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BSc Microbiology-Virology

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  • Objectives
    Microbes have an enormous influence on humanity, both directly as causes of disease and by shaping our environment, both domestic and global. Bacteria are found in almost every habitat on earth (polar ice caps, hot water springs, ocean depths and the upper atmosphere, as well as on man, animals and plants, in soil and in foods). Some bacteria cause illnesses, such as food poisoning, and diseases such as tuberculosis. The study of how these bacteria cause disease is central to the medical aspects of microbiology. Some bacteria are involved in food spoilage whereas others are beneficial and are exploited by humans for their products. Viruses such as HIV and influenza are major agents of human disease while other viruses play a role in cancer; there is therefore great interest in developing effective anti-viral drugs. Viruses also impact on agriculture, infecting livestock and plants. As strict parasites, that use the cells’ components to reproduce themselves, studying viruses is also linked with understanding how cells themselves work.
  • Entry requirements
    General university admissions requirements All applicants must possess a minimum level of competence in English Language and in Mathematics or a Science. A pass at Grade C or above in GCSE English Language and in Mathematics or a Science, or an equivalent qualification, fulfils this requirement. For some courses, requirements are above this University minimum, so you should check the relevant course-specific entry requirements in our hard copy prospectus which you can order online or browse on our online directory. We usually ask for candidates to show a broad base of study at GCSE level (or equivalent) with passes in at least five subjects from a range of disciplines.
  • Academic Title
    BSc Microbiology/Virology
  • Course description
    BSc Microbiology/Virology


    Year One

    -4 Biological Sciences modules (topics covered include Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Agents of Infectious Disease, Biostatistics, Physiology).
    -Chemistry for Biological Sciences, except for entrants with A level Chemistry, who may take an Option from: Quantitative Biology; Animal and Plant Biology; Psychology; or a Language module.

    Year Two

    -Molecular Biology (2)
    -Bacterial Pathogens and their Environment
    -Bacterial Diversity and Metabolism
    -Clinical Microbiology
    -Medical Microbiology
    -Virus Replication
    -Medical Virology or Virus Host Relationships
    -Biological Oceanography
    -Environmental Health Microbiology
    -Antibiotics and Chemotherapy
    -Cell Biology
    -Eukaryotic Genomes
    -Cell Signalling
    -Molecular Genetics
    -Medical Virology
    -Virus Host Relationships

    Year Three

    -Medical Microbiology and Virology
    -Molecular Microbiology
    -Advanced Immunology
    -Impact of Viral Diseases
    -Bacterial Pathogenicity
    -Exploiting Innovation in Biology
    -Viral Pathogenesis
    -Cellular Microbiology
    -Vaccination and Gene Therapy
    -Protein Targeting
    -Biological Clocks
    -Population Dynamics of Infectious Diseases
    -Science Communication
    -Clinical Pharmacology of Common Diseases and Options from other departments

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