Module code: BMS2041

Module Overview

The aim of the module, through a series of lectures and related practicals, is to give the students an understanding of the role of key role microorganisms in food. This includes foodborne illness, food spoilage and food preservation. 



Module provider

School of Biosciences and Medicine

Module Leader

SELEMETAS Nick (Biosc & Med)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 120

Lecture Hours: 18

Laboratory Hours: 14

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:
• Factors affecting growth & survival of microorganisms in foods
• Practical - Meat microbiology
• Milk, production, processing and testing
• Lactic acid bacteria & foods
• Yoghurt & Cheese production
• Practical - Milk & Honey microbiology
• Foodborne illness
• Practical - Yoghurt/Food poisoning
• Foodborne outbreaks' case studies
• Heat processing of foods; canning/pasteurisation
• Chilling, freezing, Irradiation
• Microbiology of Fish & Meat
• Microbiological quality control/HACCP
• Food fermentation

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment

Where practical classes have been missed or failed students will be set written coursework to assess the underlying principles of the appropriate learning outcomes. These will reflect the material covered in the original assessment and will carry the same weighting.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate: their understanding of the techniques and key areas of food microbiology through two written reports of laboratory experiments, two short answer reports on laboratory experiments, and a written examination.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

·         Two written practical reports

·         Two short question reports each containing ten questions

·         A 2 hour written examination that includes and numerical section, a short answer section and 2 essay type questions (choice of 4)

Formative assessment and feedback

Students receive extensive written and verbal feedback on their practical write-ups. There are also revision tutorials .  

Module aims

  • To emphasise and illustrate the varied roles of microorganisms in foodborne illness, food spoilage and food fermentation.
  • To describe the physico-chemical factors influencing microbial growth and survival in foods and how they can be used as control measures
  • To describe the basic epidemiology of foodborne illness and the key features of the most common causative organisms
  • To compare the physico chemical properties of a selection of food commodities and their influence on the flora associated with them
  • To introduce modern methods used for assuring the microbiological quality of foods
  • To introduce the basic practical techniques used in the microbiological examination of foods

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Execute reliably a basic microbiological examination of a food material, the calculation of results and interpretation of their significance KCP
2 Describe the most important components of the flora of a range of food commodities and understand their potential role. K
3 Explain the principles behind commonly used methods of food preservation K
4 Describe the microorganisms and their physiological activity involved in the manufacture of a range of fermented food products K
5 Outline the use and advantages of HACCP and modern quality control procedures KC
6 Describe the importance of foodborne pathogens and the mechanisms by which a number of they cause illness K

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to: using a combination of lectures and linked and related practicals, to give the students an understanding of the key role microorganisms in food, and to equip them with key technical skills in this area.

The learning and teaching methods include:
• Lectures (2 h per week x 9)
• Practicals (2 h per week x 7)



Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: BMS2041

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Microbiology BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Veterinary Biosciences BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Food Science and Nutrition BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2019/0 academic year.