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Medical microbiology student with microscope at the University of Manchester

Medical Microbiology (MSc)

Our practical-focused course offers a springboard for graduates pursuing careers as microbiologists or virologists.

Medical Microbiology Overview

Year of entry: 2017

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Accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Scientists (IBMS), our MSc in Medical Microbiology will give you a thorough theoretical and practical understanding of the medical and molecular aspects of:

  • bacteriology
  • virology
  • mycology
  • immunity to infection.

You will learn from both academics at the University and NHS specialists in infectious disease and medical microbiology. 

You will also spend much of your time in the laboratory learning how to be a microbiologist, which is what makes our course unique and will equip you with the practical skills that are valued by employers. 

This master's course is suitable if you want to pursue a career in clinical sciences or academic and industrial research.

It is aimed at graduates in microbiology and virology, as well as related science degree courses such as medicine and dentistry or other degrees with a microbiology element.

CPD opportunities

We offer units from this MSc as standalone courses for continuing professional development (CPD). Please see the Medical Microbiology CPD units page for further details. 

Related research

Our current research interests include:

  • molecular diagnostics and typing of MRSA and other gram-positive pathogens;
  • analysis of staphylococcal biofilms and their eradication;
  • development of novel therapies for fungal infections;
  • pathogenesis of cytomegalovirus;
  • human papilloma virus and cervical cancer.

Learn more

More information on this course is below, including details of how to apply. If you would like to sign up for advice on the application process or ask a specific question, please fill in our online contact form.

Degree awarded
MSc: 12/24 mths (FT/PT); PGDip: 9/24 mths (FT/PT)
Entry requirements

An honours degree (minimum Upper Second) or overseas equivalent is required for direct entry to the course.

Non-standard applicants for the course will be considered on an individual basis, but may be required to enrol initially on the postgraduate diploma course.

The programme is suitable for graduates in:

  • microbiology
  • virology
  • medical laboratory sciences
  • biomedical sciences
  • medicine
  • veterinary medicine
  • dentistry
  • pharmacy
  • other biology degrees with an element of microbiology.
International students must have an equivalent classification and should refer to entry requirements from your country for further information.

Full entry requirements

Number of places/applicants
40 - 60 places are available for the September 2016 intake.
Contact email
Contact telephone
+44 (0)161 275 5220
How to apply

We recommend that you apply as early as possible; applications will remain open until the beginning of the next academic year; however, we reserve the right to close applications earlier if the course is full.

Please apply via our online application form , following any instructions for completion carefully.


Your application form must have the following supporting documents:

  • Two academic references on letter-headed paper, signed and dated within six months of the application submission date. References emailed directly from a referee's academic email address will also be accepted. Professional references can be provided in instances where you have been out of university for more than five years prior to applying and the work undertaken is in a field related to the course. We do not contact referees directly
  • Official degree certificates (with translations if not in English) if you have already graduated
  • Official University transcripts (with translations if not in English)
  • Full CV
  • Personal statement
  • A scanned copy of your passport if you require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.
  • If English is not your first language, we require proof of your English language ability. If you have already taken an English language qualification, please include your certificate with your application. We may be willing to consider your application without this document, but if we choose to make you an offer, the conditions will include IELTS (or equivalent qualification).

Supporting documents can be uploaded with the online application form, or sent directly to . We are unable to consider your application until we have received all of the documents listed above.

You must include your University ID number on any correspondence and do not send any documents before you have submitted your application.

Course options

Full-timePart-timeFull-time distance learningPart-time distance learning

Course description

Our course is ideal if you are a graduate looking to develop your skills as a microbiologist.

The MSc and postgraduate diploma in Medical Microbiology are intensive full-time or part-time postgraduate taught courses encompassing the medical and molecular aspects of bacteriology, virology, mycology and immunity to infection.

Our microbiology course is unique because you will spend much of your time actually in the laboratory, learning how to be a microbiologist.

We aim to give you a significant level of theoretical and practical understanding of the subject, which will be important if you want to follow a career in clinical sciences or academic and industrial research.

The course runs in parallel with the MSc in Medical Virology and the MSc in Medical Mycology .

The MSc Medical Microbiology course has its roots in a prestigious qualification developed in the early 1920s by Professor WWC Topley.

As such, it can be considered to be the oldest taught postgraduate microbiology qualification in the country, and probably in the world.

Watch a short film about studying for MSc/PGDip Medical Microbiology and MSc/PGDip Medical Virology at The University of Manchester.

Open days

See the University website for details of postgraduate open days .


For entry in the academic year beginning September 2017, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • MSc (full-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): £9,500
    International students (per annum): £21,500
  • MSc (part-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): £4,750
    International students (per annum): £10,750
  • PGDip (full-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): £7,600
    International students (per annum): £17,200
  • PGDip (part-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): £3,800
    International students (per annum): £8,600

The fees quoted above will be fully inclusive for the course tuition, administration and computational costs during your studies.

All fees for entry will be subject to yearly review and incremental rises per annum are also likely over the duration of courses lasting more than a year for UK/EU students (fees are typically fixed for international students for the course duration at the year of entry).

For general fees information please visit postgraduate fees . Always contact the department if you are unsure which fee applies to your qualification award and method of attendance.

Self-funded international applicants for this course will be required to pay a deposit of £1,000 towards their tuition fees or provide a sponsor letter (which we must first confirm), before a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) is issued. This deposit will only be refunded if immigration permission is refused. We will notify you about how and when to make this payment. 


Equity and Merit Scholarships are  available for a number of academically excellent young professionals from Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania studying for certain full-time campus-based master's degrees at Manchester, including Medical Microbiology.

Read about one of our graduates, Jean D'Amour Mutoni , who has recently graduated with his MSc in Medical Microbiology thanks to the financial assistance offered by the scholarship scheme.