Research Methods in Microbiology


The aim of the module is to enable students to become more familiar with some of the research methods used in microbiology. Students will be presented with a series of research problems encompassing examples from the following areas: 

  • microbial biotechnology 
  • antimicrobial resistance and drug discovery 
  • microbial ecology and biodiversity 

Students will be specifically taught the methods in standard lecture format supported by independent study, and will also have an opportunity to see them applied in specific research contexts, through attendance at a series of workshops with components of group work. 

An assessed practical will be used to illustrate some of these methods, and to allow students to become more familiar with data analysis and good scientific writing style.

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

  • Demonstrate and apply an advanced level of understanding of relevant methods which are used in microbiological research, by analysing and interpreting data from them, and evaluating the limitations of these methods;
  • Evaluate different relevant methods and choose the appropriate ones to tackle specific scientific questions, and justify this choice;
  • Identify, justify, and critically appraise the use of specific methods when they have been used in the scientific literature;
  • Use appropriate methods to isolate and identify microorganisms from soil
  • Analyse data and present it in a written report in appropriate academic style


1000 word practical report - 40% containing results and discussion 
1 hr unseen in course test - 30% 
15 minutes recorded PowerPoint presentation (group work) - 30%