Our Microbiome in Health & Disease MSc provides students with a unique background in all aspects of both analysis of microbiome and determining the role of microbiome in pathology with experience in both computational and experimental techniques.
Designed and delivered by the newly established Centre for Host-Microbiome Interactions (CHMI) at King’s, the course brings together teaching on a varied course incorporating systems biology and bioinformatics with molecular biology, microbiology, immunology and physiology.
In the post-human genome project world, our health is dependent on more than our genes. High throughput sequencing reveals the amazing complexity and extent of the microbial communities that reside within or upon us. We are also beginning to understand just how dynamic the interactions between the host and members of communities are. Interactions are diverse, and variations observed between individuals depend on a multitude of microbial and host factors, including diet and inflammatory status. More importantly, it is becoming clear that different disease states are linked to significant changes in the make-up of these communities. Scientists who understand the computational analysis of the huge data sets for microbial communities, and who are also able to interpret findings in the context of human and microbial health, will be in demand across this emerging field in academia and in industry.
The MSc Microbiome in Health & Disease will provide you with a deep understanding of microbial communities and their diversity, and the impact of these communities on host health and disease. You will be exposed to the concepts and techniques involved in profiling and analysing large omics data sets associated with characterising and investigating microbial communities.
You will learn to analyse omics data sets, such as genome, transcriptome, metabolome and metagenome data, and how to integrate these data to develop a holistic understanding of the interactions between host and microbial communities in both health and disease states.
You will also learn how these skills apply in industry and have the opportunity to undertake research in collaboration with industrial partners. You will study the intersection between microbiome and engineering and learn how to identify and develop innovative products in different microbiome fields, applying learning from computational, multiomics analysis and basic biology, through advanced synthetic biology tools, and integrative analysis and modelling, to design new engineered therapeutic microbial communities and optimize their effectiveness in clinical, agricultural and environmental challenges.
You will also undertake a 10,000 word supervised dissertation on a subject within the field of microbiome in health and disease.
The course aims to develop students' knowledge of the microbial communities that reside within or upon us, and how they impact our health and disease processes.
It is designed for students who wish to improve their background knowledge and skills prior to applying for a PhD studentship, and also for students who wish to enhance their knowledge and skill set for analysing and interpreting the large, multiple omics data sets that are involved in microbiome research.
The MSc Microbiome in Health & Disease consists of 4 taught modules (two covering microbiology, microbial diversity and host-microbiome interactions, and two covering computational analysis of microbiome, and systems and synthetic biology), followed by a lab-based research project. The taught component will run from September until January, with the research component running from February until August.
Teaching comprises conventional lectures, tutorials and computational workshops, supported by example sessions, project work and independent learning via reading material and online courses. During the computational modules, you will be provided with data sets to analyse for written and oral projects.
After completing the taught component, you will undertake a lab-based research project for which you will provide a proposal and subsequent dissertation and presentation under the guidance of a supervisor.
The typical hours you will spend as you progress through your studies are as follows:
Lectures, seminars & feedback: 214 hours
Self-study: 1586 hours
Contact time is based on 24 academic weeks and self-study time is based on 31 academic weeks.
Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.
You may typically expect assessment by a combination of coursework (76%) and examinations (24%).
The study time and assessment methods detailed above are typical and give you a good indication of what to expect. However, they may change if the course modules change.
Why are microbes the most important group of organisms on our planet? How is knowledge of microbiology applied in medicine and industry, or in food production? What research techniques are used to study viruses, bacteria and other microbes? These are important questions, and you can find answers to these and many others in the study of Microbiology and microbial biotechnology.
Upon completing your degree, you will:
Further information about the studies on the Master's programme website.
The key contents of the study programme in Microbiology and microbial biotechnology are:
Unique in New Zealand
The breadth and depth of Massey University’s postgraduate microbiology programme is unique in New Zealand.
Find out more about the Master of Science parent structure.
The Massey University Master of Science (Microbiology) is a multi-disciplinary postgraduate qualification that will give you the research skills to move up the hierarchy of your career, or move onto more in-depth research.
You will learn from world-leading specialists in microbiology and related areas like biochemistry, genetics, biotechnology, food science, plant pathology, immunology and epidemiology.
At Massey we use a diverse range of molecular, cellular, plant and animal model tools to investigate the molecular biology of diseases. We also use metagenomics and other advanced genomic technologies to study microbial communities in the environment, including those that may be health threat if found in food or medical environments.
Our biomedical interests are diverse. We research the mechanisms of neurological, skeletal and muscular disorders, infectious microbial diseases and cancer.
Facilities available to you include our microscopy and imaging centre, genomics and dna sequencing facility, protein analysis suite (mass spectroscopy, x-ray crystallography, nmr), bioreactors and fermentation facilities.
Microbiology is an essential science that helps us understand the microbes in the environment, including those that dwell in the soil, air and water, in our food and inside people, animals and plants.
Understanding microbiology can:
You will gain the advantage of learning in a multi-disciplinary environment. Massey has world-leading expertise in many areas of science, especially veterinary, animal, health and environmental science. You can take advantage of this for your learning and research to look at microbiological sub-disciplines, such as environment/ecology, food and biotechnology.
During your study you will gain a contemporary, relevant view of microbiology which is in line with topical research and developments in the area. You will be exposed to the latest discoveries and research.
There is a well-established community of fundamental scientists and students involved in a broad range of microbiological and microbiology-inspired research at Massey. We work together to share discoveries and research and provide peer support.
Postgraduate study is hard work but hugely rewarding and empowering. The workload of the Master of Science (Microbiology) replicates the high-pressure environment of senior workplace roles.
Postgraduate study is not just ‘more of the same’ as undergraduate study. Our experts are there to guide but if you have come from undergraduate study, you will find that postgraduate study demands more in-depth and independent study. It takes you to a new level in knowledge and expertise especially in planning and undertaking research.
This MRes Molecular Microbiology course will provide you with a strong grounding in microbial genetics and molecular biology, through the exploration of microbial structure, physiology, and behaviour at the molecular level. The course includes optional modules for you to select depending upon your aspirations and interests.
The MRes courses are divided into a taught element (60 credit points) and a laboratory-based research project (120 credit points). You will complete the extended research project in one of our highly rated research teams.
This exciting MSc Molecular Microbiology course is designed to provide you with a multidisciplinary approach to the study of the molecular biology of micro-organisms. You'll study the key concepts associated with molecular microbiology and use these when considering their role in health, disease and in the natural environment.
Practical work forms a large proportion of your learning to ensure that you have extensive skills for employment or research and there is an emphasis on developing knowledge and understanding such that you acquire the skills, qualities and attributes expected by employers or for postgraduate research.
The MSc is divided into 60 credit point taught modules and the research project is worth 60 credit points.
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