UCAS code: C500
Start date: October 2017
Duration: 3 years full-time
Location: South Kensington
Our three-year BSc Microbiology course is concerned with the physiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics, genetic engineering, ecology and uses of bacteria, fungi and viruses.
You will acquire both the theoretical and practical skills needed for a career in modern microbiology, with specialised modules dealing with the fundamental science of different types of microorganism and with important biotechnological, industrial, medical, food and agricultural applications.
About the course
Microbiology incorporates all types of microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, algae, viruses and protozoa.
As well as breadth, you will have the depth of specialist modules dedicated to the sub-disciplines of virology and parasitology.
Graduates may go on to address those real-world issues by finding new microbial sources of energy to combat global warming, or applying knowledge of virology to further combat HIV/AIDs.
At the beginning of your degree you will cover the fundamental concepts alongside students from biological and life sciences.
Our modular approach to the curriculum gives you flexibility and the possibility of transferring from one biological science degree course to another (subject to certain restrictions). If you enter under a code other than C110 and wish to transfer to the Biological Sciences with a Year in Industry/Research course you must apply to do so in your first year. This ensures that your training placement can be arranged well in advance.
Modules shown are for the current academic year, and are subject to change depending on your year of entry.
You will take the following four core modules:
- Biological Chemistry and Microbiology
- Biology of Organisms
- Cell Biology and Genetics
- Ecology and Evolution
In your second year you will study a combination of core and optional modules.
- Applied Molecular Biology
- Tutored Dissertation
- Bacterial Physiology
You will choose one optional module from each of the groups below.
Group 2 - Business and Humanities
In the third year you can specialise by selecting modules and a research topic that fit your interests and career plans.
- Science Communication
- Medical Microbiology
- Laboratory-based research project or a literature-based dissertation
You will choose one module from each group below:
- Advanced Topics in Immunity and Infection
- Symbiosis, Plant Immunity and Disease
- Synthetic Biology
- Molecular Basis of Bacterial Infection
Teaching and assessment
Our Biological Sciences courses incorporate a variety of teaching methods and assessment types.
You will spend time in the laboratory, lectures, tutorials and seminars, as well as undertake site visits, a group project and a research project.
You will be assessed by a combination of:
- Written examinations
- Laboratory write-ups
- Individual research
You must annually reach criteria in order to progress from one year to the next, and to complete your degree. You must achieve 40% in each module, with at least 35% in the coursework component and 35% in each examination component. To graduate with an honours degree you must pass all modules (40%).
Key Information Set (KIS)
Additional details about how this course is taught and assessed are provided in the KIS (Key Information Set).
The KIS is a set of statistics which all universities use to describe how their courses are taught and assessed. This allows students to compare similar courses at different institutions.
The KIS describes the percentage of time which students typically spend in timetabled activity and in independent study for each year of their course as well the percentage of assessment which is exams, coursework or practical. An overview of the KIS is shown in the widget at the bottom of the page and further detail (including a year-by-year breakdown) is available via Unistats.
AAA overall, to include:
- A in Biology
- A in Physics, Chemistry or Mathematics
- A in an additional subject (excluding Critical Thinking or General Studies)
Two AS levels may be acceptable in place of a third A level. Applicants must have Grade B or above in GCSE English Language, or achieve the higher College requirement in an appropriate English language qualification (please see English language qualifications for details).
Practical endorsement (practical science assessment)
If you are made an offer you will be required to achieve a pass in the practical endorsement in all science subjects that form part of the offer.
An overall score of 38 points is required, including:
- 6 in Biology at higher level
- 6 in either Chemistry, Physics or Mathematics at higher level
Applicants must have a score of 5 in English at standard level, or achieve the higher College requirement in an appropriate English language qualification (please see English language qualifications for details).
Applicants are normally required to have three A-levels, but we also welcome applications from applicants with other qualifications of equivalent standard and from students with other competencies.
