Introduction

The University of Aberdeen is following Scottish Government Guidelines in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic. This includes adhering to physical distancing measures to support a safe environment for our staff and students. Therefore for programmes with a January 2021 start date the programme structure and delivery method may differ slightly from that listed on this page. Find out more about January 2021 study with us .

Designed to develop both your research and practical skills, our MSc in Microbiology will enhance your academic knowledge of the latest advances in microbiology and improve your employability and career prospects.

Study Information

Study Options

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MSc
Duration
12 months or 24 months
Study Mode
Full Time or Part Time
Start Month
January or September
Location of Study
Aberdeen

The MSc degree in Microbiology will take you through a wide-ranging curriculum describing some of the latest advances in microbiology. It includes courses on microbiology, applied statistics, bioinformatics, regulation of microbial adaptation and host-pathogen interactions in infection and disease. The MSc Microbiology aims to provide you with:

  • An understanding of the general principles of microbiology
  • An ability to apply knowledge in academic and health contexts
  • Opportunities to learn from world renowned researchers

This programme is ideal for students and scientists who would like to improve their career prospects, fill skills gaps and further their hands-on microbiology research experience.

This programme is available to start in September or January.

Available Programmes of Study

Microbiology

Qualification Duration Learning Mode Study Mode Start Month Location  
MSc 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time September Aberdeen View

Programme Information

Semester 1

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses
Basic Skills - Induction (MT5010)
Introduction to Microbiology (MC5008)

15 Credit Points

This course will provide students with microbiology knowledge for further advanced studies and will provide training in microbiological laboratory techniques. At the end of this course students will have an understanding of microbes associated with health and disease (including bacteria, fungi and viruses), practical and academic understanding of laboratory techniques required for the culture, identification and characterisation of microbes, and increased confidence in reading and critiquing primary research literature.

View detailed information about this course
Applied Statistics (PU5017)
Bioinformatics (MB5021)

15 Credit Points

A course containing a series of lectures describing 'latest-methods and discoveries' in areas of bioinformatics and functional genomics including transcriptomics, proteomics, and DNA sequence analysis.Contains a series of in-depth workshops that teach the principles and practice of next generation sequence analysis, transcriptomics, proteomics and sequence similarity analysis.

View detailed information about this course
Biotechnology (BT5014)

15 Credit Points

Modern biotechnology is absolutely dependent upon our increasingly sophisticated ability to use microbial and mammalian host cells as factories to produce high quantities of protein pharmaceuticals, e.g. insulin. Increasingly, cells engineered with multiple foreign genes are also being used to drive small molecule drug production. This course will explore how such heterologous protein expression processes can be engineered and optimised to drive efficient synthesis of the next generation medicines on which healthcare systems are increasingly depending.

View detailed information about this course
Optional Courses
Molecular Genetics (MB5025)

15 Credit Points

View detailed information about this course
Profiles of Immunology (MB5028)

15 Credit Points

This course aims to provide students with an understanding of how behaviours (e.g. smoking, diet, medication adherence, etc) can protect, promote, risk or damage health; the key drivers of (un)healthy behaviours; and techniques to change health behaviours.

View detailed information about this course
Semester 2

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses
Research Tutorials (MB5518)

15 Credit Points

A course that leads you through research-level study of your subject through study of a range of areas of the science literature

An introduction to the subject of your summer research project through the writing of an extended essay on the subject of your forthcoming research project.

The course provides an opportunity to study advanced science concepts led by an experienced member of academic staff.

View detailed information about this course
Host - Pathogen Interactions (MB5516)

15 Credit Points

Why do some microorganisms cause disease, yet others don’t? This course explores host-pathogen interactions from bacterial, fungal, parasite, viral and host perspectives in a lecture series, examining virulence factors, host defences and immune responses. Students develop a detailed knowledge of one specific host-pathogen interaction through self-directed study and review of a specific disease selected by the student. In addition, workshops are held which discuss experimental design for analysis of host-pathogen interactions, virulence and novel drug treatments. The material on the course will enable students to develop and refine their understanding of the roles of host and pathogen in infectious disease.

