module specification

BE5059 - Microbiology (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Microbiology
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 150
111 hours Guided independent study
39 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 60%   Online Quiz (1 hr)
Unseen Examination 40%   Online exam (1 hour)
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Wednesday Morning

Module summary

This module investigates the key metabolic pathways in eukaryotes and prokaryotes and investigates how these pathways, in different organisms, satisfy energy requirements for growth and reproduction using the nutrients in their surroundings. This module also examines the intrinsic and extrinsic factors which regulate microbial growth and development.
The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the QAA’s the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. It provides students with the opportunity to study the nutritional requirements for microbial growth and the intrinsic and extrinsic factors which regulate microbial growth and development. This module aims to provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and decision-making. Students will be encouraged to engage meaningfully through the curriculum, to enable them to reflect on, plan and review their own personal and academic skills. This will enable students to develop well supported claims to their achievements and be able to articulate these to others. The University will facilitate students in the recognition and recording of their achievements.


Microbial metabolism: mechanisms and diversity of microbial biochemistry; uptake of substrates; energetics and regulation; chemotaxis.Microbial growth: assessment of biomass; growth kinetics of unicellular microorganisms (batch, continuous and synchronous culture); growth kinetics of filamentous microorganisms; colony formation; formulation of growth medium, laboratory-based methods of identification; Limitation of microbial activity: principles of sterilisation and death kinetics; applications of physical and chemical control processes. Report writing and analysis of lab safety skills.

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Students will be provided with the opportunity to acquire knowledge of the subject matter through a variety of teacher led activities and self-directed study. Teacher led activities will include traditional and interactive lectures problem solving and revision tutorials, and laboratory practical classes. Theoretical and practical problems will be employed to assist students in the development of their analytical and problem solving capabilities. Students' ability to handle and interpret information will be encouraged through laboratory based investigations taken over several weeks and the guided use of expected directed reading of additional literature on the subject, video material and other learning resources. There will be specific tutorials and seminars embedded in the module timetable to enable students to engage in personal development

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to;
1. Calculate microbial numbers and biomass using a variety of techniques and apply this to microbial kinetics;
2. Explain and evaluate the range and diversity of metabolic processes, including energetics, in prokaryotes and eukaryotes;
3. Evaluate and interpret information from a variety of sources, including primary sources such as laboratory data and published research papers and develop transferable and employability skills enabling articulation of the skills, qualities and attributes developed through their higher education experience to date and understand how experimental evidence has been used to support theories of microbial growth and control;

Assessment strategy

The module will be assessed by means of online quiz during the module and an unseen online examination of short answer questions.
The coursework component will be used to provide formative feedback and formative feedback is also available from module quizzes
To pass the module students need to achieve a minimum aggregate mark of 40%. There is an attendance requirement for the practical sessions.