Bacteriology Courses

By Mariza Halliday - Last update

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What is Bacteriology?

Bacteria are microscopic, single-celled organisms that thrive in diverse environments. These organisms can live in soil, the ocean and inside the human gut.

Bacteriology is the scientific study of microscopic organisms and bacteria and their effects on humans and animals. Bacteriologists monitor the ecology, metabolism and reproduction of these organisms.

Bacteriologists may work closely with other scientists to conduct research experiments and learn more about microorganism behaviour.

What 3rd level courses are available?

Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering courses in Bacteriology in the following subject areas:

  • Mastering Microbiology – Gain an in-depth awareness of immunology, the biology of bacteria, various infections and much more.
  • Microbiology of Environmental Contaminants – Gain knowledge regarding the detection, characterisation and identification of contaminating microorganisms and their products (endotoxin) so as to enhance Quality Risk Management.
  • Microbiology for the Pharmaceutical & Medical Devices Industries – The study of microbiology and its uses in the pharmaceutical and medical devices industries.
  • Industrial Microbiology & Biopharmaceuticals – The aim of this course is to introduce students to the principles of pharmaceutical microbiology, aseptic processing and biopharmaceutical production as applied in an industrial context and also to provide the microbiology and cell biology knowledge base for students to successfully enter the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries.
  • Developing Food Science Skills: Food Microbiology and Hygiene – Explore basic aspects of food microbiology, including detrimental and beneficial micro-organisms, and learn about food hygiene in terms of premises, equipment, cleaning and disinfection.

Studying Bacteriology in college

There are many courses in Bacteriology that may take place over a few days, weeks or even 1 year to 4 years depending on the course and modules selected. There are also part-time courses and night courses available so you can be sure to fit in your studies no matter what your schedule is like.

Courses will cover theory work through lectures, assignments, tutorials and taught modules. Assessments will take place on a continuous basis with written examinations and practical assignments combined in order to achieve a qualification. You could also consider work experience or a work shadow in the industry. Having experience in a laboratory is useful when applying for jobs. Relevant work experience is a good way of demonstrating a genuine interest in the field and is regarded favourably by employers.

Work Experience will not only give you the opportunity to obtain a deeper knowledge and understanding of the industry, it will also give you a chance to do some essential networking with other industry professionals and gain valuable contacts for the future.

Career options

After completing a Bacteriology course you will be able to get started in a career that uses specific knowledge of bacteria, microbes and microorganisms and how they affect our lives and how we can use them.

A bacteriologist is responsible for studying various kinds of bacteria, which are constantly changing and evolving. They typically do their research in a laboratory and may work closely with other scientists to conduct research experiments and learn more about microorganism behaviour.

Bacteriologists may specialize in a particular field, such as marine or veterinary bacteriology. These professionals use their academic knowledge and working experience to review bacteria growth and its effects on animals and the ecosystem. Bacteriologist plan and conduct laboratory experiments, as well as record and analyze data. Bacteriologists may work for pharmaceutical companies, developing drugs and vaccines, as well as for government agencies analyzing food and water for contamination.

As a bacteriologist you may work in hospitals, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, education or environmental agencies. Working hours will depend on whether you are employed by a facility with set business hours or if you are contracted to various businesses or companies. In a lab, you will usually work 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday, although if you’re working as a clinical scientist in a hospital or other similar healthcare setting you may be on call.

Related jobs include:

  • Bacteriologist
  • Microbiologist
  • Academic researcher
  • Biomedical scientist
  • Biotechnologist
  • Clinical research associate
  • Clinical scientist, immunology
  • Food technologist
  • Medicinal chemist
  • Nanotechnologist
  • Pharmacologist
  • Research scientist
  • Technical brewer
  • Water quality scientist
  • Ecologist
  • Environmental engineer
  • Forensic scientist
  • Marine biologist
  • Physician associate
  • Science writer

Further study

After completing a course in Bacteriology, you may choose to pursue further study in a specialist field to increase your knowledge base and skill set. Postgraduate study can also be used as a means to change career focus or to gain professional qualifications required to practise in certain career areas such as microbiology, microbial sciences, biomedical sciences, molecular biology, applied biology and biological sciences.


What is the difference between microbiology and bacteriology?

Microbiology is the branch of biology that deals with microorganisms, especially their effects on man and other living organisms while bacteriology is the scientific study of bacteria, especially in relation to disease and agriculture.

Why is Bacteriology important?

Bacteria and microbes are vitally important to all life on Earth. As versatile organisms, they play a major role in various biochemical processes such as biodegradation, biodeterioration, climate change, food spoilage, epidemiology and biotechnology.

By applying bacteria in a range of controlled settings, bacteriologists can harness their power for beneficial use in areas as diverse as healthcare, food production and agriculture.

In medicine alone, bacteriologists and microbiologists have contributed to some of history’s most important scientific breakthroughs. Edward Jenner invented the world’s first smallpox vaccine. Robert Koch identified the causes of cholera, tuberculosis and anthrax. Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin. And, more recently, Barry Marshall identified the link between Helicobacter pylori infection and stomach ulcers. Microbiologists are pushing the envelope of science and helping to save lives in the process.

Where can I study Bacteriology?

Explore your options here

Did You Know?

  • Bacteria have been on the planet for more than 3.5 billion years old, making them the oldest known life-form on earth.
  • A bacterium can typically move about 100 times its body length in a second. To put that into perspective, a large fish can move only about 10 times its body length in the same time.
  • Many snacks like yoghurt, cheese, kimchi, and miso are all made with bacteria.
  • Your body has far more bacterial cells than human cells. They help with processes such as digestion and they defend your body from bad bacteria. Of all the bacteria in the world, less than 1% will make you sick.
  • Different bacteria can survive in a variety of extreme conditions. From ice to hot springs, and even radioactive waste.

Mariza Halliday

Clinical Trials Courses


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