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BSc (Hons)

School - School of Environment & Life Sciences

Subject area - Biology and Zoology

UCAS Code: C501

Start Date(s): September


Three years full-time
Four years full-time with placement year
Up to six years part-time


UK - £9,250 per year

Part-time - Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.

International - £14,820 per year

In Brief:

  • New curriculum focused on contemporary topics in microbiology such as antimicrobial resistance, microbiomes and genomics delivered by research-active staff
  • Integrated learning experience, balancing academic scholarship, hands-on training in the laboratory, and liaison with commerce and industry
  • Programme provides a broad perspective on microbiology, including the relevance of microbes to medicine, public health, the environment, industry and innovation.
  • Part-time study option
  • Work/industrial placement opportunity
  • International students can apply

Course Summary

This course explores microbiology in a broad sense, embracing subjects not only of great relevance today but also of likely increased importance in the future, such as novel therapeutics in the face of resistance to antibiotics, the exploitation of microbes for sustainable food and fuel production, and the emergence of new pathogens. The course offers an integrated learning experience, combining academic scholarship, technical and analytical training, and interaction with industry to achieve a well-balanced understanding of the biology of microbes and their relevance to, and application in, the real world. The course will prepare you for a wide range of future careers in the life sciences and beyond.

Discover our £3m Bodmer Lab:

Course Structure

Year 1 provides you not only with the fundamentals of microbiology but also insight into a broad contemporary biological context embracing biodiversity, genetics and cell biology. We explore the relevance of microbiology to modern life and show you how to use integrity and scientific literacy to effectively explore the subject.

Year 2 extends your learning of microbiology and related subjects and focuses more closely on issues of key relevance including medical, public health and food microbiology. Many modules have a significant practical component allowing you to hone technical skills.   

Year 3 provides specialised modules focused on key contemporary developments in microbiology including the emerging fields of microbiomes and One Health, and the pervading impact of genomics on the subject. We explore industrial microbiology and how microbes are key to biotechnological innovation. You will also design and complete your own research project in an area of microbiology of personal interest.

Year 1  

This module focuses on the basic principles involved in the build-up of molecules from atoms: the formation, properties and importance of bio-organic molecules, the diverse nature of micro-organisms and their structure, function and importance.      
This module will help you develop an understanding of genes and genetics, and their influence on evolution and development. It looks at the basic principles of molecular genetics, and the function and evolution of genes in organisms.      
This module will look at the multidisciplinary nature of cell biology and the basic structure of cells, focusing on animal cells. It will help you develop a theoretical knowledge of the fundamental physiological and biochemical functions carried out by cells.      
This module focuses on the origins and diversity of living organisms (including humans), the environmental processes and their role in the generation of biodiversity.      
This module will help you develop practical laboratory skills relevant to cell, organismal, micro- and molecular biology which will form a basis for competence in biological and biochemical experimental work.            
This module has two main objectives; firstly to provide you with skills in academic integrity and literacy that are fundamental to your scientific development as an undergraduate, and secondly to demonstrate that microbes matter because they affect every aspect of our lives today.      

Year 2  

This module explores the role of microbes in the production of food and drink and as a threat to these processes. You will get the opportunity to apply your knowledge of microbial physiology to food and drink production yourself, and experience this production on an industrial scale.      
This module will provide you with a cohesive lecture and practical course to emphasise the importance of microbial metabolic and genetic diversity.You will be able to describe the different ways in which microorganisms communicate and respond to their environments and will be introduced to concepts of pathogenicity and symbiosis and the virulence factors that contribute to disease.      
This module introduces pathogens in their broadest sense – from worms that fill human guts to burger-infecting bacteria and viruses transmitted by bee mites. The module explores the diversity and biology of pathogens and introduces the epidemiological skills needed to understand how outbreaks of infectious disease happen and how they can be controlled.        
From tuberculosis to Ebola, and measles to bird flu, infectious diseases threaten humans worldwide. This module focuses on today’s big challenges in infectious disease control and provides hands-on experience of the contemporary laboratory methods fundamental to medical microbiology.      
The aim of this module is to provide you with a cohesive lecture and laboratory programme to enable you to become aware of mammalian molecular biology and genetics and to develop an understanding of theoretical and practical knowledge in the application of clinical laboratory techniques used for diagnosis.      
This module is to help you develop an ability to understand the basics of scientific research under the following areas in order to prepare you for future research-based activity:                  
  • critical evaluation of research-based literature                    
  • understanding experimental techniques and design                    
  • data interpretation, analysis and presentation                    
  • dissertation writing and presentation                    

