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Masters Degrees (Molecular Immunology)

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This course combines theoretical knowledge and practical training in the immunology of infectious diseases through comprehensive teaching and research methods. Read more
This course combines theoretical knowledge and practical training in the immunology of infectious diseases through comprehensive teaching and research methods. Students will gain specialised skills in applying scientific concepts, evaluating scientific data and carrying out modern immunological techniques. Students will benefit from the unique mix of immunology, vaccinology, molecular biology, virology, bacteriology, parasitology, mycology and clinical medicine at the School.

Infectious diseases represent an increasingly important cause of human morbidity and mortality throughout the world. Vaccine development is thus of great importance in terms of global health. In parallel with this growth, there has been a dramatic increase in studies to identify the innate, humoral or cellular immunological mechanisms which confer immunity to pathogenic viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites. As a result, increasing numbers of scientists, clinicians and veterinarians wish to develop their knowledge and skills in these areas.

The flexible nature of the course allows students to focus on attaining a broader understanding of infectious disease through attending taught units. Students can also undertake an extended research project within groups led by experienced team leaders. Such projects can involve basic investigations of immune mechanisms or applied field based studies.

Graduates from this course go into research positions in academia and industry, and further training such as PhD study.

- Full programme specification (pdf) (http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/edu/qualityassurance/iid_progspec.pdf)
- Intercalating this course (http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/study/intercalate)

Visit the website http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/study/masters/msiid.html

Objectives

By the end of this course students should be able to:

- demonstrate specialist knowledge and understanding of the basic principles of host immunity to infection against the diverse range of pathogens which confront human populations

- apply this specialist knowledge to a range of practical skills and techniques, in particular modern molecular and cellular techniques for assessing immune responses to pathogens

- critically assess, select and apply appropriate research methods to investigate basic immunological mechanisms and applied issues in the immunology of infection

- critically evaluate primary scientific data and the published scientific literature

- integrate and present key immunological concepts at an advanced level, both verbally and in written form

Structure

Term 1:
There is a one-week orientation period that includes an introduction to studying at the School, sessions on key computing and study skills and an introduction to major groups of pathogens, followed by two compulsory modules:

- Immunology of Infectious Diseases
- Analysis & Design of Research Studies

Sessions on basic computing, molecular biology and statistics are run throughout the term for all students.

Terms 2 and 3:
Students take a total of five study modules, one from each timetable slot (Slot 1, Slot 2 etc.). The list below shows recommended modules. There are other modules which may be taken only after consultation with the Course Directors.

*Recommended modules

- Slot 1:
Advanced Immunology 1 (compulsory)

- Slot 2:
Advanced Immunology 2 (compulsory)

- Slot 3:
Advanced Training in Molecular Biology*
Clinical Immunology*
Extended Project*
Basic Parasitology
Clinical Infectious Diseases 3: Bacterial & Viral Diseases & Community Health in Developing Countries

- Slot 4:
Extended Project*
Immunology of Parasitic Infection: Principles*
Molecular Biology Research Progress & Applications*
Clinical Infectious Diseases 4: Parasitic Diseases & Clinical Medicine
Epidemiology & Control of Communicable Diseases
Ethics, Public Health & Human Rights
Genetic Epidemiology

- Slot 5:
AIDS*
Antimicrobial Chemotherapy*
Extended Project*
Molecular Cell Biology & Infection*
Mycology*

Further details for the course modules - http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/study/currentstudents/studentinformation/msc_module_handbook/section2_coursedescriptions/tiid.html

Residential Field Trip

Towards the end of Term 1, students get the opportunity to hear about the latest, most exciting aspects of immunological research at the British Society of Immunology Congress. The cost is included in the £500 field trip fee.

Project Report

During the summer months (July - August), students complete a research project on an immunological subject, for submission by early September. Some of these projects may take place with collaborating scientists overseas or in other colleges or institutes in the UK. Students undertaking projects overseas will require additional funding of up to £1,500 to cover costs involved.

The majority of students who undertake projects abroad receive financial support for flights from the School's trust funds set up for this purpose.

