Microbiology BSc (Hons) – 2023 entry
Start date: October 2023
Apply for your chosen course online through UCAS, with the following course and institution codes.
|Course||UCAS code||Institution code|
|BSc (Hons) with professional training||C501||S85|
|BSc (Hons) with foundation year||C506||S85|
|BSc (Hons) with foundation year and professional training||C507||S85|
Why choose this course
- Study a curriculum that explores the latest research, from discoveries about the influence of the microbiome on our health, to emerging disease threats and the increase of antibiotic resistance.
- Access our £10m Innovation for Health Learning Laboratory to analyse the genetic makeup of different types of microbes and use specialist computer software to model microbiological systems and metabolic pathways.
- Gain industry experience through our Professional Training placements, where you can work in one of our partner laboratories across the world.
- Learn from lecturers who are active researchers in antimicrobial resistance, biotechnology, clinical bacteriology, systems biology and virology.
- Join the 93% of our biosciences and medicine graduates who go on to employment or further study.*
What you will study
On this course, you’ll learn about bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses, agents that have a huge impact on human health and disease, the environment, and chemical, food and pharmaceutical industries.
In your first year, you’ll study topics that are fundamental to microbiology, including bacteriology, biochemistry and genetics, ensuring you have a solid foundation upon which to build the rest of your degree.
During your second year, you’ll get the option to study food analysis and quality control, food microbiology, immunology, pathology and pharmacology. In these modules, you’ll explore topics like how to improve the nutritional and eating quality of food products, and foodborne illness, food spoilage and food preservation.
In your third year, you’ll study biomedical microbial products, human microbial diseases, and the epidemiology of infectious diseases. You can also choose to explore topics such as animal infectious diseases, gene expression, immunohaematology, and pathogenesis and therapeutics of cancer. You’ll also complete a research project, bringing together all the practical, analytical, and presentation skills you’ve developed.
You’ll benefit from hands-on learning in our £10m Innovation for Health Learning Laboratory, where TV screens are used to show you how to conduct experiments and follow scientific protocols.
The Laboratory is fitted with the latest industry equipment, that you’ll use to carry out a full range of experiments. These include the analysis of the genetic makeup of different types of microbes and the use of specialist computer software to model microbiological systems and metabolic pathways.
The time you spend in our facilities will give you the opportunity to familiarise yourself with microbiology methodology and develop the practical laboratory experience that’s essential in a research career and valued by a wide range of employers.
In your final year, depending on your research project, you may also get to use our dissertation laboratory.
Watch our School of Biosciences and Medicine tour to look around our state-of-the-art facilities.
We have a research-led focus to our teaching, ensuring everything you learn is up-to-date and relevant to employers. You’ll be taught by lecturers who are active researchers in antimicrobial resistance, biotechnology, clinical bacteriology, systems biology and virology.
These may include:
- Dr Dany Beste, an expert in tuberculosis
- Dr Alison Cottell, an expert in epidemiology and antibiotic resistance
- Dr Jorge Gutierrez-Merino, an expert in the use of probiotics against infectious diseases and inflammatory disorders.
On this course, you can choose to study a foundation year, designed to develop your skills and make it easier for you to get started at university. As a foundation student, you’ll study full-time for one year at foundation level. After successful completion of this year, you’ll move onto your chosen version of this course.
Find out more about our entry requirements, fees and how to apply.
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.
This course will prepare you for a wide range of careers, from scientific and technical roles in specialised areas, through to those which draw upon the breadth of microbiology, such as teaching and science journalism.
93% of our biosciences and medicine students go on to employment or further study 15 months after graduating, with an average salary of £24,852.* Typical roles include:
- Government and public health scientists
- Research analysts
- Scientific data analysis specialists
Our alumni can be found in academic and industrial research laboratories around the world, with recent graduates working for:
- Leatherhead Food Research
- Procter & Gamble
- Public Health England
With the critical thinking, analysis, problem solving, decision-making, and communication skills learnt throughout the course, several graduates have sought alternative careers in business, healthcare, teaching and tourism. Many students also use this course to apply for further study, including postgraduate research.
*Graduate Outcomes survey 2021, HESA.
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.
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.
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, 75 and 120 credits, and additionally for some masters dissertations, 90 credits.
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:
Course 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. View our Timetabling Policy (PDF).
Your teaching will be delivered through a combination of:
- Group work (e.g. discussion groups)
- Laboratory-based practicals
- Online learning
- Role plays
Outside of these, you’ll be expected to carry out independent study, including coursework, essays, laboratory write-ups and reading.
There may be occasions when the delivery of your teaching is supported by graduate teaching assistants. The University has a set of procedures that govern the use of postgraduate research students in this way.
