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2011/2 Provisional Module Catalogue - UNDER CONSTRUCTION & SUBJECT TO CHANGE
Module Provider: Biosciences Short Name: BMS1035
Level: HE1 Module Co-ordinator: PARK SF Dr (Biosciences)
Number of credits: 15 Number of ECTS credits: 7.5
Module Availability
Semester Two
Assessment Pattern

Coursework- 70%. Continuous coursework assessment ranging from short answer reports to more detailed short reports of the experiments. These will be due in every two weeks from the start of the module. 

Practical examination (Spring semester)  -  30%


Module Overview
Module Aims
  • To re-famili arise students with the techniques of microscopy and the production and handling of pure cultures
  • To equip students with a v ariety of enumeration techniques for isolating important bacteria (and protozoa) from water sources
  • To  famili arise students with basic skills for isolating selected groups of bacteria from different environments
  • To famili arise students with basic skills for isolating and identifying pathogenic bacteria in clinical samples
  • To provide famili arity with a wide range of commonly used selective and diagnostic media
  • To provide an introduction to antibiotic producing organisms and the techniques using to detect antibiotic resistance in a clinical setting
  • To provide an opportunity for work in small groups towards a poster presentation
Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:-

  •  Set up, interpret, and understand the biochemical background, of a range of diagnostic tests used in the identification of selected groups of bacterial
  • Perform a Gram stain and using a microscope interpret its implications for bacterial identification
  • C arry out serial dilution and plate counting to estimate numbers of bacteria
  • Perform the most probable number (MPN) method for enumerating low numbers of bacteria in water
  • Perform the filtration method for enumerating low numbers of bacteria in water
  • Perform a number of tests aimed at identifying pathogenic bacteria in clinical samples
  • Distinguish between major groups of Gram negative bacteria including members of the Enterobacteriaceae, Pseudomonas and Vibrio
  • Distinguish between major groups of Gram position bacteria including: Bacillus, Clostridia, Staphylococcus and Micrococcus
  • Understand the techniques used to identify resistance to antibiotics and interpret the results of such tests.

Module Content

Practical No:



1 (periods 1-2)




Revision of microscopy and aseptic technique (streak dilution and the enumeration of bacteria by serial dilution and plate count)

2 (periods 2-4)


The Enterobacteriaceae - isolation and characterisation

3 (periods 4-5)


Pseudomonads and use of the membrane filtration technique for isolation from swimming pool water

4 (periods 5-7)


Isolation of microorganisms from environmental waters:
a. Vibrios and the use of the Most Probable Number method for enumeration 
b. Isolation of protozoa 

5 (periods 6-8)



Staphylococcus and Micrococcus

a. Isolation from the body and wound infections

b. Monitoring the microbiological quality of air

6 (periods 7-8)


Bacillaceae:  The Gram positive spore forming rods

7 (periods 8-9)







a. Antibiotic production (Actinomycetes and related bacteria) 

 b. Antimicrobial interaction and testing for antibiotic resistance

8 (period 8-10)


The pathogenic bacteria associated with gastroenteritis

9 (period 10-11)



The human microflora: 

a. Dental microbiology

b. Microbiology of the skin

10  (period 11)


Poster presentation

Methods of Teaching/Learning
Selected Texts/Journals

Reed, R., Holmes, D., Weyers, J., and Jones, A. (2007). Practical Skills in Biomolecul ar Sciences. Pe arson Publishers.

 Tod ar ’s Online Textbook of Bacteriology.


Last Updated
5 April 2011