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Molecular Microbiology MSc

  • Level(s) of Study: Postgraduate taught
  • Start Date(s): September 2023 / January 2024
  • Duration: One year full-time / Two years full-time with one year placement / Two years part-time
  • Study Mode(s): Full-time / Part-time / Sandwich
  • Campus: Clifton Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information

Introduction:

Designed to provide you with a multidisciplinary approach to the study of the molecular biology of micro-organisms.

You'll study the key concepts associated with molecular microbiology and use these when considering their role in health, disease and in the natural environment.

This course provides you with opportunities to study advanced principles of the metabolism and genetics of microbes, microbes involved in clinical health and the natural environment and infectious diseases. Further studies specialise in modern genomics and infectious disease diagnosis. Practical work forms a large proportion of your learning to ensure that you have extensive skills for employment or research and there is an emphasis on developing knowledge and understanding such that you acquire the skills, qualities and attributes expected by employers or for postgraduate research.

This course benefits from the excellent facilities and equipment available in the School of Science and Technology.

  • You have the option to gain an additional Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Practice if you do a work placement on the Sandwich-route.
  • In the last Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021) - the UK's system for assessing the quality and impact of research in universities - we’re proud that 99% of NTU’s Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy submission was assessed to be world-leading or internationally excellent.

What you’ll study

This Molecular Microbiology Master's is made up of six core modules and a research project. If you are a part-time or a sandwich student, you will continue to study the second year from the modules listed below.

Research Methods and Bioethics (20 cp)

This module encourages you to think beyond your own subject and interact accordingly. You'll gain a solid foundation in the literature review, research design and planning, data analysis and poster presentation by focusing your studies on a related ethical issue. Ethical issues in research will also be explored, as you discover when and how to obtain ethical clearance in accordance with ethical governance at NTU.

Molecular Microbiology (20 cp)

This module provides you with a strong grounding in microbial structure, physiology and behaviour at the molecular level. The module content draws on recent research findings, to provide our students with an awareness of the current trends in the field. By working through case studies, you’ll uncover the essentials of microbial genetics and molecular biology, including microbial structures and physiology; cell-cell communication; global regulatory circuits, and host-pathogen interaction.

Medical Microbiology (20cp)

Interactive and interesting eLearning material will be the basis for the module. You’ll develop an appreciation of the importance of medical microbiology in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of disease, and gain a high level of understanding of the subject.

Business and Enterprise (20cp)

You'll approach idea generation in a creative manner to understand the role of new business concepts and their development in the biosciences industry. You'll explore all aspects of starting up a new biosciences company, including new product development, marketing and research, pricing, distribution, and promotion.

Microbial Diagnostics (20cp)

This module aims to provide you with an understanding of the rationale and process of designing modern microbial diagnostic assays. Furthermore, you'll explore the theory and rationale of techniques such as culture-based diagnosis, serology, PCR, real-time PCR, microarrays, and sequencing for infectious disease diagnostics. You'll gain practical experience in performing real-time PCR detection from a sample.

Techniques in Macromolecular Analysis (20 cp)

The aims of this module are to provide advanced knowledge and understanding of the techniques that can be used to isolate and purify macromolecules, and the approaches that can be used to track, study and predict macromolecular structure and function. You'll explore a range of current topics and their application to macromolecular analysis. These topics will include the macromolecular analysis of proteins, protein purification programs and simulations, and protein bioinformatics.

Research Project (60 cp)

In consultation with a supervisor at NTU, you'll select a research topic comprising an original, defined research question (or series of such questions), and develop a written research proposal for the Project. You'll then present this proposal as part of the Research Methods and Bioethics module. Working individually with the guidance of supervisors, you'll design your experiments and computer-based approaches to address the research questions. A diary-style record of protocols or methods will be used to generate entries for your skills portfolio. You'll communicate your findings through a written thesis, and a poster presentation. For the MRes course, an interim written report and oral presentation will be assessed after six to eight months of work, in order to review your progress.

