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Biomedical Science (Medical Microbiology) MSc/PGDip/PGCert

Learn about the course below
Code
PGB900
Start
October 2020
September 2020 (EU/INT induction)
Duration
1 year full-time
2 years part-time
Attendance
Full-time
Part-time
Fees
£9,200 (UK/EU) *
£14,000 (INT) *
Course leader
Chris Ring

We’re planning to teach through a flexible combination of online and face to face learning as we start the new academic year. If you’re thinking about starting in autumn 2020, there’s more detail on how we’ll deliver your course below, and in particular on the ‘Teaching’ tab under ‘Teaching and learning – changes for students in 2020’.

Microbiology is the study of the millions of micro-organisms with which we share our world, dealing with those that cause disease and making use of those of benefit to us. It's a fascinating subject as identifying dangerous microbes, stopping their spread and treating their effects is vital and often life-saving work. This is a particularly pertinent subject to consider studying in light of the global pandemic and prospective diseases and zoonosis that are increasingly prevalent.

Why study MSc/PGDip/PGCert Biomedical Science (Medical Microbiology) at Middlesex University?

This course has a strong practical element, with an emphasis on developing the skills needed in a laboratory and gaining hands-on experience of diagnostic techniques. You will be able to study and learn within the University's specialist laboratories which include a microbiology lab, a modern, well-equipped cell culture facility and cutting-edge equipment such as MALDI-TOF mass spectrometers and flow cytometers.

The Biomedical Science courses at Middlesex have a burgeoning international reputation and the University's strong links with London hospital laboratories and Public Health England ensures that you will be studying the latest developments, practices and research. Our Centre for Investigative and Diagnostic Oncology has pioneered techniques for cancer diagnosis and treatment, including our breakthrough in the development of a vaccine for bladder cancer.

If you do not wish to study the full MSc, you can apply to the PGDip where you study only eight modules, omitting the Dissertation, or a PGCert where you study only four modules.

Course highlights

  • You will have access to on-site molecular biology laboratory for techniques such as DNA sequencing, real-time PCR, electrophoresis and HPLC, as well as fully-equipped proteomics facilities
  • The course is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science
  • Our location gives you easy access to the British Library, the Science Museum, the Royal Institution and more
  • Our flexible timetable means you'll only spend two days a week at the University if you're studying full-time, or one day if you're part-time
  • As a student of this course you'll receive a free electronic textbook for every module.

Find out more

Sign up now to receive more information about studying at Middlesex University London.

What will you study on the MSc/PGDip/PGCert Biomedical Science (Medical Microbiology)?

You will study all types of infectious agents, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, viruses and prions, and develop an understanding of how they replicate and are transmitted as well as being able to identify and classify them. You will explore public health, and the control, treatment, prevention and eradication of human infectious diseases as well as focusing on the human immune system, immunisation, and healthcare-associated infections. You will also cover the ethical and legal issues which can surround specific types of research such as assisted reproduction and genetics, and human or animal research.

What will you gain?

As well as in-depth knowledge of your subject, you will also gain a sound understanding of how to design and carry out experiments, statistical analyses as well as techniques for analysing samples and molecules. You will also be proficient and capable in all aspects of managing a laboratory, including people management, business plans and budgets, safety regulations, and quality management.

Modules

We’ve made sure that the skills and knowledge that you’ll gain on your course will not change during the coronavirus outbreak. If you’re applying to start this course or progressing into year one, two or three this autumn, your module information is below.

  • Modules

    • Advanced Bioanalytical Techniques (15 credits) - Compulsory

      The module aims to examine advanced bioanalytical techniques that are used in biomedical research, for the analysis of products, for improving diseases understanding and for the analysis of disease biomarkers. It also provides a detailed understanding of the principles, theory and practice of bioanalytical techniques.

    • Biomedical Ethics and Law (15 credits) - Compulsory

      The module aims to provide insight into a range of ethical and legal issues that relate to professional practice, to research with human and animal subjects. It will also aim to give students a broad overview of the relevant current UK ethical and legal regulations for research using human tissues.

    • Control of Infectious Disease (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to provide students with sound knowledge of the means of controlling the transmission of, and exposure to, infectious agents, the means through which the human body limits infection by the innate and adaptive immune response and the theoretical and practical aspects of immunization and antimicrobial chemotherapy.

    • Experimental Design & Statistics (15 credits) - Compulsory

      The module aims to provide students with the tools required to design effective and efficient experiments and to test scientific hypotheses. The module will also equip students with the tools necessary for statistical analysis in a hypothesis testing context.