We use a variety of methods to assess you, including:
- Practical write-ups
You’ll spend almost a third of your first-year teaching in laboratory-based practicals. This will vary in your second-year, dependent on what modules you choose to study.
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.
As a student at Surrey, you can also sign up to our free courses in the following areas:
Living in student accommodation is a great way to meet new people and spark friendships.
Do I meet the requirements for this course?
We require you to submit a full application so that we can formally assess whether you meet the criteria published. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide an outcome based on an enquiry (via email, webform enquiry, phone or live chat).
Other international qualifications
If you are an international student and you don’t meet the entry requirements to this degree, we offer the International Foundation Year, run by the Surrey International Study Centre.
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.
If you don’t meet our entry requirements, you might still be able to apply for this course with a foundation year. A course with a foundation year includes an extra year of study to prepare you for a full degree course. Find out more about our degrees with foundation year.
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 contact Admissions on +44 (0)1483 682222 with any queries.
The annual tuition fees for courses starting in October 2023
UK To be confirmed
Overseas To be confirmed
BSc (Hons) (with foundation year)
UK To be confirmed
BSc (Hons) (with professional training year)
UK To be confirmed
Overseas To be confirmed
Professional training £1,850
BSc (Hons) (with foundation and professional training year)
UK To be confirmed
Professional training £1,850
- 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: The UK is now no longer part of the EU, we are awaiting further instruction from the UK government and we will publish this as soon as it is provided. Find out more information about Studying in the UK and the Scholarships for EU students.
- 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.
Professional Training placement fees
If you are studying on a programme which contains a Professional Training placement year there will be a reduced fee for the academic year in which you undertake your placement. This is normally confirmed 12 to 18 months in advance, or once Government policy is determined.
See the information about 2022/23 academic year Professional Training placement fee.
There are associated costs with this course:
Safety equipment and/or uniform: £20 – equipment pack (includes laboratory coat, laboratory glasses, laboratory book, pen and padlock). You are responsible for the costs associated with maintaining/washing/replacing any equipment.
Grand total: £20
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.
You can choose to work for a range of employers, including pharmaceutical organisations, food suppliers and biotechnology companies, to practise and enhance your skills.
Previous students have gained placements with:
- Black Swan Analysis Ltd
- Public Health England
- The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science
- The Pirbright Institute.
We also have an extensive number of partner institutions that offer placements exclusively to Surrey students, giving you access to research laboratories across the world. Our partner institutions include:
- Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine, Hamburg, Germany
- Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa, Madrid, Spain
- Institut Laue-Langevin, Grenoble, France
- Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China
- Weill Cornell Medicine, Cornell University, New York, USA.
You can also explore your transferrable skills by working in other fields, including scientific communications, marketing and data analysis.
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.
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.
Want to study at an overseas institution as part of your degree or work abroad during your Professional Training year? Perhaps you would like to volunteer in India or learn about Brazilian business and culture in São Paulo during your summer holidays? With more than 200 partnerships, from 50 different countries worldwide, there is something for everyone.
Not only is the opportunity to go abroad a hugely enjoyable experience, you will develop key skills and knowledge that will strengthen your CV and increase your employability.
For the 2021/22 academic year, students have access to Turing funds to assist in student exchange, work placements abroad and summer schools abroad. These funds can make a significant contribution to these exciting opportunities during your time at the University.
View our study and work abroad exchange information to find out more and see where you can go.
On our international exchange programme, you can study abroad at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. This is typically for a semester or a full academic year, during your second-year studies.
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 procedures, the student 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 an example of our offer terms and conditions and our registration terms and conditions (PDF) from the 2020/2021 academic year as a guide as to what to expect.
Please note: our offer terms and conditions will generally 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 and changes for the specific academic year.
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 and before you accept an offer. Read more.
In particular we wish to draw your intention to the following matters affecting the academic year 2021/2022:
- Covid-19 - In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the University has had to change the delivery (and in some cases the content) of its programmes, together with certain University services and facilities for the 2020/2021 academic year. These changes include the implementation of a hybrid teaching approach, details of which can be found here [link]. It is anticipated that these programme changes and the hybrid learning approach will be adopted throughout the academic year 2021/2022, however, given the changing nature of the pandemic, this is being kept under continuous review. Detailed information on all changes as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic is available at the coronavirus course changes page. The linked pages set out information relating to general University changes and will also direct you to consider additional information relating to specific programmes.
- Brexit - The UK is now no longer part of the EU. We are awaiting further information and instruction from the UK government and we will publish this as soon as it is provided. EU students applying for programmes in the academic year 2021/2022 and students applying for courses with placements abroad should visit our dedicated webpages for the latest information on how the UK’s departure from the EU will affect their courses.
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.