Find out how to apply here - http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/study/masters/msiid.html#sixth

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Our flexible, blended MSc Molecular Pathology course will enable you to take advantage of growing opportunities within this field, which is critically important for translational medicine, both in cancer and non-cancer diseases. Read more

Our flexible, blended MSc Molecular Pathology course will enable you to take advantage of growing opportunities within this field, which is critically important for translational medicine, both in cancer and non-cancer diseases.

The number of academic pathologists trained in molecular pathology has steadily declined over the past 20 years. As such, it has been identified as an area requiring support and development by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Royal College of Pathologists, creating careers opportunities for students and professionals alike.

Our master's course is aimed at medical students, biomedical scientists, medical practitioners and trainee pathologists who want to learn more about molecular pathology. Trainee pathologists can take our course as part of an existing training programme.

You will benefit from a unique focus on the molecular analysis of tissue samples and take optional units in various areas of laboratory medicine and emerging diagnostic methods, such as proteomics and chemical pathology.

Students will also become part of Manchester's world leading precision medicine research community, learning practical skills that will be directly applicable to this emerging field.

In addition, you will benefit from our association with the network of MRC and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council funded Molecular Pathology nodes, which have been partly established to train more scientists to work in this field. This will enable you to connect with colleagues and related opportunities across the UK.

Aims

This course aims to provide you with a wide and detailed understanding of the various aspects of molecular pathology.

Provided as part of The University of Manchester MRC/EPSRC Molecular Pathology node (Manchester Molecular Pathology Innovation Centre), we recognise the need for providing more training in molecular pathology among histopathology trainees, clinical scientists and biomedical scientists.

As such, the course addresses a wide audience, and has a broad range of both core and non-core course units to facilitate the different learning and training needs of different groups of professionals.

In addition to the taught components, which will give an in-depth understanding of molecular pathology and associated disciplines (including genomics and bioinformatics), the full MSc course will also develop your experience of and skills in scientific investigation, analytical thought and scientific criticism.

Special features

Professional input into course content

This course has been designed to take into consideration the training requirements of biomedical scientists, clinical scientists and medical histopathologists. We have consulted with local Postgraduate Deaneries and associated professional bodies including the Institute of Biomedical Scientists (IBMS) and the Royal College of Pathologists to tailor the content.

Flexible learning

The option to take the course over four years will particularly appeal to specialist trainee pathologists, who will be able to fit study around their clinical training. They can also use Year 4 to undertake the research project over three months on a full-time, salaried basis, as per RCPath regulations and Deanery funding.

Teaching and learning

Teaching is largely delivered through face-to-face, interactive sessions, consisting of some lecture material, with discussions and group work, and with a range of audio-visual stimuli including PowerPoint slides, images and videos.

All units are supported by the use of Blackboard (a virtual learning environment) on which staff post lecture slides, reading lists and other accompanying material.

Each unit on Blackboard also has its own discussion board, where you can interact with staff and other students on the course, for example, by posting and responding to questions, and making comments related to the course.

For students completing the full MSc, a significant amount of teaching and learning will take place through the dissertation research unit (60 credits or 30 credits), in which you will be expected to take a lead role in developing a research project with regular support, input, and mentorship from your project supervisor.

Coursework and assessment

Formative assessments will be given throughout the taught component of the course and will take the form of MCQs, short answer questions, verbal presentations, data and method analysis exercises.

A range of summative assessments will be employed to assess your knowledge and understanding, and the development of your intellectual and transferable skills including:

  • verbal presentations;
  • written assignments;
  • data analysis and interpretation exercises;
  • analytical method analysis;
  • evaluation and formal unseen written examinations consisting of short answer questions and essays.

The assessment methods employed by each unit will vary and will be tailored to match the material delivered and stated ILOs of that particular unit.

Your ability to gather information from a wide range of sources, evaluate and critically analyse information, make considered judgments about that information and synthesise material into logical and coherent pieces of work will all be assessed. 

Examples of the marking proformas used in the assessment of verbal and written assignments will be provided in student handbooks and on Blackboard, the University's virtual learning environment.

