Plants are central to the global ecosystem. In Sheffield, we study them from every angle: from the molecular level up to whole organisms, in the context of ecosystems, industry and major global challenges.
As an MRes Plant and Microbial Biology student, you can examine the effects of past, present and future climates on plants and the wider environment. You’ll develop key research skills in our taught modules, while your extensive individual research project will give you practical experience of the roles that plants can play in solving pressing societal problems such as food security.
Our MRes Plant and Microbial Biology programme is uniquely research-focused. You’ll be assigned to a research supervisor on the basis of your particular research interests, and you will spend the year embedded within their research group, working alongside PhD students, postdoctoral researchers, and academic staff who are at the forefront of their research field. You’ll conduct an extended research project over several months, with the aim of producing original work of publishable quality.
Our world-class research in Plant and Microbial Biology spans topics including plant biotechnology, soil health, genomics, food security, sustainable agriculture, photosynthesis, plant-microbe interactions, plant immunology, and climate change biology. We use a range of approaches including advanced molecular techniques such as molecular genetics, metabolomics, fluorescent imaging, gas exchange analysis and carbon isotope analysis, as well as other experimental, field, and computational methods. You can find out more about the research we’re conducting in this area on our website.
The Department of Animal and Plant Sciences is also home to the Plant, Production and Protection (P3) global centre of excellence for translational plant science that works with many external collaborators, and provides opportunities of industrial placements for MRes Plant and Microbial Biology students.
You’ll study the following core research-focused modules:
You’ll also study a series of taught modules designed to develop your topic-specific research skills:
You’ll be taught through working in a research laboratory or on a field-based research project, tutorials, discussion groups, attendance at seminars, and statistics and other workshops. Assessment includes, but is not limited to, a project report, literature review, critiques, short reports and essays and oral presentations including a viva.
Our MRes in Plant and Microbial Biology will equip you with the skills you require for a career in research, and past students have successfully gone on to study for PhDs and great careers in industry and the environmental sector.
In addition to research skills, you’ll also develop transferable skills that are valued by a wide range of employers, and the University’s Careers Service will show you how to demonstrate this on CVs and in job applications. Once you graduate, the support doesn’t stop and you’ll continue to have access to the Careers Service for three years to help you find your perfect job.
To apply for this course, complete the University of Sheffield's postgraduate online application form.
Because of the research-intensive nature of our MRes degrees, we ask you to include with your application a short supporting statement which explains clearly how your interests and experience relate to the Plant and Microbial Biology research we do in the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, including which particular supervisors or research groups you would be most interested in working with. Visit our research pages to learn more about our expertise in Ecology and Environment research. Please also indicate in your supporting statement if you are interested in completing an industrial placement within our P3 Centre of Excellence. For more information on industrial placements, read our flyer.
This document should be uploaded in PDF format with your application via our postgraduate online application form.
You can find more information about the application process on the University's postgraduate webpages.
You can find out about scholarships available to UK, EU and international students on the University of Sheffield’s web pages.
We run postgraduate open days and events throughout the year. Visit our website to book your place.
Our Microbiome in Health & Disease MSc provides students with a unique background in all aspects of both analysis of microbiome and determining the role of microbiome in pathology with experience in both computational and experimental techniques.
Designed and delivered by the newly established Centre for Host-Microbiome Interactions (CHMI) at King’s, the course brings together teaching on a varied course incorporating systems biology and bioinformatics with molecular biology, microbiology, immunology and physiology.
In the post-human genome project world, our health is dependent on more than our genes. High throughput sequencing reveals the amazing complexity and extent of the microbial communities that reside within or upon us. We are also beginning to understand just how dynamic the interactions between the host and members of communities are. Interactions are diverse, and variations observed between individuals depend on a multitude of microbial and host factors, including diet and inflammatory status. More importantly, it is becoming clear that different disease states are linked to significant changes in the make-up of these communities. Scientists who understand the computational analysis of the huge data sets for microbial communities, and who are also able to interpret findings in the context of human and microbial health, will be in demand across this emerging field in academia and in industry.
