MICR20050 Microbiology in Medicine, Biotechnology and the Environment

Academic Year 2024/2025

This module is part of the second year core curriculum in the BSc degree programme in Microbiology. The course is divided into two sections. Section A provides the student with an introduction to Microbiology including the history of Microbiology, the domains and origins of life, the structure and diversity of the microbial cell, the habitats of microbes, microbial metabolism and communication between microbes. Section B focuses on the role microbes play in the environment, in biotechnology and in human and veterinary medicine. The importance of microbes in biogeochemical cycling of nutrients, their application in biotechnology to produce foods (beer, wine), antibiotics, and many other products and the role microbes play in health and disease and their interaction with the immune system are discussed. Environment, Biotechnology and Medicine reflect the general areas most Microbiologists pursue careers in following their graduation.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

- Understand the diversity of microscopic life.- Understand the cellular structures and functions of microbes.- Understand how microorganisms grow and the mechanisms they employ to generate energy for growth. - Detail the role of different microorganisms as disease-causing agents - Define the principles of infection and the immune response- Discuss the potential uses of microorganisms in industrial applications such as brewing, antibiotic production and water treatment.- Recognize the importance of microorganisms in biogeochemical events.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Lectures and active/task-based learning 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Recommendations:

It is recommended that you have an understanding of basic biology of the cell. This includes concepts such as metabolism, membranes, genetic code and a basic understanding of chemistry.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade

Not yet recorded.

Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

Recommended textbook is Brock Biology of Microorganisms
Name Role
Ms Liz Hannon Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Hilary McMahon Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Professor Wim Meijer Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Jennifer Mitchell Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Professor Cormac Murphy Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Professor Kevin O'Connor Lecturer / Co-Lecturer