Academic year 2019/20
Owning department Department of Biology & Biochemistry
Credits (ECTS) 20
Notional study hours 400
Level FHEQ level 7
Period Weeks 1-33
Availability Compulsory unit on MSc Molecular Biosciences (Microbiology)


This compulsory unit synthesises the molecular diversity and pathogenicity of major groups of pathogenic and non-pathogenic microorganisms, as well as mechanisms of antigenic variation, resistance and clinical aspects of infection.

Topics include bacteria, viruses, yeast, fungi, and protozoa, their important cellular structures, their diverse means of replication and their genetic systems. It also includes molecular structures and strategies used to gain access to host cells and elicit pathogenic effects, antigenic variation mechanisms, antiviral and antibiotic resistance, detection methods and clinical aspects of infection


After successfully completing this unit, you should be able to:

  • apply your understanding of your core knowledge underpinning molecular microbiological concepts
  • critically evaluate and communicate the findings of a cutting-edge research publication through a formal presentation
  • critically review the research literature on the latest advances in a given area in molecular microbiology
  • demonstrate an integrative and evaluative approach to addressing some of the challenges and opportunities in microbial pathogenicity.

Unit delivery

The unit will be taught using a blended approach, which combines face-to-face interactions with online activities, including:

  • online essential concepts videos and study material for the first few weeks, supported by weekly online sessions by tutors
  • face to face lectures, computer sessions, seminars, workshops, small group tutorials to help consolidate the content and to enable deeper learning
  • Journal Clubs, Behind the Paper and data interpretation and analysis sessions, designed to expose you to the latest research developments in the field and develop your critical thinking and analytical skills
  • bioscience skills masterclasses to help you strengthen your skills, such as writing, presentation, time management, organisational and interpersonal.

Find out more about this and other important University terms and conditions.