BIO1004 : Microbiology 1

  • Module Leader(s): Dr Heather Finlayson
  • Owning School: Biology
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


This module aims to provide an introduction to, and stimulate an interest in, microbiology by demonstrating the role and importance of micro-organisms in the natural world. The diversity of form and function in microbes will be introduced as well as their ecological, physiological and biochemical properties. The roles of microbes in nature and their importance to man will also be introduced. Laboratory based practical classes will enable microbial form and diversity to be studied through direct observations, demonstrate the role of microbes in disease (plant spoilage) and provide experience of methods to isolate, grow and count microbes.

Outline Of Syllabus

Lectures will cover the following topics although not necessarily in the order given:
Introduction and characteristics of microorganisms (HJF)
Microbiology fundamentals (HJF)
Methods for studying microorganisms (HJF)
Microbial Physiology 1(HJF)
Microbial Physiology 2 (HJF)
Diversity of prokaryotic microorganisms 1 (GWB)
Diversity of prokaryotic microorganisms 2 (GWB)
Diversity of eukaryotic microorganisms 1 (GWB)
Diversity of eukaryotic microorganisms 2 (GWB)
Microbial interactions with plants (rhizosphere) (GWB)
Microbial interaction with plants (disease) (GWB)
Microbial interactions with animals (microbial symbiosis with animals) (HJF)
Microbial intertactions with humans disease)(HJF)
Microbial interactions with humans (disease) (HJF)
Microbial Technology 1 (industrial uses of microorganisms) (AIG)
Microbial Technology 2 (bioremediation) (AIG)
Review session (HJF)

1. Microbes as agents of disease - Koch's postulates 1. Microscopic examination of microorganisms (GWB/AIG))
2. Isolating microorganisms - Koch's postulates 2. (GWB/AIG)
3. Staining and counting microorganisms. Koch's postulates 3. (GWB/AIG)

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture171:0017:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:001:00Exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion160:308:00Revision for examination
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion15:005:00Lab report
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:459:45Revision for on-line tests
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical33:009:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading116:0016:00Completion of post-lecture directed reading and other activities
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study122:1522:15Student-selected study of lectures, ReCap, blackboard, websites, etc. to enhance understanding
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study160:4512:00Routine lecture follow-up to identify areas requiring further, more detailed study
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will provide the framework and theory for introducing the diversity of form and function in microbes. Ecological, physiological and biochemical properties of microbes and their roles in nature and importance to man will be discussed. Practicals will enhance and add to the lectures by analysis of microbial form and diversity (direct observations), study of disease caused by microbes (plant spoilage) and practical use of methods to isolate, grow and count microbes. The lab report will give students a chance to write a concise piece of work that reflects on the knowledge gained and techniques used in the plant spoilage experiment (that runs over all three practicals). Directed reading and on-line activities will encourage individual learning and will contribute to greater understanding of the topics within the module.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
PC Examination601A60N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Computer assessment1M103 on-line assignments: Primarily formative contributing 4%, 4% and 2%
Practical/lab report1M203 lab worksheets submitted following each lab class
Practical/lab report1M10Lab report
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The exam will assess factual knowledge gained from the lectures, practical classes and directed independent study. The laboratory worksheets will assess the students' ability to record observations and interpret them with reference to material taught in the lectures. The lab report will give the students a chance to write a longer piece of work that reflects on the practical work. To encourage students to carry out the important independent study element of the module and to assess their learning progress, some marks (10%) will be associated with completion of, and performance in, short on-line assignments (primarily formative).

To ensure that students have achieved a sufficient level of knowledge and skills, students are required to attain at least 30% in the exam in order to pass the module. For students failing to attain at least 30% in the exam, the module mark will be the exam mark without the inclusion of the in-course assessment marks.

Reading Lists


Disclaimer: The University will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver modules in accordance with the descriptions set out in this catalogue. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, however, the University reserves the right to introduce changes to the information given including the addition, withdrawal or restructuring of modules if it considers such action to be necessary.