If you have any questions about whether specific qualifications or subject combinations are acceptable, please contact the Admissions Team.
We welcome students from all over the world and accept a wide variety of international qualifications, including European, French and International Baccalaureates, German Abitur, various maturas, Scottish Advanced Highers, Irish Leaving Certificate, and Advanced Placements (USA), amongst many others.
If your qualifications are not listed here, please see our academic requirements by country page, which gives the minimum entry requirements for a range of international qualifications.
Even if you cannot find your particular qualification we may still accept it. Please supply full details direct to the Admissions Team.
Supplementary information should not be sent to UCAS.
English language requirements (all applicants)
All candidates must demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency for admission to the College.
For admission to this course, you must achieve the higher College requirement in the appropriate English language qualification. For details of the minimum grades required to achieve this requirement, please see the English language requirements for undergraduate applicants.
Offers are made based on information supplied on the UCAS form. Generally, we do not hold interviews.
Successful applicants are invited to one of our open days which comprise:
- a tour with current undergraduates of the South Kensington Campus, the Department's facilities and a laboratory
- a selection of talks about life at Imperial, the course structure, and our current research
- opportunities to meet and discuss your application with the admissions team
Applications from school leavers who wish to take a gap year are welcome. Applicants must state in their UCAS personal statement how they propose to spend their time.
Important information (all applicants)
Applicants who are unsuccessful cannot be reconsidered for entry within the same cycle but may reapply the following year without prejudice to the new application. We consider resit students in open competition with all other applicants.
We do not accept Access courses, Foundation years or OU courses.
General studies will not be accepted at any level. Other qualifications, such as Key Skills or Critical Thinking, while useful, will not count towards an offer.
Second year entry
For Biological Sciences, Biochemistry and Biotechnology, we sometimes accept transfers from other institutions into the second year. Students should provide us with a transcript of their first year grades and details of their Pre-University Qualifications and the grades attained in them.
Offers are based on the number of places available (if any), the relevance of the modules covered in the first year elsewhere and the grades achieved. If we feel direct entry to the second year wouldn't be possible we may offer you first year entry instead.
We do not accept any transfers into the third year of any of our courses.
Tuition fees and funding
Home and EU students
£9,250 per year
The UK government has confirmed that universities that have achieved a ‘meet expectations’ award – which includes Imperial – will, under the first year of the new Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), be able to raise their fees in 2017. The rise is an inflationary amount of 2.8% to a maximum of £9,250. The measure of inflation used is RPI-X (the retail price index, excluding mortgage interest payments). You should expect the fee to increase beyond 2017 for each year that your course lasts, subject to UK government regulations on fee increases.
The UK government has also confirmed that EU students starting or continuing their studies in the 2017–18 academic year will continue to pay the Home rate of tuition fees for the duration of their course. EU students will also remain eligible for the same government funding support as they are now, including the Tuition Fee Loan. This access to government funding will continue throughout your course, even if the UK exits the EU during this time.
Islands and overseas students
£27,500 per year
Please note that the tuition fee amount you will pay may increase each year.
The level of tuition fees you pay is based on your fee status, which we assess based on UK government legislation. Find out more about fee status assessments.
Home and EU students (with the exception of Graduate Medicine students) can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the Government to cover the full cost of their fees each year.
Home students may also be eligible for a Maintenance Loan to help with their living costs.
There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study which have to be budgeted for in addition to tuition fees and living expenses. This section provides examples of these and it is possible that all, or some, of these will be relevant to you.
Please note that the cost figures given are based on what such costs were in previous academic years and these are likely to change year to year. However, it is useful for you to be aware of the types of things you may have to pay for and their cost in previous years.
This section details whether the additional costs are essential or optional. Essential costs are highlighted as costs that you will need to pay to fully participate and complete your studies. Optional costs are not essential to your studies and you will be free to opt out of these.
African biology field trip
The optional African biology field trip is specific to Biological Sciences courses, Ecology and Environmental Biology, and Microbiology.