As per the postgraduate taught degree regulations, students exiting with a postgraduate diploma (or postgraduate certificate) may be permitted to rescind this award and upgrade to a master's (or postgraduate diploma) by successfully completing the appropriate further component of the course, providing the following conditions are met:

  • the rescinding occurs within five years of your initial registration on the original course, subject to the course still being available;
  • an overall pass at the appropriate standard to assure admission to a master's course has been obtained for the postgraduate diploma (or postgraduate certificate), including any capped or compensated grades.

Course unit details

Course content for Year 1

Core units:

  • Professional and Research Skills (S1)
  • Molecular Pathology of Cancer (S2)
  • Omics Techniques and their Application to Genomic Medicine (S2)

Optional units (max 1 per semester):

  • Introduction to Clinical Biochemistry (S1)
  • Analytical Methods (S1)
  • Bioinformatics, Interpretation, Statistics and Data Quality Assurance (S2)
  • Diseases of Major Organs (S2)

Course content for Year 2

Core units:

  • Molecular Pathology of Non-malignant Disease (S1)
  • Diagnostic Histopathology and Molecular Diagnostic Pathology (S2)

Optional units (max 1 per semester):

  • Pharmacogenomics and Stratified Healthcare (S1)
  • Immunology and Infection (S1)
  • Diseases of Major Organs (S2)
  • Health Economics (S2)


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The area of cancer immunotherapy considers how to use conventional therapies including surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Read more
The area of cancer immunotherapy considers how to use conventional therapies including surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Whilst these treatment have served well and new drugs will continue to be designed, clinical trials over the last five years have shown that boosting the body’s immune system, whose main task is to deal with invading pathogens, can help our immune system to destroy tumour cells. Many of the new immunotherapies may be tested in combination with more conventional treatments or tested alone, but investigators and oncologists now believe immunotherapy, initially combined with pharmacological treatments, will soon provide curative therapies and certainly give many patients a new lease of life.

More about this course

Worldwide the incidence of cancer is increasing, and is expected to reach 22 million new cases per year by 2030. In addition to treatments such as radiotherapy and surgery, chemotherapy has a vital role to play in prolonging the lives of patients.

The aims of the Cancer Immunotherapy MSc are to:
-Provide an in-depth understanding of the molecular targets at which the different classes of anticancer drugs are aimed, and of how drug therapies are evolving
-Review the biology of cancer with respect to genetics, pathological considerations, and the molecular changes within cells which are associated with the progression of the disease
-Enhance intellectual and practical skills necessary for the collection, analysis, interpretation and understanding of scientific data
-Deliver a programme of advanced study to equip students for a future career in anti-cancer drug and immunotherapy development
-Cover new areas in immunotherapy (some of which may enhance existing pharmacological therapies including: History of immunotherapy and review of immune system; Monoclonal antibodies in cancer therapy and prevention; DNA vaccines against cancer; Adoptive T cell therapy; Dendritic cell vaccines; Antibodies that stimulate immunity; Adjuvant development for vaccines; Epigenetics and cancer: improving immunotherapy; Immuno-chemotherapy: integration of therapies; Exosomes and Microvesicles (EMVs) in cancer therapy and diagnosis; Dendritic cell vaccine development and Pox virus cancer vaccine vectors; Microbial causes of cancer and vaccination

Students will have access to highly qualified researchers and teachers in pharmacology and immunology, including those at the Cellular and Molecular Immunology Research Centre. Skills gained from research projects are therefore likely to be highly marketable in industry, academia and in the NHS. Students will be encouraged to join the British Society of Immunology and the International Society of Extracellular Vesicles.

Assessment is a combination of coursework, which includes tests and essays, the research project and its oral defence and examination.

Modular structure

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2016/17 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 modules include:
-Advanced Immunology (core, 20 credits)
-Cancer Immunotherapy (core, 20 credits)
-Cancer Pharmacology (core, 20 credits)
-Cancer: Diagnosis and Therapy (core, 20 credits)
-Molecular Oncology (core, 20 credits)
-Research Project (core, 60 credits)
-Scientific Frameworks for Research (core, 20 credits)

After the course

Students will have many opportunities to work in industry. There are established industries working hard to develop cancer immunotherapies including Bristol-Myers Squibbs, MERCK, AstraZeneca and Roche. There are also an innumerate number of start-up companies appearing including Omnis Pharma, UNUM Therapeutics and Alpine Immune Sciences.

