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Medical Microbiology

Medical microbiology and Virology (MMV) in the NHS involve the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of the spread of infection in hospitals and the community. As with many of the pathology specialties, it is in high demand in the UK, and whilst it is laboratory-based, UK microbiologits make a major contribution to clinical infection management in a hospital. Following the emergence of COVID-19, Microbiology has obviously taken on further importance to the UK's healthcare planning.

What are the requirements for an overseas microbiologist to work in the UK?

The qualification route you take may differ depending on your experience and years working in the specialty, and there are more middle grade opportunities available for microbiologists than in some other of the pathology specialties. Regardless of grade or experience, satisfying an english language requirement and attaining full GMC registration are both essential to working in the UK.

  • IELTS or OET or an acceptable emloyers reference (ask your IMG consultant if this applies to you). This requirement applies to all candidates not already registered with the GMC.
  • FRCPath Microbiology is a desirable qualification for candidates not holding a recognised european qualification.
  • MRCP UK is an additional desirable additional qualfication for candidates not holding a recognised european qualification. There are some GMC recognised equivalent qualifications to the MRCP UK - please ask your IMG consultant if you are unsure.  
  • PLAB will also facilitate GMC registration for non-EEA qualified candidates. 
  • EEA applicants may be able to register for general and specialist registration if they have a Relevant European Qualification (REQ).

IMG Resource Library

If you have not already, check out our IMG Library where you can find out more about IELTS or OET, GMC Registration, MRCP UK and FRCPath Microbiology. Additionally, this article may help you to understand the journey an anatomical pathologist can take to work in the UK: A Pathologist's Route to the UK

What should you know about Microbiology in the UK? 


Medical microbiologists provide services to aid the diagnosis and management of infectious diseases helping ensure the safety of those at risk, both in hospitals and the community. Although this role is laboratory-based, the microbiologist’s role is increasingly clinical and it is the scope of the clinical ward based work that is a key differentiation between other healthcare systems. 

Microbiologists provide advice regarding the interpretation of results, appropriateness of further investigations & antibiotic treatment and have a hands-on role supervising the running of the diagnostic laboratory. In cases where antimicrobial drugs are required, medical microbiologists provide advice concerning the choice of such drugs and the duration of treatment. Medical microbiologists also play a key role in controlling the spread of infectious diseases. Microbiologists work with hospital infection control teams to reduce the spread of infections in hospitals (including hospital ‘super bugs’ such as MRSA and Clostridium Difficile and Covid-19).

For overseas candidates, holding FRCPath will give you access access to most senior job opportunities, though it can differ from hospital to hospital. MRCP UK, good clinical ward-based grounding and experience in infection control, even if not part an country's standardised training programme, can all boost an individuals chances of landing a role. 

What can you expect from a typical working week in the NHS?

NHS Microbiologists and virologists don’t usually work directly with patients in person, but liaise between clinical colleagues in the hospital, GPs and laboratory staff. For more complex tests, microbiologists and virologists often undertake hands-on bench work in the laboratory using techniques that include:

  • traditional culture techniques such as microbiological stains
  • measuring antibody response to infection
  • detection of microbial antigens
  • nucleic acid amplification (polymerase chain reaction)

Did you know? Around 95% of clinical pathways rely on patients having access to pathology services. A staggering 14 pathological tests for each person in England and Wales are performed annually, 300,000 tests are performed every working day across the UK and 50 million reports are sent from labs to GPs every year!

£40,000 = £60,000

IMG Connect are recruiting for experienced microbiologists to join two friendly departments in the South West of England for registrar or senior middle grade posts. These roles are perfect for ambitious microbiologists looking to develop their career in the UK, or those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and fancy life in the peaceful and beautiful South West of England. 

The post is being interviewed for a middle grade post with specialty doctor or specialist grade posts available to senior candidates with the highly desirable qualificaitons such as FRCPath Microbiology. The department can be flexible with the right candidate. 

Job requirements:

  • PLAB or FRCPath Microbiology
  • GMC registration via MTI
  • NHS experience is desirable
  • IELTS or OET
  • Extensive experience in microbiology, at least four years post graduation

Length of contract:

  • 12-month fixed term (subject to be renewed) or permanent (substantive)


  • Beautiful location in the South West England
  • Friendly, experienced department with personalised support form department leads
  • Attractive salary and relocation package for international candidates
  • Training and development opportunities for all grades
  • CESR support for those eligible for senior posts i.e. specialty doctor or specialist grade
  • Tier 2 Health and Care Visa (sponsorship for the whole family)
  • Guidance regarding the CV and full interview preparation
  • Assistance regarding the GMC registration, visa, accommodation and transportation by an experienced onboarding specialist
  • Complete IMG Relocation service from start to finish of process
£60,000 - £112,000

Experience microbiologists with UK experience highly recommend to apply for this locum role with a large teaching hospital in the Glasgow area. Candidates not on the specialist register can be considered, whilst those ambitions to attain specialist registration via CESR will be supported into a substantive post beyond the first years contract.


