Microbiology BSc (Hons) – 2020 entry
Why choose this course
Surrey is one of the UK’s leading universities for biological sciences, with our courses ranked 8th in the Guardian University Guide 2020.
This incredibly comprehensive modular course allows you to gain a solid grounding right across the breadth of the subject, including microbial physiology and genetics, biotechnology, infectious disease, systems biology and immunology. Our BSc Microbiology course has been accredited by the Royal Society of Biology.
What you will study
Microbiology is the study of bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa. These agents have a huge impact on human health and disease, the environment, the food industry and the pharmaceutical and chemicals industries. Our understanding of their importance continues to grow as microbiologists apply techniques such as genome sequencing and systems biology in their research.
From discoveries about the influence of the microbiome on our health, to emerging disease threats and the increase of antibiotic resistance, microbiology is a dynamic discipline and the course is regularly updated to reflect the topics that are focusing the attention of professional scientists.
This course is flexible, letting you select from a range of biosciences modules so you can supplement your microbiology knowledge with related disciplines such as pathology, food science and pharmacology.
Our range of teaching and assessment methods will give you a range of skills to prepare you for employment in academia, industry and government.
BSc (Hons) UCAS: C500
3 yearsView KIS data set
BSc (Hons) UCAS: C501
4 years with professional trainingView KIS data set
BSc (Hons) UCAS: C506
4 years with foundation yearView KIS data set
BSc (Hons) UCAS: C507
5 years with foundation year and professional trainingView KIS data set
Professional Training placements
You have the option to complete a Professional Training placement as part of this course. This will give you the opportunity to develop your professional, academic and personal potential, helping to prepare you for your future career.
A significant proportion of placement students at Surrey are offered graduate-level jobs or go onto postgraduate study.
Find out more about Professional Training placements and discover how these have transformed our students’ lives and career choices.
Our Professional Training programme is one of the very best available, and most of our students choose to take it on. Our experienced tutors will help you select suitable placements from a well vetted selection of excellent industrial, hospital and academic institutions, including many that have supported Surrey students regularly for many years.
We have placements across the UK, including major pharmaceutical, food and biotechnology companies and research institutes. We also provide placements outside the UK.
Examples of organisations that have participated in the scheme include:
- The Pirbright Institute
- Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS)
- Whitman Laboratories, The Estee Lauder Companies Inc.
- Black Swan Analysis Ltd.
Most of our placements provide a salary. To ensure you are supported throughout, you’ll be visited by a tutor twice during your placement and have one virtual meeting over Skype.
Applying for placements
You can apply for numerous opportunities via an open and free-to-all process. Placement providers use their own recruitment and selection procedures and the majority of students will secure their placement in this way.
Students are generally not placed by the University, however we offer support and guidance throughout the process alongside access to a vacancy portal representing thousands of placement opportunities each year. We also provide support if you wish to source your own placement.
Find out about more about the application process.
Please be aware there may be travel costs incurred when attending interviews and assessment centres at the placement provider’s premises.
BSc (Hons) - Royal Society of Biology
Accredited by the Royal Society of Biology for the purpose of meeting, in part, the academic and experience requirement of membership and Chartered Biologist (CBiol).
Careers and graduate prospects
We offer careers information, advice and guidance to all students whilst studying with us, which is extended to our alumni for three years after leaving the University.
University of Surrey microbiology graduates are employed in academic and industrial research laboratories throughout the world.
Most of our graduates go immediately into the job market, while many others choose further study such as a masters or a PhD studentship.
The many transferable skills that you’ll gain during your studies ensure that you will be a suitable candidate for a wide variety of careers in science.
Graduates over the last few years have secured roles such as:
- Microbiology Researcher, Procter & Gamble
- Senior Research Officer and PhD, Campden and Chorleywood Food Research Association
- Process Development Technologist, Northern Foods (Solway Foods Factory)
- Research Assistant, Leatherhead Food Research
- Microbiology Analyst, Sanofi Aventis
- Technician, Campden BRI Laboratory
- Associate Practitioner, Public Health England.
Study and work abroad
We give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their studies by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities or by completing a Professional Training placement abroad.
