Faculty of Science, Agriculture & Engineering

Short Courses (CPD)

Short Courses (CPD)

About the Course

Introduction to Environmental Microbiology

Learn about the role of microbiology and microorganisms in shaping the Earth's geochemistry. Keep up to date with current methods of studying microorganisms.

A survey of modern microorganisms and their environmentally and geochemically significant activities is an important foundation for the course. You'll also learn how metabolic processes catalysed by microorganisms are related to major elemental cycles, biogeochemical processes, and organic contaminant degradation.

You'll find out about the most up to date molecular methods used to study the diversity and activity of microorganisms in their natural habitats, along with their benefits and limitations.

The course will:

  • introduce microorganisms and methods for their study
  • introduce microbial processes of environmental and geochemical significance
  • provide detailed information on the most up to date methods for the study of microbial communities
  • introduce the analysis of microbial datasets

Who is the course aimed at?

Earth Scientists, Chemists and Engineers with little or no previous experience in microbiology who wish to learn more about fundamental microbiology and microbial ecology and how this relates to geochemical processes in natural and managed environments. The course is ideal for Earth Scientists wishing to move into the exciting fields of geobiology and biogeochemistry.

This course is also delivered on at least one of the Faculty's Masters programmes in the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, and you will attend alongside full and part time registered students.

Course dates
  • Monday 4 - Friday 8 March 2019 (duration 5 days): dates not confirmed

Objectives and Outline

Introduction to Environmental Microbiology

Course Objectives

By the time you've finished this course, you'll know:

  • the three major lines of living organisms (Archaea, Bacteria, Eukarya) and understand the differences and similarities between the three groups
  • what bacteria, fungi, protozoa, algae, and viruses are, and what roles they play in the geochemical cycling of elements
  • about the geochemically and environmentally significant processes that the activities of microorganisms and the environmental factors controlling and limiting microbial activities contribute to
  • what types of microorganisms are found in the air, terrestrial, and aquatic environments

You'll understand:

  • the mechanisms microorganisms use to obtain energy for growth and reproduction, and how these biochemical processes link with geochemical cycling of the elements
  • what we mean by an electron donor and terminal electron acceptor
  • the geochemical roles and importance of heterotrophs and autotrophs

You'll also know:

  • several methods for identifying and enumerating bacteria in natural environments
  • how to measure specific microbial activities in the environment
  • how to interpret geochemistry datasets to identify the impact of microbial degradation of organic contaminants

Course Outline

  • Classification of microorganisms.
  • Microorganisms in nature.
  • Microbial processes of environmental significance.
  • Metabolic diversity of microorganisms.
  • Methods to study microorganisms.
Course dates
  • Monday 4 - Friday 8 March 2019 (duration 5 days): dates not confirmed

Further Information

Introduction to Environmental Microbiology


Prerequisite knowledge

To attend the course, you should have a reasonable level of knowledge of the following topics:

  • A basic knowledge of biology/microbiology

Please contact the Professional Development Unit if you require further information.

Academic Module Outline

This course is also delivered as a Module (code CEG8604) on at least one of the Faculty's Masters programmes, the majority of which can be studied part time, making them suitable for those in employment. You will attend with full and part time registered students. The Academic Module Outline is available via the University's Module Catalogue.

This course is delivered as a Module to postgraduate students under the title of Introduction to Microbiology and Microbial Transformation of Pollutants.

Course Materials

During the course, you will be able to access course materials electronically using the University Wifi. We suggest that you bring a laptop or tablet with PDF viewer if you wish to refer to the notes during the course. Please ensure that you make sure your electronic device is fully charged, as access to charging points may be limited within the lecture rooms.

Update to Course Content

Please note that our courses are reviewed regularly, both in response to feedback and so that information about recent research and developments can be included. Thus, content may be subject to change.


Introduction to Environmental Microbiology


Newcastle University


Introduction to Environmental Microbiology


  • Introduction to Environmental Microbiology
    • £1325 (duration 5 days)

We offer a 30 percent discount to full time students and to Newcastle University staff.

The course fee includes tuition, course materials, lunch and refreshments.

[ Information about Cancellations ]

Formal assessment may be available for this Course. Assessment attracts an additional fee of £365, and delegates will be issued with a transcript and Certificate of Credit Achieved.