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CMB1003 : Microbiology and Immunology

Semester 2 Credit Value: 15
ECTS Credits: 8.0


This module provides an introduction to Microbiology and Immunology. The emphasis of the module is to introduce students to the different types of micro-organisms, introduce the concept of microbes as infectious agents and to describe the the defence systems that have evolved to combat them. The module should provide the students with sufficient background to support the study of a range of biological, biomolecular and biomedical science disciplines at Stage 2.

The module introduces the range of microorganisms, including viruses, bacteria, and eukaryotic microorganisms (such as fungi and protozoa). These organisms show enormous diversity in their structures, replication requirements and metabolic processes. We also consider why microbes are important to human kind for numerous reasons: they play a vital role in sustaining life on Earth and that they have important applications in a range of industries: e.g. food and drink, agriculture, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals. In addition some microorganisms cause disease to humans or other animals. Although this is a minority of species, these are of profound importance, as recent epidemics of HIV, SARS and Foot and Mouth Disease have shown us. Microorganisms are also being exploited by bioterrorists. The immune system evolved to defend the body against microbial infection and this module introduces you to the cells and molecules that contribute to these defences, and how they recognise and attack foreign invaders.

Outline Of Syllabus

The lectures and seminars cover the following topics:
Microbiology: introduction to micro-organisms; bacterial morphologies; major structural components of bacteria; bacterial cell division and growth; cultivation of bacteria; principles of bacterial identification; eukaryotic microorgansims; food microbiology.
Immunity: introduction to immunity; innate defences against infection; cell biology of the specific immune system; humoral specific immunity; cell mediated specific immunity; the immune system in action.
Virology: virus structure and classification; bacteriophage; viruses of animals and man; plant viruses and viroids; assay of animal viruses; prions.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:001:00Formative class tests
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture301:0030:00
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching21:002:00Seminars
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1117:00117:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

1. Lectures will define the scope of the course and communciate basic knowledge as a basis for further study.
2. Seminars will encourage students to develop their understanding of the subject and interpersonal communication skills. They provide an opportunity for students to ask questions and exchange ideas in a small group setting. Skills practiced include critical thinking, numeracy, communication & team working.
3. Private study is used for self-directed learning and includes: reading lecture notes and texts; preparation for seminars; using learning resources on the Web. Skills practiced include critical thinking, active learning, numeracy, planning and organisation and independence.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination902A100EMI format: 25-30 questions
Exam Pairings
Module Code Module Title Semester Comment
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Computer assessment2MA mid-semester EMI (formative), 25-30 questions will be provided to students under exam conditions.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The end of semester examination assesses knowledge and understanding of the course material. The formative EMI questions will help students assess their knowledge and understanding of course material as well as familiarise students with the format of an EMI exam.

Reading Lists