Making the decision
the right course
There is a huge choice of microbiology based BSc degree courses.
Some are general but others may focus on specific areas of microbiology
such as molecular techniques or medical microbiology.
If you are not sure if you want to specialise in microbiology, you
could choose a broad-based course, such as biological sciences or
applied biology, which has a common first year covering a variety
of relevant subjects. This will allow you to delay your decision
about your final degree pathway.
If you plan to work in a hospital medical microbiology laboratory
it is a good idea to take an accredited biomedical sciences degree.
Information about these degrees is available from the Institute
of Biomedical Science.
A "Sandwich" degree course alternates study with periods
of work and provides valuable experience giving you an advantage
in the competitive graduate job market.
Individual courses can be found by using the search facility
on the UCAS
website. A list of microbiology degree courses is available here.
Most university prospectuses are available online or you can send
for one by post. You can locate websites using the University of
sensitive map. Many individual university departments also provide
extra information for university applicants on their web pages.
Study university prospectuses carefully to find out about
course content, methods of assessment, subject options, course structure,
not forgetting the place itself and the general feel of the institution.
Open days offer an ideal opportunity to check out the laboratory
facilities and talk to existing students about their experiences.
Applications for entry to a course must be made through
The usual minimum entrance requirement is 5 GCSE (grades
A-C) or SQA standard grade passes (at grade or above) and 2 'A'
level (or 3 SQA higher grade) science passes. In practice most institutions
will require 3 'A' levels or the equivalent combination of 'AS'
and 'A2' levels. A relevant BTEC or SQA National Diploma or Certificate,
or suitable advanced VCEs, may also be acceptable. Anyone who is
not sure about the eligibility of their qualifications should seek
advice from the departmental admissions tutor directly. This applies
particularly to mature students, who may need guidance about access
Consult individual prospectuses for general entrance requirements;
English and mathematics at GCSE grades A-C (or equivalent) are usually
essential. For entry to a microbiology or allied course 'A' level
chemistry may not be a requirement, but in practice you will find
studying a bioscience at degree level hard-going without it. Other
preferred subjects at 'A' level are biology, maths, physics, although
other subjects are acceptable.
Some universities use the UCAS entry tariff whilst others prefer
to make offers based on grades. However each application is judged
on its merits and when an offer is made, many factors are taken