Biology (Microbiology) - (Professional Placement Year)

Bath Spa University

Degree level: Undergraduate
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Course summary

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We live in a microbial world and this pathway will introduce you to that world and its relevance to Biology. You will be taught by lecturers with expertise in food microbiology, environmental microbiology and health microbiology, and those topics will form the basis of this pathway. From the basics of microbial cell structure and function, through to microbial metabolism and genetics, microbial systems and ultimately real world applications of microbiology, this pathway will equip you with a broad base understanding of this topic and open up careers and post-graduate study in the field. The key modules in this pathway will introduce you to the microbial world, and teach you the skills to grow and identify microbes and explore their role in the environment, in health and in food safety and production. You will also develop your laboratory and microscopy skills enabling you culture and identify microbes safely. Laboratory skills will be developed across the entire programme enabling you to design your own research project to investigate an aspect of microbiology for your final year dissertation. This pathway will focus primarily on bacteria but fungi, archaea, viruses and some eukaryotic microbes will also be investigated. The modules will develop your understanding of microbes, beginning with cell structure and function and microbial evolution. Microbial metabolism and genetics will lead to an understanding of microbial systems and how microbes live in diverse and dynamic communities and interact with other organisms in both beneficial and detrimental ways. Ultimately you will gain an understanding of the nature and role of microbes and their fundamental role in life processes. This microbiology pathway is part of the broader Biology programme allowing you to study other Biology modules to give you a broad biology degree with a specific focus on microbiology. More about the Professional Placement Year A Professional Placement Year (PPY), traditionally known as a sandwich year, is where a student undertakes a period of work with an external organisation for between 9-13 months. The placement occurs between the students' second and third years of undergraduate study. Students can engage in up to 3 placements to make up the total time and are required to source the placement(s) themselves with support from the Careers & Employability Team.

Course details


Year 1 covers microbiology fundamentals, including classification, structure, function, growth and nutrition. Laboratory skills on safely and correctly culturing, counting and identifying microbes will be introduced. Year 2 introduces more applied content, studying microbes in their natural environment, their interactions with other microbes and organisms, and examining how to use practical techniques to diagnose disease and develop new antibiotics. You will further develop research skills in microbiology, and carry out an independent project. Year 3 focuses on more specific skills needed for the workplace, typically food manufacture, medical roles and in the environment. You will complete a microbiology dissertation project.

Assessment method

The assessments will include written coursework, key practical skills, presentations and some traditional exams. Coursework will include practical files, laboratory report, essays and technical reports.

Qualified teacher status (QTS)

To work as a teacher at a state school in England or Wales, you will need to achieve qualified teacher status (QTS). This is offered on this course for the following level:

  • Course does not award QTS

How to apply

Application deadlines

If your application is completed by the following date, it’s guaranteed to be considered:

15 January

*If you apply after this deadline, universities or colleges don’t have to consider your application if they’ve filled their spaces, so the sooner you apply, the better!

Application codes

You will need these codes when you add a choice to your application.

Course codeC112
Institution code B20
Campus nameMain Site
Campus code-

Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

International applicants

English Language Requirements for International and EU Applicants IELTS 6.0 - for visa nationals, with a minimum score of IELTS 5.5 in each element.

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

QualificationOfferFurther information
A level CCC A level grades CCC with Grade C in Biology, Human Biology, Environmental Science or Social Biology minimum
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (first teaching from September 2016) MMM Extended Diploma minimum grades Merit, Merit, Merit (MMM) accepted in a science or related subject
Access to HE Diploma M: 30 credits Access to HE Diploma or Access to HE Certificate (60 credits, 45 of which must be Level 3, including 30 at merit or higher) in a science or related subject.
International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme 26 points a minimum score of 26 points required with grade 5 in Biology, Human Biology, Environmental Science or Social Biology at Higher Level

English language requirements

English Language Requirements for International and EU Applicants IELTS 6.0 - for visa nationals, with a minimum score of IELTS 5.5 in each element.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

EU £9250 Year 1
England £9250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250 Year 1
Scotland £9250 Year 1
Wales £9250 Year 1

Additional fee information

No additional fees or cost information has been supplied for this course, please contact the provider directly.
Biology (Microbiology) - (Professional Placement Year) at Bath Spa University - UCAS