Students will also have ample opportunity for future postgraduate study either within the School of Human Sciences and the Cellular and Molecular Immunology Centre at the MPhil/PhD level or beyond, even with some of our research partners within the UK, Europe and beyond.

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Biophysics provides structural and mechanistic insights into the biological world and uses this knowledge to create solutions for major global problems, such as food production, climate change, environmental damage and drug production. Read more
Biophysics provides structural and mechanistic insights into the biological world and uses this knowledge to create solutions for major global problems, such as food production, climate change, environmental damage and drug production. It spans the distance between the vast complexity of biological systems and the relative simplicity of the physical laws that govern the universe.

Our Biophysics and Molecular Life Sciences MSc provides interdisciplinary training by bringing together concepts from chemistry, physics and the life sciences. It is taught by staff actively pursuing research in these areas and from members of BrisSynBio, a flagship centre for synthetic biology research in the UK.

The programme gives you an opportunity to gain knowledge and practical experience by studying molecular interactions and mechanisms at the level of the cell to the single molecule. Topics for study include molecular structure determination, dynamic molecular mechanisms, molecular simulation, molecular design and single-molecule technologies. You can also choose an additional unit that reflects your personal interests, allowing you to broaden your knowledge of biomedical subjects whilst focusing on biophysics. You will also learn about the commercialisation of research outcomes, including intellectual property, setting up a business, getting investment, marketing and legal issues.

Graduates from this programme will be well-prepared for a PhD programme in biophysics or related fields. Additionally, the numerical, problem-solving, research and communication skills gained on this programme are highly desired by employers in a variety of industries.

Robust evidence is the cornerstone of science and on this programme you will gain research experience in laboratories equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, including atomic force and electron microscopy, biological and chemical NMR, x-ray crystallography and mass spectrometry.

Your learning will be supported throughout the programme in regular, small-group tutorials.

Programme structure

Core units
Biophysics and Molecular Life Sciences I
-The unit begins with a short series of lectures that introduce the general area of molecular life sciences for the non-specialist. The remaining lectures cover a variety of molecular spectroscopies, molecular structure determination, an introduction to systems approaches using proteomics, and the mechanistic characterisation of biomolecules using a variety of biophysical techniques.

Biophysics and Molecular Life Sciences II
-The unit describes highly specialised techniques at the interface of physics, chemistry and the life sciences. This includes techniques for studying biomolecules at the level of a single-molecule, synthetic biology, bioinformatics and molecular simulations.

Core Skills
-A series of practical classes, lecture-based teaching sessions, and tutorials that prepare you for the practical project, provide a foundation for further studies and develop a range of transferable skills.

Literary Project
-An extended essay on a subject chosen from an extensive list covering the topics described above. You work independently under the guidance of a member of staff.

Project Proposal and Research Project
-You work independently under the guidance of a member of staff to produce a written project proposal. This is followed by a 12-week research project investigating your chosen topic. The research project forms the basis for a dissertation.

Lecture-based option
You will study one lecture-based unit from:
-Cancer Biology
-Cardiovascular Research
-The Dynamic Cell
-Infection, Immunology and Immunity
-Neuroscience
-Pharmacology

Careers

Typically, biophysics careers are laboratory-based, conducting original research within academia, a government agency or private industry, although the transferable skills gained on the course are ideal for many other careers outside of science, including business and finance.

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This M.Sc. in Immunology includes study of immunological processes and mechanism, how they contribute to disease and how they might be manipulated therapeutically. Read more
This M.Sc. in Immunology includes study of immunological processes and mechanism, how they contribute to disease and how they might be manipulated therapeutically. By focusing on the molecules, cells, organs and genes of the immune system, their interaction and how they are activated and regulated, students will develop a deep understanding of the pathological processes underpinning immune mediated disease and how they might be controlled. From a practical perspective the course involves in-depth instruction in modern methodologies used in immunology/biomedical research, including the fundamentals of molecular and cellular biology. Students will also be trained in experimental design, data handling and basic research skills. The masters course aims to provide students with a well-balanced and integrated theoretical and practical knowledge of Immunology, and to highlight the progress and intellectual challenges in this discipline. The following modules are mandatory, and make up the taught component of the course: Basic Immunology; Immunological Technologies; Communicating Science/Critical Analysis: How to read and evaluate scientific literature; Computational and Comparative Immunology; Genes and Immunity; Pathogen Detection and Evasion; Clinical Immunology: Immuno-technologies and diagnostics tests; Parasite Immunology; Tumour Immunology; Global Infectious Diseases; Immuno-therapeutics and product development. In addition, students will be required to submit a dissertation based on a research project conducted in one of the Immunology groups located within or affiliated to The School of Biochemistry and Immunology.

