Biomedical Sciences (Medical Microbiology) MSc

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UKPASS code: 052238 | Institution code: W50 | Attendance mode: Part-time day
Start: 15 September 2016
Duration: 2-5 years
Location: Central London
Campus: Cavendish

Important tuition fee information – please read.

Alumni discount.

Price per 20-credit module.

Home/EU: £1,075.00
Overseas: £1,500.00

This course is designed to give you the opportunity to study and analyse the theoretical and practical basis of medical microbiology and many of the specialist areas within it. You will gain greater insight into the importance and role of medical microbiology, with an emphasis on cutting edge areas such as molecular diagnostics and genomics, emerging pathogens and antibiotic resistance.

You will study a range of core and option modules that will allow you to tailor studies to your own requirements. You will expand your knowledge of the basic science and analytical techniques relating to medical microbiology and gain an up-to-date understanding of the application of medical microbiology in bioscience/pharmaceutical research, as well as in diagnostic and therapeutic medicine. There will be an emphasis in the course on development of critical analysis skills in assessment of scientific literature and laboratory data. In addition you will have the opportunity to design and execute your own research project. The course team is supported by visiting lecturers who are practising scientists in the field, which helps to ensure that taught material is current and relevant.


The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course. For more details on course structure and modules, and how you will be taught and assessed, see the full course document.

Core modules


The module aims to enable you to analyse critically aspects of microbial physiology, metabolism and chemotherapy and relate these to appropriate areas of medical microbiology, such as pathogenicity, disease diagnosis, treatment and control.


The module explores the factors determining the importance of infectious diseases and the role of surveillance in their control. You will develop a critical approach to contemporary literature on selected diseases, evaluating the relative importance of epidemiology, routine laboratory investigations, laboratory-based research, clinical diagnosis and control of infectious diseases.


This module is designed to make you aware of the impact of molecular biology on the diagnosis of human diseases. You will critically review the technologies and determine the advantages and disadvantages associated with each diagnostic strategy. Issues of accuracy, implementation, ethics and safety will be addressed.


You will be able to develop your skills in information retrieval, critical analysis and presentation relevant to your research topic, and form a clear plan for your project.


This module aims to enhance your skills of self-management, experimental design, critical analysis and interpretation of data, enabling you to present and justify your research.

Option modules


This module will explore the current and potential impact of laboratory automation on the practice of biomedical science in the context of diagnosis and research. You will explore automation from the perspectives of technology, quality, impact on skill requirements, cost/benefit and laboratory organisation. The module will include site visits to laboratories using state-of-the-art automation.


Introducing you to key concepts in science communication, its challenges, rewards and applications, this module is designed to incorporate scenarios related to your interests, such as health, drug discovery and water science. The roles of science and scientists in society and how the public perceives, interacts with and responds to the information produced by scientists are explored, with the history of communicating science used to contextualise current issues in disseminating information.


This module gives you the opportunity to investigate an appropriate research topic, generate and critically analyse data, and present your results and discuss findings in the context of previously published work. The project proposed and undertaken must include rigorous and critical analysis of data with a high level of initiative. This module is intended for students wishing to gain greater research experience and includes an extended period of research activity and extended assessment regime.


You will analyse and discuss cellular and molecular aspects of innate and adaptive immune responses, and advances in modern methods for disease diagnosis and treatment. This will include strategies available for the diagnosis of inherited and acquired immunological disorders, normal and pathological immune responses to extracellular and intracellular pathogens, transplantation of organs and tissues, immune surveillance of tumours, autoimmune and immunodeficiency disorders.


Bioinformatics is an exciting new discipline at the interface of computer science, information and biology and is playing a crucial role in the development of personalised medicine. From genome sequencing projects thigh to rational drug design protein engineering it offers great opportunities for enhancing our understanding of biology at the molecular level and for the developments of new therapeutics. Topics covered include: analysis of protein sequences and structure, modelling protein structure and function, rational drug design, protein structure predication and protein engineering.     


The module provides you with a critical appreciation of the human genome, its regulation, functional significance of gene mutations and current approaches of identification of human genetic disorders. Topics covered include: molecular basis of host-pathogen interaction; molecular pathology of disease with simple genetics; molecular genetics of disease; complex systems, immunogenetics and disease; and molecular genetics of cancer.


This module will introduce the theoretical and practical underpinnings of systems biology. The emphasis is on studies of entire systems, assisted by the use of bioinformatics and how the knowledge from these may be applied to medicine. The module will examine databases and other resources as well as discuss issues key to the studies of entire systems.

Course team

Dr Patrick Kimmitt, Course Leader, Senior Lecturer

Professional recognition                         

The course is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS).

Associated careers

As well as gaining knowledge and skills in medical microbiology and other associated subject areas you will develop numerous other skills that are designed to make you competitive in the jobs market. Some students will already be working in healthcare and public health laboratories in the UK and overseas while others will be gaining the skills they need to work as a Biomedical or Clinical Scientist.

