• Attendance Based
  • Part Time
  • Full Time

The course in clinical microbiology is designed to be both a complete curriculum in clinical microbiology for new entrants into the field and as an update and extension for those already in it. The  course provides students a with theoretical, laboratory, and clinically applied aspects of the discipline and associated subjects, such as molecular biology.

If you have a degree in Biomedical Science we recommend you consider the MSc Biomedical Science (Medical microbiology). For more information visit Biomedical Sciences (Medical Microbiology).

Your formal teaching will include lectures, practicals and workshops.

Many students use the MSc as preparation for their FRCPath examinations. The course curriculum and assessment is designed for clinicians. To enable inter professional development you will learn alongside scientists on the MSc Biomedical Science(Medical Microbiology) and MSc Clinical Science(Infection Science) courses

The programme will:

  • Give you the maximum hands-on experience in all aspects of clinical microbiology. The practicals are taught in a large purpose-built teaching laboratory.
  • Introduce you to a broad-base of study with extensive coverage of topics in clinical microbiology.
  • Develop the service and research careers of clinicians, and other professionals interested in working in clinical microbiology.


Programme Academic Staff

Programme Overview

Why study your MSc/PGDip in Clinical Microbiology at Queen Mary?

Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry is comprised of two world renowned teaching hospitals, St Bartholomew’s and The Royal London, which have made, and continue to make, an outstanding contribution to modern medicine. We are one of the top five in the UK for medicine in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise.

Clinical Microbiology is based at The Centre for Immunology and Infectious Disease, in the Blizard Institute, and includes around 50 scientists dedicated to education and research on microorganisms and the immune system. Our lecturers are specialists in their fields and are invited from many institutions in the UK.

  • Our location in the east of London and elsewhere in the East London Gateway will enhance your experience.
  • Barts and The London is part of Queen Mary, the only university in central London to offer extensive campus-based facilities.
  • We have modern state-of-the-art buildings alongside more traditional facilities such as our fantastic library.

The programmes are suitable for SpRs, biomedical scientists, clinical scientists and other trainees in clinical microbiology in universities and NHS and HPA departments (including candidates for FRCPath), as well as others wishing to obtain a greater understanding of clinical microbiology.

Entry Requirements

Applicants should hold an MB BS or basic medical degree recogmised by the GMC. Candidates with degrees in pharmacy, dentistry, veterinary science, microbiology, biological sciences or nursing with relevant experience in clinical microbiology, may also be accepted on the course. The degree should be equivalent to at least a 2:1

If you are a clinician, pharmacist or nurse currently working in the field of infectious disease, the part-time programme is most likely to be the best way for you to study. Part-time applicants must hold  a full-time appointment or attachment in a medical/clinical microbiology department of a medical school, hospital, PHE or other appropriate institution for the duration of their studies.

If you are an overseas student or a recent graduate you are more likely to want to follow the full-time programme. Non-native speakers must achieve a minimum of IELTS 7.0. Students are required to achieve a minimum of 6.0 in their written element. Students must be able to sit examinations at a British Council Centre, or a similar approved centre, under invigilation or be able to attend examinations in the UK.

If the offer of a place is conditional upon achieving the above standard in an English language test and the student has achieved IELTS 6.5, within the last 12 months at the discretion of the course organiser, they may be offered the opportunity to attend the pre-sessional course for at least five weeks instead of taking IELTS again. At the end of the pre-sessional course the student will be assessed by the Queen Mary Language and Learning Unit to confirm that the student has the language skills to complete the course.

Further information

For more information about the programme please contact Michele Branscombe.

  • Email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 7216


Part time students who have completed our courses have progressed to senior posts within the NHS and PHE. Many successfully complete the FRCPAth.

Many of our full time students have found careers in the NHS and PHE, whilst others have continued into PhD studies or research. In addition to the clinical laboratory careers students have also found employment in the scientific media, parliamentary researchers and gone on to develop nursing and environmental health careers.


MSc/PGDip in Clinical Microbiology is available for one year’s full-time study or part-time for two years. Part-time students attend for one day per week on day release from their hospital or laboratory for two academic years. Applicants for part time study must hold a full-time appointment or attachment in a medical/clinical microbiology department of a medical school, hospital, PHE or other appropriate institution for the duration of their studies.

Full-time students study for 12 months and have two full days of lectures per week with tutorials and research and journal club meetings on other days. Full-time students will be attached to the Centre for Immunobiology, Blizard institute at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry (this is not a clinical attachment).

