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Advanced Topics in Microbiology - BIO00075H

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  • Department: Biology
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Michelle Hawkins
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2021-22

Module summary

This module will focus on the latest trends in microbiology research. The approach to teaching will centre on student participation in analysis of contemporary research literature, and associated methods and data analysis. The intention is to introduce students to topics that analyse microbial systems at molecular, cellular and community levels. The arrangement and dynamics of cellular processes such as genome organisation, cell biology and gene regulation will be covered. The latest developments in our understanding of microbial community structure and function will be discussed, in the context of the mammalian microbiome.

Related modules

Co-requisite modules

  • None

Prohibited combinations

  • None

Additional information

BIO00051I is strongly recommended for students but is not compulsory

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Autumn Term 2021-22 to Summer Term 2021-22

Module aims

The module aims to provide students with an opportunity to explore contemporary questions in microbiology from a variety of perspectives (molecular, cellular, community) through analysis of the literature, but also through using additional analytical methods, which will be introduced through the module. This should enable students to explore unfamiliar systems using a variety of tools and approaches. The intention is to give some insight into microbial systems, and their relevance as tools for understanding fundamental biological organisation, in biotechnology and through their importance for medicine and the environment.

Module learning outcomes

1. Explain molecular mechanisms underpinning microbial function in, for example, DNA replication, prokaryotic cell biology, regulation of gene expression.

2. Address a question in contemporary microbiology from a variety of perspectives.

3. Explain the basis and application of techniques for analysis of microbiology at a molecular, cellular and community levels.

4. Critically analyse research papers in microbiology.


Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam - 24 hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Advanced Topics in Microbiology
8 hours 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam - 24 hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Advanced Topics in Microbiology
8 hours 100

Module feedback

Cohort-level feedback will be provided on performance in closed exams and made available via the VLE. Histograms of module marks will be posted on the notice boards outside the Biology Student Services office. Individual marks will be made available to you and your supervisor via e:vision. Exam scripts will be made available at the end of either the Spring or Summer terms. You should take the opportunity to discuss your marks and feedback with your supervisor.


During the teaching of the module you will receive feedback that may be at a whole class or individual level. Forms of feedback may include: model answers and discussion of workshop questions, summaries of performance in practicals, VLE-based quizzes, individual spoken comments during workshops, individual written comments on formative work.  

Indicative reading

These are available through the VLE module site.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.