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Undergraduate Programme Specification

MSci Microbiology

Academic Year 2021/22

A programme specification is required for any programme on which a student may be registered. All programmes of the University are subject to the University's Quality Assurance processes. All degrees are awarded by Queen's University Belfast.

Programme Title MSci Microbiology Final Award
(exit route if applicable for Postgraduate Taught Programmes)
Master in Science
Programme Code MCB-MSCI-S UCAS Code C502 HECoS Code 100353 - Microbiology - 100
ATAS Clearance Required No
Mode of Study Full Time
Type of Programme Undergraduate Master Length of Programme 4 Academic Year(s) Total Credits for Programme 480
Exit Awards available

Institute Information

Teaching Institution

Queen's University Belfast

School/Department

Biological Sciences

Quality Code
https://www.qaa.ac.uk/quality-code

Higher Education Credit Framework for England
https://www.qaa.ac.uk/quality-code/higher-education-credit-framework-for-england

Level 7

Subject Benchmark Statements
https://www.qaa.ac.uk/quality-code/subject-benchmark-statements

The Frameworks for Higher Education Qualifications of UK Degree-Awarding Bodies
https://www.qaa.ac.uk/docs/qaa/quality-code/qualifications-frameworks.pdf

Biosciences (2019)

Accreditations (PSRB)

Royal Society of Biology

Date of most recent Accreditation Visit 24-01-20

Regulation Information

Does the Programme have any approved exemptions from the University General Regulations
(Please see General Regulations)

None

Programme Specific Regulations

In addition to the Study Regulations for Undergraduate Programmes:

To be awarded the degree of MSci Microbiology students must pass the final year project module BIO4301 (120 CATS).

Students that have not met the minimum credit requirement for an integrated Master’s degree will exit with the BSc in Microbiology.


In order to proceed to the MSci degree, students must pass the honours project module BIO3308 (40 CATS) with a mark of 60% or more and must have an overall weighted average of at least 60%. Students who do not meet these requirements will be required to transfer to the BSc in Microbiology

To be awarded the exit award of the BSc Honours Microbiology, in addition to the Study Regulations for Undergraduate Programmes students must pass the honours project module BIO3308 (40 CATS).


Transfers to and from the programme
Students enrolled on BSc in Microbiology may transfer into this programme at any stage provided that they have a weighted mean mark of at least 60%.
Students enrolled on this pathway may transfer to BSc in Microbiology up until the end of Stage 3.

Progression
Degree Classification
The following module weightings should be used when calculating the honours classification: Stage 1 5%, Stage 2 15%, Stage 3 30%, Stage 4 50%.

Students with protected characteristics

The programme does not contain barriers to access or progression among protected groups.

Are students subject to Fitness to Practise Regulations

(Please see General Regulations)

No

Educational Aims Of Programme

The MSci Microbiology Programme is designed to give graduates in-depth knowledge into the concepts and theories relating to microbiology. This course allows students understand the complexity and diversity of life through the study of micro-organisms at the molecular and physiological level through to their genetics and evolution. Students will gain a broad appreciation for the importance of microbiology to human health, agri-food production and the environment and the field of biotechnology. The programme is underpinned by an active research environment and aims to enable all students to develop comprehensive subject-specific knowledge with practical and transferable skills in area of microbiology whilst, encouraging creative thinking and innovation. An integral component of the course will be the completion of a year-long research project that is informed by the knowledge and understanding of the subject through current scholarship and research. On completion of the programme successful students will have developed the knowledge and expertise required to pursue a research or other professional career in the Microbial Sciences.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes: Cognitive Skills

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

Analyse, synthesise and critically evaluate scientific literature.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Outcomes are achieved through lectures, practical classes, discussions, field work, tutorials, group work, final year project work, MSci project, online learning via the University VLE and independent study.

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed through class tests, unseen written examinations, practical reports, oral presentations, essays, posters, case studies, data analysis and project/MSci thesis

Apply subject knowledge and understanding to generate hypotheses to address familiar and unfamiliar problems.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Outcomes are achieved through lectures, practical classes, discussions, field work, tutorials, group work, final year project work, MSci project, online learning via the University VLE and independent study.

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed through class tests, unseen written examinations, practical reports, oral presentations, essays, posters, case studies, data analysis and project/MSci thesis.

Demonstrate the ability to evaluate critically the appropriateness of different
approaches to solving problems and appreciate the limitations of current hypotheses.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Outcomes are achieved through lectures, practical classes, discussions, field work, tutorials, group work, final year project work, MSci project, online learning via the University VLE and independent study.

