- UCAS code
- Start date
- September 2023
- Delivery type
- On campus
- 3 years full time
- Work placement
- Study abroad
- Typical A-level offer
- AAB (specific subject requirements)
- Typical Access to Leeds offer
Full entry requirements
Microbiology is the study of organisms too small to be visible with the naked eye, including bacteria, fungi and viruses. Your course will cover an area of science fundamental to the understanding of life on this planet – from human and animal disease, better food production to microbial involvement in global cycles.
You’ll study a range of microbiological topics, such as bacterial resistance to antibiotics, use of microbes in biotechnology, and how new pathogens such as the cause of COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) emerge and cause disease.
You will develop your specialist knowledge, whilst building on foundations of molecular and cellular biology, with areas such as immunology, genetics, biochemistry and cell biology.
This 3 year BSc can also be converted into an integrated Masters (MBiol) with an optional additional year of specialist training, to study advanced research topics and undertake your own extended research project.
- An opportunity to study disciplines complementary to microbiology such as biochemistry and genetics.
- A wide range of research-led optional modules including applied biology and agriculture, introduction to pharmacology, chemotherapy, and introduction to bioinformatics.
- Extensive training opportunities in microbiological and molecular techniques – essential for careers in scientific research.
Microbiology is a specialist degree within the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology, which offers you flexibility throughout your time at Leeds.
All our School of Molecular and Cellular Biology degree courses shares the same set of compulsory modules in the first year. A key benefit of having a common first year is that at the end of year 1, there are opportunities to transfer onto degree courses in Biological Sciences and Biotechnology and Enterprise, subject to approval. Additional degree courses may be available depending on your academic background.
Here at the University of Leeds, we are acutely aware that teaching is only part of a healthy, engaging university lifestyle. Activities which contribute to your wellbeing are vital, and so we have created Wednesday Wellbeing Afternoons.
These afternoons are a period of time with as much teaching as possible removed to give you the chance to pursue your passions. This may be a competitive sport for the university, a social sporting activity, or indeed any activity which contributes to positive mental health. We want your degree to be as flexible as possible so that you can make the most of your time here with us.
This programme has been accredited by the Royal Society of Biology. Advanced Degree Accreditation by the Society recognises academic excellence in the biosciences, and highlights degrees that educate the research and development leaders and innovators of the future. The Advanced Accreditation criteria require evidence that graduates from the programme meet defined sets of learning outcomes, including gaining a substantial period of research experience.
This accreditation is applicable to the following course variants: BSc Microbiology (Industrial); MBiol BSc Microbiology; MBiol BSc Microbiology (Industrial); MBiol BSc Microbiology (International).
You will study themes in microbiology, genetics, immunology, biochemistry and cell biology, alongside learning more about tissues, organs and body processes.
You’ll develop your practical skills with hands-on laboratory sessions, while tutorials and lectures will help strengthen your core theoretical skills – the key foundations needed for success at degree level.
At the end of year 1, our flexible degree structure offers you the opportunity to transfer onto other suitable degree courses.
You will develop an understanding of key themes within biosciences, while tailoring your degree to focus on your own areas of interest. Choose from our wide range of optional modules such as virology, bacteriology, immunology and genetic engineering.
This allows you to specialise in the detailed examination of microbial activities, from both a medical perspective and in relation to the biochemistry and cell biology of microbial replication and pathogenesis. You’ll have the opportunity to gain a comprehensive understanding of how micro-organisms cause disease at the molecular level and the options available for the treatment of these conditions.
At the end of year 2, you will have the opportunity to complete an industrial work placement, study abroad, or combined study and work abroad. This will add an additional year of study to your degree.
You will conduct an independent research project under the supervision of one of our world-class scientists applying all the skills you have developed during your degree. This can be laboratory-based, literature-based, or computer-based.
In addition, choose between a wide range of specialist and advanced topics such as emerging infections, virus-host interactions and innate immunity, modifying the course content to your own needs and interests.
Through this, you will gain a portfolio of skills, knowledge, and experiences that will allow you to pursue your graduate career aspirations.
The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.
Year 1 compulsory modules
|Introduction to Genetics||10|
|A Short Introduction to Systems Physiology||10|
|The Basis of Life||20|
|Introduction to Microbiology||10|
|The Microbial World||10|
|Introduction to Immunology||10|
|Skills for Microbiologists||40|
Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
|Applied Biology and Agriculture||10|
|Biology of the Mind||10|
|Introduction to Pharmacology||10|
Year 2 compulsory modules
|Genes and Genomes||20|
|Cell Biology of Disease||10|
|Skills for Microbiologists 2||40|
Year 2 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
|Biological Membranes and Cell Signalling||10|
|Introduction to Bioinformatics||10|
|Skills in Communicating Research beyond the University||10|
Year 3 compulsory modules
|Advanced Topics in Microbiology 1||20|
|Advanced Topics in Microbiology 2||20|
|Advanced Topics in Microbiology 3||20|
|Skills for Microbiologists 3||20|
Year 3 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
|COVID-19 LAMP Testing Placement||20|
|Molecular & Cellular Biology Research Projects||40|
|Biotechnology Research Project||20|
Throughout your degree you will benefit from a range of opportunities to expand your intellectual horizons outside or within your subject area.
