Microbiology is the study of all aspects of microorganisms, which include bacteria, viruses, algae, fungi and protozoa. Some of these are very important as agents of infectious disease and others play an essential role in maintenance of the biosphere.
You will study the beneficial and detrimental activities of microorganisms, including the industrial, economic and environmental impact of microbiology.
The main emphasis of the programme is directed towards an understanding of the mechanisms by which microbes cause disease and how they can be controlled. You will learn how factors produced by the microbes, such as toxins and adhesins, affect the disease process and study whether these factors might be suitable for inclusion in vaccines, to protect against disease. The mechanisms of microbial resistance to antibiotics and the development of novel antimicrobials are also covered.
In your first year you will be given a general introduction to all aspects of modern biology and encouraged to acquire general scientific skills.
You will also study either Chemistry or Science Fundamentals and one other subject of your choice in year 1: see Degrees in Arts, Science and Social Sciences.
In second year, you will be introduced to the study of microorganisms, infection and immunity and practical microbiology. You will also be able to choose from a wide range of other courses.
You will also study one or two other subjects in year 2: see Degrees in Arts, Science and Social Sciences.
Years 3 and 4
If you progress to Honours (years 3 and 4) you will cover many aspects of microbiology with particular emphasis on infectious diseases and medical microbiology.
In third year you will study the spectrum of infectious diseases, immune responses and the biochemistry and molecular biology of microorganisms and parasites. The third year is run as a joint course with the Parasitology and Virology degree programmes.
In fourth year you will choose from a range of specialised advanced courses of which at least two must be in microbiology. You will undertake a research project in your final year under the supervision of a researcher. Many of the projects are available in neighbouring institutions, for example in hospitals or local industries.
Microbiology can be taken as an MSci, which includes an additional placement year, between the third and final years of the degree. This is normally spent doing research in industry or some other organisation such as a research institute in the UK or overseas.
In third year a field course at the Marine Biological Station at Millport in the Firth of Clyde provides practical training in aspects of epidemiology. In fourth year there is an optional fieldwork course in marine microbiology.
You will have the opportunity to apply to study abroad. The Erasmus Exchange Scheme offers the chance to study at a major European university, for three to 12 months, with some financial support from the EU. The International Exchange Programme allows you to spend a year or a semester in one of our partner institutions in Australia, Argentina, Canada, Chile, China, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, or the USA.
Our graduates are employed in many different industries, including public health and hospital laboratories, pharmaceutical companies, water authorities, the food and brewing industries, and the petroleum industry. In addition, some graduates remain in education or research institutes to continue their research studies.
For international students entry to this programme is supported by courses from GIC.
Academic entry requirements
for entry in 2014
Highers: AAAA or AAABB (including two science subjects, one of which must be Biology or Chemistry) in first sitting = unconditional offer.
Applicants who achieved AAAB or AABBB at their first sitting may receive a conditional offer dependent upon them attaining enough Highers and/or Advanced Highers to bring their total attainment to six or more Highers/Advanced Highers by the end of their second sitting. Two Sciences (see subject specific requirements above), at minimum grades of A/B, if not attained at first sitting, will be required.
Additional offers MAY be made to applicants who achieved between ABBB and AABB (including two science subjects) at their first sitting. A decision re these applications will be made in March 2014 once all applications have been reviewed.
A-levels: AAB including one, preferably two, science subjects. AS Level in either Biology or Chemistry. All Biology students study a minimum level of Chemistry in first year.
Applicants will receive an offer conditional on attaining AAB. Applicants who achieve AAB are guaranteed entry. Applicants who achieve grades less than AAB but higher than BBB will be considered for entry once all results have been received and reviewed in August 2014.
IB: A minimum of 34 points is required to be considered for an offer. Actual offers will specify subjects and grades to be attained at Higher Level.
Accepted Science subjects:
- Computing Studies
- Environmental Science
- Human Biology
- Information Systems
- Managing Environmental Resources
- Science (Double Syllabus)
If you have exceptional A-level or Advanced Higher grades it's possible to gain exemption from Year 1 study and enter directly into Year 2 or follow a faster route advanced entry programme, both of which allow you to complete your degree in one year less than usual. See: Advanced entry
English language requirements
For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training):
- overall score 6.5
- no sub-test less than 6.0
- or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification (see below)
Common equivalent English language qualifications:
- ibTOEFL: 92; no sub-test less than 20
- CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): B minimum
- CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): C minimum
- PTE Academic (Person Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the Language Centre Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:
What do I do if...
my language qualifications are below the requirements?
The University's Language Centre offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.
my language qualifications are not listed here?
Please contact the Recruitment and International Office: Elaine.Shortt@glasgow.ac.uk
If you require a Tier 4 student visa, your qualification must be one of the secure English language tests accepted by UK Border Agency:
my academic qualifications are below the requirements?
Glasgow International College offers Foundation courses to upgrade your academic qualifications.
Visa requirements and proof of English language level
It is a visa requirement to provide information on your level of English based on an internationally recognised and secure English language test. All test reports must be no more than 2 years old. A list of these can be found on the UK Border Agency website. If you have never taken one of these tests before, you can get an initial idea of your level by using the Common European Framework self-assessment grid which gives you a level for each skill (e.g. listening B1/writing B2 etc.) However, please note that this is not a secure English language test and it is not sufficient evidence of your level of English for visa requirements.
For further information about English language, please contact the Language Centre.