Biological Sciences (Microbiology) MBiolSci, 4-5 years

Start date:

2020

Microorganisms may be small, but they tell us more about life on Earth than almost any other life form. On this degree you will learn how and why microorganisms cause disease and how microbes have been used for millennia in everything from food production to sewage treatment.

UCAS code
C503

Admissions enquiries
+44 (0)116 252 5281
mbspadmissions@le.ac.uk

Course enquiries
+44 (0)116 252 3323 or 2907
bsadmin@le.ac.uk

School of Biological Sciences website

Course description

Course description

Microorganisms (viruses, bacteria, fungi and protozoa) play a crucial role in many of the Earth's physical and biological processes. They help to purify our waste water and clean up pollution, and humans have used them for thousands of years in the production of foods and drinks – but other types can cause new devastating diseases. Microorganisms are the oldest inhabitants of the Earth, yet we have only discovered a small fraction of all the microbes that exist. Now microbiology is at the forefront of a technical revolution: incredibly sensitive molecular tools, coupled with sophisticated computer informatics, provide powerful new approaches to unlocking the secrets of life.

On this course you will work alongside leading microbiologists who are investigating some of the most important questions in microbiology research in order to gain insight into the microbial world and develop broad appreciation of the biology and uses of organisms of microscopic size and of the mammalian immune response to infection. Microbiologists study these processes in all types of organisms and discover how errors in them can cause disease, and they help discover the impact of microbes across the biological sciences. You will also gain a broad understanding of fundamental biological processes, while developing analytical skills and gaining experience in handling complex information. By studying microbiology alongside options in other biological sciences, you will be able to apply your knowledge across the boundaries of traditional disciplines and gain a valuable and powerful asset in scientific environments and in many other walks of life.

This flexible and broad-based four-year degree allows you to shape your course to focus your study on microorganisms and their essential roles in good health and undesirable roles in disease. The first three years are the same as the BSc in Biological Sciences (Microbiology), including the option of a year spent abroad or working in industry. In your final year you will specialise further, upgrading your degree to an MBiolSci (Master of Biological Sciences) and experiencing a seamless transition to specialised higher level study with a focus on microbial research and transferable employability skills.

Download a prospectus (PDF, 6MB)

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

  • A-levels: typical offer ABB, normally including at least two relevant science subjects from Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Maths. (If you have only one science A-level, please send your full academic profile to admissions@le.ac.uk before applying.) We may consider two AS-levels in place of one A2-level. General Studies not accepted.
  • EPQ with A-levels: typical offer BBB + EPQ at grade B. A-level subjects to include two relevant science subjects from Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Maths. General Studies not accepted. 
  • GCSE: At least Grade C/4 in both English Language and Maths (if not held at A2/AS-level) 
  • Access to HE Diploma: Pass Science diploma with 45 credits at level three, 30 of which must be at distinction.
  • International Baccalaureate: Pass Diploma with 30 points, with a minimum of 16 points at HL to include grade 6 and 5 in at least two relevant science subjects from Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Maths. Minimum of 3 in HL Maths or 4 in SL Mathematics, or 5 in Maths Studies required if grade C/4 not held at GCSE. Minimum of 4 in English Language required if grade C/4 not held at GCSE
  • BTEC Nationals: Pass Applied Science Diploma with DDD plus five GCSEs at B/5 or above including two relevant sciences. Please contact Admissions before applying.

Other national and international qualifications considered.

Second year entry may be possible with suitable qualifications.

Selection Process

When considering your application, we will look for evidence that you will be able to fulfil the objectives of the course and achieve the standards required. We will take into account a range of factors including previous exam results.

Applicants are not normally interviewed. If you receive an offer you will be invited to visit the School of Biological Sciences.

English Language Requirements

IELTS 6.5 or equivalent. If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. If you do not yet meet our requirements, our English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU) offers a range of courses to help you to improve your English to the necessary standard.

International Qualifications

Find your country in this list to check equivalent qualifications, scholarships and additional requirements.

Countries list

Fees and funding

Fees and funding

UK and EU Students

Starting in 2020

Tuition fees for 2020/21 are yet to be confirmed. As an indication of what you might pay, the fees for students who started in 2019/20 were:

  • £9,250 in your first year. Tuition fees are subject to government regulations and may change in future years
  • Year Abroad: your fee will be £1,250 for that year
  • Year in Industry: your fee will be 15% of the full-time tuition fee that applies in that year

Find out more about scholarships and funding.

Additional costs

The third year option module Microbial Biotechnology includes a field trip. The cost of this field trip is included in your tuition fee.

You will be travelling between the University and hospitals in Leicester. The cost of a Hospital Hopper bus card is included in your tuition fee.

The third year option module Behavioural Ecology includes an optional field trip. The cost of this field trip is £450 and is not included in your tuition fee.

International Students

Starting in 2020

Tuition fees for 2020/21 are yet to be confirmed. As an indication of what you might pay, the fees for students who started in 2019/20 were:

  • £20,590 per year
  • Year Abroad: £5,147.50, which is 25% of the full-time tuition fee
  • Year in Industry: £3,088.50, which is 15% of the full-time tuition fee

Find out more about scholarships and funding.

Additional costs

The third year option module Microbial Biotechnology includes a field trip. The cost of this field trip is included in your tuition fee.

