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Short courses & CPD

Cell and Microbiology University Certificate in Professional Development

You explore how knowledge of the biology of microorganisms, including bacteria and viruses, has informed the identification and control of infectious diseases.


12 weeks


Course overview

You develop the skill sets associated with the safe handling of biological and cellular samples associated with careers in life science, biomedical science and forensic science.

The government has provided funding for this course, independent of any previous or current funding you may have for educational purposes. You can apply for short course funding if you are currently in education, or already qualified to degree, master’s or PhD level. If you are funding this course with a student loan you also need to meet student loan eligibility criteria. Find out more about short course loans

You develop the knowledge and skills needed by employers and the economy.

The course provides you with the skills to:

  • handle and interpret biological data
  • recognise the positive and negative influences of micro-organisms on human activities
  • use correct terminology and accurate classification of systems and concepts
  • identify and define problems and apply appropriate knowledge, tools and methods to their solution
  • safely handle biological data, materials safety, and risk assessment.

This course is ideal if you are:

  • a school or further education college leaver wanting to explore a subject before committing to a full degree
  • unemployed and wanting to develop skills to improve your employability
  • a teacher looking to refresh your knowledge in a subject, or to learn new skills
  • in work and your performance can be enhanced by learning new knowledge and skills
  • returning to education after a break
  • currently in higher education and would like to compliment your skillset with additional knowledge and skills.

You can only enrol on one short course at a time.

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Course details

What you study

  • Aseptic technique.
  • Microscopic observation and staining.
  • Isolation of microbes.
  • Sterilisation and disinfection.
  • Enumeration of bacteria.
  • Measurement of bacterial growth and the growth curve.

How you learn

The course runs for 12 weeks using a blended learning approach.

The course will include a one week block of on-campus teaching within the 12 teaching weeks. This block will include five days of six hours a day (9.00am - 12.00pm, 1.00pm - 4.00pm) delivered as a mixture of group work, seminars, and practical’s or lab sessions. The remaining study is online.

How you are assessed

You are assessed through a series of practical sessions and a written exam.


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

You must have completed a Level 3 qualification (or higher) and/or developed knowledge and skills in a health or science subject as well as level 2 maths. We offer bridging courses to help develop the knowledge you may need to join this short course.



Career opportunities

Our short courses are developed with support from our industrial partners to meet the needs of employers.

They are ideal for you to build the skills employers look for, helping you to develop a new and successful career through one of the flexible learning options available.

Once you’ve completed your short course you could also apply to study a degree by transferring your eligible completed credits.



2023/24 entry

Fee for applicants:

  • Length: 12 weeks
  • Start date: 23 January 2023

Apply online


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