Course infoSchedule
Course moduleNWI-BP033
Credits (ECTS)6
Category01 (Introduction)
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Science; BioWetenschappen;
dr. R.S. Jansen
Other course modules lecturer
dr. R.S. Jansen
Other course modules lecturer
Contactperson for the course
dr. R.S. Jansen
Other course modules lecturer
dr. R.S. Jansen
Other course modules lecturer
prof. dr. L.A.M.P. van Niftrik
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2023
KW2  (06/11/2023 to 28/01/2024)
Starting block
Course mode
RemarksStudents who want to follow this course as part of a premaster or minor, contact the premaster/minor student advisor
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesNo
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-

After this course:

  1. Based on the structure, function and growth of a microorganism, you can analyse and predict how a cell functions and which microbial processes and interactions with other (micro)organisms and the environment can occur
    • You know the history of Earth and microbial evolution
    • You know the discovery and history of microbiology as a science
    • You know the structure and function of a microbial cell
    • You know how microorganisms grow and divide
    • You know the structure, function, replication and diversity of viruses
    • You know microbial genomics and other omics
    • You know microbial symbiosis with humans
    • You know microbial infection and pathogenesis
    • You know a variety of experimental techniques used in (clinical) microbiology
  2. You can work in a team; you divide tasks and share results
  3. You can decide which microbiological techniques to use in order to identify and quantify microorganisms in a given sample
  4. You can perform microbiological experiments
  5. You can work with safe microbiological techniques
  6. You can report your results in a written report
  7. Based on a scientific topic, you can structure and write a university press release (BIS assignment)
Microbiology is the study of microorganisms and viruses from genes to ecosystems. Microorganisms include bacteria, archaea and some eukaryotes. The course Microbiology provides a general introduction to (medical) microbiology and is followed by the courses Microbial Metabolism, Physiology of Microorganisms, Genomics for Health and Environment and Applied and Environmental Microbiology in the learning trajectory “Microbiology” of the BSc Biology. In addition, the course Microbiology can serve as a basis for any other learning trajectory in Bachelor's programmes Biology and Medical Biology.

The topics covered in this course are essential for performing (medical) microbiological research. With this knowledge you will be able to explain and predict the interaction of microorganisms and viruses with their biotic and abiotic environment.

Topics are (Brock 16th edition, in bold the core topics of the course):
Ch1                                                        Introduction to Microbiology: evolution, discovery, microscopy  
Ch2                                                        Microbial cell structure and function
Ch4                                                        Microbial growth and its control
Ch5                                                        Viruses and their multiplication
Ch8                                                        Molecular aspects of microbial growth
Ch9                                                        Genetics of bacteria and archaea
Ch10                                                      Microbial genomics and other omics
Ch11                                                      Viral genomics and diversity
Ch13                                                      Microbial evolution and genome dynamics
Ch24                                                      Microbial symbioses with humans
Ch25                                                      Microbial infection and pathogenesis
Ch29                                                      Diagnosing infectious diseases
Ch30                                                      Epidemiology and public health
Ch31                                                      Person-to-person bacterial and viral diseases                     

Practical course:
The practical part of this course consists of five 4hr-blocks during which you perform several different lab experiments in parallel onsite. The practical course will train you to perform and analyse microbiological experiments alone and in a team.

During the practical course you will 1) learn basic microbiological techniques, 2) culture, identify, quantify, isolate and characterise microorganisms, 3) use microbes to produce food, and 4) perform microbial diagnostics. During the practical course you will: keep a lab journal, answer preparatory questions, discuss results, write one report (including a feedback round), and you will perform a professional learning attitude (PLA) evaluation to evaluate team work of you and a fellow student.  

Safe Microbiological Techniques:
During the microbiology practical course you will learn how to work with safe microbiological techniques. In addition, there will be a 2h-lecture including Cirrus self-test on this topic. If you pass the practical course and Cirrus self-test, you will receive a SMT certificate that can be important for future lab work / internships.

Biology in Society assignment:
In quarter 2, the BiS assignment is imbedded in the microbiology course. The BiS assignment consists of writing a university press release. First, you will get a lecture about how to structure and write a press release. Next, you and a fellow student will write a press release about a scientific publication and give peer feedback on the press release from two other groups. Finally, you will implement the feedback and hand in a final version to the lecturers through Brightspace.
Level 1 course
Presumed foreknowledge
This course provides a general introduction into the field of microbiology and does not require specific prior knowledge
Test information
Your final grade will be based on:
  • A digital Cirrus exam (65%: multiple-choice, multiple response, select from list, place in the right order, and match picture-description questions).
  • The practical course (25%: work attitude & discussion (including preparatory questions and PLA) 50%, lab journal 10%, written report 40%). Please note: no scheduled resit and only the report can be retaken the same year (in that case please contact the practical course coordinator).
  • The BiS assignment (10%). Please note: no scheduled resit, please contact the course coordinator.
You must obtain a 5.5 minimum for all three examination parts (BiS, practical course and exam).
  • You have to bring your lab coat, (printed) practical manual, lab book and a microscope to the practical

Teaching methods

  • Lectures + Knowledge clips (24 hours)
  • Lab practical (5 x 4hr-blocks / 24 hours)
  • Group project (BIS assignment) (24 hours)
  • Scheduled self-study, lab preparations & report writing (38 hours)
  • Question session (2 hours)
  • Cirrus exam (3 hours).
Required materials
Brock ‘Biology of Microorganisms’, Global Edition, 16th edition + MyLab & Mastering
Title:Biology of Microorganisms
Author:Madigan et al
White coat
Obligatory in the practical course.
Practical course manual and lecture slides will be made available via Brightspace
Lab journal, for reporting on the experiments and analyzing and evaluating obtained results.

Instructional modes
Attendance MandatoryYes

Practical course
Attendance MandatoryYes

Project: Biology in Society
Attendance MandatoryYes

Biology in Society assignment

Test weight13
Test typeDigital exam with CIRRUS
OpportunitiesBlock KW2, Block KW3

Test weight5
Test typeLab course
OpportunitiesBlock KW2

BIS Assignment
Test weight2
Test typeAssignment
OpportunitiesBlock KW2