View detailed information about this course
Optional Courses

Plus one or both of the following (depends on prerequisites taken in 1HS):

  • MB5522 Advanced Bioinformatics and Genome Sequencing
  • BT5510 Advanced Biotechnology

Elective (if additional credits required):

Choose one of the following:

  • BT5509 Biologic Drug Discovery
  • MB5517 Genome-Enabled Medicine
Advanced Bioinformatics and Genome Sequencing (MB5522)

15 Credit Points

An exciting course that brings a student right up to date with bioinformatics, genome assembly and annotation technology. You, the student, will isolate a novel bacterium from the environment and purify its DNA. This will be whole genome sequenced, and you will then assemble your own bacterial genome and functionally annotate it, taught by expert bioinformaticians from our Centre for Genome-Enabled Biology and Medicine. Your analysis will enable you to identify the species you have isolated, its metabolic and environmental responses, growth constraints and regulation, cell surface markers and antibiotic resistance, producing a full inventory of genes and their presumptive functions. Overall the course prepares a student for future employment in a biosciences workplace where genome sequencing and annotation is becoming an everyday tool of modern biotechnology.

View detailed information about this course
Advanced Biotechnology (BT5510)

15 Credit Points

This course will take the student through in depth study of how synthetic biology and systems biology are transforming the principles and practice of modern biotechnology. The course will teach modern methods of biotechnology including host cell design and optimisation using modern modelling techniques, leading to an understanding of how multiple genes under precise regulatory control can be introduced into a species to endow it with new biotechnologically-valuable properties.

Through hands on study of synthetic biological processes in a series of workshops, students will learn how advanced genetic engineering of host expression systems can transform production of pharmaceuticals, chemical feedstocks and biofuels. The course will equip students with a range of knowledge and skills directly relevant to modern biosciences, including the biotechnology industry.

View detailed information about this course
Biologic Drug Discovery (BT5509)

15 Credit Points

Biologic therapies represent one of the most important and novel areas of drug discovery in the 21st century. The aim of this course is to provide an insight into the success of protein, peptide or antibody based biologic therapies and to examine how this exciting new area will develop over the next decade.

View detailed information about this course
Genome - Enabled Medicine (MB5517)

15 Credit Points

A course describing the wide range of ways in which genome sequencing has transformed our understanding of medicine and human disease.

A course placing a high value on its teaching and learning; lecture material supported by workshops – your chance to team-work, ask questions and enjoy the science.

Contains material detailing a range of examples of genome science and its applications in medicine.

A course that makes wide use of the literature, allowing you to read about and understand the latest methods in genome science.

View detailed information about this course
Semester 3

Semester 3

Students will be offered a choice of research projects which cover a range of different research areas, including ion channel research, microbiome research, mycology, synthetic biology, oomycete research and bacteriology.


Compulsory Courses
MSc Ims Research Project (MB5903)

Programme Fees

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU / RUK Students £10,000
Tuition Fees for 2020/21 Academic Year
International Students £23,000
Tuition Fees for 2020/21 Academic Year
MSc 12 months On Campus Learning Full Time January Aberdeen View

Programme Information

Semester 1

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses
Research Tutorials (MB5518)

15 Credit Points

A course that leads you through research-level study of your subject through study of a range of areas of the science literature

An introduction to the subject of your summer research project through the writing of an extended essay on the subject of your forthcoming research project.

The course provides an opportunity to study advanced science concepts led by an experienced member of academic staff.

View detailed information about this course
Host - Pathogen Interactions (MB5516)

15 Credit Points

Why do some microorganisms cause disease, yet others don’t? This course explores host-pathogen interactions from bacterial, fungal, parasite, viral and host perspectives in a lecture series, examining virulence factors, host defences and immune responses. Students develop a detailed knowledge of one specific host-pathogen interaction through self-directed study and review of a specific disease selected by the student. In addition, workshops are held which discuss experimental design for analysis of host-pathogen interactions, virulence and novel drug treatments. The material on the course will enable students to develop and refine their understanding of the roles of host and pathogen in infectious disease.

