Published: 19 January 2021

A week in the life of a microbiology student

From learning about epidemiology to discovering how to identify pathogenic bacteria, discover what a typical week looks like as a first-year BSc (Hons) Microbiology student at Surrey.

How you'll learn

Your teaching will be delivered through a combination of:

  • Lectures
  • Laboratory-based practicals
  • Online learning
  • Seminars
  • Group work (e.g. discussion groups)
  • Tutorials.

Outside of these, you’ll be expected to carry out independent study, including coursework, essays, laboratory write-ups and reading.

We’ve also introduced hybrid learning, a mix of online and face-to-face sessions, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"I really enjoy being in the labs and getting stuck into a good practical. The teaching staff are eager to help and are all warm and approachable too."
Gareth Raynes, BSc (Hons) Microbiology

A typical week in Semester 1 of your first year

In your first year, you'll receive approximately 12 contact hours each week.


  • 9am to 10am – 'Biochemistry: The Molecules of Life' lecture on intramolecular interactions
  • 11am to 1pm – 'Current Topics in Biosciences' drop-in session to discuss coursework progress with tutors about antibiotic resistance seminar
  • 2pm to 3pm – Tutorial with personal tutor for a general catch-up


  • 9am to 10am – 'Microbiology: An Introduction to the Microbial World' lecture on the epidemiology of infectious diseases
  • 10am to 1pm – 'Microbiology: An Introduction to the Microbial World' laboratory session on identifying pathogenic bacteria and fungi


  • 9am to 12pm – Self-directed study for 'Biochemistry: The Molecules of Life' laboratory report and meeting with 'Current Topics in Biosciences' seminar group to coursework

Please note, Wednesday afternoons are left free for sporting activities.


  • 9am to 11am – 'Cell Biology' lecture on the structure and organisation of the nucleus
    12pm to 1pm – 'Microbiology: An Introduction to the Microbial World' lecture on the biology of viruses


  • 9am to 10am – 'Cell Biology' lecture on ribosomes and protein synthesis

Find out more about our BSc (Hons) Microbiology course

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