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Study microbiology abroad

An in-depth guide to studying microbiology as an international student.

Microbiology degrees abroad

Microbiology is the study of living organisms that are too small to see with the naked eye, including bacteria, fungi, yeasts and viruses. These tiny microbes are vital in understanding life on Earth, including human and animal disease, food production and the environment.

As a microbiologist, you could work on fighting infectious diseases across the world by developing new vaccines or combating pests and diseases in crops. You could also help make use of microorganisms in genetic engineering and other modern biotechnologies.

Programs in microbiology are available at universities, colleges and science schools all over the world. It’s possible to study abroad at bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate levels, and going to university in another country is a great way to stand out from your peers by gaining a unique perspective on the subject.

Microbiology program structure

At undergraduate level you can earn a BSc in microbiology over three or four years, depending on the program and where you’re studying. Some universities, particularly in the UK, offer an MBiol (Master of Biology), that you can study as an undergraduate. It combines a bachelor’s and master’s program, and takes an extra year to complete.

If you are a graduate with a degree in microbiology or a related degree, you can study a master’s (MSc) over one or two years. If you want to gain a PhD microbiology, most doctorate research programs take up to six years to complete.

Microbiology is a largely laboratory based subject, so you will spend a lot of time in practical lab classes. You’ll also be taught through lectures, small group tutorials, seminars and computer workshops. Your learning will usually be assessed by a mixture of written exams and coursework, which can include lab reports, essays, presentations and data exercises.

The program content and structure will be unique for each university, and you’ll be able to select some of the modules you study yourself. Here’s some of the common subjects you may study on a microbiology degree program:

  • Biology of organisms
  • Evolution
  • Cell biology and genetics
  • Biochemistry
  • Human anatomy and physiology
  • Bacterial physiology
  • Virology
  • Immunology
  • Biotechnology
  • Research skills for microbiology

How to study microbiology abroad

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Microbiology study abroad programs

Microbiology undergraduate programs

Bachelor's in microbiology

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    Microbiology (Business Conjoint Program) - BSc Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    24,645 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 35,444 NZD

    Start date
    January, February
    Show program overview about Microbiology (Business Conjoint Program)
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    Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology - BSc/BSc (Hons) University of Saskatchewan, Canada

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    16,361 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 20,487 CAD

    Start date
    January, May, July, September
    Show program overview about Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology
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    Biological Sciences - Microbiology and Biotechnology - BSc DePaul University, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    40,551 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 40,551 USD

    Start date
    -
    Show program overview about Biological Sciences - Microbiology and Biotechnology
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    Biological Sciences: Microbiology - BSc California State University, Sacramento, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    16,800 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 16,800 USD

    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about Biological Sciences: Microbiology
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    Biological Sciences: Microbiology and Biomedical Lab Sciences (STEM) - BS California State University, East Bay, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    16,499 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 16,499 USD

    Start date
    August, January
    Show program overview about Biological Sciences: Microbiology and Biomedical Lab Sciences (STEM)
See all bachelor's degrees in microbiology

Microbiology graduate programs

Master's in microbiology

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    Applied Science: Microbiology - MAppSc University of Tasmania, Australia

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    22,790 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 30,950 AUD

    Start date
    February, July
    Show program overview about Applied Science: Microbiology
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    Immunology and Microbiology - MPhil University of Newcastle, Australia

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    28,588 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 38,825 AUD

    Start date
    February, July, September
    Show program overview about Immunology and Microbiology
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    Microbiology - MSc (Research) Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    26,424 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 38,002 NZD

    Start date
    January, February
    Show program overview about Microbiology
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    Microbiology (Advanced Practice) - MSc Teesside University, UK

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    20 months
    Annual tuition fee
    10,434 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 7,500 GBP

    Start date
    September, January
    Show program overview about Microbiology (Advanced Practice)
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    Microbiology - MAppSc University of Otago, New Zealand

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    25,699 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 36,960 NZD

    Start date
    February, July
    Show program overview about Microbiology
See all master's degrees in microbiology

Doctorate in microbiology

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    Microbiology - PhD University of Canterbury, New Zealand

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    3 years
    Annual tuition fee
    4,936 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 7,099 NZD

    Start date
    January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
    Show program overview about Microbiology
See all doctorates in microbiology

Diploma in microbiology

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    Science: Microbiology - PGDipSc University of Canterbury, New Zealand

    Program type
    Postgraduate diploma
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    27,465 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 39,500 NZD

    Start date
    February, July
    Show program overview about Science: Microbiology
See all postgraduate diplomas in microbiology

Future microbiology careers

There are a number of great career options you can explore once you’ve completed your degree in microbiology. Many graduates go on to work in health care, pharmaceuticals, food safety and forensic science, but the skills you learn can be used in other sectors like management and commerce.

Some roles you might consider as a microbiology graduate include:

  • Microbiologist
  • Food technologist
  • Clinical scientist
  • Pharmacologist
  • Academic researcher
  • Genome scientist
  • Laboratory technician
  • Medicinal chemist

Many universities offer work placements that allow you to gain first-hand experience. This could help you work out what career you want to pursue, and will look good on your CV when you start your job search.