 : MBioMed(Hons) Biomedical Sciences with Professional Placement (Year 2)


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2022/23 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2023/24 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2022/23.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
  • Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.
  • Find out more about these and other important University terms and conditions here.