Discovering Practical Microbiology - Laboratory Training Course

A introductory course in Microbiology

Our intensive 2-day ‘Discovering Practical Microbiology’ course offers laboratory-based tuition in a range of techniques essential for any microbiology researcher.

Students gain experience working with both Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria and are provided with the opportunity to repeat techniques a number of times on different microorganisms throughout the course.

Students develop a range of fundamental practical skills including a confident understanding of aseptic technique using a range of growth medias, staining techniques and microscopic evaluation of cultures.

Students begin by collecting and modelling microbial growth data in their own bacterial cultures, then use their new practical skills to isolate novel thermophilic bacteria from the local environment and are set the challenge to find an optimal media for the fastest-growing bacterium in the world! This gives students ‘REAL WORLD’ practical experience which will provide a basis for the optimisation of future protocols and a topic for discussion during interviews.

Course overview:

Day 1:

  • Media prep and sterilisation
  • Growth curves of E. coli and B. subtilis with calculations of growth kinetics
  • Use of seed cultures to make dilution series and perform viable counts
  • Use of selective media to isolate microbes from a mixed culture
  • Isolation of thermophilic bacteria from soil
Practical Microbiliogy Image 1

Day 2:

  • Cultivation of the rapidly-growing halophile Vibrio natriegens
  • Optimisation of growth media
  • Cell staining and microscopy
  • Calculations, statistical evaluation and graphing of growth data using R
Practical Microbiliogy Image 2

The course leader is Dr Alex Pudney:

Dr Pudney is a Molecular Biologist/Biochemist at Rothamsted Research in Hertfordshire. Prior to this, he was Synthetic Biology Team Leader at ZuvaSyntha Ltd., a Strain Engineering Scientist at TMO Renewables Ltd., and a Post-Doctoral Researcher at Imperial College London.

Practical Microbiliogy Image BioGrad

Liverpool Science Park

Courses are carried out at our state of the art facilities in Liverpool Science Park and taught in very small groups to encourage questions, interaction and discussion. The laboratories are located on the top floor of IC3 which is centrally located, adjacent to Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral and within 7 minutes’ walk of both Central and Lime Street Train Stations.

Students should report to the main reception on Mount Pleasant (at the bottom of the Cathedral steps) upon arrival at the Science Park.

BioGrad Liverpool Science Park


Refreshments, lunch and snacks are provided during both days of the course. Vegetarian options are provided as standard however please inform BioGrad of and additional dietary requirements at the time of booking.

Students wishing to bring their own food or snacks have access to a fridge and microwave during the course, plus a break room containing vending machines and sky TV should they wish to dine separately.

Clothing and PPE

Students are advised to wear comfortable clothes and shoes (ensuring legs and feet are covered when in the laboratory). We advise layered clothing as it can become warm when wearing a lab coat and gloves all day.

All personal protective equipment is provided during the course however students should bring a note book for recording their results. Students will find a laptop or tablet useful as they will be able to download their own data files and images of their bacterial cultures to take away at the end of the course.

Further career development

We will happily take photographs of students working in the laboratory which often serve as excellent profile pictures for work related social networking (such as LinkedIn). Our lectures will also endorse your new skills and provide a reference if requested. Many of our lecturers are also happy to review CV’s during the course so please feel free to bring yours along for constructive feedback.

If you have an interview booked our lecturers will be pleased to provide mock interviews with feedback free of charge. These must be booked beforehand to allow the lecturer time to review the job description and prepare appropriate questions. Mock interviews may be carried out during the weekend of your course or by skype at a later date.

We have active links with the recruitment agencies SRG and Network Scientific, students will be provided with the contact details of our recruitment consultants if requested, and references can be provided directly to these agencies.


This course introduces essential practical microbiology skills however students must already understand how to use basic laboratory equipment, make stock solutions, follow UK H&S policies including Risk Assessments and COSHH, and maintain a laboratory note book. Students without any previous laboratory experience should attend the 1 day laboratory skills course or 5 day laboratory skills course before commencing this course.


Accommodation is not included with this course however we recommend The Feathers Best Western Hotel and Hatters Hostel as they are both within 3 minutes walking distance from the laboratory.

Students can take advantage of discounted room rates at Hatters hostel. Single occupancy, en-suite rooms are £37 per night midweek and £46 at weekends. Contacting for availability and booking.

Early booking is highly recommended, especially for weekend courses.

Practical Microbiliogy Image Accommodation

More Information:

For further information please contact us using this form or email us at

Course Payment

All payments are taken securely with PayPal. All major debit and credit cards are accepted so you don’t need a PayPal account.

There are four payment options available:

  • Pay in full at the time of booking
  • Pay in 2 - 25% deposit with the remainder due 28 days before the course commences (only available if booking more than 28 days in advance)
  • Pay in 6 - 6 equal, monthly payments (only available if booking more than 26 weeks in advance)
  • Pay in 12 - 12 equal, monthly payments (only available if booking more than 54 weeks in advance)

There is no charge for early payment, which can be made via PayPal at any time.


Current Academic Year 2021/2022

Sorry, we don't have any of these courses planned at the moment in the current academic year, please see if there are any courses planned in the next academic year by clicking below.

Sorry, we don't have any of these courses planned at the moment in the next academic year.


  • “My lab tutor was a skilful and talented teacher. He was able to simplify complex topics so all of the students could understand and then followed up to ensure we all fully grasped the techniques being taught. He made sure that any errors were rectified immediately so that we were always learning the correct techniques"
    Lucy - Introduction to Genetics
  • "I attended the course because I wanted to work in the pharmaceutical industry but didn't have enough lab based experience. After the course I had experience in some of the most up to date techniques, taught by researchers working in the pharmaceutical industry. During the lunch time I was able to chat with all of the tutors and seek their advice for securing the job I wanted. Through the experience and advice I received I managed to secure a graduate level job in a small pharmaceutical company. I cannot recommend this course enough!"
    Josep (Graduate researcher) - Practical skills in drug discovery
  • "I received excellent tuition from a patient teacher who had an incredible enthusiasm for laboratory research. Under her tutelage and supervision, I acquired many laboratory skills in the area of cell culture techniques and high throughput screening for pre-clinical drug discovery."
    Akang (Research Scientist) - Introduction to mammalian cell culture and Practical drug discovery
  • "This was the first time I had the chance to perform practical laboratory techniques which I had only seen in lectures before this point. The tutors let us try a number of different ways to quantify cells and gave us the time and guidance to perfect our own techniques."
    Mark - Introduction to mammalian cell culture
  • "I was taught by an experienced researcher who gave us the opportunity to work with many different cell types. I was able to see the differences between the morphology and growth rates of different cells for myself. I also had the opportunity to try a number of different techniques which gave me confidence to apply for PhD's requiring cell culture experience."
    Gail (PhD researcher) - Introduction to mammalian cell culture
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