MICR30040 Microbial Diversity and Growth

Academic Year 2024/2025

This module examines the evolution, taxonomy and biodiversity of the microbial world. Cellular microorganisms from all three domains of life as well as viruses will be discussed with a specific focus on pathogenic organisms and organisms which have been shown to be beneficial to humans or the environment. The diversity of mechanisms used by microorganisms to carry out certain processes such as secretion of proteins and responses to environmental stress will also be covered. The role of the microbiome and its diversity will also be examined in relation to health. Systems employed for classifying bacteria will be discussed and methods to differentiate between microorganisms will be used during practicals to identify microorganisms that are important pathogens or are critical for the biotechnology sector. The fundamentals of bacterial growth are explained with regard to nutritional requirements including media design and the environmental factors influencing growth.

Show/hide contentOpenClose All

Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module students should be able to: Describe microbial evolution, taxonomy and phylogeny. Describe the broad extent of microbial diversity. Discuss the methods used in bacterial identification and know how to employ these to identify key microorganisms. Recognise the nutritional requirements of microorganisms and importance of media design. Calculate biomass present in bacterial cultures and discuss the control of microbial growth in fermentation systems.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours




Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Students will partake in active learning within the practical and lecture components of this module. During the practical series students will have an opportunity to actively analyze the practical content. The module will also have lecture based learning, and reflective learning will be supported with the aligned reading material. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Recommendations:

It is recommended that students taking this module have previously completed MICR20050 'Microbiology in Medicine, Biotechnology and the Environment' or modules with equivalent outcome

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Microbial Diversity and Growth (INDM30040)

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Practical Skills Assessment: Written Laboratory reports assessed by Standard conversion grade scale and practical MCQ exam assessed by Alternative linear grade scale. n/a Graded No


Exam (In-person): Written examination n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Not yet recorded
Name Role
Dr Patrick Caffrey Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Hilary McMahon Lecturer / Co-Lecturer