It takes place in your third year and costs £350 (2016-17) and this cost includes food and accommodation.
You will need to pay for and organise travel to and from Africa, and it is recommended to bring spending money of between £25 and £50.
Your first year field trips are funded by the Department of Life Sciences, and are provided free of charge.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Wearing personal protective equipment is compulsory for some activities on this course. Where this applies, the Department of Life Sciences will provide you with the necessary PPE free of charge to ensure you can undertake lab work safely. This includes:
- Lab coat
Bursaries and scholarships
The Imperial Bursary is available to any Imperial Home undergraduate student (except Graduate Medicine students) whose household income falls below £60,000 per year.
It is designed to ease the cost of London living by providing support on a sliding scale, from £2,000 up to £5,000 per year.
As long as your household income remains below £60,000 you will automatically qualify for a bursary for every year of undergraduate study.
The bursary is paid on top of any government loans to which you are entitled and does not need to be paid back. Find out more about the Imperial Bursary.
Our President’s Undergraduate scholarships are available to all undergraduate applicants studying an undergraduate degree for the first time who have applied to the College by 15 October.
They’re worth £1,000 for each undergraduate year of study. There are up to 112 awards available for students starting their studies in 2017–18.
A wide range of other scholarships is also available. Find out which scholarships you may be eligible for by using our scholarships search tool.
To find out more about the range of financial support available please see our Fees and Funding website.
How to apply
UCAS Apply system
To apply to study at Imperial you must use the online application system managed by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
The UCAS code for Imperial College London is I50.
All applications which include choices for medicine at Imperial must be submitted to UCAS by 18.00 (UK time) on 15 October 2016 for entry in October 2017.
The deadline for other courses at Imperial starting in 2017 is 18.00 (UK time) on 15 January 2017.
Students at a school/college registered with UCAS
All UK schools and colleges and a small number of EU and international institutions are registered with UCAS.
To make it clear which school or college you are applying from you will need to ask one of your teachers or advisers for the UCAS buzzword. You will need to enter this in UCAS’s Apply system when you register.
See our How to apply section for further guidance.
Independent applicants and students at schools/colleges not registered with UCAS
If you’re applying independently or from a school/college not registered with UCAS you will still need to use UCAS’s Apply system. You will not need a UCAS buzzword.
See our How to apply section for further guidance.
Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)
An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students applying for this course.
For more information about the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS), please see the International Student Support website.
Tracking your application
Once you’ve completed your application and it’s been submitted through UCAS’s Apply system, you can use UCAS’ Track system to follow its progress and manage your choices.
Professional accreditation and associateship
All of our degrees lead to the additional award of the Associateship of the Royal College of Science (ARCS).
What our graduates do
Life sciences graduates enjoy excellent career opportunities. Most of our graduates study for a higher degree in life sciences and many follow careers in the field, particularly in the research and management areas of pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, biomedical science, food technology, agrisciences, and pest, disease and environmental management.
Similar opportunities exist for life scientists in government and independent laboratories involved in medical research, public health, forensic investigation, disease research, conservation, and pollution. Some of our graduates also go on to work in medical careers, become teachers, or even work in the media.
Recent graduates of the Department have become:
- Genome Scientist, Illumina
- PhD student, Sir Francis Crick Institute
- Communications Manager, Orangutan project, Borneo
- Investment Analyst, JP Morgan
- Clinical Data Manager, Institute of Cancer Research
Information for offer holders for 2017
This section lists the changes that have been made to information about this course on this page since the UCAS application process opened on 1 September 2016.
All core modules are displayed on this page; the optional modules represent an indicative list of those that are likely to be available rather than all optional modules that will be offered every year. As a result, the changes recorded here only apply to the modules displayed on this page rather than all available on this course.
Find out more about the limited circumstances in which we may need to make changes to or in relation to our courses, the type of changes we may make and how we will tell you about changes we have made.
There are currently no changes to record for this course. Keep checking back for future updates.