The MSc Microbiome in Health & Disease will provide you with a deep understanding of microbial communities and their diversity, and the impact of these communities on host health and disease. You will be exposed to the concepts and techniques involved in profiling and analysing large omics data sets associated with characterising and investigating microbial communities.
You will learn to analyse omics data sets, such as genome, transcriptome, metabolome and metagenome data, and how to integrate these data to develop a holistic understanding of the interactions between host and microbial communities in both health and disease states.
You will also learn how these skills apply in industry and have the opportunity to undertake research in collaboration with industrial partners. You will study the intersection between microbiome and engineering and learn how to identify and develop innovative products in different microbiome fields, applying learning from computational, multiomics analysis and basic biology, through advanced synthetic biology tools, and integrative analysis and modelling, to design new engineered therapeutic microbial communities and optimize their effectiveness in clinical, agricultural and environmental challenges.
You will also undertake a 10,000 word supervised dissertation on a subject within the field of microbiome in health and disease.
The course aims to develop students' knowledge of the microbial communities that reside within or upon us, and how they impact our health and disease processes.
It is designed for students who wish to improve their background knowledge and skills prior to applying for a PhD studentship, and also for students who wish to enhance their knowledge and skill set for analysing and interpreting the large, multiple omics data sets that are involved in microbiome research.
The MSc Microbiome in Health & Disease consists of 4 taught modules (two covering microbiology, microbial diversity and host-microbiome interactions, and two covering computational analysis of microbiome, and systems and synthetic biology), followed by a lab-based research project. The taught component will run from September until January, with the research component running from February until August.
Teaching comprises conventional lectures, tutorials and computational workshops, supported by example sessions, project work and independent learning via reading material and online courses. During the computational modules, you will be provided with data sets to analyse for written and oral projects.
After completing the taught component, you will undertake a lab-based research project for which you will provide a proposal and subsequent dissertation and presentation under the guidance of a supervisor.
The typical hours you will spend as you progress through your studies are as follows:
Lectures, seminars & feedback: 214 hours
Self-study: 1586 hours
Contact time is based on 24 academic weeks and self-study time is based on 31 academic weeks.
Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.
You may typically expect assessment by a combination of coursework (76%) and examinations (24%).
The study time and assessment methods detailed above are typical and give you a good indication of what to expect. However, they may change if the course modules change.
This research course focuses on advanced concepts and technologies related to the molecular basis of plant and microbe functions.
The backbone of the MRes in Molecular Plant and Microbial Sciences is a 12-month period of research starting in the first week of October.
It consists of two research projects performed in research groups focusing on plant genetic engineering, plant development, plant molecular biology, proteomics, plant biochemistry, plant-microbe interactions, transcriptomics and bioinformatics.
Career opportunities continue to expand as the potential of plant biotechnology is realised by employers, research companies and governments. A high proportion of our graduates are expected to enter further research leading to a PhD degree. There may be opportunities to join one of the Research Council-funded institutes, which develop and monitor a range of aspects of plant biotechnology.
Some graduates may gain employment in the food industry and agrochemical companies, which are increasingly focused on modern approaches to plant breeding. New developments in biofuels research offer future employment opportunities.
For full information on this course, including how to apply, see: http://www.imperial.ac.uk/study/pg/life-sciences/molecular-plant-microbial-sciences/
If you have any enquiries you can contact our team at: [email protected]
This course provides comprehensive knowledge and practical training in the spread of microorganisms (predominantly bacterial and viral pathogens), disease causation and diagnosis and treatment of pathogens significant to public health. The increasing incidence of microbial infections worldwide is being compounded by the rapid evolution of drug-resistant variants and opportunistic infections by other organisms. The course content reflects the increasing importance of genomics and molecular techniques in both diagnostics and the study of pathogenesis.
In response to a high level of student interest in viral infections, the School has decided to offer the opportunity for students who focus on viruses in their module and project choices to be awarded a Master's degree in Medical Microbiology (Virology). This choice will depend on the module selection of the individual student in Terms 2 and 3 and choice of project.
Graduates from this course move into global health careers related to medical microbiology in research or medical establishments and the pharmaceutical industry.
The Bo Drasar Prize is awarded annually for outstanding performance by a Medical Microbiology student. This prize is named after Professor Bohumil Drasar, the founder of the MSc Medical Microbiology course.
The Tsiquaye Prize is awarded annually for the best virology-based project report.
- Full programme specification (pdf) (https://www.lshtm.ac.uk/files/mm_progspec.pdf)
- Intercalating this course (https://www.lshtm.ac.uk/study/courses/ways-study/intercalating-study-masters-degree)
Visit the website https://www.lshtm.ac.uk/study/masters/medical-microbiology
By the end of the course students should be able to:
- demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of the nature of viruses, bacteria, parasites and fungi and basic criteria used in the classification/taxonomy of these micro-organisms
- explain the modes of transmission and the growth cycles of pathogenic micro-organisms
- demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the mechanisms of microbial pathogenesis and the outcomes of infections
- distinguish between and critically assess the classical and modern approaches to the development of therapeutic agents and vaccines for the prevention of human microbial diseases
- demonstrate knowledge of the laboratory diagnosis of microbial diseases and practical skills
- carry out a range of advanced skills and laboratory techniques, including the purification of isolated microbial pathogens, study of microbial growth cycles and analyses of their proteins and nucleic acids for downstream applications
- demonstrate research skills
There is a one-week orientation period that includes an introduction to studying at the School, sessions on key computing and study skills and course-specific sessions, followed by two compulsory modules:
- Bacteriology & Virology
- Analysis & Design of Research Studies
Recommended module: Molecular Biology
Sessions on basic computing, molecular biology and statistics are run throughout the term for all students.
Terms 2 and 3:
Students take a total of five modules, one from each timetable slot (Slot 1, Slot 2 etc.). The list below shows recommended modules. There are other modules that can be taken only after consultation with the Course Director.
- Slot 1:
Molecular Biology & Recombinant DNA Techniques
- Slot 2:
Clinical Bacteriology 1
- Slot 3:
Advanced Training in Molecular Biology
- Slot 4:
Clincal Bacteriology 2
Molecular Biology Research Progress & Applications
- Slot 5:
Molecular Cell Biology & Infection
Further details for the course modules - https://www.lshtm.ac.uk/study/courses/masters-degrees/module-specifications
During the summer months (July - August), students complete a laboratory-based original research project on an aspect of a relevant organism, for submission by early September. Projects may take place within the School or with collaborating scientists in other colleges or institutes in the UK or overseas.
The majority of students who undertake projects abroad receive financial support for flights from the School's trust funds set up for this purpose
The Royal College of Pathologists accepts the course as part of the professional experience of both medical and non-medical candidates applying for membership. The course places particular emphasis on practical aspects of the subjects most relevant to current clinical laboratory practice and research.
Find out how to apply here - http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/study/masters/msmm.html#sixth
Why are microbes the most important group of organisms on our planet? How is knowledge of microbiology applied in medicine and industry, or in food production? What research techniques are used to study viruses, bacteria and other microbes? These are important questions, and you can find answers to these and many others in the study of Microbiology and microbial biotechnology.
Upon completing your degree, you will:
Further information about the studies on the Master's programme website.
The key contents of the study programme in Microbiology and microbial biotechnology are:
Our MRes Infection Biology programme will equip you with the knowledge and skills required to join the global fight against infectious diseases which threaten humanity.
Infectious disease remains a major cause of human death but the efficacy of antimicrobial interventions continues to decline. The discovery of novel preventative and therapeutic interventions now critically dependent upon a detailed mechanistic understanding of disease processes, their impact upon human pathobiology and the feasibility of therapeutically targeting such mechanisms.
With a view to training a generation of infection biologists equipped with the skills to tackle this global challenge, the MRes in Infection Biology provides outstanding academic and research training in the molecular and cellular basis of host-microbe interactions in health and disease.
You will learn directly from internationally recognised scientists through joint research, thereby securing a sustained interaction with expert mentors for the duration of the course.
The course provides research training in fundamental aspects of infectious diseases, microbial pathogenesis, host interactions, antimicrobial immunity, and antimicrobial therapy. For the talented student this course provides an excellent training prior to registration for a PhD.
This course will equip you with:
This course aims to:
Unique in New Zealand
The breadth and depth of Massey University’s postgraduate microbiology programme is unique in New Zealand.
Find out more about the Master of Science parent structure.
The Massey University Master of Science (Microbiology) is a multi-disciplinary postgraduate qualification that will give you the research skills to move up the hierarchy of your career, or move onto more in-depth research.
You will learn from world-leading specialists in microbiology and related areas like biochemistry, genetics, biotechnology, food science, plant pathology, immunology and epidemiology.
At Massey we use a diverse range of molecular, cellular, plant and animal model tools to investigate the molecular biology of diseases. We also use metagenomics and other advanced genomic technologies to study microbial communities in the environment, including those that may be health threat if found in food or medical environments.
Our biomedical interests are diverse. We research the mechanisms of neurological, skeletal and muscular disorders, infectious microbial diseases and cancer.
Facilities available to you include our microscopy and imaging centre, genomics and dna sequencing facility, protein analysis suite (mass spectroscopy, x-ray crystallography, nmr), bioreactors and fermentation facilities.
Microbiology is an essential science that helps us understand the microbes in the environment, including those that dwell in the soil, air and water, in our food and inside people, animals and plants.
Understanding microbiology can:
You will gain the advantage of learning in a multi-disciplinary environment. Massey has world-leading expertise in many areas of science, especially veterinary, animal, health and environmental science. You can take advantage of this for your learning and research to look at microbiological sub-disciplines, such as environment/ecology, food and biotechnology.
During your study you will gain a contemporary, relevant view of microbiology which is in line with topical research and developments in the area. You will be exposed to the latest discoveries and research.
There is a well-established community of fundamental scientists and students involved in a broad range of microbiological and microbiology-inspired research at Massey. We work together to share discoveries and research and provide peer support.
Postgraduate study is hard work but hugely rewarding and empowering. The workload of the Master of Science (Microbiology) replicates the high-pressure environment of senior workplace roles.
Postgraduate study is not just ‘more of the same’ as undergraduate study. Our experts are there to guide but if you have come from undergraduate study, you will find that postgraduate study demands more in-depth and independent study. It takes you to a new level in knowledge and expertise especially in planning and undertaking research.
This MRes Molecular Microbiology course will provide you with a strong grounding in microbial genetics and molecular biology, through the exploration of microbial structure, physiology, and behaviour at the molecular level. The course includes optional modules for you to select depending upon your aspirations and interests.
The MRes courses are divided into a taught element (60 credit points) and a laboratory-based research project (120 credit points). You will complete the extended research project in one of our highly rated research teams.
This exciting MSc Molecular Microbiology course is designed to provide you with a multidisciplinary approach to the study of the molecular biology of micro-organisms. You'll study the key concepts associated with molecular microbiology and use these when considering their role in health, disease and in the natural environment.
Practical work forms a large proportion of your learning to ensure that you have extensive skills for employment or research and there is an emphasis on developing knowledge and understanding such that you acquire the skills, qualities and attributes expected by employers or for postgraduate research.
The MSc is divided into 60 credit point taught modules and the research project is worth 60 credit points.
Visit us on campus throughout the year, find and register for our next open event on http://www.ntu.ac.uk/pgevents.
Radboud University’s Master’s specialisation in Microbiology deals with the interface between fundamental biological and medical sciences. It focuses on molecular, medical and environmental microbiology to improve our health and environment and provides in-depth insight into present-day microbial research in general and clinical microbiology.
The major topics of the Microbiology specialisation are:
Microorganisms can be used to break down environmental pollutants and toxic chemicals. Therefore microbiology has the potential to replace common energy-intensive chemical processes with more sustainable solutions. Radboud University collaborates closely with environmental scientists and industrial partners to create energy-efficient and environmentally friendly solutions for societal waste problems.
Unfortunately some microorganisms make us ill. A better understanding of battle between our immune system and these microorganisms will lead to the development of improved vaccines.
The genome of a microorganism is a key factor in research, because it determines how the organisms interact with the host cell and how they cause diseases. Molecular Microbiology acts on the interface between microbiology, molecular biology and genetics and is fundamental for the development of novel antibiotics and improvement of vaccines against microorganisms.
The department of Microbiology at Radboud University has been bestowed with the most prestigious science prizes, including two ERC Advanced Grants, a Spinoza Prize, and two Gravitation Grants. Additionally, many of out students have been awarded prizes for best thesis, poster and paper. The department works at the forefront of environmental microbiology and is specialised in the discovery of ‘impossible’, new anaerobic micro-organisms. The laboratory is equipped with state-of-the-art bioreactors, electron microscopy, GC-MS, metagenomics, and metaproteomics facilities to grow and study micro-organisms that contribute to a better environment by consuming greenhouse gasses and nitrogenous pollutants.
- Research themes
The Master's specialisation Microbiology is mainly focused on research. You can choose one of the following themes as the subject of your research internship:
- Environmental Microbiology & Biotechnology
For students who are intrigued by questions like: How does life without oxygen work? How do global biogeochemical (nutrient) cycles govern the functioning of the Earth? Can we use microorganisms to create a more sustainable wastewater industry? How do microorganisms break down environmental pollutants and toxic chemicals?
You will do research at the interface between Microbiology, environmental sciences and biochemistry. The research questions cover several levels, from gaining fundamental understanding of energy metabolism of bacteria to their applications in wastewater treatment.
Societal relevance: Microbiology has the potential to replace common energy-intensive chemical processes by more sustainable solutions. Radboud University collaborates closely with environmental scientists, animal ecologists and industrial partners to create energy-efficient and environmentally friendly solutions for societal waste problems.
For students who are intrigued by questions like: Why do some bacteria make us ill whereas others do not? How do bacteria outsmart our immune system? What are the mechanisms of human defence against microorganisms?
You will do research at the interface between Microbiology, Immunology and Cell Biology, and can, for example, work on how microorganisms are recognised by the host defence system
Societal relevance: A better understanding of host defence will lead to the development of improved vaccines against microorganisms.
- Molecular Microbiology
For students who are intrigued by questions like: How are microorganisms able to persist inside the human body and how do they cause diseases? What does gene regulation tell us about their pathogenic capabilities? Can microbial genomes help us determine how microorganisms interact with human host cells?
You will do research at the interface between Microbiology, molecular biology and genetics, and can, for example, work on functional gene analyses by mutagenesis studies and on the interaction between epithelial cells and pathogenic bacteria.
Societal relevance: Understanding host-pathogen interactions is fundamental for the development of novel antibiotics and improvement of vaccines. Radboudumc collaborates with public health institutes – such as the RIVM (National Institute of Public Health) – and with industrial partners.
- Personal tutor
Our top scientists are looking forward to guiding you during a challenging and inspiring scientific journey. This programme offers you many opportunities to follow your own interests under the excellent supervision of a personal tutor. This allows you to specialise in a field of personal interest.
- The Nijmegen approach
The first thing you will notice as you enter our Faculty of Science is the open atmosphere. This is reflected by the light and transparent building and the open minded spirit of the people working, exploring and studying there. It is no wonder students from all over the world have been attracted to Nijmegen. You study in small groups, with direct and open contact with members of the staff. In addition, Nijmegen has excellent student facilities, such as high-tech laboratories, libraries and study ‘landscapes'.
