Accessibility statement

Trends 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: 2024-25

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, including the associated methods and data analysis. Students will be introduced to primary research that analyses microbial systems at molecular, cellular and community levels. Bacterial defence systems, genome biology and the molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis 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.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2024-25

Module aims

The module provides students with an opportunity to explore contemporary questions in microbiology from a variety of perspectives (molecular, cellular, community) through analysis of primary literature and associated methods. This will enable students to explore unfamiliar systems using a variety of tools and approaches. The intention is to give insight into the relevance of microbial systems as tools for understanding fundamental biological organisation, in addition to their importance for biotechnology, medicine and in the environment.

Module learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this module will be able to:

Explain molecular mechanisms underpinning microbial function in, for example, the bacteria-phage arms race, DNA replication, regulation of gene expression, pathogenesis and microbiomes.

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

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

Critically analyse microbiology research papers.


Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam -less than 24hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Trends in Microbiology
6 hours 100

Special assessment rules




Module feedback

Marks for all summative assessments will be made available to you and your supervisor via e:vision. Feedback will be either individual or cohort-level, depending on the assessment format. You should take the opportunity to discuss your marks and feedback with your supervisor.

For exam-style summative assessment, model answers will be provided for all questions along with cohort-level feedback indicating how students answered questions in general. Marks achieved per question will be added to your script.

For coursework assessments (eg. reports or essays) you will receive individual feedback on your work. This will usually be in the form of a feedback sheet that will include suggestions for further improvement.

During the teaching of the module you will receive formative feedback that may be at a whole class or individual level. Such 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.