    • Human Infectious Disease (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to provide students with sound knowledge of the transmission, epidemiology and pathogenesis of human infectious diseases. This will allow students to understand how infectious agents disseminate within communities and the mechanisms by which they cause disease.

    • Infectious Agents (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to provide students with a sound knowledge of the structure and function of infectious agents. This will allow students to understand how structure and function influences how infectious agents replicate, how they are transmitted and how they can be controlled.

    • Laboratory Diagnosis and Safety (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to provide students with sound knowledge of both practical and theoretical aspects of the techniques used in the laboratory to diagnose and monitor infectious disease, as well the safety aspects of taking, transporting and testing clinical samples and isolated infectious agents.

    • Leadership and Management (15 credits) - Compulsory

      The module aims to provide students with current theories and approaches to leadership and management in order they can bring about effect positive change in the team or organisation that they lead or manage.

    • Research Project (60 credits) - Compulsory

      Module aims to develop skills in planning and execution of an analytical study and critical evaluation of real research results drawing on their acquired knowledge from other modules. In addition, the module aims to develop student’s communication skills to enable them to communicate their findings in written and oral form.

More information about this course

See the course specification for more information:

Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

How is the MSc/PGDip/PGCert Biomedical Science (Medical Microbiology) degree taught?

This programme will be delivered in a blended learning format using live interactive teaching sessions via a number of learning platforms such as Kaltura newrow, Adobe Connect or Zoom. These sessions will be recorded so that you can return to this learning in your own time and study at your own place. Learning may be supplemented by pre-recorded lectures, demonstration of laboratory techniques or data analysis activity where students can access the information at any point. Practical sessions will either be virtual or via tool kits delivered to your home. This wide range of teaching and learning approaches are used to build up your skills and knowledge.

You will take part in online problem-solving discussions and exercises, online workshops, and in-class activities. You will supplement all this with your own guided and independent reading. The mix of delivery modes will be varied and suitable to the content being delivered.

The programme has a strong practical element, with an emphasis on developing the skills needed in a laboratory setting and in gaining hands-on experience of diagnostic techniques. Facilities include a fully equipped microbiology laboratory and access to cutting-edge equipment such as MALDI-TOF mass spectrometers and flow cytometers. Access to on campus activity is subject to further COVID-19 restrictions

We are committed to equipping and accommodating learners fully online where they cannot reach campus, and where a second lockdown is in place. In such event, the fully online scenario will be in place to provide and support students’ learning.

Assessment

We’re planning to deliver our assessment in a similar way to previous years. We will review this regularly, and let you know in advance of your assessment if we need to make any changes.

As well as submitting written work and giving presentations, you’ll complete online quizzes, carry out literature searches and undertake your own independent study in your spare time.

For your dissertation, you'll design, conduct, evaluate and present the results of your own independent and original research project in a clinical or laboratory setting, subject to availability in light of the ongoing global pandemic. Where laboratory based dissertations are unavailable the university are able to offer a range of alternatives. You can base your project at your workplace if you’re in relevant employment. You will present your finding through a 15,000 word report and a presentation to your tutors and fellow students. The dissertation is accompanied by an experimental design and statistics module to hone your research skills.

Teaching and learning - changes for students in 2020

If you’re starting university in 2020, we’ll be teaching you in different ways to make sure you get the best learning experience possible. You’ll learn through live sessions with teaching staff and have the chance to study independently too, with access to all the online resources you need through our globally available student portal.

We’re planning different scenarios for teaching so that we can be flexible. While we’re social distancing, we’re aiming to teach you through some small group sessions on campus, with other interactive teaching as well as larger lectures delivered online and recorded sessions available to you on-demand. If you’re unable to make it to campus at first, or we need to limit access to campus in the future, your course can be delivered fully online.

The table below shows current plans for your learning across a typical week, including scheduled live online teaching and an indication of what we hope to teach face to face, where you can make it to campus. While some weeks might look different to this, due to how we schedule classes and make arrangements for any face to face sessions (for example, in some cases these could take place every two weeks with an increased number of hours), the table gives you an idea of what to expect based on the overall number of teaching hours on your course.

You’ll receive final arrangements for your teaching and a full course timetable before you start.

Scenario 1: Course delivered fully online

1.

Live learning

Contact time per week per level:

6.7 hours

2.

Self-paced learning time

Average hours per week per level:

39.3 hours

3.

