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MIC3046 : Microbiota and pathogens: Mucosal Microbiota, Protozoa and Fungi

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Robert Hirt
  • Lecturer: Dr Julian Rutherford, Professor Jeffrey Pearson, Dr Anjam Khan, Dr David Bolam, Professor Janet Quinn
  • Owning School: Biomedical, Nutritional and Sports Scien
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


The module aims to develop knowledge and understanding of the fundamental importance of the interactions between the host and the intestinal microbiota in maintaining health as well as in disease development in relation to selected pathogenic viruses, bacteria, protozoa and fungi. It will provide an up to date review of the molecular cell biology, genomics and evolution of the human mucosal microbiota and selected pathogens and how their interactions between one another and with the mucosal immune system influence health and disease.

Outline Of Syllabus

The main topics covered include: The human mucosa microbiota of the gut, taxonomic diversity and functions; interplay between the microbiota and pathogens including viral, bacterial and microbial eukaryotes with both parasitic protozoa and fungal pathogens; gut mucosal immunology. Molecular cell biology, genomics and pathobiology of parasitic protozoa and fungal pathogens and drug resistance among fungal pathogens.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture281:0028:00In person lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching31:003:00In person x3, one run at the end of each respective strand A, B and C
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1691:00169:00Writing up lecture notes, revision and general reading
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will provide students with key information (K1-3).

The seminars associated with the strands A, B and C will encourage increased understanding of the material through discussion of journal articles (S1-2) and will also include Q&A sessions, which together will help the student in preparing the written essay and formal examination (S3).

Private study will allow students to extend their knowledge through reading of journal articles and other recommended references (S2).

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1202A70Invigilated examination (2 essays from choice of 4).
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M30Invigilated Timed Essay (1 hour)
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise1MShort questions on a given research article - one for each seminar/1 per strand A, B and C (5-10 words per question)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The timed essay will test students' knowledge, understanding and written communication skills and prepare them for the invigilated examination.

FMS Schools offering Semester One modules available as 'Study Abroad' will, where required, provide an alternative assessment time for examination that take place after the Christmas vacation. Coursework with submission dates after the Christmas vacation will either be submitted at an earlier date or at the same time remotely.

Reading Lists