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Microbiology with Professional Studies (BSc Hons) C504

BSc Honours

Microbiology with Professional Studies

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Key Course Information

Entry Year

2016

Course length

4 year(s)

A-Level Requirements *

BBB/ABB

Faculty

Medicine, Health and Life Sciences

Attendance

Full-Time

Professional Year Out

Yes

UCAS Code

C504

School

Biological Sciences

*Indicative Only. Please see the Course Entry Requirements section for details on subject specific or GCSE requirements.

Overview

Microbiology is the study of bacteria, fungi, algae, protozoa and viruses, and is of immense importance in relation to the environment, agriculture and food, biomedical sciences and biotechnology. Graduates in Microbiology are therefore highly sought after in these fields.

Viruses, bacteria and fungi play major roles in the diseases of man, animals and plants. Microbiologists have been central to their diagnosis and in combating such diseases through the discovery of effective therapies.

Microorganisms also play a central role in the biosphere, through environmental processing or recycling of elements and waste products. They are also crucial in the manufacture of fermented foods and beverages.

Why Queen's?

Accreditation: the degrees follow the National Subject Profile for Higher Education Programmes in Microbiology as published by the Centre for Bioscience (Higher Education Academy). The degrees also adhere to the core curriculum in Microbiology as described by the American Society of Microbiology. The combination of modules provided in part fulfils many of the requirements for accreditation by the Institute of Biomedical Sciences in the UK. Accreditation may be achieved through some additional postgraduate training.

Placement: students can complete an optional 16-week work placement period as a component of Stage 2. Microbiology with Professional Studies students, on completion of Stage 2, are required to undertake a compulsory 46-week period of work experience, including a project agreed between the student, the School and the employer. Past students have gained work placement with organisations such as Northern Ireland Water Ltd, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, the Forensic Service, the NHS, Norbrook Laboratories, Randox Laboratories, the Almac Group, and Moy Park.

Course Content (including module information)

The syllabus offers a unique opportunity for students to study Microbiology in the context of medicine, environmental protection and biotechnology. For those wishing to pursue a science career, the course will develop both their practical skills and knowledge base. Microbiology also provides a good fundamental training in data analysis, problem solving, teamwork and communication. Microbiologists can use these skills in a wide range of careers in research, medicine, industry, education, business and communications, or as a route to further study.

Stage 1

  • Molecular Basis of Life
  • Basic Chemistry 1
  • Structure, Reactivity and Mechanism in Organic and Bioorganic Chemistry
  • The World of Microorganisms
  • Biodiversity

Stage 2

The science behind the roles of viruses and bacteria in the diseases of animals and plants and the ecological, environmental and industrial aspects of microbiology is studied. Required modules are:

  • Experimental Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology 2
  • Molecular Biology and Bioinformatics
  • Microbes in Action
  • Work Placement

Stage 3

  • Research Project
  • Industrial Microbiology
  • Immunology and Virology
  • Parasitology and Zoonoses
  • Bacterial Genetics and Genetic Manipulation

 

Assessment & Feedback

Assessment (general):  The way in which you are assessed will vary according to the Learning objectives of each module.  Some modules are assessed solely through project work or written assignments.  Others are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations.  Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction.

Feedback (general):  As students progress through their course at Queen’s they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and peers.  University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including: 

  • Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that you, as an individual or as part of a group, have submitted. 
  • Face to face comment.  This may include occasions when you make use of the lecturers’ advertised “office hours” to help you to address a specific query.
  • Placement employer comments or references.
  • Online or emailed comment.
  • General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.
  • Pre-submission advice regarding the standards you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid.  In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which you can review in your own time. 
  • Feedback and outcomes from practical classes.
  • Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as, Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service. 

Once you have reviewed your feedback, you will be encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of your work. 

Learning and Teaching

At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable student to achieve their full academic potential.  On the BSc (Hons) in Microbiology we do this by providing a range of learning experiences which enable our students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies and a world class library that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners.   Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are: 

  • Lectures:introduce basic information about new topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading.  Lectures also provide opportunities to ask questions, gain some feedback and advice on assessments (normally delivered in large groups to all year group peers). 
  • Practicals: Microbiology is a laboratory based discipline and as such Queen’s puts a significant emphasis on technical training.  Within practical sessions you will have opportunities to develop laboratory skills in a range of microbiological, biochemical and molecular biology techniques, and apply theoretical principles to real-life or practical contexts. 
  • E-Learning technologies:   Information associated with lectures and assignments is often communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Queen’s Online.  A range of e-learning experiences are also embedded in the degree through, for example; IT and statistics modules; interactive web-based learning activities; opportunities to use IT programmes associated with design in practicals and project- based work etc
  • Seminars/tutorials:  Small group teaching (typically involving 10-20 students) provides significant opportunities to engage with academic staff who have specialist knowledge of the topic, to ask questions of them and to assess your own progress and understanding with the support of peers.  You should also expect to make presentations and other contributions to these groups.
  • Self-directed study:  This is an essential part of life as a Queen’s student when important private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date and assignment research and preparation work is carried out.
  • Work placements:  Students taking Microbiology with Professional Studies undertake a work-placement after Level 2.  This is a significant learning and employability enhancement opportunity. 
  • Supervised projects:  In final year, you will be expected to carry out a significant piece of research on a topic or practical methodology that you have chosen.  You will receive support from a supervisor who will guide you in terms of how to carry out your research and will provide feedback to you during the write up stage.
  • Personal Tutor:  Undergraduates are allocated a Personal Tutor during Level 1 and 2 who meets with them on several occasions during the year to support their academic development.  Further details are shown in the section on the Student Guidance Centre.