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed through class tests, unseen written examinations, practical reports, oral presentations, essays, posters, case studies, data analysis and project/MSci thesis.

Recognise the importance of academic and research integrity and ethical issues of investigations.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Outcomes are achieved through lectures, practical classes, discussions, field work, tutorials, group work, final year project work, MSci project, online learning via the University VLE and independent study.

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed through class tests, unseen written examinations, practical reports, oral presentations, essays, posters, case studies, data analysis and project/MSci thesis.

Learning Outcomes: Knowledge & Understanding

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the theoretical basis of
microbiology (to include bacteriology, immunology, mycology and virology).

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Knowledge-based subject-specific learning and teaching is provided through lectures, module practical classes, discussions, field work, tutorials, group work, final year/MSci project work, online learning via the University VLE and independent study.

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed through unseen written examinations, class tests, practical reports, oral presentations, essays, posters, case studies, data analysis and MSci/honours project thesis.

Appreciate the ways in which studies in pure microbiology underpin applied aspects of microbiology.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Knowledge-based subject-specific learning and teaching is provided through lectures, module practical classes, discussions, field work, tutorials, group work, final year/MSci project work, online learning via the University VLE and independent study.

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed through unseen written examinations, class tests, practical reports, oral presentations, essays, posters, case studies, data analysis and MSci/honours project thesis.

Exhibit a critical awareness of the ability of microbiology to enhance the quality of life with respect to human health, agri-food production and the environment.
Recognising that microbiology spans diverse areas including medicine,
ecology, biotechnology and other molecular biosciences.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Knowledge-based subject-specific learning and teaching is provided through lectures, module practical classes, discussions, field work, tutorials, group work, final year/MSci project work, online learning via the University VLE and independent study.

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed through unseen written examinations, class tests, practical reports, oral presentations, essays, posters, case studies, data analysis and MSci/honours project thesis.

Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of biodiversity and evolution
through the study of micro-organisms.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Knowledge-based subject-specific learning and teaching is provided through lectures, module practical classes, discussions, field work, tutorials, group work, final year/MSci project work, online learning via the University VLE and independent study.

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed through unseen written examinations, class tests, practical reports, oral presentations, essays, posters, case studies, data analysis and MSci/honours project thesis.

Learning Outcomes: Subject Specific

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

Comprehend the scientific literature relating to microbiology and integrate information there from to address problems, and formulate and test hypotheses.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Scientific writing workshops, library courses, online teaching material. Subject specific practicals, final year Honours project, MSci project and optional work placement. Skills in laboratory work and in the analysis and interpretation of data are developed incrementally beginning at stage 1 and 2 through to the final year research project and the MSci research project. Students will follow safety protocols relating to practical work at all stages and will prepare risk assessments as part of their research project.

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed through written reports, direct observation in the laboratory (OSPE) or field, essays and the honours and MSci projects. Students are referred to the primary literature in support of taught modules and prepare a project-oriented review. Practical reports, completion of practical skills portfolio. Completion of /compliance with Ethical procedures, COSHH and Risk Assessments.

Be able to devise, evaluate and carry out experimental work in a microbiology laboratory.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Scientific writing workshops, library courses, online teaching material. Subject specific practicals, final year Honours project, MSci project and optional work placement. Skills in laboratory work and in the analysis and interpretation of data are developed incrementally beginning at stage 1 and 2 through to the final year research project and the MSci research project. Students will follow safety protocols relating to practical work at all stages and will prepare risk assessments as part of their research project.

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed through written reports, direct observation in the laboratory (OSPE) or field, essays and the honours and MSci projects. Students are referred to the primary literature in support of taught modules and prepare a project-oriented review. Practical reports, completion of practical skills portfolio. Completion of /compliance with Ethical procedures, COSHH and Risk Assessments.

Document and present data, using appropriate statistical analysis.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Scientific writing workshops, library courses, online teaching material. Subject specific practicals, final year Honours project, MSci project and optional work placement. Skills in laboratory work and in the analysis and interpretation of data are developed incrementally beginning at stage 1 and 2 through to the final year research project and the MSci research project. Students will follow safety protocols relating to practical work at all stages and will prepare risk assessments as part of their research project.

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed through written reports, direct observation in the laboratory (OSPE) or field, essays and the honours and MSci projects. Students are referred to the primary literature in support of taught modules and prepare a project-oriented review. Practical reports, completion of practical skills portfolio. Completion of /compliance with Ethical procedures, COSHH and Risk Assessments.

