The taught Infection Biology MSc will help you to develop your knowledge and understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which bacteria, viruses and parasites cause disease in humans and in domesticated animals, and the immune responses generated by these hosts to such pathogens. You can choose to specialise in virology, microbiology (bacteriology) or parasitology.
The MSc programme will consist of five taught courses and a project or dissertation, spread over 11-12 months. Three courses are compulsory, and two are chosen from a series of options.
The PgDip programme will consist of five taught courses, spread over 7-8 months, with three compulsory courses and two chosen from a series of options.
The PgCert programme consists one core taught course over 3-4 months.
Teaching and learning methods
A variety of methods are used, including lectures, tutorials, workshops, laboratories and problem-based learning. These are supplemented by a wide range of course specific electronic resources for additional learning and self assessment. As a result, you will develop a wide range of skills relevant to careers in infection biology research, diagnostics or drug development. These skills include team-working, data interpretation and experimental design. You will use primary scientific literature as an information resource.
Our online resources were voted the best in the United Kingdom in the International Student Barometer in 2012, and include
About half of our MSc students enter a research career, mainly by undertaking further postgraduate research studies towards a PhD, or by working in research laboratories in clinical or academic settings, including national government laboratories.
Other students go on to work in the pharmaceutical, diagnostic or biotechnological industries.
We need well-trained and creative minds to help us solve public health problems of the future. Do you see yourself tackling the increasing incidences of allergies and autoimmune disease, working on emerging infections such as Ebola and MRSA?
This Master’s programme gives you the knowledge and research expertise needed to solve the public health problems of the future. Emerging infectious are a threat to human and animal well-being and an increasing number of allergies and chronic inflammatory diseases have a major impact on individuals and society as a whole. Knowledge of the immune system provides us with potential health care solutions for cancer, transplantation and downregulation of a hyperactive immune system as for example in rheumatoid arthritis. By training students in the field of Infection and Immunity, this programme contributes to accumulation of knowledge that is directly or indirectly leading to faster diagnosis of diseases and better treatment options.
This Master’s programme will give you a firm foundation in the field of infection and immunity and covers a variety of topics such as fundamental and clinical immunology, vaccines, immunotherapy, mechanisms of infectious diseases, molecular epidemiology of infections, virulence factors of microorganisms, and resistance to treatment.
Infection, immunity, and the role of microflora in human and animal welfare is one of Utrecht University’s core research areas and the Graduate School of Life Sciences is home to a large number of world-leading research groups working in this field. Utrecht’s life science campus comprises over 50 Infection and Immunity groups in the field of human and animal health covering the whole range from molecular biology to population level. This two-year research Master's offers an unique combination of studying Immunology and infectious diseases in one comprehensive Master’s programme including extensive training in laboratory research skills. As a student you will have the opportunity to carry out two hands-on research projects at renowned research groups.
Infection and Immunity has intensive collaboration with international research institutes, allowing students to do their minor internship abroad at prestigious partner universities all around the world.
As a Master’s student of Infection and Immunity, you will take theory courses and seminars, as well as master classes led by specialists in the field. You will study molecular, cellular, and clinical aspects of pathogens and immune responses. During your six to nine month internships you work in a lively research environment during which you will gain hands-on experience of biomedical research in Infection and Immunity. We believe that understanding both pathogens and host reactions provides deeper insight into the mechanisms of illness, so you will complete internships in both infection and immunity.
The annual scientific symposium is a particular highlight. This symposium is organised by Master’s students and features talks by international experts and poster presentations by second year Master’s Infection and Immunity students on their own areas of research.
As a graduate of this programme, you will have the multidisciplinary skills and knowledge needed to undertake research that will help prevent, diagnose, and treat infectious diseases and immune disorders. The majority of our alumni continues their career as a PhD-student in the field.
The language and concepts of infection and immunity, from basic science to translational clinical research, are taught by our world-class investigators. The programme emphasises data interpretation, critical analysis of current literature and culminates in a full-time research project: excellent preparation for a research career.
The programme provides insight into state-of-the-art infection and immunity research, current issues in the biology of infectious agents, the pathogenesis, prevention and control of infectious diseases, and immunity and immune dysfunction.
Students learn from UCL scientists about their research and are trained in the art of research by carrying out a full-time research project in a UCL laboratory.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of five core modules (75 credits), three optional modules (45 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).
A Postgraduate Diploma comprising four core modules and four optional modules (120 credits, full-time nine months, part-time, flexible study two to five years) is offered.
A Postgraduate Certificate comprising four core modules (60 credits, full-time three months, and flexible study up to two years) is offered.