Entry Requirements

 

Selection Criteria

In addition to the entrance requirements below, it is essential that you read the How We Choose Our Students pdf prior to submitting your UCAS application.

Entrance Requirements

A-level:
BBB including Biology and at least one from Chemistry (preferred), Geography, Mathematics or Physics + GCSE Chemistry grade B or GCSE Double Award Science grades BB + GCSE Mathematics grade C
OR
BBB including Double Award Applied Science + GCSE Biology grade C and Chemistry grade B or GCSE Double Award Science grades BB + GCSE Mathematics grade C
OR
ABB including Biology + GCSE Chemistry grade B or GCSE Double Award Science grades BB + GCSE Mathematics grade C.
Note: it would be an advantage to have studied Chemistry beyond GCSE level.

Irish Leaving Certificate: 
H3H3H3H3H4H4/H3H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H3 in Biology and at least one from Chemistry (preferred), Geography, Mathematics or Physics + if not offered at Higher Level then Ordinary Level grade O3 in Chemistry and O4 in Mathematics
OR
H3H3H3H3H3H3/H2H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H3 in Biology + Ordinary Level grade O3 in Chemistry + if not offered at Higher Level then grade O4 in Mathematics. 

Note: It would be an advantage to have studied Higher Level Chemistry.

International Students

For information on international qualification equivalents, please click on Your Country in the International Students website.

If you are an international student and you do not meet the entrance requirements, you should consider a preparation course at INTO Queen's University Belfast, which will prepare you for successful study on these degree courses. INTO at Queen's is based on the University campus and offers a range of courses including the International Foundation in Engineering and Science.

For students whose first language is not English

An IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at: http://go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability to entry to this degree. Please click the links below for more information:

  • English for University Study - an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
  • Pre-sessional English - a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English 

How To Apply

Applications for admission to full-time undergraduate and sandwich courses at the University should normally be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full information can be obtained from the UCAS website at: www.ucas.com/apply

When to apply
UCAS will start processing applications for entry in Autumn 2016 from 1 September 2015. The normal closing date for the receipt of applications is 15 January 2016, however, for candidates applying to Oxford or Cambridge and for those whose choices include Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary Medicine/Science the closing date is 15 October 2015.

Currently there are two intakes to Adult Nursing (one in September and the other in February).

Those applying for entry in February 2016 should apply prior to 15 January 2015.

Applicants are advised to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.

Earlier applicants normally receive decisions more quickly, however, UCAS accepts that some applicants, especially those from outside theUK, may find this difficult. Late applications are, in practice, accepted by UCAS throughout the remainder of the application cycle, but you should understand that they are considered by institutions at their discretion, and there can be no guarantee that they will be given the same full level of consideration as applications received by the official closing date.

For Queen's, the institution code name is QBELF and the institution code isQ75. These should be entered in the Choices section of your UCAS application. Please note a Campus Code is not required. For further information on applying to study at Queen’s, please click here.

Career Prospects

Microbiology is an interdisciplinary subject with key links to the other Biological Sciences, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Environmental Engineering and Medicine. Graduates are qualified to take up both scientific and nonscientific careers. Many job opportunities are available in biomedical, industrial and government organisations, and in universities and colleges of higher education. These jobs cover innovative research, the development of new products, advisory and consultancy work or teaching. All are aimed at improving the health, environment and economy of countries in both the developed and developing world. In particular, companies and organisations concerned with animal and plant health, food and beverage processing, water quality, environmental management, pharmaceutical products and biotechnology require graduates in Microbiology.  As there is currently a shortage of microbiologists, job opportunities exist across a number of areas including:

Healthcare:  Microbiologists are essential in the fight against infectious diseases working in hospitals and Health Protection Laboratories.  Here they diagnose infections, monitor treatments, develop vaccines, provide advice or track disease outbreaks.

Basic research: In order to either solve the problems caused by microorganisms or exploit their capabilities fundamental research on their biochemistry and genetics is required.  Many microbiologists work in universities and research institutes exploring the detailed workings of microbial cells.

Environment:  One of the greatest challenges currently facing society is that of climate change and environmental protection.  Microbiologists are key players in the development of waste treatment technologies, recycling processes, pollution warning systems and in the production of green energy.

Agriculture:  Pest management is an essential component of modern agricultural practice.  Microbiologists have key roles to play in the development of pest control systems and in the diagnosis and treatment of animal pathogens.