View detailed information about this course
Applied Statistics (PU5522)

15 Credit Points

This course in Applied Statistics intends to focus on the application of statistical techniques in postgraduate research for health professionals, with a particular emphasis on the correct interpretation of statistical analyses. The course will NOT concentrate on the statistical theory underlying the subject. An important component of the course is the use of a statistical package. The statistical package used on this course will be IBM SPSS Statistics 25 which can be used to implement all of the methods taught on this course.

View detailed information about this course
Basic Skills - Induction (MT5010)
Optional Courses

Students choose one of the following courses:

Biologic Drug Discovery (BT5509)

15 Credit Points

Biologic therapies represent one of the most important and novel areas of drug discovery in the 21st century. The aim of this course is to provide an insight into the success of protein, peptide or antibody based biologic therapies and to examine how this exciting new area will develop over the next decade.

View detailed information about this course
Genome - Enabled Medicine (MB5517)

15 Credit Points

A course describing the wide range of ways in which genome sequencing has transformed our understanding of medicine and human disease.

A course placing a high value on its teaching and learning; lecture material supported by workshops – your chance to team-work, ask questions and enjoy the science.

Contains material detailing a range of examples of genome science and its applications in medicine.

A course that makes wide use of the literature, allowing you to read about and understand the latest methods in genome science.

View detailed information about this course
Semester 2

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses
  • IMS Research Project (MB5903) - 60 credits
Semester 3

Semester 3

Compulsory Courses
Introduction to Microbiology (MC5008)

15 Credit Points

This course will provide students with microbiology knowledge for further advanced studies and will provide training in microbiological laboratory techniques. At the end of this course students will have an understanding of microbes associated with health and disease (including bacteria, fungi and viruses), practical and academic understanding of laboratory techniques required for the culture, identification and characterisation of microbes, and increased confidence in reading and critiquing primary research literature.

View detailed information about this course
Bioinformatics (MB5021)

15 Credit Points

A course containing a series of lectures describing 'latest-methods and discoveries' in areas of bioinformatics and functional genomics including transcriptomics, proteomics, and DNA sequence analysis.Contains a series of in-depth workshops that teach the principles and practice of next generation sequence analysis, transcriptomics, proteomics and sequence similarity analysis.

View detailed information about this course
Biotechnology (BT5014)

15 Credit Points

Modern biotechnology is absolutely dependent upon our increasingly sophisticated ability to use microbial and mammalian host cells as factories to produce high quantities of protein pharmaceuticals, e.g. insulin. Increasingly, cells engineered with multiple foreign genes are also being used to drive small molecule drug production. This course will explore how such heterologous protein expression processes can be engineered and optimised to drive efficient synthesis of the next generation medicines on which healthcare systems are increasingly depending.

View detailed information about this course
Optional Courses

Students choose one of the following courses:

  • Profiles of Immunology (MB 5028)
Molecular Genetics (MB5025)

15 Credit Points

View detailed information about this course

Programme Fees

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU / RUK Students £10,000
Tuition Fees for 2020/21 Academic Year
International Students £23,000
Tuition Fees for 2020/21 Academic Year

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

The programme is taught through a flexible mix of lectures and small group tutorials, practical classes, practical computer workshops and research tutorials. There is also an expectation of self-learning, where you will engage with current microbiology research literature to enhance your knowledge gained and discussed in taught sessions. All lecture material is available on MyAberdeen, the University’s Virtual Learning Environment.

The programme also involves an extended, hands-on laboratory-based research project, supervised by experienced and research-active academic staff. Much of the teaching on this course is participatory and students are expected to consolidate all taught content by completing related tasks and activities and engaging in independent study in their own time.

Learning Methods

  • Lab Work
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

Taught courses are assessed by a combination of written assignments and reports, oral presentations, and by examination. All students undertake a research project, which is submitted for assessment in the form of a short research thesis. Students also present an oral presentation on their project.

