AP0707 - Microbial Diversity

What will I learn on this module?

You will learn the importance of microbes in biotechnology, in particular organisms that produce therapeutic and commercially significant compounds. You will also learn about how viruses impact on the microbial communities in the environment and clinical setting. You will study in detail the diverse habitats that bacteria and viruses are isolated from such as deep-sea sediments, the Mir space station and desert sand, as well as the explorative techniques required for isolating bioactive microorganisms and the taxonomic approaches that are undertaken to characterise the producers of commercially significant products.
Underpinning theoretical concepts and principles will be covered in a lecture course that will be informed, illustrated and applied through a strong practical element. You will be trained in basic techniques that you will then have to utilise to solve ‘real life’ research project revolving around the selective isolation and identification of micro-organisms.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through lectures, laboratory and bioinformatic practical sessions. The lectures will cover the theories and the concepts that will enable you to tackle a series of guided practical sessions that will also be drawn from current research. You will work on these during hands-on sessions in the biological laboratories and computer labs, which are fully equipped with the latest equipment and software.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be given lecture materials and directed reading to inform both self-directed learning and in-class activities. Support will include feedback from tutors throughout the taught material, and hands-on practical sessions.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• You will be expected to understand the obstacles that are encountered in bacterial systematics and be able to discuss alternative strategies to overcome them.
Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• You will conduct the selective isolation and the classification of bioactive micro-organisms in the laboratory
• You will deliver a retrospective analysis of the suitability of the procedures undertaken during this module
• You will develop a biological analysis of results obtained from practical studies and wider literature.

How will I be assessed?

You will be challenged with a simulated ‘real life’ problem to solve in an end of module practical assessment session (100%). Throughout the course of the module students will be expected to complete a workbook, which will also act as a prompt for their directed and independent study. You will be allowed to refer to your [completed] workbook in the practical assessment session. In the practical assessment session you will have to draw upon the range of techniques and topics covered during the course of the module and apply your knowledge and skills to address the problem they are tasked with. On an on-going basis your tutors will give feedback on the exercises and you will record and track your progress through a workbook that accompanies the module.





Module abstract

‘Microbial Diversity’ will focus on the diversity of bacteria and viruses, as well as the habitats these microorganisms are found and their interactions within those habitats. We have designed the module so that the theoretical concepts and principles you will learn during the lecture course will then inform the strong practical element, where you will be trained in basic techniques that you will then have to utilise to solve ‘real life’ research project revolving around the selective isolation and identification of microorganisms.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full-time

Department Applied Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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