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Molecular medicine is transforming the way we understand and treat human diseases, from cancers to neurodegenerative disorders. Read more
Molecular medicine is transforming the way we understand and treat human diseases, from cancers to neurodegenerative disorders. Combining contemporary medical studies with biochemistry and molecular biology, this rapidly advancing area creates a bridge between the subjects, and draws on other fields such as physics, chemistry, biology and medicine.

This course examines how normal cellular processes are affected by disease. You gain an understanding of the core foundations of molecular medicine, studying the topics most relevant to the real world, and how this science may be used in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases.

You learn about and appraise the approaches that can be used to address global health problems, including cancer as well as genetic and infectious diseases. The foundations that support investigations of molecular disease mechanisms and the search for new diagnostic tools and treatments will be laid, as you explore topics including:
-Gene and protein technology.
-Synthetic biology
-Bioinformatics
-Genomics

This course has a very high proportion of practical and bioinformatic work that provides valuable experience for your career. This includes our optional module Creating and Growing a New Business Venture, which challenges you to think creatively and increases your value to organisations, including small enterprises, which are a growing part of the biopharmaceutical sector.

Your research project is a major component of your course, in which you perform novel laboratory and/or bioinformatic research in one of our academic laboratories or (subject to approval) carry out research in an industrial or hospital setting.

Two-thirds of our research is rated “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” (REF 2014), and you learn from and work alongside our expert staff.

Our expert staff

As one of the largest schools at our University, we offer a lively, friendly and supportive environment with research-led study and high quality teaching. You benefit from our academics’ wide range of expertise and research on important national and international problems using cutting-edge techniques.

The University of Essex has a Women's Network to support female staff and students and was awarded the Athena SWAN Institutional Bronze Award in November 2013 in recognition of its continuing work to support women in STEM.

Specialist facilities

Recent investment has provided modern facilities for functional genomics, computational biology and imaging biological systems. On our course you have the opportunity to:
-Work in an open and friendly department, with shared staff-student social spaces
-Conduct your research alongside academics and PhD students in shared labs
-Learn to use state-of-the-art research facilities, from protein purification, to cell culture and imaging, to molecular modelling

Your future

Contribute to a growing industry and gain the skills and knowledge to pursue a career in biomedical research and industry, or continue your studies further in postgraduate science and medical degrees.

Advances in molecular medicine will continue to drive growth of new services and products in health care, biomedical and pharmaceutical organisations and companies, and our graduates are well placed to take advantage of employment opportunities in the life science, biotech and pharmaceutical industries and hospitals.

Many of our Masters students progress to study for their PhD, and we offer numerous studentships to support our students in their studies.

We work with our university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Example structure

-Research Project: MSc Molecular Medicine
-Protein Technologies
-Gene Technology and Synthetic Biology
-Professional Skills and the Business of Molecular Medicine
-Molecular Medicine and Biotechnology
-Genomics
-Advanced Medical Microbiology (optional)
-Human Molecular Genetics (optional)
-Cancer Biology (optional)
-Creating and Growing a New Business Venture (optional)
-Rational Drug Design (optional)
-Molecular and Developmental Immunology (optional)
-Cell Signalling (optional)
-Mechanisms of Neurological Disease (optional)

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The MSc in Molecular Medicine gives you the opportunity to develop as a scientist or scientifically-literate clinician through an advanced understanding of the molecular basis of many diseases and their treatments. Read more

The MSc in Molecular Medicine gives you the opportunity to develop as a scientist or scientifically-literate clinician through an advanced understanding of the molecular basis of many diseases and their treatments.