Alongside your study, you also have the opportunity to learn a new language. The University Language Programme (ULP) is available to all students and gives you the option of learning a totally new language or improving the skills you already have. Find out more about the ULP.

  • Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) - choose to study 60 credit points (cp) of taught modules
  • Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip) - choose 120 cp of taught modules for the award, does not include a research project
  • Masters of Science (MSc) - full 180 cp of taught modules and research project.

If you are unsuccessful in completing the 180 cp required for MSc, you will be awarded PG Cert if you have passed at least 60 cp, or PG Dip if you have passed 120 cp. All PG Cert, PG Dip and Masters students are taught together.

How you’re taught

How will I learn?

You will learn through:

  • Lectures
  • Guided reading supported by the University's virtual learning portal
  • Workshops
  • Written and oral presentations
  • Research reports
  • Attendance of regular research seminar
  • Developing your skills portfolio

Assessment

You will be assessed by a variety of methods including:

  • Research project
  • Written assignment
  • Case studies
  • Poster and oral presentations
  • Laboratory reports
  • In-class tests
  • Skills portfolio

Contact hours

Lectures / seminars / workshops (20%) and independent study (80%)

Research informed teaching

By daring to think differently our research is tackling real-world issues. The subjects you will study with us are informed by our research so you can be sure your knowledge will be cutting-edge in your field. In the last Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021) - the UK's system for assessing the quality and impact of research in universities - we’re proud that 99% of NTU’s Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy submission was assessed to be world-leading or internationally excellent.

Staff Profiles

Fiona Freeman

Principal Lecturer

School of Science & Technology

Fiona Freeman

Luigi De Girolamo

Principal Lecturer

School of Science & Technology

Luigi De Girolamo

Jody Winter

Principal Lecturer

School of Science & Technology

Jody Winter

How you’re assessed

Coursework (93%) and written (7%)

Careers and employability

There is a wide range of career opportunities within microbiology. You will work with leading academics on your course, so you will have gained important academic and professional skills necessary to help you obtain employment in this field. At the end of the course, you will also have developed many transferable skills that will make you more attractive to potential employers in related areas of molecular bioscience and microbiology.

The Research Project and/or Placement will give you the skills you need to follow a career in research and development.

Skills portfolio

You will gather together relevant practical skills throughout laboratory classes producing a training record. This can be presented to potential employers as proof of competence in a laboratory setting. It also provides you with experience in managing what is essentially a personal development portfolio, which is now a standard tool for monitoring progression and performance in a scientific career as well as out in the sector.

Placements

NTU is one of the most employment-focused universities. Increasingly, employers want to recruit graduates who have real-world work experience. That’s why all of our courses, across every subject area, offer you a work experience opportunity. Our experts help build and support your future with a range of career programmes and events.

The school of Science and Technology will work closely with you to help find a placement and strengthen your CV and interview techniques. You'll be supported and assessed throughout your placement year and will write a reflective report and diary at the end of your placement. When you successfully complete your placement and submit your placement report, you will be eligible to receive an additional award of a Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Practice.

Please note that placements are not guaranteed and the process is competitive through an application and interview process.

If you take the sandwich route and start this course in September / October you will complete your placement following your taught modules and research project. If you start in January you will complete one term of taught modules and your project, then go on placement before returning to NTU for your final term of modules.

Our recent students have taken placements across a wide range of companies including the NHS, The Frozen Ark Project and Public Health England. They secured varied roles such as Biobank Intern, Lab Technician and Volunteer Mentor.

Employability Team

The University's Employability Team has an enviable reputation for helping our graduates find employment and offers individual consultations. Sessions are available to all students at NTU on CV writing and interview technique. The Sandwich-route course offers you the opportunity to take a one-year placement or several smaller placements. If you start this course in September/October then you will complete your placement following your taught modules and research project. If you start in January you will complete one term of taught modules and your project then go one placement before returning to NTU for your final term of modules.

