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University of Aberdeen Course Type: Master taught Start Date: September
Location: Aberdeen, United Kingdom Duration: see details Fees/total cost: EUR 6,072.30 (GBP 4,500.00) - EUR 23,209.68 (GBP 17,200.00)



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.

What You'll Study

The information below applies to the 1 year full time / 2 year part time on campus learning MSc programme which runs in September.

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses

Basic Skills - Induction (MT5010)

This course is designed to provide or revise the basic skills you will require for your MSc. The course will revise basic laboratory skills and techniques and advance these to a level required to undertake graduate practical classes and projects by developing hands-on experience, competence and confidence in key laboratory skills. An expert from the library will explain the use and facilities of the library and the basics of database searching to enhance research skills and project validation.

Introduction to Microbiology (MC5008)

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.

Applied Statistics (PU5017)

This course intends to develop the student's awareness of the fact that statistical techniques are integral to scientific research. Researchers must be able to specify a precise research question in statistical terms and then select an appropriate study design in order to carry out an effective research project. They must also be able to assess the adequacy of the research presented in scientific or medical literature. The same skills are also required for many MSc dissertation projects.

Bioinformatics (MB5021)

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 an extended research practical; you carry out computer analysis of transcriptome datasets to understand how cells respond to starvation stress, and write up in research paper format.

Contains a series of in-depth workshops that teach the principles and practice of DNA and protein sequence analysis.

Generic Skills (GS50M1)

This course will improve your employability skills. I-SEE (Individualised self-assessment to enhance employability) is a bespoke online resource developed to help identify your strengths and areas needing improvement. The self-assessment process allows you to identify development areas for employability skills like communication, IT and numeracy skills and personal attributes like creativity, organisation and timekeeping, flexibility, team working. This leads to automated, tailored feedback and signposting to self-study to assist in improving your CV. Reflection and an e-portfolio will assist in articulation of these enhanced skills/attributes during mock interviews. Some sessions are compulsory, but otherwise it involves self-directed learning.

Optional Courses

Introduction to Molecular Biology (MB5022)

This is an introductory course in molecular biology basics for all taught postgraduate programmes with a molecular biology content. It aims to ensure that PG taught course students, with diverse educational backgrounds, on programmes with a substantial molecular biology content, have an adequate knowledge of the basic concepts and techniques of molecular biology. There is a practical element with this course.

Introductory Immunology (MB5023)

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.

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses

Regulation in Microbial Biochemistry (MC5510)

A course describing the principles behind how microorganisms respond to environmental stresses.

A range of microbial stress responses are detailed using a range of model systems, pathogens and non-pathogens, showing how gene expression is regulated by stress.

Contains an extended research practical; you carry out computer-based modelling to understand how cells responds to starvation stress, and write up in research paper format.

We teach with reference to the scientific literature allowing you to place your learning in the context of the latest published research.

Genome - Enabled Medicine (MB5517)

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; all lecture material supported by workshops – your chance to team-work, ask questions and enjoy the science.

Contains a material detailing a range of examples of genome science and its applications in medicine, ranging from the human genome (genome-wide association studies) to microbial (pathogen genome sequencing).

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

Research Tutorials (MB5518)

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.

Host - Pathogen Interactions (MB5516)

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 defenses 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.

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

Masters Research Project (MB5902)

The topic of the project will be subject and supervisor dependant.

Masters - Part time

Start date:
2 Years
Teaching method:
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Funding possible:
Tuition fees

Masters - Full time

Start date:
1 Year
Teaching method:
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Funding possible:
EUR 6,072.30 (GBP 4,500.00)
EUR 23,209.68 (GBP 17,200.00)
Additional Information:
Fees 2016/17
Tuition fees

Course Provider Details

Course contact information

College of Life Sciences and Medicine Graduate School
University accredited:
Last update: 24/08/2016