You’ll study how to apply molecular approaches to the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of a range of cancers, chronic, autoimmune and genetic diseases. You’ll also carry out a research project in one of these areas within a research group at the forefront of the field. Project supervision is assured by outstanding academics and clinicians working on cutting-edge research.

This flexible programme allows you to develop core scientific skills and follow your professional interests with a choice of optional modules. You'll be part of a world-renowned School and will be taught by internationally recognised scholars.

The MSc programme comprises 180 credits. You may choose to exit the programme at an earlier stage, with either a PG Certificate (60 credits) or a PG Diploma (120 credits).

Course content

You’ll build core scientific skills through four compulsory modules studied over two terms. Alongside these, your optional modules (two each term) allow you to tailor your study to your interests. Modules typically last 11 weeks.

Throughout the programme you will:

  • gain an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the principles, application and potential of molecular medicine
  • learn techniques in the field of molecular biology, immunology, cell biology and chemistry
  • develop the ability to carry out molecular, biological and bioinformatics research for investigation of human diseases
  • be able to engage in research projects using the latest technologies that generate results with scientific impact and the potential for improving patient health
  • learn to critically evaluate current issues in molecular medicine, translate research findings into clinical applications, and recognise commercial opportunities.

Research project

You’ll spend approximately half of the programme on your individual research project, which usually runs from April to August. The research project allows you to work as part of a research team in a cutting edge discipline.

You will have a wide choice of research opportunities in Applied Health Research, Cancer and Pathology, Cardiovascular, Genes and Development and Musculoskeletal Research. You select your project from a range of research projects offered to MSc Molecular Medicine students.

The research project is based in one of the research laboratories at the St James’s University Hospital campus.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

  • Research Informatics and Dissemination 15 credits
  • Preparing for the Research Project 15 credits
  • Research Project 75 credits
  • Research Methods 15 credits

Optional modules

  • Introduction to Genetic Epidemiology 15 credits
  • Human Molecular Genetics 15 credits
  • Immunity and Disease 15 credits
  • Animal Models of Disease 15 credits
  • Stem Cell Biology: A Genomics and Systems Biology Approach to Haematopoiesis 15 credits
  • Cancer Biology and Molecular Oncology 15 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Molecular Medicine MSc in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

The taught components of the programme provide a perfect knowledge background and research training to get the best out of your research project.

You’ll be taught by active scientists and clinicians who are world-leading in their research fields, through lectures, workshops, laboratory practicals, seminars and tutorials. All our students judged the programme as “intellectually stimulating” in 2014 student survey.

Teaching is mainly at St James's University Hospital, a busy research facility with research laboratories and a teaching laboratory, computer cluster, library and meeting rooms. You can easily get to and from the University campus with the free NHS shuttlebus.

We encourage you to participate in the School of Medicine Institutes’ activities, such as the invited speaker seminar series. You also have access to all the wider University of Leeds facilities.

Assessment

A major objective of the programme is to train you to formulate your own ideas and express them logically, and this will be tested in every module assessment.

A typical module will be assessed by two assignments. Assessments include written assignments, as well as delivering presentations and posters, and leading discussions.

The MSc programme comprises 180 credits. You may choose to exit the programme at an earlier stage, with either a PG Certificate (60 credits) or a PG Diploma (120 credits).

Career opportunities

This exciting programme provides excellent training for:

  • science graduates looking for an opportunity to go on to do doctoral research, enter academic medicine or pursue a career in industry, clinical service




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Molecular Pathology (MP) is a rapidly growing discipline in 21st century medicine. It integrates genomics and bioinformatics with modern pathology to underpin molecular diagnostics, theranostics as well as clinical trials delivery within the academic, health services and industry sectors in an era of precision medicine. Read more
Molecular Pathology (MP) is a rapidly growing discipline in 21st century medicine. It integrates genomics and bioinformatics with modern pathology to underpin molecular diagnostics, theranostics as well as clinical trials delivery within the academic, health services and industry sectors in an era of precision medicine.

This MSc is an exciting, innovative blended learning programme aimed to enhance the participant’s theoretical knowledge and practical skills in MP and to empower them to pursue a career in academia, healthcare or industry. The course has a strong focus on innovation and entrepreneurship; emphasising MP’s central role in molecular diagnostics, clinical trials and biotech/biopharma.

