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Microbiology at Imperial College London

Imperial College London offers an undergraduate course in Microbiology. The course is designed and tailored with the view of imparting quality education. A three-year BSc in Microbiology is concerned with the biochemistry, physiology, genetics, molecular biology, genetic engineering, ecology and uses of fungi, bacteria and viruses.

Students will acquire both the theoretical and practical skills required for a career in modern biotechnology and microbiology. Specialized courses cope with the fundamental science of different types of micro-organism and with important industrial, biotechnological, food, medical and agricultural applications.

A three-year BSc in Plant Biology offers specialist training and takes advantage of the increased strength in plant biology. Advanced topics are taught including tropical biology, plant ecology and phylogenetics, molecular plant-microbe interactions, plant molecular biology, plant environmental physiology, sustainability and plant biotechnology.

Course Structure

Students on biology programmes have to follow the same core modules in the first year of study. First year modules consist of cellular metabolism, biological chemistry, biology of organism, ecology, cell biology, behaviour and evolution. As the year progress, students shall begin to specialize further according to their chosen degree programme or individual optional module choices.

A wide range of optional courses are offered comprising subjects such as immunology, animal and plant physiology, animal behaviour, virology, neurobiology and evolutionary biology. Students have an excellent opportunity to attend field courses comprising marine microbiology, marine ecology, conservation and biodiversity and tropical biology field study that takes place in the highlands of Uganda.

The first year course focuses upon the basic core areas of biology. In the first term, there are classes on information retrieval and literature referencing. It also includes tuitions in chemistry and mathematics. In the second and third year, the college organizes courses for students who desire to study for the flexible, widely based suite of degrees in biology and specialisms in environmental biology and ecology, zoology, plant biology and microbiology.

The last term of the final year focuses upon a full-time individual research project. The project is often the most rewarding and exciting part of the degree. Students are allowed substantial freedom in choosing a project and may suggest their own line of research. An academic staff member shall oversee students' work.

First Year

All students take the following four courses:

  • Biology of Organisms
  • Biological Chemistry and Cellular Metabolism
  • Ecology, Behaviour and Evolution
  • Cell Biology and Genetics
Second Year

Compulsory Modules

  • Statistics, Experimental Design and Computing
  • Applied Molecular Biology
  • Supplementary Course from Imperial College Business School or the Department of Humanities

Optional Courses

  • Immunology or Cell and Developmental Biology or Ecology
  • Animal and Plant Physiology or Bacterial Physiology
  • Genetics or Parasitism or Global Change Biology and Other Life Strategies
  • Virology or Resource Management
  • Tutored Dissertation or Marine Ecology Field Course
Final Year

Students shall select four biological courses one from each session. A field course, conservation, tropical biology and marine microbiology or biodiversity taken in the preceding summer vacation can be taken instead of one of the term-time courses.

Session 1

  • Plant Molecular Biology
  • Medical Microbiology
  • Population and Community Ecology
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Genetics and Genomics

Session 2

  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions
  • Applied Ecology
  • Parasitology and Vector Biology
  • Integrative Systems Biology

Session 3

  • Synthetic Biology
  • Environmental and Industrial Microbiology
  • Development Evolution of Animal Form
  • Cellular Signalling and Neurobiology
  • Epidemiology

Session 4

  • Neuroscience Research
  • Plant Biotechnology and Sustainability
  • Molecular Cell and Immuno-biology
  • Biodiversity and Conservation Biology

In the final term, students shall carry out a full-time research project.


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