All MSc students undertake independent research which culminates in a 4,000-word dissertation.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials, paper review sessions, laboratory practicals, an independent research project and self-directed learning. A diverse range of assessment methods is used; coursework may be in the form of presentations, essays, data interpretation exercises, poster preparation, and group working. Many modules also have unseen written examination.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Infection and Immunity MSc
The programme produces graduates who are equipped to embark on research careers. Immersion in the superb research and teaching environment provided by UCL and the Division of Infection & Immunity, gives our graduates a unique understanding of the cutting edge of infection and immunity research and how world-class research is carried out.
Opportunities for networking with UCL senior investigators with international reputations and their worldwide collaborators can provide the inside track for career development. Graduates are well placed to move onto PhD programmes, research positions in diverse biomedical fields, clinical research positions, further training and positions in associated professions.
Recent career destinations for this degree
Graduates are exceptionally well prepared for a career in research. The combination of research-informed teaching and practical research training provides an ideal preparation for a PhD and is equally applicable for clinicians seeking specialist training or wishing to pursue the clinical academic career track.
More broadly, a rigorous grounding in scientific method, critical analysis, data interpretation and independent thinking provides a pallet of marketable and transferable skills applicable to many professional career paths.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
The UCL Division of Infection & Immunity is a vibrant and world-class research community. Students are embedded in this superb training environment which provides a challenging and stimulating academic experience.
Programme content reflects the research and clinical excellence within the division as well as cross-disciplinary research from all over UCL. First-class teaching and research supervision is provided by UCL academics, many of whom have international reputations.
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Division of Infection & Immunity
80% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
This new three-year, part-time, online postgraduate programme leads to the degree of Masters of Science in Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (CMID).
Aimed at junior doctors currently undergoing, or about to undertake, specialty training in an infection discipline, this programme is open to trainees in the UK and worldwide.
This degree will also be attractive to those who have completed their training but wish to fulfill continuing medical education requirements or those who wish obtain a formal qualification in Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.
The programme is aligned with JRCPTB and RCPath training in infection disciplines: Combined Infection Training and Higher Specialty Training in Infectious Diseases, Medical Microbiology and Medical Virology.
This programme is designed to support trainees/specialists in preparation for FRCPath Part 1/Diploma in Infection, Infection Specialty end of training assessments and hospital-based practice.
Programme participants will have access to key texts and research bases and will have direct contact with leading clinicians and clinical scientists, providing a repository of information on infection disciplines that can be accessed at any time.
Our online learning technology is fully interactive, award-winning and enables you to communicate with our highly qualified teaching staff from the comfort of your own home or workplace.
Our online students not only have access to the University of Edinburgh’s excellent resources, but also become part of a supportive online community, bringing together students and tutors from around the world.
This programme is taught entirely online. The structure of the degree is designed to meet the needs of trainees and specialist practitioners from all over the world.
Courses are offered as five week courses, each worth 10 credits. Courses in Year 1 are compulsory. Year 2 is a mix of compulsory and optional modules.
Postgraduate Professional Development (PPD)
Postgraduate Professional Development (PPD) is aimed at working professionals who want to advance their knowledge through a postgraduate-level course(s), without the time or financial commitment of a full Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate.
You may take a maximum of 50 credits worth of courses over two years through our PPD scheme. These lead to a University of Edinburgh postgraduate award of academic credit. Alternatively, after one year of taking courses you can choose to transfer your credits and continue on to studying towards a higher award on a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme. Although PPD courses have various start dates throughout a year you may only start a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme in the month of September. Any time spent studying PPD will be deducted from the amount of time you will have left to complete a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme.
Please contact the programme team for more information about available courses and course start dates.
The programme also offers the opportunity to take a Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits), either part-time over 9 months or on an intermittent basis over 2 years; or a Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits), either part-time over 21 months or on an intermittent basis over 4 years.
Please contact us before submitting an application if you are interested in applying to the Certificate or Diploma programme.
This unique programme will offer the student the knowledge and skills required to enhance their career progression in clinical or academic medicine. The programme will offer an alternative to traditional classroom based research training for those candidates who do not wish to take time away from their professional commitments.
The need to develop new strategies to combat diseases remains a major global challenge. This degree aims to enhance your employability and prepare you to tackle this challenge.
We’ll give you advanced training in the mechanisms underpinning a spectrum of infectious and non-infectious diseases, including viral, bacterial and parasitic infections, cancer, neurodegeneration, cardiovascular disease and chromosomal abnormalities. You’ll also explore current and emerging diagnostic and treatment strategies.
You’ll learn about the latest molecular, genetic and cellular approaches being used to understand, diagnose and treat human disease, including traditional methods such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and novel methods involving genome and proteome analysis.
You’ll also have the opportunity to investigate the role of the immune system in the response to infection and disease, covering topics such as innate and adaptive immunity, allergy and immune evasion.
If you choose to study at Leeds, you’ll join a faculty ranked 6th in the UK for its research impact in the recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), and you’ll graduate with the solid base of scientific knowledge and specialist skills highly valued by employers.