This Masters programme has been developed with a number of options in order to provide maximum flexibility of training. Candidates can take the Certificate/Diploma/MSc in Molecular Pathology of Cancer which will provide a solid foundation for those wishing to study MP at PhD level. The full-time MSc is also available as an intercalated degree for Medical and Dental students. Additionally, the three modules which are offered by Distance Learning are available as a ‘stand-alone’ Certificate in Pathology Informatics and Business Application.



Semester 1

All candidates will undertake traditional ‘face to face’ teaching for the three modules in Semester 1. This will be timetabled teaching. Some of the teaching sessions within the modules also form aspects of formal teaching for other PG programmes, providing the students with the opportunity to interact with other Masters students from different disciplines, which we feel enhances the student experience. Collectively, the modules would be sufficient for a Certificate in Molecular Pathology

(1) Cancer Biology, Immunology and Genomics (15 CATs)

(2) Molecular Pathology – Diagnostics and Technologies (25 CATs)

(3) Translational Research (20 CATs)



Semester 2

Candidates will complete three modules which will be available ‘online’ as distance learning modules. Successful completion of Semester 1 modules plus Semester 2 modules without the research dissertation would be sufficient for a Diploma in Molecular Pathology. Collectively, the modules in Semester 2 without the Semester 1 modules would be sufficient for a Certificate in Pathology Informatics and Business Application.

(1) Digital Molecular Pathology (20 CATs)

(2) Biostatistics and Bioinformatics (20 CATs)

(3) Academia/Industry Interface (20 CATs)



Research component

Students will be able to plan their research project and work on their literature review during semester 1; beginning the practical work for their research project in Semester 2. Research projects will be available across a variety of subjects. Potential project areas for the MSc will include – Molecular Neuropathology; Cancer Immunology; Liquid Biopsies; Digital Pathology; Biobanking; Molecular Diagnostics; Bioinformatics. A number of projects will be put forward from the network of CRUK Accelerator Partners for those students with CRUK Accelerator bursaries who may wish to undertake their research as a placement at one of the partner sites.

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This programme aims to provide participants with an in-depth understanding of the emerging field of molecular medicine, which draws together developments in molecular and cellular biology to describe disease processes at a functional level - that is, at the level of molecular interactions. Read more
This programme aims to provide participants with an in-depth understanding of the emerging field of molecular medicine, which draws together developments in molecular and cellular biology to describe disease processes at a functional level - that is, at the level of molecular interactions. The Diploma in Molecular Medicine is designed to make available a high quality course to those individuals who cannot avail of a full-time programme, due to the high demands it makes on a candidate's time. The diploma may therefore be an attractive option for, among others, people working in business, clinical industry, or other disciplines, who wish to gain a comprehensive knowledge in this area with a view to progressing professionally, or going on to do a higher degree.

This programme offers a comprehensive and thoroughly up-to-date overview of the area, which provides participants with the skills necessary to critically evaluate the literature and understand the central concepts of molecular medicine, such as the molecular basis of human disease and its implications for the practice of clinical medicine and research in the life sciences. The course includes lectures on cellular biology and molecular genetics as they apply generally to normal cell and tissue function and to disease processes. Advanced modules cover topics such as molecular oncology, signalling, development and therapeutics, immunology and infectious agents among others. A selection of modules on issues such as bioinformatics, research methodology, statistics and ethicallegal aspects of the discipline may be undertaken on an optional basis.

Students choose a minimum of 10 units totalling a minimum of one hundred contact hours teaching. Students are also required to complete a written review of a relevant part of the literature. Students are examined on the basis of the submitted critical literature review essay, and written examinations of the modules taken. Examinations are undertaken at the end of each term.

Candidates should normally have a minimum of a 2.1 honors degree or equivalent in a biological science; a clinical science such as medicine, dentistry or veterinary; a pharmaceutical science such as pharmacy, or related area. However individuals with other appropriate or industrial experience (for example those working in the life sciences sector) will also be considered. The candidate may be interviewed to establish his/her suitability for the course.