In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.
View our study and work abroad exchange information to find out more and see where you can go.
Please note: the status of the Erasmus+ scheme is dependent on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations.
You can choose to spend your Professional Training placement working in another country.
Students have worked in the US, Canada, Australia, Brazil and in many European countries, typically working in a research laboratory at a partner institution.
If you work in another part of Europe you may be eligible for an Erasmus+ grant, as well as your full student loan if you take on an unpaid research placement in a foreign university laboratory.
This is an excellent opportunity not only to gain valuable work experience but to also improve or learn another language.
We offer state-of-the-art laboratory facilities, which you’ll be able to take advantage of during your studies.
We’re committed to developing your practical skills. You’ll be using equipment to analyse the genetic makeup of different types of microbes, and specialist computer software enabling the modelling of microbiological systems and metabolic pathways.
For your research project in Year 3, you’ll work alongside active researchers, and will have the opportunity to contribute to established research projects being carried out by the Department of Microbial Sciences.
Terms and conditions
When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our policies and regulations, and our terms and conditions. These terms and conditions are provided in two stages: first when we make an offer and second when students who have accepted their offers register to study at the University. View our offer terms and conditions and our generic registration terms and conditions (PDF) as a guide as to what to expect.
Please note: our offer terms and conditions will be available in the September of the calendar year prior to the year in which you begin your studies. Our registration terms and conditions will vary to take into account specifics of your course.
This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the academic year to which it applies. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read more.
Academic year structure
The academic year is divided into two semesters of 15 weeks each. Each semester consists of a period of teaching, revision/directed learning and assessment.
The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. Modules can be either 15, 30, 45 or 60 credits.
Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability, student demand and/or class size caps.
Please note: If there is an optional Professional Training placement as part of your course you can view the full module listing for this on the relevant programme specification.
The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes:
Optional modules for Year 2 - FHEQ Level 5
Choose six optional modules. A total of four modules must be taken each semester.
BMS2043 is optional - mutually exclusive with BMS2053
BMS2053 is optional - mutually exclusive with BMS2043
Optional modules for Year 3 - FHEQ Level 6
Choose four optional modules.
Timetables are normally available one month before the start of the semester. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week (Monday–Friday). Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week, details of which can be obtained from the course administrators. View our Timetabling Policy (PDF).
We offer a modular course based on a structured programme of advanced study, which allows you to pursue the topics essential to your particular course while also giving you the flexibility to study other topics that interest you.
During your first year, almost a third of your time is spent in laboratory classes. In your second year, the study becomes more specialised and you’ll focus on many different aspects of the subject. In your final year, you’ll be performing your own scientific research project, usually in one of our research laboratories.
Throughout your course, we provide online resources to support some of the core modules, to complement the excellent facilities offered by our Library and Learning Centre.
Research students will sometimes help to deliver your modules. These students will be researching in a similar subject to the module, and will have undertaken training prior to being invited to teach. The University has a set of procedures that govern the use of postgraduate research students in this way.
This course is taught by academic staff from the School of Biosciences and Medicine.
COTTELL A Dr (Biosc & Med)
All taught students are assigned a personal tutor before beginning a programme of study. Personal tutors offer support and advice to students in the areas of:
- Academic progress
- Pastoral/welfare issues
- Personal/professional development and employability.
Modules are assessed individually and credits are awarded for the successful completion of each one. Assessment takes place through a combination of examination and/or coursework, practical examinations and reports. Check individual module information to see full details at a module level.
Contact hours can vary across our modules. Full details of the contact hours for each module are available from the University of Surrey's module catalogue. See the modules section for more information.
Learning and disability support
We have two services, Academic Skills and Development and the Disability and Neurodiversity Service which can help develop your learning.
Academic Skills and Development
Academic Skills and Development is a learning space in the Library where our learning development team is based. It comprises dedicated Student Learning Advisers and Information Skills Librarians who can help you develop your academic and research skills, including writing, presenting, revision and critical thinking.
Find out more about the study support available.