On this course you’ll gain an overview of a range of modern techniques and methodologies that underpin contemporary biomolecular sciences. You’ll investigate five topic areas: molecular biology, structural biology, cell imaging and flow cytometry, high throughput techniques and transgenic organisms.
You’ll also apply your knowledge to an extended practical investigation in the form of a laboratory-based project, involving practical training in a range of modern molecular biology and protein engineering techniques such as gene cloning, PCR, mutagenesis, protein expression, protein purification and analysis.
To help you to develop and specialise, you’ll get substantial subject-specific training through an independent research project in an area of infection, immunity or human disease.
You’ll also take specialist taught modules covering topics such as infectious and non-infectious disease, advanced immunology, medical diagnostics and treatment of infectious diseases and cancer.
If you have previous experience of immunology, you could opt to investigate the structure, regulation and development of the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector, or explore aspects of human toxicology. These could include the actions of toxicants on the cardiovascular, immune and nervous systems, kidneys, liver and lungs, genetic toxicology and chemical carcinogenesis, and the effects of chemicals on fetal development.
In the final part of the course you'll work on an independent laboratory-based research project related to your course options. You’ll receive extensive training in experimental design, the practical use of advanced techniques and technologies, data analysis and interpretation, and will be assigned a research project supervisor who will support and guide you through your project.
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
You’ll have access to the very best learning resources and academic support during your studies. We’ve been awarded a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF, 2017), demonstrating our commitment to delivering consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for our students.
Your learning will be heavily influenced by the University’s world-class research as well as our strong links with highly qualified professionals from industry, non-governmental organisations and charities.
You’ll experience a wide range of teaching methods including formal lectures, interactive workshops, problem-solving, practical classes and demonstrations.
Through your research project and specialist modules, you’ll receive substantial subject-specific training. Our teaching and assessment methods are designed to develop you into a scientist who is able to think independently, solve problems, communicate effectively and demonstrate a high level of practical ability.
We use a variety of assessment methods: multiple-choice testing, practical work, data handling and problem solving exercises, group work, discussion groups (face-to-face and online), computer-based simulation, essays, posters and oral presentations.
The strong research element of the Infection, Immunity and Human Disease MSc, along with the specialist and generic skills you develop, mean you’ll graduate equipped for a wide range of careers.
Our graduates work in a diverse range of areas, ranging from bioscience-related research through to scientific publication, teacher training, health and safety and pharmaceutical market research.
Links with industry
We have a proactive Industrial Advisory Board who advise us on what they look for in graduates and on employability-related skills within our programmes.
We collaborate with a wide range of organisations in the public and commercial sectors. Many of these are represented on our Industrial Advisory Board. They include:
Industrial research placements
Some of our partners offer MSc research projects in their organisations, allowing students to develop their commercial awareness and build their network of contacts.
Professional and career development
We take personal and career development very seriously. We have a proactive Industrial Advisory Board who advises us on what they look for in graduates and on employability related skills within our courses.
Our dedicated Employability and Professional Development Officer ensures that you are aware of events and opportunities to increase your employability. In addition, our Masters Career Development Programme will support you to:
Research on Infection and Immunity aims to enhance understanding of the mechanisms of host defence against infection, and translate this understanding into prevention and treatment.
The research programmes include a wide range of activities including studies of host/pathogen interactions (including work on viruses, bacteria, parasites and spongiform encephalopathy agents), the immune systems of animals and how they respond to pathogen challenge, genetic resistance to disease and epidemiology of disease. These activities are underpinned by major programmes in animals genomics and bioinformatics.
Studentships are of 3 or 4 years duration and students will be expected to complete a novel piece of research which will advance our understanding of the field. To help them in this goal, students will be assigned a principal and assistant supervisor, both of whom will be active scientists at the Institute. Student progress is monitored in accordance with School Postgraduate (PG) regulations by a PhD thesis committee (which includes an independent external assessor and chair). There is also dedicated secretarial support to assist these committees and the students with regard to University and Institute matters.
All student matters are overseen by the Schools PG studies committee. The Roslin Institute also has a local PG committee and will provide advice and support to students when requested. An active staff:student liaison committee and a social committee, which is headed by our postgraduate liaison officer, provide additional support.
Students are expected to attend a number of generic training courses offered by the Transkills Programme of the University and to participate in regular seminars and laboratory progress meetings. All students will also be expected to present their data at national and international meetings throughout their period of study.
In 2011 the Roslin Institute moved to a new state-of-the-art building on the University of Edinburgh's veterinary campus at Easter Bush. Our facilities include: rodent, bird and livestock animal units and associated lab areas; comprehensive bioinformatic and genomic capability; a range of bioimaging facilities; extensive molecular biology and cell biology labs; café and auditorium where we regularly host workshops and invited speakers.