BSc (Hons) Microbiology and Biotechnology

Undergraduate, Full-Time

Develop specialist skills in food, medical and environmental microbiology and biotechnology as you explore how we can exploit the amazing ability of microbes to adapt.

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  • UCAS code:


  • Course type:


  • Duration:

    4 years

  • Award:

    BSc (Hons)

  • Location:

    Sighthill campus

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Course introduction

Please note this course is now only available for direct entry from year 2 onwards. 

Microbes are everywhere - inside our bodies, in the air we breathe, even in the food we eat. They are so small that millions can fit into the eye of a needle yet without them we couldn’t exist.

On this fascinating course you’ll explore the amazing ability of microbes to adapt to virtually every ecological niche.

Through specialist modules in medical, food and environmental biotechnology, you’ll explore how we exploit the diversity of microorganisms in the production of drugs and food and the decontamination of polluted environments.

This will prepare you for employment in a wide range of occupations, including those requiring specialist knowledge in microbiology and biotechnology.


This course provides you with specialist skills in food, medical and environmental microbiology and biotechnology while also giving you a broad understanding of the biological sciences.

You’ll learn, for example how the human immune system responds to invading bacteria and viruses, and how this knowledge is exploited by pharmaceutical industries in the development of drugs, vaccines and diagnostics.

You'll also discover how an understanding of a microbe’s ability to exist in diverse environments leads to applications that benefit humans and the environment.

This is a full-time course studied over four years and has a significant practical component. Most modules have laboratory classes giving you the opportunity to study with a hands-on approach.

You’ll learn by a variety of teaching methods including lectures, tutorials, laboratory sessions, field trips and through independent study. There may also be some opportunities to study abroad.

In the final year of the Honours degree, you will conduct your own project in one of our established and internationally recognised research teams.

Throughout this course you’ll develop transferable skills which will help you compete in the workplace, including problem solving, communication, organisational and presentation skills. You will also gain specialist skills in food, environmental and medical microbiology and biotechnology, in addition to a broad understanding of the biological sciences.

Find out more by visiting our Facebook page.

What you study

2017 Direct Entry Programme (second, third and fourth year)

Year 2

  • Microbiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology and the Environment
  • Microbes and Man
  • Practical Module

One optional module from:

  • Biology of Disease 
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Clinical Care of Exotic Species
  • Valuing the Earth

Year 3

  • Scientific Communication: Dissertation and Statistics
  • Medical Microbiology
  • Molecular Genetics
  • Food Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Environmental Microbiology
  • Immunology

Year 4

  • Applications of Molecular Biology
  • Biotechnology - Industry and Environment
  • Cellular & Molecular Immunology
  • Honours project

Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Full information on this is available in our disclaimer.

The skills you gain in this course will prepare you for work in a number of areas including:

  • industry and research sectors
  • food and drink industries
  • pharmaceutical industries
  • sales and marketing
  • consultancy
  • environment protection agencies / companies

The emphasis on research in this course equips you with the knowledge and skills required to continue on to postgraduate study, including possible PhD study and a further academic career.

Minimum year 1

Please note this course will not be open to applicants for Year 1 entry in 2017. Applicants wishing to apply for a Year 1 Bio-Science course should refer to one of the following courses: BSc Biomedical Science (B940), BSc Biological Science (C120), BSc Marine and Freshwater Biology (C160), BSc Applied Microbiology (C510) or BSc Animal and Conservation Biology (CC11).

Minimum year 2


Pass in a related subject* with Grade B in the graded unit.

*Biomedical Sciences, Biological Sciences, Applied Sciences, Applied Biological Sciences

SQA Advanced Higher

BBC including Biology

A Level

AAB including Biology

Minimum year 3


Pass in a related subject** with Grades BB at SCQF Level 8 in the graded units

**Biomedical Sciences, Biological Sciences, Applied Sciences, Applied Biological Sciences

English Language Requirements

If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test and our minimum English language requirements will apply.

This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English. Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you.

Our entry requirements indicate the minimum qualifications with which we normally accept students. Competition for places varies from year to year and you aren't guaranteed a place if you meet the minimum qualifications.

International students

If your qualifications aren't listed above, visit our country pages to get entry requirements for your country.

Please note that non-EU international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:

BN Nursing/MN Nursing (Adult, Child, Mental Health or Learning Disability)

BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery

Admissions policies

We're committed to being as accessible as possible to anyone who wants to achieve higher education.

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures and how decisions are made.

Tuition fees
Students from 2017/18 2018/19
Scotland/EU £1,820 £1,820
England Wales and Northern Ireland £9,000 £9,250
Overseas £13,900 £14,350

Frequently Asked Questions about Fees
Information of Bursaries and Scholarships