The Department of Microbiology started as a unit under the Department of science, Faculty of Engineering, Science and Technology in May 1999. The Department was coordinated by Mr Onokuba John. In 2002, the Department of Biological sciences was created under the same faculty, with microbiology as the only programme. Mr Yah Suh Clearance was appointed to Head the Microbiology Programme. During the first National University Commission’s accreditation visit in April, 2004, the institution was advised to create a separate faculty of science from the Faculty of Engineering.
In July 2004, the University Senate approved the creation of some new faculties as recommended by NUC accreditation panelist. Among these was the Faculty of Science, with Prof. N. C. Azubuike as the Dean. Senate approval for the Faculty of science came up at the same time the Faculty was transferred from Okija campus to Elele campus. Elele campus then, already housing the Faculties of Medicine, Phamarcy and Health Sciences. Four units were raised to full departmental status. These were; Departments of microbiology, Biochemistry, Industrial chemistry and Computer sciences. In November 2004, Microbiology Department and others under the Faculty of science moved to Elele campus.
In July 2005, Mr Yah Clearance, the then acting Head of Microbiology Department resigned and picked up appointment with Igbenedion University Okada, Benin. Mr Agwung Fobellah Dominic was appointed as acting Head of Microbiology Department in August, 2005. In November, 2006 Microbiology Department faced NUC re-accreditation exercise. This time the Department was granted full accreditation status, being the first of its type in the Faculty of Science of Madonna University Elele campus. Microbiology department of Madonna University Elele sent forth her first batch of graduates in November 2003. Prof. A. J. Njoku was appointed second Dean, Faculty of Science in March, 2007. In September 2007, Microbiology staff resolved to embark on Annual Lecture series to enlighten the campus community on important microbiological issues affecting the world. This Lecture series was plan to be coinciding with the celebration of World HIV day, on first December 2007. Last December first 2011 was the fifth annual staff seminar series/ world HIV day.
Staff of microbiology Department have been very regular and consistent in their participation at the annual conference / Association general meeting of the Nigerian Society for Microbiology (NSM). It has been our policy in the Department that each year we sponsor five students to present their research project findings at the NSM annual conference.
Governance of our Department adopts an integrated approach in which each staff is assigned to a duty as a coordinator or officer. Main duties in the Department are carried out by these coordinators/ officers. These officers in turn report to the Head of Department who supervises their duties. Departmental meetings are held on second Tuesday of each month from 9:00 a.m. During monthly meetings issues affecting or likely to affect the wellbeing of microbiology staff and students as well as the teaching of the course are raised, deliberated, debated and finally resolved in a cordial way that will enhance the sustainability of our role as staff and relationship with students and the administration.
Presently we have a total of 14 staff in all areas of specialization in microbiology. Our staff uses diverse and systematic pedagogic approaches in the delivery of lectures and dissemination of information through tutorials to the satisfaction of even people with learning disabilities.
The philosophy of microbiology programme in Madonna University is to produce refined Nigerians who are decent in morals and education, while seeking to expose them to all facets of Microbiology with the purpose of self-realization and a sense of the need to contribute to National development. Problem endorsement in the programme is to be found in the concrete objective of the Nigerian challenging milieu of entrepreneurship. Training of microbiology students in Madonna University give the students a broad exposure to the theory and practice of microbiology and particularly to educate them in the various applications of microbiology in medicine, industry, agriculture and other fields.
Objectives of the Programme
a) Training of microbiology students in Madonna University, offers them an excellent education in the biology of microorganisms,(bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and viruses). Through learning about the biology of these microorganisms, students more fully understand the pivotal position they occupy in establishing and maintaining our biosphere, their effects on human, animal, and plant life, and how the biological properties of certain microbes are exploited for certain life rationale. Microorganisms are important in drinking water, wastewater and sewage treatment, production and spoilage of foods, production of antibiotics, bioremediation of toxic compounds, and genetic engineering of organisms having unique characteristics.
(b) The training of students to develop confidence in appreciating and solving problems in general as well as development of self confidence in handling problems with minimal or no supervision.
