Microbiology is a branch of the life sciences that deals with the biology of prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms - bacteria, fungi (moulds and yeasts), protozoa, and viruses. In terms of basic molecular and cell biology, microbiology has many elements in common with biochemistry and genetics. Aspects of these subjects form important parts of undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in Microbiology.

The Department of Microbiology has an establishment of seven full-time academic staff and has teaching and research links with the Department of Clinical Microbiology, School of Medicine at St. James's Hospital.

The Department occupies the Moyne Institute of Preventive Medicine, a building presented to the College in 1953 by Grania Guinness (now the dowager Marchioness of Normanby) in memory of her father, the first Baron Moyne.

What will you study in the Microbiology Department:

Topics include:

  • Microbial and Molecular Genetics
  • Microbial Physiology
  • Biomembranes and Cell Surfaces
  • Virology
  • Molecular Biotechnology
  • Microbial Genome Structure & Gene Regulation
  • Bacterial Pathogenicity
  • Applied & Environmental Microbiology
  • Molecular Protozoology
  • Molecular Biology of Yeast
  • Medical & Clinical Microbiology
  • Antimicrobial Agents & Antibiotics
  • The Human Microbiome
  • Immunology of Infection

In the Senior Sophister (4th) year, all students take two core courses that cover molecular and cell biology, and microbial pathogenicity, and a third course on problem solving and data analysis in Microbiology. In addition, students select three optional courses which offer focussed study of selected cutting edge research topics. These advanced topics courses cover such diverse areas as:

• Genome structure, gene regulation and expression in bacteria and eukaryotic microbes
• Molecular and cellular biology of microbial pathogens
• Molecular pathogenesis (disease mechanisms) and control of viral, bacterial and protozoal infections
• Host-pathogen interactions
• Using yeasts as models for understanding human diseases
• Clinical microbiology
• Regulation, issues and standards in current microbiological practice.

Career Opportunities

Graduates in Microbiology find employment in pharmaceutical and medical research laboratories, as quality control officers in the preparation of drugs, in food processing and packaging, in science publications, in science journalism, and in public utilities. Such employment may involve working with newer biotechnologies and using microorganisms for the commercial production of drugs, enzymes, antibiotics, vaccines, and agricultural products. Many graduates go on to study for a higher research degree.