BSc (Hons) Microbiology – Bath Spa University

Biology (Microbiology)

BSc (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - single honours

Key facts

BSc (Hons) Biology (Microbiology)
School of Sciences
Campus or location
Newton Park
Course length
Three years full time, or four years full time with professional placement year.
UCAS codes
Institution Code: B20
Course Code: C111 or C112
Campus Code: A,BSU

Entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. Typical offers include A-level – grades CCC with grade C in Biology, Human Biology, Environmental Science or Social Biology.

View 'typical offers' for more information.

A practical Biology degree that focuses on the microbial world and its applications.

Places still available through Clearing

Call our Admissions team now on +44 (0)1225 875 550

Find your place

  • Learn from lecturers with professional expertise in health, food and environmental microbiology.
  • Develop your lab and scientific skills while exploring microbial cell structure, function and metabolisms.
  • Pursue your own interests in a final year dissertation that will prepare you for further specialised work in your chosen field.

Due to Covid-19, we have made changes to teaching and learning for the 2020-21 academic year.

Please see the 2020 Undergraduate Programme Changes page for information about specific changes to this course.

Please note the changes are for the 2020-21 academic year only.

The 'Programme Document' beneath the main image on this course page shows you the programme specification as normally delivered.

We live in a microbial world. This course will introduce you to that world and its relevance to Biology. You'll be taught by lecturers with expertise in food microbiology, environmental microbiology, and health microbiology, and those topics will form the basis of this degree.

From the basics of microbial cell structure and function through to microbial metabolism and genetics, microbial systems, and ultimately real world applications of microbiology, this course will equip you with a broad understanding of microbiology, and open up career and postgraduate study opportunities in the field.

What you'll learn


This Microbiology course will introduce you to the microbial world, and teach you the skills to grow and identify microbes and explore their role in the environment, health, and in food safety and production. This course will focus primarily on bacteria although you'll also investigate fungi, viruses, archaea and other microbes.

You'll develop your understanding of microbes, beginning with cell structure, function and microbial evolution. Microbial metabolism and genetics will lead to an understanding of microbial systems and how microbes live in diverse and dynamic communities – and interact with other organisms in both beneficial and detrimental ways.

A key feature of this course will be the development of your laboratory and microscopy skills, enabling you to culture and identify microbes safely. This will culminate in a final year research dissertation that will allow you to investigate an aspect of microbiology within your own area of interest. 

Ultimately, this course will allow you to gain an understanding of the nature and role of microbes and their fundamental role in life processes. As part of our broader Biology programme, our Microbiology degree will allow you to study other related modules  resulting in a diverse array of both analytical and research-based skills in the life sciences. 

Course structure

Year one
Your first year will cover microbiology fundamentals including classification, structure, function, growth and nutrition. Laboratory skills on safely and correctly culturing, counting and identifying microbes will be introduced.

Year two
In your second year, you'll study microbes in their natural environment and their interactions with other microbes and organisms. You'll also examine how to use practical techniques to diagnose disease, investigate antibiotic resistance, and research antibiotic producing bacteria. You'll further develop research skills in microbiology, and carry out an independent project.

Year three
Your final year will focus on more specific skills needed for the workplace, typically food manufacture, medical and environmental roles. You'll complete a microbiology dissertation project.

How will I be assessed?

You'll be assessed through written coursework, key practical skills assessments, presentations and some traditional exams. Coursework will also include practical files, laboratory reports, essays and technical reports.

How will I be taught?

All modules apart from the final year dissertation will have a lead lecture that will introduce the key topics. These lectures will be supported by workshops, practical laboratory classes, seminars and tutorials, both individual and in group.

Course modules

This course offers or includes the following modules. The modules you take will depend on your pathway or course combination (if applicable) as well as any optional or open modules chosen. Please check the programme document (below the main image on this page) for more information.

