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Clinical Microbiology (HCPC topic "Medical Microbiology")

Biomed 8


  Key facts:

  • 10 undergraduate level credits
  • Distance Learning or Campus Based
  • Standalone module
  • Module code: BY3CI1
  • Corresponds to HCPC topic "Medical Microbiology"

This course is for you if you wish to develop your knowledge in microbiology and infectious disease within the community and hospital setting. You will explore topics such as clinical microbiology, infectious organisms and general diagnostic principles and considerations. This course is ideal if you wish to “top-up” your existing degree to become a registered Biomedical Scientist. This program of study includes upper and lower respiratory tract, urinary, gastrointestinal and sexually transmitted infections along with antimicrobials and antibiotic resistance.

  • Corresponding HCPC topic(s): "Medical Microbiology"

  • Credit value: 10 undergraduate level credits 

  • Specific level: This is a Level 6 module, equivalent to the final year of an undergraduate degree

  • Mode of delivery: Distance Learning or Campus Based

  • Course type: Standalone Module 

  • Number of places available: Up to 15

  • Start date: September

  • Duration: Registration covers one academic year. Course delivery is scheduled over approximately two weeks in Term 1, with an examination in January. Although this will depend upon the individual, a typical student can expect to spend around 4 hours a week studying throughout the duration of the course delivery, equivalent to 100 hours of study in total when including examination preparation.

  • Entry requirements: 

    • General entry requirements: In order to study this module you must have a non-accredited undergraduate degree in Biomedical Sciences or an undergraduate degree in a related field (such as biology or biochemistry). 

    • Taking this module in order to “top-up” your existing degree for IBMS registration: Prior to registering for a top-up module (or modules) you need to contact the Institute of Biomedical Science. They will assess your degree in order to confirm that it is eligible for “Top-Up” and to determine the additional subject areas in which you need further qualifications. You will need to contact the IBMS by April in the year of application to ensure that you have confirmation of your module requirements in time to register for your modules with Aston University.

    • Degrees not eligible for Top-up: If your degree is not eligible for top up but you still wish to become a registered Biomedical Scientist, we recommend that you apply to take our accredited BSc Biomedical Science undergraduate degree.

    • Taking this module for professional development: No additional requirements apply.

    • International students: we welcome applications from international students who are already in the UK with a valid visa. Unfortunately we are not able to accept applications from international students who wish to come to the UK solely to take this course. We are also not able to accept international students to take the distance learning route. You will be asked to provide a scanned copy of your UK visa, and of your passport when you submit the online registration form so that we can check you are eligible to take the top up modules.

Application deadlines: 

  • Application to IBMS (if applicable):

    • UK / EU students: April
    • International students: April
  • Application to Aston University:
    • UK / EU students: 31 July (please note that you must also have paid the course fee in full by 31 August)
    • International students: 1 July (please note that you must also have paid the course fee in full by 31 July)
    • If you wish to apply after the deadline, please contact us to check as depending upon availability we may still be able to consider your application.
  • Enrolment: 
    • UK / EU students: September
    • International students: September
How to apply:
  • Applications are currently open for our next intake. See above for details about applying to the IBMS if applicable.
  • Please complete an online application form. You will also need to download, complete, and upload a copy of the following form as part of the online application form: Biomedical Science Modules Form  .
Apply now cpd
This course is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS).

This course allows you to develop your knowledge in microbiology and infectious disease within the community and hospital setting. It is ideal if you wish to “top-up” your existing degree to become a registered Biomedical Scientist, or if you are looking to take a course as part of your continuing professional development.

This module is available on campus “by attendance” or via distance learning. We welcome applications from international students who are already in the UK with a valid visa; however we are not able to accept those who wish to come to the UK solely to take this course. Students taking this course by distance learning must be based in the UK.

For both modes of study, students must attend a BMS Top-up Induction session on campus in week zero (mid-September), at which we will show you how to access your university record and Blackboard (the Virtual Learning Environment). All the learning material can be accessed and the coursework assessments completed remotely via Blackboard.

For attendance, the module runs over approximately 2 weeks in Term 1, involving lectures and online assessments. 

For distance learning, the study can be spread out over the term and a week-by-week study guide is available.

The module is examined on campus during the January examination period.

This course will provide you with a theoretical overview of microbiology and infectious disease within the community and hospital setting.  

It will develop your knowledge in infectious disease caused by microbial pathogens, primarily bacteria and the ways in which they can establish themselves and cause disease.  Principles and theory of common laboratory investigations undertaken to diagnose bacterial infection.

The following areas will be covered:

  • Introduction to clinical microbiology, infectious organisms, normal flora: friend and foe
  • General diagnostic principles and considerations (aims of clinical microbiology, specimen collection/transport/processing, culture and non-culture techniques, methods of bacterial identification and sensitivity testing)

The following infections will be studied:

  • Upper respiratory tract infection
  • Lower respiratory tract infection (pneumonia, tuberculosis)
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Sexually transmitted infection (gonorrhoea, chlamydia, syphilis)
  • Gastrointestinal infection (Clostridium difficile)

Both “by attendance” and distance learning routes make extensive use of Blackboard, our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), but there will be obvious differences in learning methods and timetables between by attendance and distance learning.

All course material, including recorded lectures, self-assessment quizzes, timetables, and some directed reading will be available on Blackboard online; coursework submission and feedback are also mainly via this route. Blackboard allows you to access a comprehensive range of study materials, scientific journals, e-journals, databases and much more.

Our CPD courses offer you the opportunity to enhance your knowledge and skills in order to develop your career. In addition, our ethos is to equip you to make a real difference in your field.

These modules will allow you to obtain the academic competences that are required to apply to the Health Professions Council for Registration as a Biomedical Scientist.

Our courses are written and delivered by staff at the forefront of Life and Health Sciences teaching and research. Many members of staff practise / have practised professionally. In the recent Teaching Excellence Framework assessment, Aston University was awarded Gold, the highest award possible. In addition, our courses are regularly reviewed by relevant professional experts.

Biomedical Sciences Top Up Modules Course Director: Dr Jonathan Cox

Module Coordinator: Dr T Worthington

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Interested? We'd love to hear from you