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Unit information: Fundamentals of Molecular Microbiology in 2022/23

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

Unit name Fundamentals of Molecular Microbiology
Unit code PANM10003
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Murillo Cabeza
Open unit status Not open
Units you must take before you take this one (pre-requisite units)


Units you must take alongside this one (co-requisite units)


Units you may not take alongside this one
School/department School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences

Unit Information

The unit provides students a thorough grounding in microbiology, covering the basic biology of viruses, fungi and bacteria, and focusing on genetics and genomics, how genetic variability arises and how genetic information is processed into important phenotypic characteristics including structural diversity, metabolic diversity and virulence.

Unit aims:

To provide students with information about:

  1. Microbial diversity
  2. Basic genetics of bacteria, fungi and viruses.
  3. Mutation, and the mechanisms by which mutations can affect, and pass between members of a population.
  4. Control of gene expression and associated signaling pathways.
  5. Gross structural variation between groups of microbes.
  6. Metabolic diversity in fungi and bacteria and its implications.
  7. Virulence factors and their impact on infectious disease.
  8. Viral complexity

To help students develop their essay writing, and data interpretation skills.

Your learning on this unit

At the end of the unit a successful student will be able to:

  1. Understand microbial diversity.
  2. Recall how genetic variation impacts on gross structural variation in microbes.
  3. Describe how microbes sense their environments and control the expression of phenotypes with importance to humans.
  4. Describe the basis of mutation, and the mechanisms by which mutations can affect and pass between members of a population
  5. Describe bacterial and fungal metabolism and how it impacts on society.
  6. Understand the complexity of viruses.
  7. Recall the molecular basis of key determinants of virulence.
  8. Present scientific information and arguments in written form.
  9. Undertake the further study of microorganisms in the following unit (Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, PANM10001)

How you will learn

Online delivery of lectures and exercises

Practicals and/or online practicals supported by eBiolabs

How you will be assessed

Practical write up (20%)

eBiolabs pre­lab quizzes and post­lab assignments (10%)

Mid-unit test (10%)

Examination (January) (60%)

The exams will cover learning outcomes 1-8.

Formative assessment:

For formative purposes students will receive feedback as follows:

Unit assessment marks will be provided before the end of Teaching Block 1 and feedback will be available from the Unit Director on request.

A breakdown of marks for the exam will be provided and additional feedback will be provided by the Unit Director on request.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. PANM10003).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.