Business:  Microbiologists work in many bioscience and food companies, carrying out research, developing new products or carrying out quality control of manufacturing processes to ensure the microbiological safety of goods such as medicines, cosmetics, food, drink etc. 

Outside the lab:  Many trained microbiologists never go on to work in the microbiology field.  However, they  can use their skills and knowledge to pursue careers in marketing, technical support, regulatory affairs, education, as patent attorneys, and in public relations, journalism and publishing.

The combination of courses within the Microbiology degree in part fulfils many of the requirements for accreditation by the Institute of Biomedical Sciences in the UK:  Accreditation may be achieved through some additional postgraduate training.

Employer Links

The School of Biological Sciences employs a dedicated careers advisor who has developed an extensive portfolio of employers, both nationally and internationally, within the science sector.  Advice is also provided on CV preparation, interview techniques and securing summer work or longer placements.

Placement Employers

Our past students have also gained work placement with organisations such as: 

 

  • Northern Ireland Water Ltd
  • Environment Agency 
  • Forensic Service 
  • Moy Park 
  • Randox Laboratories
  • Norbrook Laboratories Ltd
  • The Almac Group
  • Health Service 

Graduate Careers

The Prospects and Microbiology Careerswebsites provide further information aboutthe types of jobs that attract Microbiology Graduates. 

Further study is also an option open to Microbiology graduates. Students can choose from a wide range of Masters programmes as well as a comprehensive list of research topics as shown on the School website.

Other Career-related information: Queen’s is a member of the Russell Group and, therefore, one of the 20 universities most-targeted by leading graduate employers.  Queen’s students will be advised and guided about career choice and, through the Degree Plusinitiative, will have an opportunity to seek accreditation for skills development and experience gained through the wide range of extra-curricular activities on offer.  See Queen’s University Belfast fullEmployability Statementfor further information.

Degree Plus and other related initiatives:  Recognising student diversity, as well as promoting employability enhancements and other interests, is part of the developmental experience at Queen’s.  Students are encouraged to plan and build their own, personal skill and experiential profile through a range of activities including; recognised Queen’s Certificates, placements and other work experiences (at home or overseas), Erasmus study options elsewhere in Europe, learning development opportunities and involvement in wider university life through activities, such as clubs, societies, and sports. 

Queen’s actively encourages this type of activity by offering students an additional qualification, the Degree Plus Award (and the related Researcher Plus Award for PhD and MPhil students).  Degree Plus accredits wider experiential and skill development gained through extra-curricular activities that promote the enhancement of academic, career management, personal and employability skills in a variety of contexts.  As part of the Award, students are also trained on how to reflect on the experience(s) and make the link between academic achievement, extracurricular activities, transferable skills and graduate employment. Participating students will also be trained in how to reflect on their skills and experiences and can gain an understanding of how to articulate the significance of these to others, e.g. employers.

Overall, these initiatives, and Degree Plus in particular, reward the energy, drive, determination and enthusiasm shown by students engaging in activities over-and-above the requirements of their academic studies.  These qualities are amongst those valued highly by graduate employers.

Fees & Scholarships

There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union. Higher education funding arrangements mean that students can study now and pay later.

Further details can be found on our fees and funding section.

Queen's works to ensure that all those who can benefit from a university education have the chance to do so, and a generous system of financial support is in place to help them. Each year Queen’s offer a range of scholarships and prize for new students. The most up to date listings are available here.

For international students, information on tuition fees, can be found here. Information on scholarships for international students, can be found here.

Assessment & Feedback

Assessment (general):  The way in which you are assessed will vary according to the Learning objectives of each module.  Some modules are assessed solely through project work or written assignments.  Others are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations.  Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction.

Feedback (general):  As students progress through their course at Queen’s they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and peers.  University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including: 

  • Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that you, as an individual or as part of a group, have submitted. 
  • Face to face comment.  This may include occasions when you make use of the lecturers’ advertised “office hours” to help you to address a specific query.
  • Placement employer comments or references.
  • Online or emailed comment.
  • General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.
  • Pre-submission advice regarding the standards you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid.  In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which you can review in your own time. 
  • Feedback and outcomes from practical classes.
  • Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as, Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service. 

Once you have reviewed your feedback, you will be encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of your work. 

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Telephone

For entrance requirements
E: admissions@qub.ac.uk
T: +44 (0)28 9097 3838

For course information
The School Manager
School of Biological Sciences
T: +44 (0)28 9097 5786
E: biolsci@qub.ac.uk
W: http://www.qub.ac.uk/bb

 

Email

For entrance requirements
E: admissions@qub.ac.uk
T: +44 (0)28 9097 3838

For course information
The School Manager
School of Biological Sciences
T: +44 (0)28 9097 5786
E: biolsci@qub.ac.uk
W: http://www.qub.ac.uk/bb

 

Website

For entrance requirements
E: admissions@qub.ac.uk
T: +44 (0)28 9097 3838

For course information
The School Manager
School of Biological Sciences
T: +44 (0)28 9097 5786
E: biolsci@qub.ac.uk
W: http://www.qub.ac.uk/bb

 

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