The course will also allow you to work in industry including the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors as well as regulatory affairs. You will also be well prepared for a career in research including further study at PhD level.

Length of course

One year full-time study or part-time on a flexible basis.

Additional costs information

To check what your tuition fees cover and what you may need to pay for separately, see our What tuition fees cover page.


Our dedicated Career Development Centre is actively working with an ever-expanding network of over 3,000 employers to provide you with exceptional employability support and guidance. As a result we were nominated as finalists for a significant industry award – the NUE Awards Most Improved Commitment to Employability 2016.

We provide our students with work placements and international opportunities to support them in becoming highly employable, globally engaged graduates, and with one million businesses operating within 20 miles of the University of Westminster, over 84% of our students are in work or further study six months after graduation. Our graduates work in a variety of sectors and organisations, from small/medium-sized companies and start-ups to large not-for-profit organisations and corporates.

During your time at Westminster you will be able to use our comprehensive online vacancy service and meet with our experienced careers consultants, providing you with thorough training and support on CV writing, application forms, interview preparation and assessment centres.

In addition to this, you will receive careers support from academic staff and faculty work placement teams, offering targeted course-specific careers advice and assistance in securing a work placement during your time at Westminster. You can find out more about course-specific career opportunities by visiting the Prospects website.

For more details, visit the employability section on our site.

Career Development Centre

Our Career Development Centre can help and support you throughout your study and after graduation.

We can help you to:

  • find part-time/vacation, placement and graduate jobs, including voluntary experience
  • explore how to develop the skills that employers are looking for
  • plan your career development
  • identify your career options
  • market yourself effectively in CVs, application forms and at interviews
  • develop your enterprise skills

We also organise a range of presentations and networking events with employers, professional bodies, alumni and other organisations throughout the year to help you with career planning.

Find out more about the Career Development Centre.

Work Placements

Our Work Placement Teams are based in your Faculty Registry Office and can help you find a suitable placement, as well as support you in making applications, writing CVs and improving your interview technique.

More details on work placements can be found on our Work placements page.

Career options in your subject area

Our team of careers consultants work closely with Faculty departments to deliver tailored employability support, including subject-specific workshops, employer events and careers information, advice and guidance.

You can also browse the career options available to you after you graduate on the Career Development Centre's Finding work in your subject area pages and on the Prospects website.

Study in the city

If you study at the University of Westminster, everything that London has to offer is on your doorstep.

Our central London campuses are ideally located for the city's fantastic learning institutions including libraries, archives and museums, as well as opportunities for shopping, eating out, enjoying London's nightlife or just simply relaxing.


After choosing your course, one of your biggest decisions will be where to live, and we aim to make that choice as easy as possible. Whether you want to apply for our Halls of Residence or live in private housing, we can help you to find the right accommodation.

Fees, funding, bursaries and scholarships

In recent years the University of Westminster's scholarship scheme has been the largest university scholarships scheme in the UK, and our Scholarships Department won the Times Higher Education inaugural Award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students.

Personal tutoring

All students on courses of a year or more and who are registered for more than three modules will be allocated a personal tutor.

Your personal tutor will be there to support you from induction onwards, helping you to integrate into the University, academically and socially, at an early stage. They will be able to give you advice and support on academic and personal matters affecting your study, as well as developmental advice through regular individual and group tutorials.

Language support

Polylang is a University-wide programme through which you can study a language as a free choice module.

Personal advice and counselling

While most students overcome any problems with help from friends, family or a personal tutor, the University's free counselling and advice services are there if you need them.

International Westminster

With one of the UK's largest international student populations, the University of Westminster has plenty of experience in giving you the help and support you need to make the most of your time with us.

Study Abroad and Summer School programmes

Westminster's Study Abroad programme has been running for more than 15 years, and is one of the largest in the UK – each year we welcome hundreds of visiting students from universities all over the world.

If you are already studying outside the UK, the programme offers you the opportunity to study with us for one or two semesters, or for a period in the summer.

Sport and recreation

The University has extensive sport and recreation facilities, with a sports hall and gym at Harrow, a state-of-the-art gym at Regent Campus, and the University sports ground by the River Thames at Chiswick.

Students' Union

University of Westminster Students' Union (UWSU) aims to make sure you have the best university experience possible by providing a range of activities and support, from sports clubs to society groups, educational advice and social events.

Upcoming postgraduate information evenings

16 November 2016Postgraduate Information EveningHarrow, Little Titchfield Street, Marylebone, Regent Street
View subject-specific information evenings

Science and Technology

Our active research and postgraduate programmes also ensure that undergraduate students are in close contact with the cutting edge of applied scientific knowledge.

Find out more about our faculty

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Postgraduate student funding

Find out about new student loans of up to £10,000 for postgraduate master’s study.

Watch the Webinar

Watch the Biomedical Sciences MSc courses webinar on YouTube.