Why Study Microbiology?

  • You will have access to the University and large teaching hospital all on one campus. The Foresterhill Health Campus is one of the largest clinical complexes in Europe which includes a large teaching hospital, Medical School and the Institute of Medical Sciences.
  • Embedded within an active and dynamic research culture, you will have the opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills required to enhance your employability and further your career as a microbiologist.
  • You will benefit from skills training to help with scientific writing, analytical skills, CV writing, interview skills and reading scientific literature.
  • Teaching on the course is delivered by world renowned researchers including staff from the Aberdeen Fungal Group.
  • The University of Aberdeen is a World Top 200 University (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021).
  • The University of Aberdeen is a Top 30 UK University (Complete University Guide 2021).

What Our Students Say

Aisha Gidado

Aisha Gidado

Aisha Gidado

I was drawn to the university because of its reputation in academic excellence, modern laboratories and teaching facilities and the content of the course curriculum.

Nika Ivanovova

Nika Ivanovova

Nika Ivanovova

The education provided by teaching staff is amazing and they are so willing to help students and give them advice whenever needed (whether personal or study-related).

Entry Requirements

Qualifications

The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

A second class Honours degree (2:2 or above) or equivalent qualification in Microbiology or other biological science degree is required for entry onto this programme.

Please check the In My Country pages to find out if your degree is equivalent.

Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.

English Language Requirements

To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0

TOEFL iBT:

OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 51; Reading - 51; Speaking - 51; Writing - 54

Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:

OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 162; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Document Requirements

You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme. If you have not yet completed your current programme of study, then you can still apply and you can provide your Degree Certificate at a later date.

CV
an up-to-date CV/Resumé
Degree Certificate
a degree certificate showing your qualifications
Degree Transcript
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
Personal Statement
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme

Fee Information

Additional Fee Information

  • Fees for individual programmes can be viewed in the Programmes section above.
  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Scholarships

Eligible self-funded international Masters students will receive the Aberdeen Global Scholarship. Visit our Funding Database to find out more and see our full range of scholarships.

Little Lectures

We are hosting a series of Little Lectures to mark our 525th anniversary.

The lectures are a great opportunity to get to know our experts.

View Lecture Schedule

Careers

The MSc Microbiology Programme will provide you with the academic, analytical and practical skills to assist you in to many careers.

Many of our graduates choose to continue in research careers and begin PhDs or become research scientists (research assistants or technicians). Our scientists have obtained posts in Universities, industry (including oil and gas), biotechnology and hospital diagnostic and pathology laboratories.

More generally, microbiologists can use their training in education, working in schools, colleges of further education and in Universities. Further opportunities are available to apply microbiology training in scientific publishing, in patent offices working on biological patents, in science outreach and contributing to the public understanding of microbiological issues.

Our Experts

The programme will be delivered by an experienced, multidisciplinary team of internationally renowned experts in microbiology.

Other Experts
Professor Ian Stansfield
Dr Allison Carrington
Dr Gordon Prescott
Dr Shona Fielding
Programme Coordinator
Dr Donna MacCallum

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Facilities

Image for The Institute of Medical Sciences
The Institute of Medical Sciences

The Institute of Medical Sciences

Focused on developing future effective therapies, the Institute of Medical Sciences houses nearly 400 researchers and support staff working on cutting-edge biomedical subjects aimed at understanding the human body's response to infection and disease.

Image for Foresterhill Health Campus
Foresterhill Health Campus

Foresterhill Health Campus

The Foresterhill Health Campus is one of the largest clinical complexes in Europe which includes the Medical School, large teaching hospital, the Institute of Medical Sciences and the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health.

Image for Sir Duncan Rice Library
Sir Duncan Rice Library

Sir Duncan Rice Library

The University’s award winning Sir Duncan Rice Library is listed in the “Top 20 spellbinding University libraries in the World”. It contains over a million volumes, more than 300,000 e-books and 21,000 journals.

Find out more

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Address
Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
Aberdeen
AB24 3FX