Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years, which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


After the course the student has the ability to:

1. present the structure and physiology of pro- and eukaryotic micro-organisms

2. list the principles of cell growth and underlying intrinsic and extrinsic factors which influence microbial growth

3. Name selected microbes with clinical, ecological or industrial importance and evaluate issues related to sustainable development 

4. describe  human - microbe interactions,  cell-cell interactions, pathogenicity and antimicrobial control measures


Credits: 5

Schedule: 07.09.2020 - 23.10.2020

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022): Katrina Nordström

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Katrina Nordström

Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation):

The course will be held online (ZOOM) fall 2020. 

Responsible teacher: Katrina Nordström, professor

Available on request (online) - meetings can be requested by students, 

CEFR level (applies in this implementation):

Language of instruction and studies (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022):

Teaching language: English

Languages of study attainment: English


  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    The course deepens the students' previous knowledge in cell biology and biosicences by providing a more detailed view into systematic and applied microbiology.  The focus is on selected microbes only, mainly bacteria, with some general topics on viruses and eukaryotes.  The course aims at illustrating the interactions between humans and microbes, the growth environment and parameters influencing growth, in view of understanding microbial physiology and interactions. The course covers biomedical food and applied aspects of microbiology, by using selected case-examples.

    This is a M.Sc. level course that will not cover the basics of cell structure and function.  It is expected that students have sufficient background knowledge of the basic structure and function of pro- and eukaryotic cells.

  • Applies in this implementation:

    The course contents will be as as stated above. 

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    The course consists of lectures and assignments that are available in the electronic course materials.  Assessment is based on points obtained from the 1) written examination (80%) and 2) the electronic assignments (20%).

  • Applies in this implementation:

    The written examination will become available to students in MY Courses on the date and the time that is indicated in the CHEM school exam schedule. Students must upload their exam latest by the ending time of the exam.  The assessment criteria (1-5) are outlined in the course information details, that will be posted into MY Courses (Materials section). 

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Total 135h = 5cr

    Lectures 24 h

    Assignments 30 h

    Other independent studying 77 h

    Exam 4 h

  • Applies in this implementation:

    The time estimated for completion of the assignments may vary, and the give time of 24h is an estimate. 


Study Material
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Pearson Mastering Microbiology, electronic materials with electronic textbook provided for students: Brock, Biology of Microorganisms.  Students will get free access to the electronic textbook and the electronic assignments. No need to buy the book. 



  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Recommended CHEM-C2300 Cell and Molecular biology or equivalent; CHEM-E3100 Biochemistry or equivalent (can be ongoing). Note that a good level of understanding of cell biology is necessary.


Registration for Courses
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:


  • Applies in this implementation:

    Exchange students and other non-Aalto students should contact the teacher to verify that they fulfill the background level that is required.  All students should keep in mind that this is an M.Sc. level course, and therefore basic microbiology will not be covered in any greater detail.  

SDG: Sustainable Development Goals

    3 Good Health and Well-being

    6 Clean Water and Sanitation


Details on the schedule
  • Applies in this implementation:

    The course starts on 7.9.  Lectures are normally on Mondays and Tuesdays, but there is also some variation in some weeks.  The final lecture is on 16.10.  The assignments must be completed latest Saturday 17.10. at 12 noon. 

    The lectures will be held via ZOOM and links to the lectures will be sent to students prior to the start of the course. 

    In order to pace the online lectures, small breaks will be held, for example  lectures can be 30 min + 10 min break + 20 min lecture + 10 min break + 20 minutes lecture. This makes it easier for students to follow and focus on the topics.