(c) To display proficiency in basic microbiological skills; communicate the fundamental concepts of microbiology, both in written and in oral format; analyze, interpret and evaluate a range of scientific literature in microbiology.
(d) Our students are trained such that they can collaborate with other scientists locally, nationally, and internationally as well as to provide valuable information for a variety of collaborative projects in microbiology.
(e) Building up of students’ capacity to fit into the appropriate level of manpower to which their qualification will allow them in various employment opportunities available to microbiologists.
(f) Production of Microbiologists that can be self employed and possibly employer of labour. Also, we train students to be able to ease into postgraduate training without difficulty.
(g) Graduates have found research positions in biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, as well as in state and government positions hiring microbiologists.
Microbiology graduates from Madonna University are suitable for careers in industries, hospitals, agricultural establishments, environmental studies, research institutes, veterinary laboratories and for specialized post graduate training.
a). UTME Entry Requirements
The Department of microbiology of Madonna University Elele campus offers courses leading to B. Sc. (Honours) degree in Microbiology. Admission is either by entrance examination (UTME) or Direct Entry. Students admitted through entrance examination undergo a four years degree course.
Students applying to read the four years programme for the award of Bachelor of sciences in Microbiology of Madonna University must satisfy the minimum University Matriculation Requirements. Such students must have at least five credit passes in biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, and English language at WAEC, G. C. E. O/ Levels or its equivalents in not more than two sittings.
b) Direct Entry
Students for Direct entry admission into a three years programme, are expected in addition, to have a minimum of two (2) passes at G.C.E. A/ Level or an equivalent certificate (IJMB) in not more than two sittings in Biology and any of; Chemistry, Geology, Mathematics or Physics. Students who have obtained national Diploma in Science Laboratory Technology are also eligible for direct entry into 200 Level. Students who enrolled and have spent one successful year in other Faculties in Madonna University can also transfer to Microbiology Department provide they met the minimum UTME requirement at the time of their admission into the institution.
Students are required to complete a minimum of 120 units for Graduation, 60 of which must come from the student’s discipline. The maximum period of stay for a student is six years. Any student who cannot graduate after six years shall be delisted from the Department.
Learning Outcomes: All Bachelors of honours degree student in Microbiology are expected to develop the following abilities and skills: a. Regime of Subject Knowledge Cognitive abilities and skills relating to solution of problems in Microbiology b. Competencies and Skills Practical skills relating to the conduct of laboratory and industrial work in Microbiology c. Behavioral Attitudes General skills relating to non-subject specific competencies, communication, ICT knowledge, interpersonal, organization skills and ethical standards.
Attainment Levels: Graduates of Microbiology are expected to have the ability to apply knowledge and skills to solving theoretical and practical problems in Microbiology in relation to national and societal problems.
DEFINITION OF TERMS USED
General Study Courses: A course which every student in the University must compulsorily take and pass at foundation level. There are not directly related any programme, but are necessary in the holistic formation of students before graduation.
Core/Compulsory Course: A course which every student must compulsorily take and pass in Microbiology at a particular level of study.
Required ancillary Course: A course that you take at a level of study and must be passed before graduation.
Elective Course: A course that students take within or outside the faculty. Students shall choose an elective course from among three others in order to make up the required additional units for the award of the degree. Students may graduate without passing the course provided the minimum credit unit for the course had been attained.
Optional Course: A course which students can take based on interest and may count towards the minimum credit unit required for graduation
Pre-requisite Course: A course which student must take and pass before taking a particular course at a higher level.
Minimum Credit Load Per Semester: The Minimum credit load per semester is 15.
Course Credit Unit System: This should be understood to mean a ‘quantitative system of organization of the curriculum in which subject areas are broken down into unit courses which are examinable and for which students earn credit(s) if passed’. The courses are arranged in progressive order of difficulty or in levels of academic progress, e.g. Level or year 1 courses are 101, 102 etc. and Level II or Year II courses are 201, 202 etc. The second aspect of the system is that courses are assigned weights called Credit Units.