This course gives you the opportunity to choose from a range of discovery modules. They’re a great way to tailor your study around your interests or career aspirations and help you stand out from the crowd when you graduate. Find out more about discovery modules on our Broadening webpages.
Learning and teaching
You’ll experience a wide range of teaching methods including lectures, tutorials and practicals. Your first and second years will focus on these three teaching methods, building your skills, understanding and knowledge in preparation for your final year research project, which will see you take on independent research and learning with the guidance of leading experts.
Across all years, additional workshop and seminar sessions will complement your lectures, lab practicals, and private study.
A typical week in your first year includes nine to twelve hours of lectures, three to six hours of practical sessions in the laboratory, tutorials, workshop and seminar sessions, plus private study.
Independent study and research are crucial to every year of the course. We have excellent library and computing facilities to support your learning, and the University Library offers comprehensive training.
On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.
We use a variety of assessment methods to help you develop a broad range of skills. These include practical work, data handling and problem-solving exercises, multiple-choice tests, group work, online and face-to-face discussion groups, computer-based simulations, essays, posters and oral presentations.
Including biology or chemistry and another science or science-related subject. Critical thinking and general studies excluded.
We accept the following:
Science: biology, human biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics.
Science-related: computing, environmental science, food science, geography, geology, PE, psychology, statistics.
Applicants taking a Science A-level (in England) will be required to achieve a pass in the practical element in addition to the standard A-level grade requirement.
When an applicant is taking any of the following:
Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)
Cambridge International Project Qualification (Cambridge IPQ)
Core Maths (if A-level Maths or Further Maths isn't studied as a full A-level)
AS Maths (if A-level Maths or Further Maths isn't studied as a full A-level)
Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate
It will be considered alongside A-levels and may attract an alternative offer in addition to the standard offer. If you are taking A-levels, this would be a 1 grade drop from the standard offer. For example an A in one of the above qualifications with ABB at A-level (BSc applicants).
GCSE: Grade 6 (B) or above at GCSE maths and Grade 4 (C) or above at GCSE English. The Faculty of Biological Sciences will accept Level 2 Functional Skills English in lieu of GCSE English.
Access to HE Diploma
Pass 60 credits overall with 45 credits at Level 3, graded at D39M6P0 including distinctions in biology and chemistry or maths.
We accept Access courses in Applied Science. We will also consider (depending on subject content):
biological and environmental science
biological and health science
life and biological science
medical and health science professions
physical & natural sciences.
MBiol: We do not accept Access to HE.
BTEC extended diploma entry requirements: DDM plus A/B in A-level Biology or Chemistry. The preferred BTEC qualification subject is Applied Science (other subjects may be accepted).
BTEC diploma entry requirements: DD plus A/B in A-level Biology or Chemistry. The preferred BTEC qualification subject is Applied Science (other subjects may be accepted).
Applicants with BTEC Subsidiary Diploma qualifications must normally have at least 2 A-levels and at least one of these should be Biology or Chemistry (plus another science or science-related subject depending on the BTEC subject).
MBiol: We do not accept BTEC qualifications.
BSc: D3/D3/M1 including D3 in biology or chemistry plus one other science or science-related subject. Global Perspectives excluded.
MBiol: D3/D3/D3 Including biology or chemistry plus another science or science-related subject. Global Perspectives excluded.
When an applicant is taking Global Perspectives this can be considered alongside Pre-U subjects and may attract an alternative offer in addition to the standard offer. This would be D3/M1/M1 and grade D3 in Global Perspectives (BSc applicants) or D3/D3/M1 and grade D3 in Global Perspectives (MBiol applicants).
BSc: 6,6,5 at higher level including Biology or Chemistry and another science or science-related subject.
MBiol: 6,6,6 at higher level including Biology or Chemistry and another science or science-related subject.
Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)
BSc: H2,H2,H2,H2,H3,H3 including H2 in biology or chemistry and another science or science-related subject at higher level.
MBiol: H2,H2,H2,H2,H2,H2 including biology or chemistry and another science or science-related subject at higher level.
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers
BSc: Advanced Higher: 5 x Highers AABBB, with AB in 2 Advanced Highers including biology or chemistry and another science or science-related subject. Critical thinking and general studies excluded.
