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FREE Online Course – An Introduction to Antibiotics and Antibiotic Resistance

By John Coster: Thanks to Dr Roger Harrison from the University of Manchester for sharing this FREE online course opportunity with members of the Parallel Lives Network.

A new free, short online course has been developed by students, for students, called An Introduction to Antibiotics and Antibiotic Resistance.

Pitched towards high-school and early undergraduates, the open-access course is focused on the practical aspects of antibiotics, and how antibiotic resistance is threatening the effectiveness of these miracle drugs. Latest evidence shows that at least 5 million people a year are dying because bacterial infections have developed a defence to different antibiotics. The implications of this are huge and recognised by the United Nations as being on a scale to climate change. This flexible course, which takes just a few hours to complete, introduces the value of antibiotics, before moving on to look at the way in which human behaviours are having a staggering impact on speeding-up the ability of harmful bacteria to prevent antibiotics from working.

But there are things all of us can do to reduce this threat, and it is not just a problem to be resolved by clinicians and the research community. In fact, the World Health Organization has public education and behaviour as its first Objective for action, and for several years, University of Manchester has been helping with this through active public engagement and education, and improved learning opportunities for our students.

The online course offered here is for anyone and everyone – it is straight forward to access and use, and you can just work through the sections in any order, at any time, for as long as you want. But, as an encouragement to complete the course, you will receive a free Certificate of Accomplishment from the University of Manchester so long as you pass a straightforward online quiz. We want everyone to know the basics of this problem and what people can do to reduce the threat of antibiotic resistance. So please consider taking the course, look at ways to build this into the curriculum, and help your students understand their role in active citizenship.

Log on at and search for antibiotics in the menu bar.

Any queries to [email protected]