Grade Point Average (GPA): Performance in any semester is reported in Grade Point Average. This is the average of weighted grade points earned in the courses taken during the semester. The Grade Point Average is obtained by multiplying the Grade Point average in each course by the number of Credit Units assigned to that course, and then summing these up and dividing by the total number of Credit Units taken for the semester
Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA): This is the up-to-date mean of the Grade Points earned by the student in a programme of study. It is an indication of the student’s overall performance at any point in the training programme. To compute the Cumulative Grade Point Average, the total of Grade Points multiplied by the respective Credit Units for all the semesters are added and then divided by the total number of Credit Units for all courses registered by the student
Goal and Objectives of General Studies (GST) Courses: The goal of GST courses is to produce a well-rounded, morally and intellectually capable graduates with vision and entrepreneurial skills in an environment of peace and social cohesiveness.
The objectives of the General Studies programme consist of the following: a) Acquisition development and inculcation of the proper value-orientation for the survival of the individual and society. b) The development of intellectual capacities of individuals to understand, appreciate and promote peaceful co-existence of people with a view to inculcating in them mutual understanding and patriotism. d) Exposing graduates of Nigerian Universities to the rudiments of ICT for computer literacy and ability to live usefully in this ICT age. e) Preparing students for a post university life with opportunities for job creation and entrepreneurial skills. f) Production of graduates capable of communicating effectively (both oral and written).
JOB OPPORTUNITIES IN MICROBIOLOGY
In Sickness and in Health
Microbiologists play a major part in finding ways of identifying, preventing and treating infectious diseases such as TB, a bacterial disease, and the viral infection ‘flu. Microbiologists are also helping to pioneer gene therapy techniques against genetic disorders such as cystic fibrosis and inherited cancers. Viruses are used to introduce genes carrying the desired characteristic into the cell nuclei of the host organism. Gene technology also has many applications in the development of medicines and diagnostics.
Microbiologists in hospital laboratories (Biomedical Scientists) deal with samples from patients, isolating and identifying the microbes that cause illness and giving advice on appropriate treatment. They also try to prevent patients from picking up infections in wards or operating theatres, and to trace and eliminate any infections which may occur. Opportunities exist too in the National Blood Service and veterinary establishments.
Health Protection Agency (HPA)
The prevention of disease has a far greater impact on the population at large than the treatment of sick people. Microbiologists in the HPA monitor pathogens from patients and the environment. In this way, a disease can be tracked and if there is risk of an epidemic, vulnerable people can be immunized against it.
Microbiologists in HPA laboratories (like their hospital colleagues) isolate and identify pathogens. Their records are analysed centrally by computer to provide a continuous picture of the progress of infections and the information is used by health authorities in the control of disease.
HPA microbiologists also track down the restaurant kitchen or batch of factory-prepared food that are the source of a Salmonella food poisoning outbreak, or find the air-conditioning system harboring the Legionella bacteria responsible for an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease.
Food, milk and water supplies are also routinely tested to ensure that they are of good microbiological quality and not contaminated. There are two central and about 50 local HPA laboratories employing microbiologists in the UK. A number of private laboratories also carry out this kind of work.
Some microbiologists study the structure and function of microbial genomes, sequencing and identifying the genes of organisms which cause illness. We hope this knowledge will lead to better design of therapies against individual pathogenic organisms. This technology is also used to improve understanding of beneficial microbes such as those living in the gut.
Medical microbiologists also work in research institutes and universities where they study topics such as how diseases develop or the interaction between pathogenic microbes and host cells.
Some industrial research and development sites employ medical microbiologists to work on the development of medicines and vaccines
There are over 550 bioscience companies in the UK employing more than 40 000 people many of whom are microbiologists.
They carry out research and develop new products; they also work in quality control to monitor manufacturing processes and check the microbiological safety of goods. Other work is done away from the laboratory. Some of these jobs and industries are described in more detail below.
Microbiologists are involved in the production and quality testing of many other useful compounds, including amino acids, antiseptics, organic acids and proteins. Using microbes to produce enzymes for scientific use is an industry in its own right. Many diagnostic procedures in clinical biochemistry use microbial enzymes, and a long list of bacterial enzymes is sold for use in molecular biology techniques like DNA “fingerprinting”.