Re:search Re:imagined

To us, research is about more than writing papers and proposing new ideas. By daring to think differently, we’re disrupting the research landscape and finding the answers to the questions that really matter. From conservation management to sustainable farming, we’re inspiring the brightest minds to rise up and find solutions to some of the most significant global challenges facing society.

Find out more

NTU Enterprise

You'll also have the opportunity to turn your ideas into a viable business with help from NTU Enterprise, NTU's purpose-built Centre for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise, a support centre to help students create, develop and grow their own businesses.

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

  • UK honours degree (minimum 2.2) or equivalent in a biological subject
  • Applicants with relevant employment experience or other relevant qualifications will also be considered.
  • NTU may admit a student with advanced standing beyond the beginning of a course, through an assessment of that student's prior learning, whether it is certificated or uncertificated. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available to these prospective students, such as recognising experiential learning or transferring to a similar course at another institution, otherwise known as credit transfer.

    All prospective students who wish to apply via Recognition of Prior Learning should initially contact the central Admissions and Enquiries Team who will be able to support you through the process.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

You will need one of the following:

  • UK honours degree (minimum 2.2) or equivalent in a biological subject
  • Applicants with relevant employment experience or other relevant qualifications will also be considered.

International qualifications

We accept qualifications from all over the world – check yours here:

Postgraduate preparation courses (Pre-Masters)

If you don’t yet meet our entry requirements, we offer Pre-Masters courses through our partner Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC), based on our City Campus:

English language entry requirements

You can meet our language requirements by successfully completing our pre-sessional English course for an agreed length of time, or by submitting the required grade in one of our accepted English language tests, such as IELTS:

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

Fees and funding

Course fees for September 2023 and January 2024 entries are:

Study routeUK International / EU
Full-time £9,300 £19,100
Full-time with placement year £9,300 + £1,850 £19,100 + £1,850
Part-time £4,650 £9,550*

*For part-time study please check your student visa regulations.

Please note that if you are considering a course that runs over more than one year, the tuition fee stated is for the first year of study. The course fee for the second year may be subject to annual review.

Funding your studies

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there’s no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and living costs page and our funding page will answer all your questions.

Scholarships

You might be able to get a scholarship to help fund your studies. We award scholarships to those students who can demonstrate excellent achievement, passion and dedication to their studies.

Alumni discount

We’re happy to be able to offer a 20% alumni discount to most current NTU students and recent NTU alumni. This discount is currently available for those starting an eligible postgraduate taught, postgraduate research or professional course.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service at +44 (0)115 848 2494. For scholarship help please contact us at +44 (0)115 848 4460.

Course fees for September 2023 and January 2024 entries are:

Study routeUK International / EU
Full-time £9,300 £19,100
Full-time with placement year £9,300 + £1,850 £19,100 + £1,850
Part-time £4,650 £9,550*

*For part-time study please check your student visa regulations.

Tuition fees are payable for each year that you are at the University. The level of tuition fees for the second and subsequent years of your postgraduate course may increase in line with inflation and as specified by the UK government.

Scholarships

We offer scholarships of up to 50% of your tuition fee. You can apply for your scholarship when you have an offer to study at NTU.

Living costs

Get advice on the cost of living as an international student in Nottingham and how to budget:

Paying fees

Find out about advanced payments, instalment plan options and how to make payments securely to the University:

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

How to apply

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can. Just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow the instructions for applying. Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU in our postgraduates' guide. Here you'll find advice about how to write a good personal statement and much more.

Writing your application

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. Make sure you include as much information as possible, including uploading evidence of results already achieved, as well as a personal statement.

Keeping up to date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process - so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please contact us at Ask NTU or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

Apply online through our NTU applicant portal.

Application advice

Apply early so that you have enough time to prepare – processing times for Student visas can vary, for example.  After you've applied, we'll be sending you important emails throughout the application process – so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Writing your personal statement

Be honest, thorough, and persuasive – we can only make a decision about your application based on what you tell us:

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

The University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised

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