Module code: MMIM031

Module Overview

This module deals with antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy. The molecular basis for antibiotics, antiprotozoal and antifungal drugs are covered together with the basis for resistance to these agents. Specific pathogens associated with a high level of drug resistance are covered in detail.  Resistance, tolerance and persistence are investigated also. This content maps to the United Nation’s Sustainability Development Goal (UNSDG) 3 ‘good health and wellbeing’ and also contains an element of discussion around prescribing that will enrich students’ global and cultural capabilities.

Module provider

School of Biosciences

Module Leader

COTTELL Alison (Biosciences)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

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

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 10

Independent Learning Hours: 100

Lecture Hours: 10

Tutorial Hours: 10

Guided Learning: 10

Captured Content: 10

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • General concepts of AMR and action

  • Selective toxicity

  • Mechanisms of antibiotic action: cell wall inhibitiors, inhibitors of ribosome function, antifolates, nucleic acid inhibitors; antifungal agents; antiprotozoal agents

  • Genetics of resistance: intrinsic and acquired resistance; plasmids, transposons and mutations: multiple drug resistance; efflux pumps

  • Recent developments in methods used to measure antimicrobial sensitivity

  • Effect of sub-lethal levels

  • Combinations of antibiotics: synergy and antagonism

  • Use of antibiotics: policy and chemoprophylaxis

  • Antibiotic discovery and production

Exemplar AMR pathogens, eg Mycobacterium tuberculosis, MRSA, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Plasmodium spp

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework UKRI style grant application 70
Oral exam or presentation UKRI style grant application 30

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate:

The UKRI grant style assessment is a coursework-designated assessment which will allow the students to demonstrate a deep understanding of the key objectives here. The grant style assessment will be based on a UKRI J-es style case for support and will include methodology and primary literature. As an adjunct to this, the oral assessment will involve a 10 minute presentation to the group on the UKRI grant assessment objectives and impact.

 Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

The UKRI style grant application will comprise 70% and will form a case for support style word document (to be uploaded or forwarded as a pdf) of 5 pages including figures. Text will be arial 11. This will cover all objectives. The oral assessment for 30% will involve an oral presentation to the group covering the case for support on their chosen topic.  

 Formative assessment

This is integral to this module and will be provided throughout using questions and discussion on all areas. Tutorials will further focus on this utilizing problem-based learning style approaches.


Verbal feedback will be provided throughout all sessions. Feedback will be provided on the grant application assessment verbally

Module aims

  • Cover the molecular basis for the action of anti-microbial drugs at the phenotypic and genetic level.
  • Study specific pathogens that are associated with anti-biotic resistance (AMR).
  • Develop students' resourcefulness and resistance by undertaking critical reviews methods used to measure and evaluate AMR.
  • Evaluate the interaction between host, pathogen, and drug thereby mapping to the UNSDG 3 'good health and wellbeing'.
  • Discuss the anti-microbial prescribing policies with reference to the different spectra of anti-microbials and AMR mitigation strategies, thereby enhancing students' global and cultural capabilities.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Critically review the action and resistance of the major groups of anti-microbial agents, with reference to specific named examples. KC
002 Discuss AMR with reference to specific microbes. KC
003 Discuss and evaluate laboratory methods for measuring antimicrobial sensitivity. KC
004 Critically evaluate how prescribing policies are developed to control usage of anti-microbials and the global context of this. KC
005 Evaluate processes by which new antimicrobials are developed and tested using a range of resources thereby enhancing students' digital capabilities. KC
006 KC

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:

Consolidate fundamental concepts of antimicrobial chemotherapy.  A deep understanding of the subject is fostered by the data analysis exercise and workshops which will enhance students’ employability skills.


The learning and teaching strategy methods include:

  • Module is delivered primarily as a lecture program, complemented with workshops, including problem solving and data analysis exercises and tutorials which will enhance students’ resourcefulness and resilience including journal club style sessions to evaluate key papers and class discussion on key learning objectives employability skills. Tutorials will also utilize problem-based learning to delve further into AMR mechanistics and concepts.

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: MMIM031

Other information

All 5 curriculum framework attributes will be addressed in this multi-faceted module:


Resourcefulness and resilience will be enhanced through student-led, independent deep learning in context and literature searching and through participation in journal club sessions and class-discussions.

Global and cultural capabilities and awareness of sustainability will be enhanced in terms of AMR as a World health organization global priority and a source of huge impact on health. Employability awareness will be developed in terms of antibiotic discovery and production and how industry aims to curtail the global health threat of AMR and employability skills through participation in the variety of activities throughout the module (class-discussion, journal clubs) and particularly in science communication through the preparation of the grant proposal and oral presentation assessments.  Finally, a range of digital literature searching data bases will be used and on-line resources accessed, thereby enhancing students’ digital capabilities.

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 2025/6 academic year.