Comply with health and safety regulations and ethics procedures relevant to
the specific project type and/or practical environment.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Scientific writing workshops, library courses, online teaching material. Subject specific practicals, final year Honours project, MSci project and optional work placement. Skills in laboratory work and in the analysis and interpretation of data are developed incrementally beginning at stage 1 and 2 through to the final year research project and the MSci research project. Students will follow safety protocols relating to practical work at all stages and will prepare risk assessments as part of their research project.

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed through written reports, direct observation in the laboratory (OSPE) or field, essays and the honours and MSci projects. Students are referred to the primary literature in support of taught modules and prepare a project-oriented review. Practical reports, completion of practical skills portfolio. Completion of /compliance with Ethical procedures, COSHH and Risk Assessments.

Be proficient in the use of IT for accessing databases and scientific literature, manipulating, processing and presenting data and written assignments.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Scientific writing workshops, library courses, online teaching material. Subject specific practicals, final year Honours project, MSci project and optional work placement. Skills in laboratory work and in the analysis and interpretation of data are developed incrementally beginning at stage 1 and 2 through to the final year research project and the MSci research project. Students will follow safety protocols relating to practical work at all stages and will prepare risk assessments as part of their research project.

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed through written reports, direct observation in the laboratory (OSPE) or field, essays and the honours and MSci projects. Students are referred to the primary literature in support of taught modules and prepare a project-oriented review. Practical reports, completion of practical skills portfolio. Completion of /compliance with Ethical procedures, COSHH and Risk Assessments.

Interrogate and evaluate bibliographic and bioinformatic databases.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Scientific writing workshops, library courses, online teaching material. Subject specific practicals, final year Honours project, MSci project and optional work placement. Skills in laboratory work and in the analysis and interpretation of data are developed incrementally beginning at stage 1 and 2 through to the final year research project and the MSci research project. Students will follow safety protocols relating to practical work at all stages and will prepare risk assessments as part of their research project.

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed through written reports, direct observation in the laboratory (OSPE) or field, essays and the honours and MSci projects. Students are referred to the primary literature in support of taught modules and prepare a project-oriented review. Practical reports, completion of practical skills portfolio. Completion of /compliance with Ethical procedures, COSHH and Risk Assessments.

Learning Outcomes: Transferable Skills

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

Demonstrate an ability to communicate and apply knowledge of the biological
sciences to peers and non-scientists using a range of media.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

The development of transferrable skills is embedded throughout the curriculum. Learning methods underpinning transferrable skill acquisition is through lectures, module practical classes, discussions, field work, tutorials, group work, final year project work, MSci project, online learning via the University VLE and independent study. Certain transferable skills, such as self-motivation, adaptability and flexibility are embedded within the learning and may not be separately assessed. However, satisfactory achievement of the learning outcomes requires that such skills are developed to an appropriate level.

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed through unseen written examinations, class tests, practical reports, oral presentations, essays, posters, case studies, data analysis and MSci/honours project thesis.

Exhibit the personal and intellectual skills necessary for the world of
employment and lifelong learning including:
- intellectual independence,
- self-motivation,
- effective time management and planning,
- an adaptable, flexible approach to learning
the ability to work as part of a team.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

The development of transferrable skills is embedded throughout the curriculum. Learning methods underpinning transferrable skill acquisition is through lectures, module practical classes, discussions, field work, tutorials, group work, final year project work, MSci project, online learning via the University VLE and independent study. Certain transferable skills, such as self-motivation, adaptability and flexibility are embedded within the learning and may not be separately assessed. However, satisfactory achievement of the learning outcomes requires that such skills are developed to an appropriate level.

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed through unseen written examinations, class tests, practical reports, oral presentations, essays, posters, case studies, data analysis and MSci/honours project thesis.

Demonstrate innovation in science through discovery and the application of knowledge.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

The development of transferrable skills is embedded throughout the curriculum. Learning methods underpinning transferrable skill acquisition is through lectures, module practical classes, discussions, field work, tutorials, group work, final year project work, MSci project, online learning via the University VLE and independent study. Certain transferable skills, such as self-motivation, adaptability and flexibility are embedded within the learning and may not be separately assessed. However, satisfactory achievement of the learning outcomes requires that such skills are developed to an appropriate level.

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed through unseen written examinations, class tests, practical reports, oral presentations, essays, posters, case studies, data analysis and MSci/honours project thesis.