Year 3

This module aims to capture the ongoing explosion of scientific interest in microbiomes. You will learn about why microbiomes are important and gain hands-on experience of how to study them using the emerging discipline of bioinformatics.      
This is a unique module built on the considerable research experience of Salford staff in Parasitology and Infectious Disease Ecology. Through a series of lectures, seminars and case studies, the module marries ecology and epidemiology, and explores the emerging “One Health” approach to disease control.      
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is now widely recognised as one of the greatest threats to global health. This module focuses on the reasons underlying the emergence of AMR and investigates diverse often innovative solutions to the crisis.      
Microbial biotechnology is used in an exceptional diversity of applications associated with a vast range of human activities and needs. This module addresses explores some of the most important and innovative of these applications and considers key challenges for the future.      
This dissertation module allows you to develop independent, experimental, investigative and analytical research skills as you conduct a substantial research project based around a specific aspect/topic in the field of microbiology

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

Entry Requirements

Qualification Entry requirements
European Baccalaureate Pass in Diploma of at least 60% including at least one science subject
You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.
English language and maths at grade C or 4 or above
UCAS tariff points 112 points including A2 Biology. A Pass in the Practical Element of Science A levels must be achieved.
GCE A level 112 points including A2 Biology. A Pass in the Practical Element of Science A levels must be achieved.
BTEC National Diploma DMM including Biology
Scottish Highers 112 points from Higher Level including an appropriate Science subject
Irish Leaving Certificate 112 points from Higher Level including an appropriate Science subject
International Baccalaureate 29 points with at least one science subject from Group 4

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

Please note that you should discuss the possibility of being considered for the scheme with the Admissions Tutor  before making an application. Please contact the Environment and Life Sciences school office to speak with the Admissions Tutor for this course: +44(0)161 295 4656

English Language Requirements

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0 (with no element below 5.5) is proof of this. If you need to improve your written and spoken English, you might be interested in our English language courses.

Applicant profile

We are looking for applicants with a biology background who are motivated to specialise in the areas of public health, tropical disease and infection biology.

Fees and Funding


Fees 2019-20

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £9,250 per year
Part-time Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Full-time International £14,820 per year

Fees 2018-19

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £9,250 per year
Part-time Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Full-time International £14,400 per year

Additional costs

  • Field courses - a non refundable deposit of £25 is charged for all residential field courses 
  • Field trips - students will not be charged for field (day) trips but are expected to provide their own refreshments.

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.


You will learn through a combination of:

  • Lectures
  • Practical classes
  • Small group tutorials
  • Research projects
  • Guided reading
  • Residential and day field courses.


We have various approaches to assessment, some more traditional but many more innovative methods are used to assess your learning. You will demonstrate your understanding using a range of “real-world” devices such as presentations, briefing reports, business pitches and blogs. The final degree award is weighted to reflect year 2 (25%) and year 3 (75%) performances.


Career Prospects

Microbes affect every aspect of our lives, ranging from our health to the environment, climate change and food secturity. Thus microbiology expertise is required in a wide variety of sectors, including health care, public health, pharmaceuticals, food production and agriculture.

Placement Opportunities

We encourage all students to undertake a placement year between years two and three of study. Placement years are arranged by you with our support. If you choose to do a placement year then you will not pay fees to the University.

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