Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Practical 5 x 3 hour practicals
Lecture 3 x 1 hour lectures per week


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Seminar Presentation & Workshop (10% each)  20%
Semester Assessment Practicals  20%
Semester Exam 3 Hours   60%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmission of failed course work or alternative  40%
Supplementary Exam 3 Hours   60%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

describe the pharmacology, modes of action and potency of common antiviral and antibacterial agents

explain the concept and function of subviral agents (e.g., viroids, prions)

describe and give examples of how viruses and bacteria are able to behave as pathogens in animals

define and explain epidemiology and outbreaks: spreading and control within a population

demonstrate the practical skills necessary to be able to work safely and efficiently with bacteria in the laboratory

utilize IT skills to analyze and evaluate literature

work cooperatively in groups to seek solutions to real clinical conditions.


To develop an appreciation of the wide ranging abilities of bacteria and viruses and in particular an understanding of their role in clinical and food microbiology. The aims will be achieved through an integrated series of lectures and practical classes and presentation seminars.

Brief description

This module will give an appreciation of the wide ranging types and structures of viruses and bacteria and in particular an understanding of their role in clinical microbiology.



Lectures will cover the following topics.

  • Pathogenesis and control. Pathogenesis of viral infections- viral pathogenic characteristics, cell susceptibility, cellular response to infection, immune response, latent infections
  • Picornoviruses: polio, gastroenteritis and the common cold
  • Rhabdoviruses and Orthomyxoviruses: rabies and influenza
  • Herpesviruses and Pox Viruses: herpes and smallpox
  • Viruses causing cancer (oncogenic viruses)
  • Retroviruses and HIV
  • Antiviral therapy
  • Aspects of bacteria and health. Pathogenesis/pathogenic mechanisms; virulence factors; general host responses to infection; antibiotics (modes of action, spectrum of activity, some pharmacology) antibiotic resistance, emerging infections/spread of resistant organisms. Major infections of human systems: central nervous system; GI tract; respiratory tract; skin/soft tissue/bone and genito-urinary infections (sexually transmitted diseases).
  • Epidemiology and outbreaks: spreading and control within a population
  • Plant diseases.


In practical sessions students will use and evaluate some of the approaches used for the detection and identification of bacteria in environmental samples (e.g. water, food). They will also acquire the practical skills necessary to be able to work safely and efficiently with bacteria in the laboratory.

Problem based learning

Study cases consisting of real clinical situations.


To include the presentation of seminars prepared on specific case studies in clinical microbiology.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Not relevant.
Communication Attendance at lectures and preparation, presentation of seminars and group work will provide opportunities to develop presentational (oral and written) and listening skills.
Improving own Learning and Performance Attendance at lectures, seminars and practicals, working to deadlines for seminars and preparation for examinations will require the development of self management strategies and personal action plans.
Information Technology IT skills developed in seminar and poster presentation via o library and www resources to source information o use of PowerPoint.
Personal Development and Career planning Awareness of personal and career development skills will be developed through the coursework, e.g. teamwork for problem based learning.
Problem solving Practical classes and problem based learning questions/seminars will provide opportunities to develop problem solving skills.
Research skills Practical work with a problem based learning structure and seminars using library and www resources.
Team work Problem based learning situations during lectures. Practical sessions.

Reading List

Recommended Text
Bauman, R. (2007) Microbiology with diseases by taxonomy Pearson Education Primo search Black, J.G (2005) Microbiology: Principles and Explorations 6th edn. Wiley Primo search Collier, L. and Oxford, J (2003) Human Virology Oxford University Press Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 5