Medical Microbiology

Module summary

Module code: OMED0074
Level: 6
Credits: 15
School: Engineering and Science
Department: Science
Module Coordinator(s): Giulia Getti



• To increase the depth of understanding of the characteristic features of micro-organisms associated with disease in humans.
• To extend knowledge and understanding of the role of the medical microbiology laboratory in the investigation of pathologies associated with micro-organisms.
• To appraise critically the conventional and developing methods to identify pathogenic micro-organisms.
• To understand the range of chemotherapeutic strategies adopted in the treatment of microbial diseases.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this course students will be able to:

1. Discuss the organismal, cellular and molecular level of the inter-relationship between pathogens and the human host in vivo.
2. Evaluate the data from epidemiology of selected infectious diseases in humans.
3. Critically evaluate the means used to identify the aetiological agents of infectious disease.
4. Discuss in detail the mechanisms of action of chemotherapeutic treatments against infectious diseases.

Skills Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this course students will be able to demonstrate the following:

• Recognise strengths and weaknesses in research methods, in order to understand the limitations of the scientific basis of knowledge.
• Obtain and integrate several lines of evidence to formulate and test hypotheses.
• Analyse, synthesise and summarise information critically, including published research on current topics in the area.
• Effectively communicate current topics to a specialist audience.
• Use the internet and other electronic sources critically as a means of communication and a source of information.
• Demonstrate the skills necessary for self-managed and lifelong learning.
• Identify and work towards targets for personal, academic and career development.
• Demonstrate an adaptable, flexible, and effective approach to study and work.

Indicative content

• Structure and biochemistry of relevant viruses, bacteria, fungi and protozoa.
• Case studies of infectious diseases of the urinogenital tract, alimentary canal, respiratory system and central nervous system.
• Emergent diseases.
• Immunological, epidemiological and pathological interactions between infectious micro-organisms and humans.
• Conventional and modern means of identifying micro-organisms in clinical samples.
• Principles of antimicrobial therapy and the occurrence of microbial resistance.

Teaching and learning activity

The course will be taught through lectures, tutorials (approx. 2:1). Underlying principles will be explained in lectures. Tutorials will develop understanding of these principles.

Learning Time: (1 credit = 10 hours)

Scheduled contact hours:

Note: include in scheduled time: project supervision, demonstrations, practical classes and workshops, supervised time in studio or workshop, scheduled lab work , fieldwork, external visits, work-based learning where integrated into a structured academic programme:
lectures 24
seminars 0
supervised practical sessions 1
tutorials 14
formative assessment 0
other scheduled time 12
Guided independent study

Note: include in guided independent study preparation for scheduled sessions, follow up work, wider reading or practice, revision:
Independent coursework 34
Independent laboratory work 0
other non-scheduled time 65
Placements (including work placement and year abroad) 0
Total hours (’Should be equal to credit x 10’) 150


Coursework 1 - 40%
4 sets of MCQs* (each set to be covered every 3 weeks)
*The first 3 sets of MCQs will be delivered on-line. The last set will be delivered at the same time as the Time constrained essay.

Coursework 2 - 60%
Case study
( group work involving the development of wiki page, critically evaluating patient case studies relevant to the course)

Pass mark - 40%

*The first 3 sets of MCQs will be delivered on-line. The last set will be delivered at the same time as the Time constrained essay.