BI3BQ78-Bacterial Pathogens & Experimental Approaches

Module Provider: School of Biological Sciences
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Pre-requisites: BI1S1 Introductory Microbiology and BI2BI45 Infectious Diseases
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded: BI3BC7 Bacterial Pathogens
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Simon Clarke


Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module aims to provide students with an understanding of key factors involved in bacterial pathogenesis. Using selected examples of human and animal pathogens, both the disease and molecular basis of pathogenesis will be considered. This module will see students learn the advanced, modern techniques used by microbiologists to study pathogenic bacteria and to develop new strategies for prevention and treatment of disease.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the course students will be able to:
- Discuss the association of bacteria with the mammalian host
- Outline disease(s) caused by bacterial pathogens, covering a wide variety of species and pathologies.
- Describe, at the molecular level, properties and the role of key factors in the pathogenesis of bacteria, using the above as examples
- Discuss methods of prevention of bacterial disease (and their limitations).
- Describe advanced techniques used by microbiologists to study disease-causing bacteria
- Discuss strategies for developing novel prophylaxis and therapies.

Additional outcomes:
Students should improve their critical understanding of literature, oral and written presentation skills.

Outline content:
A lecture series will cover the basic principles of bacterial pathogenesis at the molecular level. Association of bacteria with the host will be addressed. The role and properties of major virulence associated attributes (toxins, adhesins, factors involved in invasion of host cells, adaptation to the host environment and evasion of the host defence system) will be discussed in detail. Pathogenesis of important human and animal pathogens will be used as examples and approaches to vaccine development discussed. The second part of this module is a series of tutorials and student presentations involving guided reading and covering topics of current importance to bacterial pathogenesis and prophylaxis.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Lectures and directed reading

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 18
Seminars 4
Tutorials 4
Guided independent study 82 92
Total hours by term 100.00 100.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 35
Dissertation 35
Oral assessment and presentation 15
Class test administered by School 15

Summative assessment- Examinations:
2 hour examination

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
Directed reading followed by test
Extended essay and presentation

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:
    An overall mark of at least 40%

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-sit examination August/September

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 20 April 2018


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