Medical Microbiology - Standalone module

This course is ideal if you wish to 'top-up' your existing degree to become a registered Biomedical Scientist or complete a course in clinical microbiology as part of your professional development. You'll develop your knowledge in microbiology and infectious disease within community and hospital settings, and explore topics such as clinical microbiology, infectious organisms and general diagnostic principles and considerations.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type
Part-time, Online / distance learning

Course format

No placements


1 year (course delivery is 2 weeks)

UCAS code(s)

Start date

Explore postgraduate study at Aston University

Discover what it's like to study at Aston

Course outline and modules

Available via distance learning o, this module 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.

You will be provided with a theoretical overview of microbiology and infectious disease within the community and hospital setting. It will develop your knowledge of infectious diseases 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:

  • Structure, physiology and biochemistry of microorganisms;
  • Identification and classification; Control of microorganisms.
  • Pathogenic mechanisms of a range of microorganisms;
  • Public health microbiology;
  • Laboratory investigation of a range of infectious diseases including isolation and identification of microorganisms;
  • Anti-microbial and anti-viral therapy (including drug resistance);
  • Infection control.

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)
  • Antibiotics.

This course is part of the School of Biosciences which sits within the College of Health and Life Sciences.


Key information

Corresponding HCPC topic(s): "Medical Microbiology"

Credit value: 10

Specific level: This is a Level 5 module, equivalent to a Foundation Degree

Mode of delivery: Distance learning

Course type: Standalone module 

Number of places available: Up to 15

Applications: all applications are made online using our online application form. You will be required to confirm the name for each of the Biomedical Science top-up modules you will be applying for by listing them in your personal statement. This is a compulsory part of your application and missing information may result in a prolonged delay in processing your application. Our full list of available modules in this suite of courses includes:

For those who are taking this module in order to 'top-up' your existing degree for IBMS registration, please refer to our entry requirements for more details on IMBS set deadlines.

Start date: September 2024

Application deadline: September 2024

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

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. We recommend you contact the IBMS by June 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.


Learning, teaching and assessment

This module is available 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 an online BMS Top-up Induction session in week zero (mid-September), at which we will show you how to access your university record and Blackboard (the Virtual Learning Environment). 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.

Distance learning, the study can be spread out over the term and a week-by-week study guide is available. Recorded lectures are made available after they are delivered to attendance students as detailed above. Assessment is by online essay

Our courses are written and delivered by staff at the forefront of life and health sciences teaching and research. Many members of staff currently practise or 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 DirectorDr Jonathan Cox

Module Coordinator: Dr T Worthington



for Sept 2023 Start: £800 per 10 credits

Professional accreditation

This course is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS).

Career prospects

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

Speak to our Admissions Team

If you have any questions about the application process please get in touch with our postgraduate admissions team:


Call: 0121 204 3200 (Please note this line is open Monday-Friday between 09.30am-4.30pm BST)

Please click here for guidance on completing the postgraduate application.