You will be travelling between the University and hospitals in Leicester. The cost of a Hospital Hopper bus card is included in your tuition fee.

The third year option module Behavioural Ecology includes an optional field trip. The cost of this field trip is £450 and is not included in your tuition fee.

Careers and employability

Careers and employability

Many of our students go on to further study in the biological or medical sciences others choose to use the analytical and critical skills learned during their degree to move into a number of different careers. Take a look at some of the careers our students have secured after studying in the School of Biological Sciences.

Our Career Development Service is here to support you, with advice on interviews, CVs, work experience, volunteering and more. From Freshers’ Week to Graduation and beyond, they are here to help you reach your professional goals.

Related courses

Related courses

Course structure

Year 1

Year 1

Modules

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Year 2

Year 2

Core modules

Option modules

Choose three option modules from:

Then choose two option modules from:

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Year in Industry or Abroad (optional)

Year in Industry or Abroad (optional)

If you want to, you can spend your third year studying abroad at one of our partner institutions or working in an industrial placement (eligibility is dependent on your academic performance in Years 1 and 2). Alternatively, you can opt to continue studying at the University and complete your degree in three years.

NB. A year spent abroad or on an industrial placement still incurs a tuition fee, but this is much lower than for a normal year at Leicester. See our Fees and Funding section for details.

Year Abroad

Studying abroad is not just for people who are interested in travelling and meeting new people. It is about acquiring life skills that are becoming increasingly significant for a wide range of jobs in our modern globalised society. Whether you go on to work in the private sector, the state sector, a non-governmental organisation or become self-employed you will find the experience invaluable. Find out more from our Global Opportunities team.

The School of Biological Sciences at Leicester has links with several European universities, administered through the Erasmus+ scheme. If you are eligible for a loan from Student Finance you can apply for a travel grant from them. Languages courses, at both beginners and advanced level, are available through the University’s Languages at Leicester scheme. 

  • For the latest information on the future of the Erasmus+ scheme at UK universities please see our Brexit microsite 

We have links with the following universities:

We also have links with some universities outside Europe. If you are receiving financial assistance from Student Finance your support will continue and you may also be eligible to apply for additional travel grants or scholarships. We have links with the following universities:

Year in Industry

An industrial placement is a fantastic opportunity to gain experience of laboratory work - and will normally be a paid position, more than offsetting the additional cost of the extra year.

Industrial placements are limited and are awarded through a competitive selection process, based on your performance in your first year. Previous students have worked for pharmaceutical companies such as AstraZeneca, Oxford Biomedica and GlaxoSmithKline, and in research institutions such as the Animal Health Institute and Kew Gardens.

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Year 3

Year 3

Core modules

Option modules

Choose one option module from:

Then choose one pair of option modules from:

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Final Year

Final Year

In your final year, you will conduct a research project within one of six themes. Which project you choose determines which additional modules you study.

Option 1: MBiolSci Research Project (Cancer Cell Biology) plus:

Option 2: MBiolSci Research Project (Molecular Genetics) plus:

Option 3: MBiolSci Research Project (Cancer Molecular Pathology and Therapeutics) plus:

Option 4: MBiolSci Research Project (Chronic Disease and Immunity) plus:

Option 5: MBiolSci Research Project (Infection and Immunity) plus:

Option 6: MBiolSci Research Project (Neuroscience/Psychology/Behaviour) plus:

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Why Leicester?

Job prospects are excellent: 95% of our Biological/Medical Sciences students are employed (or studying for a Masters degree) six months after graduating. (DLHE)

The Guardian University Guide 2019 ranks us in the top ten for teaching anatomy and physiology.

Our history of genetic achievements include the invention of DNA fingerprinting and the genetic identification of the remains of King Richard III.

With a low staff to student ratio, we ensure that every student gets the support and encouragement needed to achieve their best work.

Teaching and learning

Teaching methods are varied and include traditional lectures, workshops, flipped classes, tutorials, seminars, field trips, demonstrations and 1:1 project supervision. We are immensely proud of our exciting practical classes that are supervised by academics and experienced research students.

Normally there will be two assessments for each module: an exam and an item of coursework

Where exams are used, the weighting of the exam will normally be between 50% and 70% of the module mark, although some modules are 100% assessed by coursework. The exam-based assessments include single best answer, short answer, open-book, unseen essay, seen essay and data analysis.

Year 1 coursework assessments include essays, practical reports, data analysis workshops, oral presentations, online assessments and group-work.

Year 2 coursework includes all of the above and in addition, short-answer style questions, group-based reports, posters, bioinformatics analyses, problem solving, popular writing tasks, field reports, video production and computer modelling assignments.

Year 3 coursework also includes a research project report, experimental design reports, portfolios, database searching, debates, scientific literature critiques, data-handling problems, journal club presentations, laboratory notebooks and reflective writing.

Apply now

Course Qualification Duration UCAS Code Availability
Course Biological Sciences (Microbiology) Qualification MBiolSci Duration 4 years full-time UCAS Code C503 Availability Apply Now
Course Biological Sciences (Microbiology) with a Year Abroad Qualification MBiolSci Duration 5 years full-time UCAS Code C503 Availability Apply Now
Course Biological Sciences (Microbiology) with a Year in Industry Qualification MBiolSci Duration 5 years full-time UCAS Code C503 Availability Apply Now