Teaching and learning

Teaching comprises lectures, workshops, practicals and demonstrations. The lecturers are specialists in their field and are invited from many institutions in the UK.

The practical classes are an important component of the course and are designed to give students the maximum hands-on experience, particularly in medical microbiology. Students are encouraged to relate current practices in their sponsoring institution to their studies, and to discuss and critically evaluate these techniques with their colleagues (including clinicians and clinical scientists) in the light of their formal teaching. The practical classes are taught in the purpose-built teaching laboratory, which is well equipped with all necessary materials and is based on a routine clinical microbiology laboratory.

In addition to the formal face to face teaching, students use on line learning materials in the university’s electronic learning environment QMplus. These materials include discussion threads, chat rooms, lecture notes and quizzes.

Self-directed learning, by reading and reviewing literature to supplement the lectures, is essential and students are encouraged to use the library facilities of the department and the University. All students have access to the library and computing facilities of the University.

Independent Study

For every hour spent in classes you will be expected to complete further hours of independent study. Your individual study time could be spent preparing for, or following up on formal study sessions; reading; producing written work; completing projects; and revising for examinations.

The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study sessions you attend, along with your reading lists and assignments. However, we expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your own knowledge, understanding and critical ability.

Independent study will foster in you the ability to identify your own learning needs and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area. This is an important transferable skill and will help to prepare you for the transition to working life.


Modules are assessed by a combination of in-course assessments and end-of-module examinations. In addition to traditional written and practical examinations, assessments include posters, oral presentations, case reports, essays and comprehension of scientific papers. Each assessment is designed to be a learning experience as well as a test of your knowledge.


To complete the MSc, you will undertake an original piece of research involving the application of scientific investigation to an area relevant to clinical microbiology. The investigation can be laboratory based or can be patient care focused (e.g. an audit).

Full-time students usually complete their project within the Blizard Institute or at Barts Health NHS Trust. Part-time students complete their project at their sponsoring institution.

Programme Structure

Core Modules

What our Students Say

As an international student from Saudi Arabia, I found the MSc of Clinical Microbiology at QMUL excellent, on all levels. The lectures were given by very good, expert. The practical modules were excellent, very well prepared and demonstrated. Throughout the year, we received support and help when needed; the coordinators were very flexible and understanding of each student’s situation. The electronic portal was always up to date with all the lectures, assessment times and results.  All in all I had a pleasant experience studying this MSc, and I would highly recommend it for students who seek postgraduate studies.

Hoda Abanamy, Graduate 2014

Clinical Microbiology is a dynamic and every evolving field and as such I decided to do my MSc in this area. Being an international student, I was interested in studying at a world renowned institution which offered a Clinical Microbiology course that provided not only a theoretical but also a practical approach that was of the highest standard. The course at Queen Mary met all these requirements and I felt honoured and privileged when my application was approved.

Lectures were informative and interactive and were all conducted my lecturers who were experts in their area of speciality. I learned a lot about how infectious diseases are diagnosed, managed and treated and control. In the practical sessions I was able to learn new ways of isolating and identifying routine as well as less common pathogens, bacterial, viral as well as parasitic.

The course also afforded me the opportunity to undertake a research project at the world famous Blizard Institute. I was able to work with state of the art equipment and a team of supervisors who were supportive and resourceful.

This rewarding experience has equipped me with new skills and knowledge, which I am now happily using to improve health care in my home country.

Stacy Howell – Medical Technologist, Hargreaves Memorial Hospital, Jamaica Graduate 2013

I am glad I chose Clinical Microbiology programme in Queen Mary, University of London.  I found the course to be fast-paced, challenging, and yet very rewarding. The modules offered in this program were all very interesting and well-organised. I particularly liked the practical section on identification of clinically important pathogens. It provided me solid understanding and hand-on experience on methods and tests of laboratory diagnosis. Course instructors here are very kind, patient, and helpful to discuss with us and answer our questions.  Classmates here are also friendly and willing to help each other. This course not only developed my knowledge on many aspect of clinical microbiology, but also improved my research skill such as presentation and abstract writing. It has greatly broadened my horizon in this field.

Mian Dai Graduate 2013



For more information, please contact Michele Branscombe.

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 7216
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Programme Directors:

Professor Armine Sefton
44 (0)20 7882 8167
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Michele Branscombe
Lecturer in Infection Science
44 (0)20 7882 7216
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