Bacteria and microorganisms are everywhere. They are invisible to the naked eye, but their presence has a significant impact on our health, food, & environment. Understanding them, therefore, is vital to our survival. This is where a qualified microbiologist comes in.

At work, microbiologists are consistently doing research about the smallest living things, including viruses, fungi, and bacteria. Which ones cause diseases? Which ones can help farmers grow healthier crops? Whatever findings they have, microbiologists put their newfound knowledge to good use by finding solutions to existing problems.

Microbiology is an interesting field for those who have a keen interest in life sciences. Graduates with a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree have opportunities to work in many sectors, the most prominent of which are medicine, food production, veterinary science, and education.

Student life in this field can be challenging, so it is important to find a school that can provide both quality education and good teacher support. If you’re about to embark on your microbiology journey, here are some of the best microbiology schools in Europe you should consider applying to.

Top Microbiology Schools in Europe

1. University of Surrey

Established in 1966, the University of Surrey was conceived as an institution that could provide quality education for the poorer residents of the UK. Through strong global collaborations and excellent academic achievements, the university rose to become one of the UK’s largest public research universities. It welcomes over 16,000 students annually.

Aspiring microbiologists can study BSc Microbiology at this outstanding microbiology school in Europe, which takes three years to complete. Through lectures, seminars, and discussion groups, you will learn the fundamentals of the field and explore the latest research on bacteria, fungi, and viruses.

Students at the university also benefit from the Innovation for Health Learning Laboratory, a £10M facility that houses the latest equipment for experiments. As the curriculum also places heavy importance on hands-on learning, this is where microbiology students will be most of the time. The laboratory provides a good training ground where you try handling equipment and following procedures, both of which are experiences highly valued by employers.

2. Bangor University

Bangor University, also known as Prifysgol Bangor in Welsh, is a renowned public university in the UK. It was founded in 1885 and was part of the University of Wales. It gained independence in 2007 and has built a reputation for being an innovative institution. Today, it welcomes over 10,000 students annually and offers programs in sciences, arts, law, and business.

Bangor University has no programs for Microbiology at the Bachelor’s level, but it does offer a unique Master’s program. The 12-month MSc by Research in Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology is different from a traditional Master’s program because it places more emphasis on research than coursework. The experience feels like you’re already working for a Ph.D., making it the perfect choice if you plan to apply for a higher degree.

Students work on a Master’s project while attending training to develop postgraduate-level skills. The school also advertises funded projects that you may work on under the guidance of internationally recognized supervisors.

3. University of Nottingham

The University of Nottingham was founded in 1881 and grew to become one of the leading public universities in the UK. It operates across several campuses in Nottingham today, the biggest campus known as University Park. The university welcomes over 45,000 students every year.

A 3-year BSc in Microbiology is available for undergraduates enrolled at the University of Nottingham, which is considered to be among Europe’s best microbiology schools. This study duration can stretch up to 4 years if you opt to take a year-long professional placement between Years 2 and 3. The University of Nottingham focuses on developing technical skills, so expect to spend most of your time at containment laboratories and the £5M SuperLab.

There are two programs available for postgraduates: an MSc in Microbiology & Immunology and an MSc in Clinical & Molecular Microbiology. Both programs have a study duration of 12 months and are designed to help you study your chosen specialization in greater depth. Courses are taught by active researchers who are studying the latest problems in their fields, making sure that you are learning the most relevant knowledge available.

4. University of Helsinki

The University of Helsinki (UH) is the oldest educational institute in Finland, first founded in 1829. It operates on four campuses and welcomes the largest population of students in the country, with over 31,000 enrollees every year. UH is consistently on top of international rankings and provides courses in three languages: Finnish, Swedish, and English. The university offers Master’s and Ph.D. level programs for microbiology.

The 2-year Master’s Program in Microbiology & Microbial Biotechnology aims to refine your research techniques and explore ways to apply your knowledge in the food and drug industry. Several electives are available so you can choose the courses based on your interest. A Master’s thesis will be required towards the end of the study duration.

The university also has the most vibrant research community for microbiology in Finland. Researchers and academic supervisors have published work on several fields, the most prominent of which are environmental microbiology, virology, and microbial biotechnology. Those seeking a doctoral degree can look out for salaried positions, which UH opens annually.

5. Manchester Metropolitan University

Founded in 1824, the Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) is another one of the best microbiology schools in Europe. It was originally an institute specializing in Mechanics and Design. Over the years, MMU has expanded and consistently provided quality education in a wide range of disciplines, making it the leading modern university today. It receives the second-highest number of applications in the UK every year and admits 38,000 students from over 120 countries.

MMU offers a 3-year BSc in Microbiology & Molecular Biology. Students learn the fundamentals of the field and spend a lot of time doing relevant activities at the university’s specialist laboratories. A DNA-sequencing lab, Molecular Biology lab, and an analytical suite are just some of the facilities you will have access to. Though it is not required, the university also encourages participating in a year-long study abroad program or professional placement to boost your career prospects.

For postgraduates, MMU also offers a 12-month MSc in Medical Microbiology, which aims to help you apply your knowledge in a clinical context. Students explore infectious diseases and find ways to control and eradicate them. MMU has strong links with hospitals across Manchester, which you can benefit from as you conduct research projects on issues of your choosing.

FAQs about Studying Microbiology

Which Countries Have the Highest Salary for Microbiologists?

Switzerland is one of the countries that provide the highest salary for microbiologists, with an average annual compensation of roughly CHF 280,000. Meanwhile, microbiologists in Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States can anticipate earning an average yearly income of approximately $44,000 to $95,000. It is worth noting that earnings are subject to variation based on the particular industry and job function. Microbiologists working in research and development often enjoy more substantial salaries than those involved in quality control or production. While Switzerland stands out as a top-paying country for microbiologists, other nations offer noteworthy income and prospects. While we currently don’t have available Microbiology courses, feel free to explore our catalog of related courses in our Open Courses Page!


We hope that you found this article on the best microbiology schools in Europe informative and helpful. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs in Europe!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

Share this article via

Leave A Comment