Undergraduate Courses

 BSc Degree in Microbiology

Students wishing to obtain a BSc Degree in Microbiology must do so through the general BSc Science Degree (GY301). This is a four year programme in which students are exposed to a variety of scientific subjects before deciding to specialise in one area for their final year. It is an ideal option for students who are not yet ready to pick one topic and will equip them with solid foundation in general scientific subjects. Biological, chemical, mathematical, physical and earth and ocean sciences can be combined. 

Course Information by Year

To obtain a BSc in Microbiology, students must choose Biology in first year and Microbiology in second, third and final year. It is important to note that quotas apply from second year onwards, and in the case of high demand, module placement will be determined by the student’s grades so far.

Year 1 - Biology


  • Biology (BO101) is a joint course run by the Disciplines of Biochemistry, Botany, Zoology and Microbiology. The aim of the first-year Biology course is to build a broadly-applicable set of basic skills and knowledge, and introduce students to the various fields within the life sciences.

Lectures in Microbiology take place in Semester 2.

Microbiology Topics to be covered in First Year Microbiology include:

  • Meet the microbes: cells, organisms, impact
  • A short history of man and the microbe
  • The microbial planet: life at the extremes
  • How and why we study microbes
  • Medical microbiology
  • Microbes and the food we eat
  • Microbes for a sustainable world

Year 2 - Microbiology

Students seeking a BSc in Microbiology must begin to specialise after first year by taking Microbiology in second year. The course combines lectures with hands-on laboratory-based modules, providing an introduction to the skills and knowledge most relevant to microbiologists.

2nd Year Microbiology is divided into the following components:

Semester 1

  • MI202: Lab Skills in Microbiology I
  • BO201: Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • BO202: Evolution and the Tree of Life

Semester 2

  • MI203: Lab Skills in Microbiology II
  • MI204: Microbes and the Environment

Year 3 - Microbiology

The 3rd Year Microbiology course develops the themes of the previous year’s lectures and builds on the practical skills learned in order to prepare the student for final year.

3rd Year Microbiology is divided into the following components:

Semester 1

  • MI323:       Food and Industrial Microbiology
  • MI326:       Microbial Genetics and Metabolic Systems
  • MI3101:    Microbial Genomics

Semester 2

  • MI324:       Immunology and Recombinant Protein Technologies
  • MI322:       Environmental Microbiology
  • MI325:       Microbial Infectious Diseases 

Year 4 - Microbiology

4th Year Microbiology

All students should register for the 4 core modules MI405, MI413, MI439 and MI4104 and for 5 of the 6 optional modules MI437, MI440, MI442, MI4101, MI4102 and MI4103.  Full information on optional modules will be provided to students in September and module choice changes can be made up until September 24th.

The focus of 4th Year Microbiology in Semester 1 is the development of practical skills essential to both hands-on lab-work and scientific writing.  Over 10 weeks, students will have the opportunity to work alongside researchers at NUI Galway in a lab-based research project.  This will form the basis of their final-year thesis.  Alternately, a “dry project” may be taken, involving an in-depth review of the literature surrounding a chosen topic. Students critically examine the literature, identify potential topics of research and write a research proposal addressing these topics.
Throughout Semester 1 and 2 students complete assignments emphasising problem-solving, information gathering and scientific communication, as well as 6 lecture-based modules encompassing the two main research themes of the Discipline of Microbiology: Infectious Diseases and Environmental Microbiology.

4th Year Microbiology is divided into the following components:

Semester 1

•       MI405: Project (20 ECTS)
•       MI4104: Scientific Communication (5 ECTS)

Semester 2

•       MI413: Problem-Solving  (5 ECTS)
•       MI437: Bacterial Pathogenesis (5 ECTS)
•       MI439: The Meaning of Life: Bioinformatics (5 ECTS)
•       MI440: Dynamics of Microbial Gene Regulation (5 ECTS)
•       MI442: Bioprocessors and Recombinant Protein Production (5 ECTS)
•       MI4101: Host-Microbe Interactions (5 ECTS)
•       MI4102: Microbial Ecosystems Services & Systems Biology (5 ECTS)
•       MI4103: Environmental Biotechnology (5 ECTS)

Environmental Science