Microbiology and Infection MSc

Dubai Campus

12 months full-time, 24 months part-time
Course Type
Postgraduate, Taught

138,456 AED (full time)
69,228 AED (part time)

Scholarships available for all students up to 40%

Subject to Ministry of Education Accreditation

The course is set within the context of the Institute of Microbiology and Infection at the University of Birmingham, the largest grouping of microbiologists in the UK, which brings together experts in areas of microbiology from fundamental science of model organisms to translational research on key pathogens of medical and veterinary importance. Students will gain specialist knowledge and insight in key aspects of bacterial infection. The programme also covers the latest research on microbiomes, mycology, antimicrobials and bacterial envelopes, much of which comes from staff members’ own research.

The course will enable you to develop basic abilities and skills on which to build professional capability in a healthcare or related microbiology or biomedical research setting. It will provide you with a foundation in the fundamental molecular microbiology that underlies understanding of infectious disease in healthcare, diagnosis and treatment.

Hands-on laboratory experience will allow you to develop your experimental skills and give you experience of handling a range of microorganisms. You will have the opportunity to carry out a research project.

The course provides a foundation in the fundamental molecular microbiology that underlies the ongoing and increasing challenge of bacterial infectious disease in healthcare, diagnosis and treatment. The course will equip you to progress to employment in biomedical science, or to embark on a postgraduate research degree in a related field. 

The course is set within the context of the Institute of Microbiology and Infection at the University of Birmingham which brings together experts in areas of microbiology from fundamental science of model organisms to translational research on key pathogens of medical and veterinary importance.

Continuing developments in infection including increasing resistance of pathogens to antibiotics and the emergence of ‘superbugs’ such as Clostridium difficile and E. coli O157, and the increasing problem of tuberculosis as a worldwide killer disease, emphasise the need for experts in this field now and into the future.

Please note, this programme is currently subject to full CAA accreditation.


  • Core Concepts and Skills in Microbiology
    This module acts as a refresher on the fundamentals of molecular and cellular microbiology. You will have the opportunity to develop key quantitative, analytical and critical analysis skills. It will also include important aspects of working in the laboratory and how to handle microorganisms safely.
  • Medical Microbiology (Practice and Applications)
    The module will introduce you to pathogenic microorganisms that cause human diseases including bacterial, viral and fungal diseases, and diseases caused by eukaryotic microorganism. The module will take a systematic approach looking at diseases of the respiratory system, urinogenital system, gastrointestinal tract, and at skin, wound and blood-brain infections. Additionally, the module will build on research strengths in the Institute of Microbiology and Infection by highlighting examples such as tuberculosis, pneumonia and enteric diseases. While emphasis will be on the mechanisms, diagnostics and prevention of microbial disease, the module will also cover clinical components of medical microbiology including hospital acquired infections, and the clinical aspects of drug resistance taught by practicing clinical microbiologists.
  • Antimicrobials and Resistance
    The module will begin with a look into the historical perspectives of both the discovery and use of antibiotics in the clinic. The module will then cover the current situation of global antibiotic usage and how misuse and over prescription has lead to the emergence of antibiotic resistance. A series of lectures will cover modern techniques and methodologies that are used to both discover and develop new antibiotic compounds into the next generation of drugs.
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
    In this module you will be introduced to several key concepts in understanding host-pathogen interactions, including: virulence, the evolution of virulence and the Red Queen hypothesis, pathogen lifestyles, such as intracellular parasitism and latency and genetic variation in hosts and pathogens.
  • Microbial Physiology and Virulence
    This module will cover the key elements present at the microbial surface, and relate these in part to antibiotic targets. The threat of antibiotic resistance will be covered in detail and provide the student with a thorough understanding of both drug target and resistance mechanisms.
  • Omics of Pathogens
    Our understanding of Microbes has been revolutionised by our ability to sequence their genomes and by other ‘omics’ techniques. This module will cover sequencing technology, genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metagenomics and explore how these have advanced our understanding of microbial pathogens. You will consider issues which arise from the need to analyse large data sets and will gain hands on experience.
  • Research Project
    Recent examples of project titles offered to MSc Microbiology and Infection students in Dubai:
  • Anti-plasmid compounds to reduce AMR.
  • Mechanisms of Cell Envelope lipid biosynthesis in mycobacteria.
  • Role of the cyclic AMP receptor protein in a bacterial pathogen.
  • The impact of the host environment on antimicrobial susceptibility.


138,456 AED (full time)
69,228 AED (part time)

Scholarships available for all students up to 40%

How To Apply

Our Standard Requirements

A BSc Honours degree (2.1 or above) in the life or medical sciences, physics or chemistry. Prior experience in laboratory-based research, for instance through an undergraduate research project or internship, is preferred.

International Requirements

The taught modules will be delivered through a combination of lectures, workshops and laboratory teaching. The Institute of Microbiology and Infection infrastructure provides high level capabilities for laboratory teaching at module level, while leading research groups offer opportunities for innovative and challenging research project opportunities.

Course delivery

We offer a combination of evening and weekend classes which are designed to accommodate working professionals and those who choose to study full-time.

Our draft timetable for full-time students is designed to deliver teaching on one or two evenings from 18:00-21:00 and on Saturday from 09:00-17:00 or Sunday 09:00-17:00 (day varies per module). Each module is block taught over 3 weeks. Part-time students will study during these hours as per the number of modules they choose to study.

Please note that the example timetable is to be used as a guide and is subject to change. Our term dates are also available online. For further information, please contact the Programme Director, Neveen Abdelaziz.

View example timetable for Microbiology and Infection MSc (PDF 257Kb)

Assessment Methods

In-course assessments are varied in format, to include written assignments such as essays, assessed laboratory notebooks and reports, and group work. Some modules also include class tests or end-of-module examinations. Formative assessments are incorporated into the course so that you feel well prepared for the summative ones.

The project will be assessed by a combination of a substantial written report, assessment of your performance in the laboratory and an oral presentation at the end of the project.

The course will give you a thorough grounding in this important and topical area of biomedical science, enabling your entry into employment in health-related positions including hospital and public health laboratories, industry (biotechnology, pharmaceutical and other sectors) and regulatory or quality assurance functions in the public sector or industry. It will also prepare you to work in an academic research setting, or studying for a PhD as the next step on a research-based career path.