Why study Medical Microbiology and Virology at Warwick?
Dr Emma Anderson
School of Life Sciences
Why study at Warwick
A view from our academics
What will I learn?
This degree explores the diversity of microbial form and function and the roles of microbes in life processes. It will develop your understanding of infection and its causes, preparing you to contribute as a specialist graduate in an employment or research setting.
Microbes are essential for life on earth, yet are also the cause of most death and disease globally. Bacteria are found in almost every habitat on earth as well as on and in humans, animals and plants. Some viruses such as HIV and influenza are major agents of human disease and others play a role in cancer. Our course covers the molecular and cellular biology of microbial and viral agents and the organisms they affect, and the role of microbes and viruses in a changing world. You will develop the research and analysis, presentation, communication, problem-solving and writing skills that are essential in all employment sectors.
You will learn in a supportive environment, maintaining regular contact with a personal academic tutor. An integrated core syllabus of biology, biochemistry, genetics and chemistry in your first year forms the basis for later specialisation. In your second and third years you can choose from a variety of optional modules, including those outside science such as law, business or languages. In your third year you complete a challenging full-time research project on an area of particular academic interest. This may be lab-based, or involve data analysis, fieldwork or literature-based research. If you follow the four-year MBio programme you will undertake an additional final-year extended research project within the School or an industrial placement.
How will I learn?
You will have weekly (first year) and fortnightly (second and third years) taught tutorials, which are in small groups to ensure that you are able to develop, and receive regular feedback on assessment.
Purpose-built teaching facilities are fully integrated with research laboratories, meaning you will be learning alongside teaching and research staff who are at the cutting edge of their fields. You will spend one or two days a week undertaking lab work. This becomes more projectoriented in your second year, culminating in a six-week individual research project in your third year. In their final year, MBio students undertake a further 27-week
How will I be assessed?
You will be assessed using a variety of methods including tutorial, laboratory practical, oral presentation and other written assignment tests as well as exam based questions.
What opportunities are there for work placements?
MBio students can choose between an extended research project in a research lab within the Department and a 12-month industrial research placement in their final year. Recent placements in industry have included the Assisted Reproduction Unit at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire, AstraZeneca, GSK and Novartis. Both routes allow you to join carefully monitored research projects, covering a wide range of scientific areas
and giving you valuable experience in scientific writing, data analysis and information technology.
Many of our BSc and MBio students also choose to undertake work placements during vacations. We actively promote this, and will support you with applications and interview skills.
What opportunities are there to study abroad?
We support student mobility through study abroad programmes and all students have the opportunity to apply for a year abroad at one of our partner universities. The Study Abroad Team based in the International Office offers support for these activities, and the Department’s dedicated Study Abroad Co-ordinator can provide more
specific information and assistance.
A level AAB-ABB, to include Biology
You must also achieve a pass in the science practical if your science A level includes a separate practical assessment.
International Baccalaureate 34-36 points, to include 6 in Higher Level Biology
We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications. For more nformation please visit the international entry requirements page.
Access Courses Access to HE Diploma (QAA recognised) including appropriate subjects with distinction grades in level 3 units. Candidates must meet essential subject requirements.
Warwick International Foundation Programme (IFP) All students who successfully complete the Warwick IFP and apply to Warwick through UCAS will receive a guaranteed conditional offer for a related undergraduate programme (selected courses only). For full details of standard offers and conditions visit the IFP page.
General Studies/Critical Thinking Offers normally exclude General Studies and Critical Thinking.
A level Biology (or equivalent) essential. International Baccalaureate 6 in Higher Level Biology.
Gap Year Applications for deferred entry are welcomed.
Interviews We do not typically interview applicants.Offers are made based on your predicted and actual grades, along with your personal statement. Occasionally, some applicants may be interviewed, for example candidates returning to study or those with non-standard qualifications.
What modules can I study?
In year one core modules could include Laboratories and Tutorials; Physiology and Metabolism; Proteins Genes and Genetics; Cells, Tissues and Organisms; Agents of Infectious Disease and Quantitative Skills for Biology. Optional modules could include Animal and Plant Biology; Environmental Biology; Health and Community and Brain and Behaviour.
As well as tutorials, core modules in year two could be selected from Viruses and Viral Infection; Laboratories; Immunology and Epidemiology; Molecular Cell Biology and Medical Microbiology. Optional modules could include Bioscience and Society; Biological Oceanography; Evolution; Ecology and its Applications; Protein Structure and Function; Genetics and Genomics and Pharmacology.
Core modules in year three could include a Research Project; Medical Virology; Laboratories and tutorials; Bacteria: Genes to Behaviour and Pathogenicity and Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease. Optional modules could be selected from Advanced Immunology; Exploiting Innovation in Biology; Protein Targeting; Vaccination and Gene Therapy; Oncology; Infectious Diseases and Health; Post-genomic Research; Bioenergy and Biorefining; Extreme Environment Biology; Law, Seas, Peoples and Ecosystems; Science Communication and Business Studies.
* This is not an exhaustive list and the modules mentioned above may be subject to change. Please visit the department website for more detailed information.
What careers can a Warwick degree in Medical Microbiology and Virology lead to?
Career destinations for life scientists include lab work and non-laboratory based scientific work, as well as careers outside science in industry, finance or the civil service. Some of our graduate destinations have included GlaxoSmithKline, Research and Development Scientist; Public Health England, Medical Public Relations Consultant; Great Ormond St Hospital, Technical Geneticist; Department of Agriculture and Agrifood, Assistant Plant Pathologist; Oppenheimer, Intern with Investment Bank.
Almost 40% of our graduates undertake postgraduate study. A number of our graduates also go on to study medicine and Warwick welcomes applicants to its graduate-entry medical course (MB ChB). We work closely with Warwick Medical School to provide support for students wishing to study medicine who demonstrate early in the course that they are very likely to meet the entry requirements for the Warwick MB ChB.
A level: AAB-ABB, to include Biology plus a pass in the science practical assessment (if applicable).
IB: 34-36 points, to include 6 in Higher Level Biology
Degree of Bachelor of Science (BSc)
3 years full time (30 weeks per academic year)
Location of study
University of Warwick, Coventry
£9,000 per year - find out more about fees and funding
Other course costs
There may be costs associated with other items or services such as academic texts, course notes, and trips associated with your course. For further information on the typical additional costs you should contact the department administering the course.
This information is applicable for 2017 entry.