Microbes – friend or foe?
Microbes – friend or foe?

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Microbes – friend or foe?

Microbes – friend or foe?


This course looks at two aspects of microbes. The first section covers the way that bacteria cause disease and how they can become resistant to the antibiotics used to treat them. The second covers the important role that microbes play in treating sewage to purify the water so that it can be returned to rivers or to the sea.

This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University course : SG071 Learn about microbes [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has nearly 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus