Medical Microbiology


The module will introduce students to pathogenic microorganisms that cause human diseases including bacterial, viral and fungal diseases, and diseases caused by eukaryotic microorganisms (protists). 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 from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

The module will be delivered by a mix of lectures and practicals, and you will research a particular pathogen independently and present your research as an essay.

By the end of the module students should be able to:

  • Describe major infectious diseases and their causative agents.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of biological mechanisms used by key pathogens that cause human disease.
  • Explain preventive and therapeutic approaches taken to combat infectious diseases.
  • Demonstrate an appreciation of current challenges for public health microbiology.
  • Carry out practical experiments required for the characterisation and diagnostics of specific bacterial pathogens. Describe subject knowledge in their own words in an appropriate academic style and demonstrate the origin of their ideas by appropriate referencing
  • Demonstrate independent learning skills via in depth studies of a select essay topic.


In-course assessed essay 3,000 words (25%)
Oral presentation linked to essay (5%)
Written practical report (20%)
Examination (50%)