Course Outline

The course provides a thorough training in water microbiology, including natural and artificial water environments. It introduces participants to the key concepts and skills necessary for working on the bench as well as for decision making. It covers topics such as recreational water microbiology, drinking water microbiology, wastewater microbiology, water quality detection methods, the use of GIS technology in monitoring water quality, the principles of ISO 22000 application in water industries, risk assessment, water-borne infectious disease epidemiology, and accreditation of water laboratories. Students will be also introduced to key elements of water monitoring, the impact of climate change, conservation of aquatic ecosystems, and water reclamation and reuse.

The modules of the e-class:

  • provide in-depth understanding of all key issues relevant to a proper estimation of the microbiological quality of water from different sources and different uses;
  • equip participants with the tools needed to manage water quality effectively;
  • familiarise participants with the latest practical laboratory methods and techniques for the detection of indicators and pathogens in water, and
  • give a grounding in the function and use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in water quality management.


The course is structured around the following three specializations:

Α) Certificate in Drinking Water Microbiology

Β) Certificate in  Swimming and recreational Waters 

or the combined course:

C) Certificate in Water Microbiology

Courses A) and B) consist of 8 modules, five of which are offered to all participants. Three modules differ depending on the specialization the participant wishes to focus on (i.e. drinking water or recreational waters microbiology). Participants wishing to take the combined course need to take all 11 modules. Τhe  two weeks in Greece (the introductory and the final one) are available for all students (with extra fees).

Skills Acquired

The course is aimed at water professionals and persons interested in a career in the water industry. It provides an opportunity to learn key skills and knowledge in the area of water microbiology. On completing the modules those learners interested will have the opportunity to work in a water laboratory in a Greek university in order to acquire practical skills in isolating and identifying waterborne bacterial indicators and pathogens.

Useful Prerequisites

A University or college degree in biological sciences or experience in a water microbiology laboratory. 

Computer Requirements

You will need a computer and an internet connection in order to take part in the course.

Independent Study

Not everyone prefers the same methods and not everyone works at the same pace. Our e-class allows you to choose the pace suitable for your needs. Participants will need to be self-motivated and to enjoy working independently so as to meet successfully the challenges of studying on a distance-learning programme.

You will be expected to spend several hours a week studying the module materials. Some of this work will be assessed.

Your Reward

Once you have completed the course and the final exam successfully, you will be awarded a Certificate and a Certificate Supplement. The Certificate will confirm that you were registered on the course and successfully met the course requirements. The Certificate Supplement will describe the modules you have taken and the grades earned.

The e-Class Team and Tools

The Programme is taught by course tutors who are practising university Professors with a strong scientific background and practical experience. The team is supported by leading experts in the field of water management, all of whom have worked with international organisations and agencies. The teaching tools used on the course include written texts, presentations, assignments, videos, and tests.

Course Material

The Course Material will be sent electronically.

Assessment of Course Work

Evaluation of students’ written assignments will take into consideration:

  • Quality of the assignment: The assignments should be competently written in the scientific language appropriate for the subject and using correct terminology. They should answer accurately the questions posed and should handle only the subject examined, elaborating on it fully.
  • Timely submission of the assignments: The assignments should be submitted within the deadlines set. Late submission of assignments will be penalised and reflected in the student’s final result.

The 1st – Introduction Week (Optional) – will take place in Athens after the end of the first module, that is the third week on the course. This week will include a welcome party and opportunity to get to know the teaching team, an introduction to water microbiology, visits to laboratories working with water and sewage samples, and visits to water and sewage purification plants. During the week, participants will have the chance to do some sightseeing and find out more about modern Athens as well as its ancient past and achievements, which had such a seminal impact on European civilization. 

The 2nd – Final Week, Laboratory Practice (Optional)

During the last week of the Programme the students will travel to Patras/Greece and they will be trained at the laboratory of Environmental Microbiology Unit Department of Public Health Medical School University of Patras The practicals will include hands-on experience in the isolation of bacterial indicators for water quality and pathogenic microorganisms with a special emphasis on virology, a developing field that promises to help our understanding of waterborne infections. Students will partake in the procedures for isolating and identifying microorganisms, performing the benchwork themselves. They will also be trained in the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for the visualisation, processing and assessment of water quality results from relevant laboratories, and they will take part in training sessions on epidemiology practices, and the study and evaluation of epidemiological data.

Final Exam  

The Final Exam will take place online during the last week of the course.