Studying by the ‘Nijmegen approach' is a way of living. We will equip you with tools which are valuable for the rest of your life. You will be challenged to become aware of your intrinsic motivation. In other words, what is your passion in life? With this question in mind we will guide you to translate your passion into a personalised Master's in Biology.
See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/microbiology
Our established programme in Biotechnology, which has been extensively updated, includes a wide range of modern molecular biology techniques and how biotechnology can be used by today's society. You will complement your theoretical studies with hands on experience of fully controlled fermenters that are up to pilot-plant scale, and are linked to modern monitoring and control systems.
You will study a range of subjects in considerable depth, including bioactive compounds, industrial bioprocesses, microbial physiology and fermentation technology, microbial production of novel metabolites, monitoring and control of fermentation, topics in biotechnology, and types of bioreactors.
Our facilities include:
Students normally find employment in the biotechnology industry e.g.
We have links with Sekisui Diagnostics, an international company that manufactures enzymes for diagnostic purposes and students get the opportunity to visit their facilities and experience first-hand how an industrial scale bioprocess operates.
Veterinary Public Health (VPH) is a subject area which includes all aspects of public health that can be protected or improved by application of veterinary science. It links the animal and human health with the environment and plays a pivotal role in the development of an integrated ‘farm to fork’ approach to food safety. This programme is designed to provide postgraduate and professionally relevant advanced training in VPH. The programme focuses on the core domains of VPH in relation to the regulatory responsibilities of the official veterinarians for the protection of animal health and welfare and human health.
This programme enables official veterinarians to meet the demands for straightforward and clear answers regarding the potential risks (both microbial and non-microbial) associated with the consumption of, or exposure to, products of animal origin, issues of animal welfare and protection of the environment. This programme fulfils the additional requirement for the training of official veterinarians as set out in European Regulation 854/2004.
This is a part-time programme which is entirely internet delivered. European and global experts in veterinary science, law, economics, and policy contribute to the course. The awards are granted jointly between the Ulster University (UK), and University College Dublin (IRL).
This programme provides students with broad knowledge and understanding of veterinary public health and promotes their ability to assess available evidence and data, make sound judgements and communicate findings effectively to all stakeholders in the food chain – producers, regulators, industry and consumers. Relevant EU food regulatory policy is integrated within the lectures and translated into a coherent regulatory framework so that students will grasp the complex idea of total regulation of the food chain from primary production through to consumer health issues. Core domains of VPH are addressed in relation to the regulatory responsibilities of the veterinarians and the protection of animal health and welfare and human health.
Teaching is through online lectures, online discussions, individual support, video and internet links with staff, independent learning, and work in small groups.
Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand.
Veterinary Public Health 1 - Regulatory
Veterinary Public Health 1 - Regulatory, will translate the requirements laid down in of EC Regulation 854/2004 on official controls on food and feed of animal origin in terms of basic tenets that underpin EU food regulatory policy into a coherent framework which will equip students with the knowledge base and skills necessary to progress to the more specific elements of Veterinary Public Health which will be studied in the second semester.
Veterinary Public Health 2 - Applied
This module builds on the knowledge base and skills from the previous module (Veterinary Public Health 1 - Regulatory) and aims to integrate the disparate elements of the documented requirements for training of official veterinarians so that students will grasp the complex idea of total regulation of the food chain from primary production, animal welfare, food processing, monitoring and surveillance, environmental and waste issues to protection of consumer health.
The academic content of this programme helps students to develop knowledge and understanding of legislative, policy and scientific aspects of VPH as well as to acquire skills to disseminate and implement knowledge in practice. Graduates of the PgCert VPH could be eligible to obtain employment as Official Veterinarians employed by the competent authorities in any of the EU Member States (or applicant country), employment by government (EU and international) and non-government organisations. On successful completion of PgCert VPH students can also proceed to register for the PgDip and MSc Food Regulatory Affairs (VPH specialisation).