  • The post can be offered at either locum consultant or senior middle grade - dependent on the candidates experience.  

Specialty & Special Interests:

  • The post is microbiology with special interest in infection control. 

Job requirements:

  • PLAB or FRCPath
  • IELTS or OET
  • Extensive experience as a microbiologist
  • UK experience is highly desirable

Length of contract:

  • 12-month fixed term (subject to be renewed) or permanent (substantive)


  • Attractive salary and relocation package
  • Training and development opportunities
  • CESR support for those eligible
  • Tier 2 Health and Care Visa (sponsorship for the whole family)
  • Guidance regarding the CV and full interview preparation
  • Assistance regarding the GMC registration, visa, accommodation and transportation by an experienced onboarding specialist
  • Complete IMG Relocation service from start to finish of process
£60,000 - £108,000

Great opportunity for microbiology speicalists, either practicing at consultant level or less senior to make an impact and train in an establsihed, and developing microbiology deparmtent.

Due to imminent retirements they have an exciting opportunity for 2 individuals to join the Clinical Microbiology team providing a comprehensive infection service to the local population and tertiary services across the region. They are seeking applications from suitably qualified Consultant Medical Microbiologists, Consultant Clinical Scientists in Medical Microbiology, or dual accredited Consultants in Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

The Trust is the largest hospital in the South West Peninsula and is a specialist centre for various specialties.

There is ample scope for development of specialist interests within infection management, and the trust has an active research department.

The state of the art microbiology department is based in purpose built laboratories and offers a wide range of diagnostic testing, and a full SARS-CoV-2 testing service (PCR and antibody). The locality has seen low numbers of COVID-19 cases throughout this pandemic, and a wide variety of clinical microbiology work continues.

New ways of working arising from the COVID19 pandemic have shown that there is flexibility for working from home when clinical commitments allow, and the 10PA jobplan (including 1:7 on-call) is usually worked across 4 weekdays.

This is a great opportunity for IMGs practicing in the UK who are looking to work towards their CESR and Specialist Registration in Radiology, or UK based consultants looking for a change to their current working set up.
£79,000 - £108,000
Excellent opportunities for microbiology consultants to start or futher their careers in the NHS. For consultants not yet on the specialist register but with appropriate experience and qualifications the department will fully support development and entry to Specialist Register via CESR. 

Exact duties and a job plan will be discussed at interview and agreed following successful appointment, however generally it will cover all aspects of a consultant's clinical work, teaching, research, education and managerial duties. 

It is a 10 PA role with 7.5PAs DCC, 1 PA on call and 1.5 SPAs which will include audit, appraisal, research, clinical governance and CPD.

The department consists of 3 consultants and the dlinical director and the team are supported by the Microbiology Operational Manager. The total budget for the Microbiology department is £2,084619.00. nt and the Microbiology Department achieved full UKAS Accreditation status in June 2017.

Requirements for this position are:
  • FRCPath or equivalent
  • Specialist Registration, or within 6-12 months of attaining CESR
  • IELTS or OET - those unable to sit tests due to covid-19 will have exemptions discussed on a case by case basis.
  • Extensive experience in Microbiology 
  • Experience at consultant level in Microbiology
If you are interested in pursuing medical microbiology in the NHS, wish to work as a consultant via either CESR or direct entry from an EEA country you but have questions about eligibility - please get in touch with your CV via email at stating Consultant Microbiologist in the subject heading.

We look forward to hearing from you!
£79,000 - £108,000

An opportunity or experienced consultant medical microbiologists to join a high performing department providing a hospital-based service for the laboratory diagnosis and clinical management of microbial diseases for patients both in hospital and the community.

Laboratories participate and perform well in national quality assurance schemes and is fully accredited. The service is also accredited for training with the Institute of Biomedical Science and registration with the Health Care Professions Council and the Royal College of Pathologists.

The role includes providing a service mainly during the day, and also out-of-hours, to give advice concerning the diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring of infectious diseases. Where appropriate, preliminary reports and results are phoned to the clinician concerned. Ward rounds are conducted daily to review and offer advice on the management of inpatients with serious infections.

An active Infection Control Team is available at all times to help with matters relating to the control and prevention of infection.

CESR can also be supported as part of the job plan, with programmed activities dedicated to the successful applicants career development and portfolio. 

Requirements for the role: 

  • FRCPath 

Applicants from the EEA require a equivalent specialist diploma and IELTS or OET. 

If you are interested in furthering your consultant career in a friendly, supportive and modern department that will invest in your medical experience, apply today. 

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