Disability and Neurodiversity Service
The University’s Disability and Neurodiversity Service supports students with disabilities, long-term health conditions, specific learning differences (such as dyslexia and dyspraxia) and other neurodiverse conditions (including autism spectrum and attention deficit disorder).
If you tell us about any conditions and register with us, we can give you appropriate support during your studies.
We can arrange exam and learning support adjustments, give advice on applications for the Disabled Students' Allowance, and test you for dyslexia and dyspraxia. We can also offer regular study skills and mentoring support.
English language support
Our English Language Support Programme (ELSP) provides tailored English language support during your studies. It is particularly valuable to students who speak English as a second or additional language, but native speakers are also welcome.
What qualifications do you need?
English language requirements
IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall with 6.0 in Writing and 5.5 in each other element.
View the other English language qualifications that we accept.
If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.
We normally make offers in terms of grades.
If you are a suitable candidate you may be invited to an Applicant Day. During your visit to the University you can find out more about the course and meet staff and students.
Recognition of prior learning
The University of Surrey recognises that many students enter their higher education course with valuable knowledge and skills developed through a range of professional, vocational and community contexts. If this applies to you, a process called recognition of prior learning (RPL) may allow you to enter your course at a point appropriate to your previous learning and experience, or to join the start of a course without the formal entry requirements. This means that you may be exempt from certain elements of study in the course for which you have applied and be awarded credit based on your previous qualifications/experience. There are restrictions on RPL for some courses and fees may be payable for certain claims.
Please see the code of practice for recognition of prior learning and prior credit: taught programmes (PDF) for further information. Please email Admissions with any queries.
UK and EU £9,250
BSc (Hons) (with professional training year)
UK and EU £9,250
Professional training To be confirmed
BSc (Hons) (with foundation year)
UK and EU £9,250
BSc (Hons) (with foundation and professional training year)
UK and EU £9,250
Professional training To be confirmed
- Fees for UK students: The University will apply annual regulated increases in the fee rates as set by Government each year, in order to maintain the same value in real terms.
- Fees for EU students: While the UK is part of the EU, the University will apply annual regulated increases in the fee rates as set by the Government each year, in order to maintain the same value in real terms. Once the UK has left the EU, the fees rules may change and the University is bound to comply with applicable legislation.
- Fees for international students: Annual fees will increase by 4% for each subsequent year of study, rounded up to the nearest £100, subject to any overriding applicable legislative requirements.
- Fees for international students with an integrated foundation year: The programme fee for Year 0 will match the lowest Year 1 overseas fee rate from across the substantive programmes for that year of entry. Students subsequently progressing into Year 1 will be liable for the same fee as overseas students joining at Year 1 for the same programme in that year. Annual fees after Year 1 will increase by 4% for each subsequent year of study, rounded up to the nearest £100, subject to any overriding applicable legislative requirements.
The University will assess your fee status. If you are unsure whether you are likely to be considered a home, EU or overseas student for fees purposes, the UKCISA website offers more information.
- Students in receipt of a Tuition Fee Loan: will have their fees paid by the Student Loans Company in line with their schedule.
- International students, or UK/EU students who have not taken out a Tuition Fee Loan: are required to pay their fees either in full at the beginning of the programme or in two instalments as follows:
- 50% payable 10 days after the invoice date (expected to be early October of each academic year)
- 50% in January of the same academic year.
The exact date(s) will be detailed on invoices. Students on certain part-time programmes, where fees are paid on a modular or stage basis, are not eligible to pay their fees by instalment.
If you are sponsored: you will provide us with valid sponsorship information that covers the period of your study.
There are associated costs with this course:
- Safety equipment and/or uniform: £20 - The equipment pack includes laboratory coat, laboratory glasses, laboratory book, pen and padlock. Students are responsible for the costs associated with maintaining/washing/replacing any equipment.
Grand total: £20.
How to apply
Learn how to apply for an undergraduate course, see details about the UCAS application process and determine the steps you need to take if you receive an offer to study.
Our undergraduate admissions policy provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students.
Campus locationStag Hill
Stag Hill is the University's main campus and where the majority of our courses are taught.
As part of this course you have the option to complete a Professional Training placement which would require attendance off campus, depending on where you secure your placement.