We all know the benefits of adding (microbial) enzymes to washing detergents. Clothes can be cleaned at lower temperatures, using less detergent and water softener in the powder, leading directly or indirectly to reduced pollution. Some enzymes used in the food industry are also made on a large scale from microbes.
Cosmetics & Toiletries
Microbiologists check the effectiveness of anti-microbial products such as creams against acne and anti-dandruff shampoos and develop preservative systems to ensure that cosmetics and toiletries are free from microbial contamination both during manufacture and use by the consumer.
Food and Drink Manufacture
Microbial fermentations have been used for centuries to produce foods such as cheese and yoghurt and alcoholic beverages like wine and beer. Microbiologists are also needed at all stages of modern food and drink manufacturing processes. They are involved in the maintenance of the microbial culture (the inoculum) that is used to start the fermentation of the milk or grape juice, to prevent deterioration of existing strains and to develop or improve existing ones.
Olives and some processed meats are made by fermentation. However, the best known fermented products are beer, wine and spirits – the brewing industry is a major commercial force employing many microbiologists. Some beers are still produced by traditional methods, but in the main, brewing is a strictly controlled operation. Microbiologists maintain the strains of yeasts used and produce improved strains, as well as supervising the fermentation. They also have to solve the problem of dealing with waste materials produced by the process.
Our food contains many other, less obvious, microbial products, such as flavours and colours. Many factory-produced foods lose important vitamins during processing, and to keep our diet healthy, vitamins are added back to the food (e.g. breakfast cereals). These vitamins are made by high yielding bacterial strains and are a relatively inexpensive ingredient.
Safety & hygiene
As we store food for longer periods, it becomes more difficult to prevent spoilage by microbes. Some spoilage just makes food look unattractive but food poisoning is caused by human pathogens such as Salmonella growing on food. The increased demand for production and storage of ready meals, has caused in a rise in the number of cases of food poisoning by the bacteria Listeria and Campylobacter. Microbiologists are employed in quality control to ensure that products are safe and wholesome; in product development and basic research into food hygiene and preservation.
We need plenty of good quality water for domestic and industrial purposes. Rivers and reservoirs supply water to purification plants where microbiological and chemical tests are carried out to check its quality before distribution. The action of bacteria and protozoa in sewage treatment plants breaks down waste material so that effluent can safely be released back into the rivers. Microbiologists in water companies and the Environment Agency monitor and control these processes.
In the field
Microbes play an important part in agriculture. They fix nitrogen in the soil into a form that can be used by plants as a fertilizer and turn grass into the winter animal feed, silage. Microbiological research in these and other agricultural topics is carried out in institutes and industry.
Farm animals and crops are susceptible to pests and diseases. Veterinary microbiologists and plant pathologists do research and give advice on problems farmers may encounter.
Microbes are also used for biocontrol. Pests or weeds can be sprayed with a microbe that attacks them instead of spraying crops with pesticides or herbicides which kill many types of harmless organisms. Biocontrol has great potential, particularly in developing countries where a sustainable method of crop protection is the preferred approach.
Microbiologists in research institutes and universities study the ecology of microbes in fresh water, the sea and other habitats. Microbial activities can be harnessed to avoid or minimize environmental pollution. Factory wastes are treated with suitable cultures or enzymes produced from bacteria. Microbes can also be used in production processes. For example, microbes can be used to replace harmful chemicals in dye production and leather processing.
Some parts of our environment are already badly damaged by pollution. Industrial processes (and accidents) have left land contaminated with such things as toxic heavy metals and phenolic compounds. Microbial processes are being developed to clean up such pollution – known as bioremediation.
Many microbiologists apply their knowledge and skills in work outside of the laboratory. There are opportunities in the civil service, local government, industry and commerce. One example is sales and marketing of pharmaceutical products or laboratory equipment and consumables. A period of laboratory experience helps a sales consultant understand the concerns of microbiology focused customers.
Another area of work is in information science and librarianship. Some microbiologists become technical or science writers or work for scientific publishers, editing journal articles or books.