MBiol: 5 x Highers AABBB, with AA in 2 Advanced Highers including biology or chemistry and another science or science-related subject. Critical thinking and general studies excluded.
We accept the following:
Science subjects: biology, human biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics.
Science-related subjects: PE, geography, use of mathematics, psychology, statistics, geology and computing.
Scottish Higher: Scottish Highers not accepted on their own.
Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the Schools Undergraduate Admissions Team.
Were committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.
Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.
Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.
Typical Access to Leeds offer
Specific A Level subjects required – see entry requirement section above.
GCSE: Grade 6 (B) or above at GCSE Maths and Grade 4 (C) or above at GCSE English.
Access to Leeds: Pass
International Foundation Year
International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.
English language requirements
IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in any component. . For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.
Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.
UK: £9,250 (per year)
International: £27,500 (per year)
Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will remain capped at £9,250 for 2023/24 and 2024/25. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation only as a consequence of future changes in Government legislation and as permitted by law.
Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for international students for 2023/24 and 2024/25 are available on individual course pages.
Read more about paying fees and charges.
There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs.
Scholarships and financial support
If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.
The Faculty of Biological Sciences offer a range of scholarships for UK, EU and International students. Find out more about our scholarships
We welcome applications from mature students. We welcome applications from mature students from all backgrounds onto both full-time and part-time programmes.
International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.
Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.
Visit our admissions guidance page for more information about applying to undergraduate courses in the Faculty of Biological Sciences.
The Faculty of Biological Sciences may consider applications submitted after this date. Availability of courses in UCAS Extra will be detailed by UCAS at the appropriate stage in the cycle.
Alternative Entry Scheme for mature applicants
As per the information detailed in the corresponding section of the University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy the Faculty of Biological Sciences will consider prospective students via the Alternative Entry Scheme run by the Lifelong Learning where appropriate applicants will be referred to the Lifelong Learning Centre, who will advise the applicant further.
Except for those courses detailed below, interviews do not form part of the Faculty of Biological Sciences’ standard admissions process however, in some cases, an applicant may be invited for an interview if it will help inform whether or not an offer should be made.
This course is taught by
Faculty of Biological Sciences Undergraduate Admissions Office
As well as providing you with subject-specific knowledge, we aim to equip you with the best possible skills for a variety of future careers. All of our degrees have a strong emphasis on practical based teaching, small group teaching, online learning and problem solving.
Throughout the degree, you’ll gain a wide range of transferable skills which are highly valued by employers. Supported by the faculty student opportunity team, Leeds for Life scheme and your academic and personal tutor, you’ll be ideally placed to focus on your personal development and make the most of your time at university.
Given the huge importance of microorganisms to all aspects of our lives, microbiologists will always be in demand. Microbiology is an exciting, challenging and rewarding subject; it has a key role to play in the health and development of mankind.
Typical graduate careers include:
- Clinical Scientist
- Biomedical Scientist
- Forensic Scientist
- Graduate medicine/dentistry
Examples of recent graduate destinations include:
- PhD Biochemistry
- Diagnostic technician
- Product technology scientist
- Commercial analyst
We have a dedicated student opportunity team in the Faculty of Biological Sciences who work closely with the University’s Careers Centre.
We offer a host of additional opportunities beyond core course content, including volunteering and placements. These include our annual student-alumni networking event, where graduates are invited back to talk about their work and network with our students, and our STEM Careers Fair, which gives you the chance to meet bioscience employers, such as AstraZeneca, Labcorp, GSK, Nuffield NHS Ecological consultancies, speak to alumni, attend workshops and get masses of information.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more about Careers support.
Study abroad and work placements
On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. We have over 300 University partners worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America.
Find out more at the Study Abroad website.
If you choose to undertake a study abroad option, you will spend the third year of your course studying abroad. This will extend your studies by 12 months.
Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.
Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.
Industrial placements are taken after your second year. This will extend your studies by 12 months. For your work placement in industry, the staff at Leeds will help you with your CV and recruitment process and provide details of organisations.
Placements abroad are possible. We work together with your industrial supervisors to make sure you get the most out of this year. A year working in industry gives you an excellent opportunity to get used to the demands of the world of work, to develop new skills and to augment your CV.
Combined study and working abroad
Our new module allows you to combine both a study abroad and industrial work placement into one additional year of study. Over the year you will study for a semester at one of our partner universities and complete an industrial work placement for 6 months abroad or in the UK.
Find out more about Combined study and work abroad.
Student profile: Hannah Longon
I decided to do a year in industry to test the waters and see what sort of careers a degree in Microbiology might open up to me and to guide my applications for graduate schemes.Find out more about Hannah Longon's time at Leeds