Demonstrate proficiency in the use of computers for data management and presentation.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

The development of transferrable skills is embedded throughout the curriculum. Learning methods underpinning transferrable skill acquisition is through lectures, module practical classes, discussions, field work, tutorials, group work, final year project work, MSci project, online learning via the University VLE and independent study. Certain transferable skills, such as self-motivation, adaptability and flexibility are embedded within the learning and may not be separately assessed. However, satisfactory achievement of the learning outcomes requires that such skills are developed to an appropriate level.

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed through unseen written examinations, class tests, practical reports, oral presentations, essays, posters, case studies, data analysis and MSci/honours project thesis.

Demonstrate proficiency in the collation, quantitative analysis, graphical
presentation, and interpretation of experimental data, and the ability to problem-solve.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

The development of transferrable skills is embedded throughout the curriculum. Learning methods underpinning transferrable skill acquisition is through lectures, module practical classes, discussions, field work, tutorials, group work, final year project work, MSci project, online learning via the University VLE and independent study. Certain transferable skills, such as self-motivation, adaptability and flexibility are embedded within the learning and may not be separately assessed. However, satisfactory achievement of the learning outcomes requires that such skills are developed to an appropriate level.

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed through unseen written examinations, class tests, practical reports, oral presentations, essays, posters, case studies, data analysis and MSci/honours project thesis.

Learning Outcomes: Cognitive Skills

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

Design, plan and manage a significant research project

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Through MSci research project

Methods of Assessment

Project proposal, research lab book, interim reports and final dissertation.

Learning Outcomes: Knowledge & Understanding

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

Demonstrate in-depth knowledge and understanding of a specific aspect of the subject through research led discovery

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Through MSci research project

Methods of Assessment

Through MSci research project Project proposal, research lab book, interim reports and final dissertation.

Module Information

Stages and Modules

Module Title Module Code Level/ stage Credits

Availability

Duration Pre-requisite

Assessment

S1 S2 Core Option Coursework % Practical % Examination %
Experimental Biochemistry BIO2102 2 20 YES 12 weeks Y YES 100% 0% 0%
Parasitology BIO3107 3 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%
Research Project (MSci) BIO4301 4 120 YES YES 24 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%
Medical Microbiology BIO3209 3 20 YES 12 weeks Y YES 100% 0% 0%
Industrial Microbiology BIO3103 3 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%
Fundamentals of Chemistry CHM1011 1 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%
Plant and Soil Science BIO2106 2 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%
Cell Biology BIO2104 2 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%
Advanced Cell Biology BIO2304 2 20 YES 12 weeks Y YES 40% 0% 60%
Ecology and Environmental Science BIO1309 1 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 50% 0% 50%
Biodiversity BIO1305 1 40 YES YES 24 weeks N YES 50% 0% 50%
Molecular Basis of Life BIO1304 1 40 YES YES 24 weeks N YES 40% 0% 60%
Zoonoses BIO3204 3 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 20% 0% 80%
Molecular Genetics and Bioinformatics BIO2305 2 40 YES YES 24 weeks N YES 50% 0% 50%
The World of Microorganisms BIO1301 1 40 YES YES 24 weeks N YES 40% 0% 60%
Microbiome: Biotechnological applications and ‘Omic manipulations BIO3203 3 20 YES 12 weeks Y YES 40% 0% 60%
Work Placement BIO2303 2 20 YES YES 24 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%
Research Project BIO3308 3 40 YES YES 24 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%
Microorganisms in Action BIO2202 2 20 YES 12 weeks Y YES 40% 0% 60%
Structure, Reactivity and Mechanism in Organic and Bioorganic Chemistry CHM1004 1 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%

Notes

Stage 1: Students must take the compulsory modules listed (80 CATS) and choose a further 40 CATS from the optional modules listed. CHM1004 pre-requisite: A-Level Chemistry CHM1011: Students wishing to take this module should discuss with their Advisor of Studies before choosing Students must take an equal distribution of CATS points between semesters .

Stage 2: Students must take the compulsory modules (100 CATS) listed and ONE other module (20 CATS) from the optional modules listed. BIO2102 Pre-requisite: CHM1011 BIO2304 Pre-requisite BIO2104 BIO2202 Pre-requisite: BIO1301 Students must take an equal distribution of CATS points between semesters .

Stage 3: Students must take the compulsory modules (100 CATS) listed and one other module (20 CATS) from the optional modules listed. BIO3203 Pre-requisite: BIO1301 BIO3209 Pre-requisite BIO1301 Students are expected to commit to, and complete the MSci programme. Those who wish to exit the programme at the end of Stage 3 may be permitted to transfer to the corresponding BSc (Hons) by their Advisor of Studies . Students must take an equal distribution of CATS points between semesters .

Stage 4: Students must take the compulsory module listed (120 CATS)