Others go into the law and accountancy where scientists are popular with recruiters. The biotechnology business boom has resulted in many more jobs for technology transfer specialists, business development managers and patent lawyers who need to have a sound grasp of the scientific basis of the subject.
Some microbiology graduates undertake teacher training and go on to work in schools or further education colleges. A few lectureships in universities are available, but candidates must usually have obtained a postgraduate qualification such as a PhD and worked for several years as a researcher.
General Courses (0)
Industrial/ Food Microbiology (1)
Environmental Microbiology (2)
Soil and Agricultural Microbiology (3)
Medical Microbiology (4)
Pharmaceutical Microbiology (5)
Microbial biotechnology (6)
Research methods (7)
A course is coded by a combination of three letters and three digits. The three letters code stands for the Department offering the course. Microbiology courses are coded as MCB. For the three digits numbers, the first digits indicates the year of study, the second indicates the subject stress area while the third digit shows the semester. First semester are represented with odd numbers while second semesters are represented with even numbers.
All students shall register for courses within the first week of assumption/ resumption in the semester. Students who fail to register as stated shall be considering for late registration within the second week of the semester. Any student who fails to register within the first two weeks of the semester shall be advice to defer the semester. Only in special circumstances and through the approval of the Vice Chancellor on behalf of the Senate, may a student be allow to register after two weeks but not more than four weeks into the semester. An application for late registration shall attract a prescribed fee.
Course Credit System This should be understood to mean a `quantitative system of organization of the curriculum in which subject areas are broken down into unit courses which are examinable and for which students earn credit(s) if passed’. The courses are arranged in . progressive order of difficulty or in levels of academic progress, e.g Level or year 1 courses are100,101etc.,and Level II or Year II Courses are 211, 212 etc. The second aspect of the system is that courses are assigned weights referred to as Credit Units.
Grade Point Average (GPA) and Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA)
Performance in any semester is reported in Grade Point Average. This is the average of weighted grade points earned in the courses taken during the semester. The Grade Point Average is obtained by multiplying the Grade Point Average in each 7 course by the number of Credit Units assigned to that course, and then summing these up and dividing by the total number of Credit Units taken for the semester.
This is the up-to-date mean of the Grade Points earned by the students in a programme of study. It is an indication of the student’s overall performance at any point in the training programme. To compute the Cumulative Grade Point Average, the total of Grade Points multiplied by the respective Credit Units for all the semesters are added and then divided by the total number of Credit Units for all courses registered by the student.
Techniques of Students Continuous Assessment
Students shall be examined by a combination of the following methods:
(a) Un-announced Quizzes; (b) Class Examinations; (c) Home-Work Assignments; (d) Mid-Semester and Final Semester Examinations.
The above methods can be carried out through any of the established techniques such as: (i) Term Papers; (ii) Oral presentation at examinations; (iii) Seminars; (iv) Projects; and (v) Written essay or objective examinations etc.
Final Semester Examinations
The weights to be attached to these examinations is such that the final semester examination carries 70 % for taught based modules, 60 % for practical based modules and 50 % for oral based module.
Probation: Probation is a status granted to a student whose academic performance falls below an acceptable standard. A student whose Cumulative Grade Point Average is below 1.50 at the end of a particular year of study, earns a period of probabtion for one academic session.
Withdrawals: A candidate whose Cumulative Grade Point Average is below 1.50 at the end of a particular period of probation should be required to withdraw from the University. However, in order to minimize waste of human resources, consideration should be given to withdrawal from programme of study and possible transfer to other programmes within the same University
Repeating Failed Course Unit(s): Subject to the conditions for withdrawal and probation, student may be allowed to repeat the failed course Unit(s) at the next available opportunity, provided that the total number of credit units carried during that semester does not exceed 24, and the Grade Points earned at all attempts shall count towards the CGPA.
External Examiner System
External Examiners should be used only in the final year of the undergraduate programme to assess final year courses and projects, and to certify the overall performance of the graduating students as well as the quality of facilities and teaching. However, the existing practice of using External
– Faculty of Science (Elele Campus)
1 Madonna University Road
P.M.B 05 Elele,
Rivers State Nigeria.