Microbiology is the study of the structures and life processes of micro-organisms (such as bacteria, protists, fungi and viruses) together with their activities and effects, beneficial and detrimental, on plants, animals, humans and the environment. It also studies the control of these effects and the harnessing of microbial processes for applications in biotechnology. A microbiologist is a versatile scientist and studies microbes at both cellular and molecular levels, using a wide range of techniques, and will also be proficient in microbial biochemistry and genetics.
The Microbiology course reflects the diversity of research excellence within the department, which is home to world-renowned experts in all aspects of microbiology including virology, infection biology, biotechnology, bacterial molecular biology and fungal genetics. The Microbiology degree ensures students gain first hand practical experience in the laboratory in all aspects of microbiology.
If you study Microbiology at Trinity you will be based in the historic Moyne Institute. The Microbiology department offers an intimate atmosphere where frequent interaction between staff and students fosters an intellectually stimulating and friendly environment for teaching and learning. To provide the extensive laboratory experience on offer, the Moyne Institute houses state of the art research and teaching laboratories containing all the equipment and expertise required for modern molecular and cellular microbiology.
Graduates in microbiology have a wide range of expertise and are considered versatile scientists for industry or pure research. This makes them sought after by pharmaceutical and medical research laboratories as research and quality assurance staff in drug and medical device manufacture, as analytical or Research and Development (R&D) staff by the food and beverage industries, by public utilities, the health service, by teaching and training establishments and publishing houses, in life science sales and product development, medical relief organisations and many other areas. Such employment may find you working with multinational or small companies in Ireland or abroad, working with leading-edge biotechnologies in the production of drugs, enzymes, antibiotics, vaccines or agricultural products. Many graduates go on to do a higher degree in Ireland or abroad and enter a rewarding career in many of the areas mentioned or continue a research career in a university.
Core modules cover all aspects of modern microbiology and include; microbial physiology and biochemistry, pathogenicity and immunology, bacterial molecular biology and genetics, eukaryotic molecular biology and genetics and applied microbiology. Each module comprises lecture and laboratory components. The extensive laboratory training covers the safe handling of pathogenic microorganisms, separation of their components and products, genetic analysis and biotechnological techniques.
In final year, alongside advanced core microbiology modules, you will also choose from optional modules reviewing the leading edge of research and knowledge in topics such as: gene regulation and expression in bacteria and eukaryotic microbes; molecular pathogenesis (disease mechanisms) of infectious disease; regulation, issues and standards in current microbiological practice; clinical microbiology; virology; emerging pathogens.
In final year, you will also undertake a 9-week, full-time Capstone project under supervision in a research laboratory. You will work at the cutting-edge of research on topics like bacterial and fungal synthetic biology, design of new anti-microbial drugs, viral pathogenicity, immunology, and novel methods for disinfection in hospitals. If you would like more detailed information on all the modules offered, see: www.tcd.ie/microbiology
For students wishing to study abroad, Microbiology staff can offer advice on how to seek funding for summer vacation placements from external sources such as the Wellcome Trust and the Microbiology Society.
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