Two science students in lab coats happily look at the results on a petrie dish

Study the smallest forms of life

Microbiology is the scientific study of the smallest forms of life - bacteria, viruses, archaea, fungi and protozoa. These fascinating microorganisms impact on our lives every day and in many different ways. They are of great benefit to us; they turn the biological wheels on earth and are responsible for the sustainability of all life. They turn over nutrients and elements on a global scale, and they are the main producers of carbon and biomass. Our environment is dependent on microorganisms through recycling of organic wastes, the maintenance of soil fertility and biodegradation of pollutants, to name just a few. The products of microbial action provide us with many foodstuffs, beverages, pharmaceuticals and other products of biotechnology. On the negative side, bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa can cause disease in humans, animals and plants. Rising antimicrobial resistance is one of the top global public health threats facing humanity. Microorganisms can lead to crop destruction, food spoilage and water contamination. The genetic engineering of microorganisms is a fundamental aspect of molecular biology and the way of the future, through biotechnology and synthetic biology.  

Apply transferable skills to a range of careers

Studying microbiology builds microbiology skills as well as transferable skills in data analysis, numeracy and problem solving to prepare you for a range of careers. You could pursue a career as microbiologist, food scientist, medical technologist, biotechnologist or environmental scientist.

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*QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021