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HR926 - Microbiomics and Metagenomics

  • Module code: HR926
  • Module name: Microbiomics and Metagenomics
  • Department: School of Life Sciences
  • Credit: 10

Content and teaching | Assessment | Availability

Module content and teaching

Principal aims

The core aims of this module are twofold: (i) to provide students with an understanding of the role of environmental and host-associated microbial communities in driving processes in the environment and affecting the physiology of plant and animal hosts, and to (ii) provide an overview of relevant methodological approaches that are key for dissecting the structure and function of microbiomes. The latter includes a wide range of cultivation-dependent and cultivation-independent microbiological and molecular biological approaches. The principles and the development of relevant technologies up to modern approaches based on high-throughput sequencing of nucleic acids will be discussed and how they have revolutionised the study of microbial diversity and function by metagenomics approaches. The discussion of case studies will demonstrate how the knowledge gained from studying microbiota can potentially be exploited in the context of global change, agriculture, food security, biotechnology and human health.

Principal learning outcomes

· Discuss the specific roles that microorganisms have in the functioning of the biosphere, both as 'free-living' environmental microorganisms, as well as in association with plant, animal and human hosts and in industrial/biotechnological processes · Critically evaluate how different methodological approaches can help to dissect structure/function relationships in microbial communities and identify the biases associated with different methods · Autonomously interpret original research outputs of advanced microbiomics studies and critically evaluate the findings

Timetabled teaching activities

25 hours 15 hours of lectures 4 hours of bioinformatics workshop 4 hours of tutorial discussions 2 hours of poster session

Departmental link

Module assessment

Assessment group Assessment name Percentage
10 CATS (Module code: HR926-10)
A1 (Assessed work only) Written Test 40%
  Poster Presentation 60%

Module availability

This module is available on the following courses:

  • Postgraduate Taught Environmental Bioscience in a Changing Climate (D4A1) - Year 2
Optional Core


  • Postgraduate Taught Sustainable Crop Production: Agronomy for the 21st Century (D4A2) - Year 2
  • Postgraduate Medical Biotechnology and Business Management (J7N2) - Year 1