Module Information

Module Identifier
BR23010
Module Title
Practical Skills in Microbiology
Academic Year
2017/2018
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 2
Mutually Exclusive
Pre-Requisite
Reading List
External Examiners
  • Dr Graham P Stafford (Senior Lecturer - University of Sheffield)
 
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Practical 6 x 4 Hour Practicals
Workshop 2 x 2 Hour Workshops
 

Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Group brevia on culture-independent analyses.  Max. 1000 words.   30%
Semester Assessment Report on isolation of microbial mix  Max. 2000 words including abstract on lab experiment and streak plate assessment.  55%
Semester Assessment Three abstracts on experiments.  15%
Supplementary Assessment Students must take elements of assessment equivalent to those that led to failure of the module.  100%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Work safely and efficiently in a microbiology laboratory.

2. Use a range of culture-dependent and independent methods for characterizing microbes.

3. Report results from investigations of microbes and microbial communities using a range of scientific writing methods.

Brief description

This module seeks to arm the student with the basic skills expected of a graduate working in a microbiology-related field, firstly by immersing the student in laboratory sessions designed to expose the student to a broad range of culture-based and independent methods of characterizing microbes, and secondly by interpreting data from quantitative and bioinformatic analyses using a range of scientific writing formats.

Content

Practical sessions will expose students to a broad range of microbiological methods, including aseptic technique and safe work with microbes, culture, microscopic and biochemical techniques for identifying microbes, experiments to illustrate microbial physiology and finally molecular techniques for analyzing microbial communities.

Workshop sessions will introduce methods for the quantitative and bioinformatic analysis of microbes and microbial communities (e.g 16S ribosomal RNA gene analysis). These data and the microbial community DNA analyzed in the practicals will relate to (and be derived from) current staff research interests.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Practical work will involve calculations and statistical analyses using acquired data.
Communication The production of scientific reports in different written formats. Listening skills for the workshops and subsequent discussion in practical classes, and communicate effectively in person and electronically to co-write the brevia.
Improving own Learning and Performance Outside the formal contact hours, students will be expected to research materials, manage time and meet deadlines.
Information Technology Accessing the web for information sources and using databases to find primary literature and analyse DNA sequences.
Personal Development and Career planning Students will gain confidence in their ability to evaluate microbiological problems and objectively assess the quality of proposed solutions.
Problem solving Practical classes will allow students to gain experience in designing, executing and interpreting data from experiments, and in particular the identification of microbes from a range of tests.
Research skills Students will research topics beyond the depth and scope of the provided material and evaluate data and literature from publically available databases. Practical sessions will allow the development of laboratory skills at an early stage of the student’s academic career
Subject Specific Skills Students will gain experience in working safely and effectively to apply a range of traditional and molecular microbiological lab skills to analyse microbes
Team work Students will work in pairs/small groups during practical sessions and collaborate in co-writing the brevia. They will need to work effectively as part of a team to produce this coursework.

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 5