On demand resources

Average hours per week per level:

1.6 hours

Scenario 2: Course delivered with a mix of online and face to face learning with social distancing in place

1.

Live learning

Contact time per week per level:

7.5 hours

2.

Self-paced learning time

Average hours per week per level:

37.5 hours

3.

On demand resources

Average hours per week per level:

1 hour

4.

Face-to-face sessions

Contact time per week per level:

11 days on campus plus additional days if laboratory-based dissertation undertaken

Read more about our scenarios for returning to campus and what they might mean for your teaching and learning experience, and how you’ll be able to access student support.

Future plans for teaching

We’re developing our timetable for face to face teaching with current government advice on social distancing to keep you safe. If social distancing requirements are lifted, we’ll start to safely move back towards our usual teaching arrangements with more opportunities for face to face learning. Some learning and support might stay online in this scenario. If more restrictions are put in place, or there is another lockdown, we’ll be prepared to deliver your learning and support fully online, with alternative arrangements made for any required placements. We’ll always give you notice of any changes that we make.

Definitions of terms

  • Live learning – Live learning will cover everything you’ll do with teaching staff like lectures, seminars, workshops and other classes, and we’ll schedule all of this for you. This might include some study outside your regular timetable, like taking part in discussion forums or online blogs where you’re supported by academic staff.
  • Independent learning – Independent learning is all the studying you’ll do outside your live learning sessions with teaching staff. This self-paced study will give you the chance to learn, prepare, revise and reflect in your own time as you need to, and you’ll have access to on-demand resources and materials to help you do your best.
    • Self-paced study – Self-paced study will give you the chance to learn wherever and whenever you want to and at your own pace, outside your live learning sessions. This independent learning could include reading and reflection, preparation for classes, revision or homework along with access to other online activities such as quizzes.
    • On-demand resources – You'll have access to on-demand resources like pre-recorded video lectures and workshops as part of your independent study. You’ll be able to review and revisit whenever you need to at your own pace.
  • Face to face sessions – Wherever it’s possible to do so, and we can make the necessary arrangements to ensure your safety, you’ll be able to attend scheduled sessions, workshops or appointments on campus as part of your live learning. The number of hours given in this scenario provides an indication of the number of hours of face to face learning you could expect, and a full timetable will be provided to you before the start of your course.

Support

You’ll have a strong support network available to you to make sure you develop all the necessary academic skills you need to do well on your course.

Our support services will mainly be delivered online and you’ll have access to a range of different resources so you can get the help you need, whether you’re studying at home or have the opportunity to come to campus.

You’ll have access to one to one and group sessions for personal learning and academic support from our library and IT teams, and our network of learning experts. Our teams will also be here to offer financial advice, and personal wellbeing, mental health and disability support.

More on teaching for your subject in 2020/21

Read our guide to what’s been happening in your subject area recently and more about what to expect this autumn.

  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. How to apply
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. Additional costs
  4. Scholarships and bursaries

How can the MSc/PGDip/PGCert Biomedical Science (Medical Microbiology) support your career?

Biomedical science is the second largest profession registered by the Health Professions Council and there is a high demand for well-qualified graduates. The range of roles open to graduates is vast and many have gone on to work in medical or pharmaceutical research, in primary care in surgeries and clinics, or in the community, identifying health risks, educating people about infection prevention and helping to stop the spread of disease. Others have gone onto to in environmental health, investigating food poisoning outbreaks and ensuring that food and drink businesses meet health and hygiene standards. There are also opportunities in diagnostic laboratories within both the public and private sectors.

If you're currently working in microbiology, this Masters programme will help you progress to a more senior position. You might also wish to explore your options in a research or academic career, or even complete further study at doctoral level.

There are a range of sectors suitable for your skills and expertise such as biotechnology, academia, and even areas like patent law, forensic science and science journalism. There are also a range of opportunities with Public Health England, the Medical Research Council and the Health and Safety Executive.



We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

Other courses

Biomedical Science (Medical Immunology) MSc/PGDip/PGCert

Start: October 2020, September 2020 (EU/INT induction)

Duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

Code: PGC550

Biomedical Science (Cellular Pathology) MSc/PGDip/PGCert

Start: October 2020, September 2020 (EU/INT induction)

Duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

Code: PGB90A

Biomedical Science (Clinical Biochemistry) MSc/PGDip/PGCert

Start: October 2020, September 2020 (EU/INT induction)

Duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

Code: PGB90B

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