MSc Medical Microbiology

  • Access to unparalleled teaching facilities in a new science facility.
  • Internationally renowned researchers to teach students and support individual research projects in medically relevant areas.
  • Blended learning approach to teaching including problem-based learning to develop high-level critical analysis skills, substantial exposure to practical techniques in medical microbiology, and guaranteed laboratory-based research projects.

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, examinations may be replaced by an alternative form of assessment during the academic year 2020/2021. Please refer to the Programme Specification on these pages for further details.

About the course

The MSc Medical Microbiology will equip students with the skills and in-depth knowledge required to have an impactful career in a range of sectors such. The programme will develop extensive theoretical and practical laboratory skills in graduates, building on the research expertise of the programme team, including techniques and theoretical skills such as: antimicrobial susceptibility testing, antibiotic resistance-gene analysis, microbial identification (16SrRNA sequencing and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry), parasite identification, next generation sequencing analysis, bacteriophage isolation and purification, antibiotic discovery and characterisation, and mammalian cell culture. With our excellent facilities, emphasis on practical work, and teaching underpinned by the latest research, you will be qualified for research and development positions in biopharmaceutical companies as well as a wide range of other non-laboratory roles in industry and academia. The course will make use of expert external speakers from the biopharmaceutical industry as well as academic experts from other universities and from University of Hertfordshire staff.

What will I study?

The MSc Medical Microbiology aims to provide students with the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of clinically significant microorganisms by studying selected pathogens and how disease is spread, diagnosed, treated, and prevented. The programme comprises a series of taught modules covering topics such as: cell biology and immunology, genetics and protein biology, antimicrobial resistance, diagnostic techniques, emerging viruses and fungi, research design and analysis, microbiome studies, biotechnology, and a specialist research project aligned with the students’ research interests. A problem-based learning approach is used to develop advanced critical analysis and group working skills in students’ on the programme.

You will undertake a practical project as part of your MSc enabling you to use our excellent facilities and to gain experience working alongside researchers in our Biosciences Research Group. Current research projects include studies in the following broad areas:

  • Novel antimicrobial agent development
  • Bacterial pathogen physiology and virulence, e.g. Clostridioides difficile, Mycobacterium spp., Klebsiella spp., Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus
  • Antimicrobial resistance studies
  • Extracellular vesicles and links to infection processes
  • Bacteriophage biology and resistance gene transfer
  • MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry for microbial identification and characterisation

Why choose this course?

  • Medical Microbiology is an important discipline within the biomedical sciences and there is a high demand for well-qualified graduates.
  • This course is a natural progression for anyone completing an undergraduate degree in Biomedical Sciences, Biological Sciences, Biochemistry, or Microbiology, who is interested in a career in the Pharmaceutical industry. 
  • The course will enable you to apply your biosciences knowledge to the particular challenges of understanding microbial pathogenesis, disease transmission, and the challenges around the use of, and resistance to antibiotics.
  • We make full use of our network of contacts and location at the heart of the UK to get numerous expert contributions from industry and healthcare professionals.
  • The course is also offered as a part-time option to suit students who may already be in employment and wish to broaden their knowledge of medical microbiology with support from their employer.

What will I study?

The MSc Medical Microbiology aims to provide students with the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of clinically significant microorganisms by studying selected pathogens and how disease is spread, diagnosed, treated, and prevented. The programme comprises a series of taught modules covering topics such as: cell biology and immunology, genetics and protein biology, antimicrobial resistance, diagnostic techniques, emerging viruses and fungi, research design and analysis, microbiome studies, biotechnology, and a specialist research project aligned with the students’ research interests. A problem-based learning approach is used to develop advanced critical analysis and group working skills in students’ on the programme.

You will undertake a practical project as part of your MSc enabling you to use our excellent facilities and to gain experience working alongside researchers in our Biosciences Research Group. Current research projects include studies in the following broad areas:

  • Novel antimicrobial agent development
  • Bacterial pathogen physiology and virulence, e.g. Clostridioides difficile, Mycobacterium spp., Klebsiella spp., Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus
  • Antimicrobial resistance studies
  • Extracellular vesicles and links to infection processes
  • Bacteriophage biology and resistance gene transfer
  • MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry for microbial identification and characterisation

Professional Accreditations

Subject to validation, this course will be accrediated by the Royal Society for Biology Accreditation.

What job can I get?

Graduates of the MSc Medical Microbiology may go on to work in a broad range of fields including: medical or pharmaceutical research, clinical trials, public health and epidemiology, academia research, medical writing/science journalism, education, or patent law. Alternatively, you may also use the MSc medical Microbiology to underpin an application to study for a research degree such as MRes, MSc by Research, or a PhD in a related field.

Please note that some of the images and videos on our course pages may have been taken before social distancing rules in the UK came into force.