Year one (Level 4) modules

  • Biological Techniques
  • Conservation Biology
  • Human Biology
  • The Microbial World
  • Introduction to Biochemistry
  • Global Food Issues
  • Food, Nutrition and Health
  • Communicating Science

Year two (Level 5) modules

  • Biological Systems
  • Biology in Society
  • Research Skills for Biology
  • Ecology and Biodiversity
  • Applied Microbiology
  • Human Pathophysiology and Nutrition
  • Food Analysis
  • Human Nutrition
  • Biology Work Placement
  • Environmental Management
  • Biotechnology
  • Biological and Cognitive Psychology
  • Abnormal / Clinical Psychology
  • Environment and Education
  • Science Journalism and Publishing
  • Professional Placement Year

Year three (Level 6) modules

  • Dissertation Planning
  • Dissertation Publication
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Plants and People
  • Environmental Practice
  • Medical Biology
  • Nutrition and Exercise Science
  • Food Safety
  • Epidemiology and Public Health
  • Wildlife Photography
  • Investigations in Microbiology
  • Evolutionary Neuroscience and the Origin of the Human Mind
  • Applied Behavioural Psychology
  • Learning in Science
  • Publishing Industry Project


Study abroad

Opportunities to study abroad for a semester are available in the second year. Work placements can also be undertaken abroad.

Work placements, industry links and internships

Optional work placement modules are available in your second and third years.

An optional Professional Placement ('sandwich year') runs between your second and final year, allowing you to gain a year’s experience in industry during your degree.


This course will prepare you for a career in such areas as:

  • Public health
  • Clinical microbiology
  • Food microbiology
  • Quality assurance and safety
  • Environmental microbiology.

You'll also be prepared to apply for postgraduate study such as a Master's or PhD, plus a wide range of careers outside of traditional science.

Competitions and awards

We’ll encourage you to participate in local and national science festivals. In addition, each year we award departmental prizes to our students. These will include:

  • Best Biology dissertation prize
  • Bath Spa Biology prize.

Professional placement year


This optional placement year provides you with the opportunity to identify, apply for, and secure professional experience, normally comprising one to three placements over a minimum of nine months. Successful completion of this module will demonstrate your ability to secure and sustain graduate-level employment.

By completing the module, you'll be entitled to the addition of 'with Professional Placement Year' to your degree title.


Before your Professional Placement Year, you'll work to secure your placement, constructing a development plan with your module leader and your placement coordinator from our Careers and Employability team.

How will I be assessed?

On your return to University for your final year, you'll submit your Placement Portfolio, detailing your development on your placement.

Apply now for the Professional Placement Year version of this course.

Facilities and resources


  • Laboratories
    Located in the Gardens area of the Newton Park campus, we have a number of well­-equipped and recently refurbished laboratories dedicated to a variety of practical work. Some are used for specialist microbiological culturing and analysis, others for biochemistry and physiology.
  • Low Hazard Laboratory Space
    We have ‘low ­hazard’ laboratory space where you can carry out activities such as the preparation and assessment of food, exercise or psychological studies.
  • Biology Resources Room 

Biology students can hire out equipment using SISO, Bath Spa University’s free equipment loan service. We provide a huge variety of equipment from binoculars, to telescopes and video cameras.


UK and EU students full time

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2022
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

International students full time

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £14,700
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2022
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

All students full time - with professional placement year

During the placement year, the fee is reduced to 20% of the full time fee. Otherwise, fees are the same as for full time study. This applies to UK, EU and International students.

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

We're looking for students who already have a broad interest in Biology, but would like a more specific microbiology focus to their studies. You should have a desire to put theory into practice in the laboratory, and be willing to pursue your own research on topics of interest.

Typical offers

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below:

  • A-level – grades CCC with grade C in Biology, Human Biology, Environmental Science or Social Biology minimum
  • BTEC Extended Diploma minimum grades Merit, Merit, Merit (MMM) accepted in a science or related subject
  • International Baccalaureate a minimum score of 26 points required with grade 5 in Biology, Human Biology, Environmental Science or Social Biology at Higher Level
  • Access to HE typical offers for applicants with Access to HE will be the Access to HE Diploma or Access to HE Certificate (60 credits, 45 of which must be Level 3, including 30 at merit or higher) in a science or related subject.

English Language Requirements for International and EU Applicants

IELTS 6.0 - for visa nationals, with a minimum score of IELTS 5.5 in each element.

How do I apply?

Applications for this course will open soon. To learn more, please register your interest via the button in the centre of this page.

Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply pages.

Admissions service: +44 (0)1225 876 180
Course leader: Samantha Lane

Three year course

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