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Your programme of study. Immunology is linked to our ability to remain healthy and free of disease - fighting off infections and disease and understanding our genetic factors and risk factors in inheriting disease. Read more

Your programme of study

Immunology is linked to our ability to remain healthy and free of disease - fighting off infections and disease and understanding our genetic factors and risk factors in inheriting disease. You look at behavioural factors and their links to disease to understand protection methods and you go into the detail of bioinformatics and genomics to understand DNA and analyse within practical research when you test for specific issues such as stress, hunger and so on and responses in the body.

The programme is designed for you to develop your academic knowledge of immunology and its relevance to disease with analysis and research skills designed to enhance your career prospects, or continue to PhD. You can use your training within educational establishments to apply training, work in patents, science outreach and public engagement.

Focusing on the relevance of the immune response in the maintenance of health and development of disease, graduates will be able to attain the intellectual and practical skills needed to address both theoretical and technical aspects of modern biomedical research.

In common with the other molecular biosciences Masters courses, the MSc in Immunology & Immunotherapy builds on recent advances in genomics to understand the generation of immunological diversity at a cellular level, how this imparts variability in immune responses at the individual and population level and the relevance of the immune system in disease areas such as autoimmunity, cancer, allergy and microbial infections.

You may also be interested in the Scottish Innovation Centres research and enterprise work with companies in Scotland to find out more about the possibilities in this area of health science and spin-out research going on from Aberdeen and other universities:

Courses listed for the programme

Semester 1

  • Basic Skills Induction
  • Generic Skills
  • Current Topics in Immunology
  • Introductory Immunology
  • Applied Statistics

Semester 2

  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Genome - Enabled Medicines
  • Research Tutorials
  • Immunogenetics

Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page

Why study at Aberdeen?

  • You will be taught by world leading researchers in immunology and bioscience with practical training in Flow Cytometry analysis
  • You study at one of the largest health campuses in Europe with a teaching hospital, Medical School, and Institute of Medical Sciences plus Rowett Institute on one campus
  • The university ranked 9th in the world and 5th in Europe for international research collaboration (Leiden 2015)

Where you study

  • University of Aberdeen
  • Full Time or Part Time
  • 12 Months Full Time or 24 Months Part Time
  • September start

International Student Fees 2017/2018

Find out about fees:

*Please be advised that some programmes have different tuition fees from those listed above and that some programmes also have additional costs.

Scholarships

View all funding options on our funding database via the programme page

Living in Aberdeen

Find out more about:

  • Your Accommodation
  • Campus Facilities
  • Aberdeen City
  • Student Support
  • Clubs and Societies

Find out more about living in Aberdeen and living costs



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The programme aims to provide students with training and learning opportunities in the skills and specialised knowledge needed to equip them for a career in biotechnology, molecular biotechnology or molecular biology, in particular in industry. Read more
The programme aims to provide students with training and learning opportunities in the skills and specialised knowledge needed to equip them for a career in biotechnology, molecular biotechnology or molecular biology, in particular in industry.

Practical skills will include sessions on fermentation, molecular biology, immunology, cell biology and protein chemistry, and you will go on to complete a major, supervised laboratory or computer-based research project.

Transferable skills gained via this programme will include written and oral presentation skills, statistics, and the ability to plan and write a grant application or a business plan. Subject-specific skills will include key techniques used in molecular biotechnology, specialist knowledge in theoretical and practical aspects of the subject, including: process engineering, molecular biology, functional genomics, 'omics' technologies, protein expression systems and antibody engineering. Practical skills will include fermentation, molecular biology, immunology, cell biology and protein chemistry.

Careers

While many graduates will go on to employment in biotechnology companies, you will also be employable in other life sciences industries or able to go on to further study and research.

About the School of Biosciences

As one of the top biosciences departments in the UK, our research covers the entire spectrum of cutting-edge biosciences. We are home to the Institute of Microbiology and Infection and part of the University’s Systems Science for Health initiative.
Our research focuses on a number of important themes that run through modern biological and biochemical research: Biosystems and Environmental Change; Microbiology and Infection; Molecules, Cells, Signalling and Health; and Plant Science.
Our postgraduate students join a diverse international community of staff and students. For students on research degrees, the annual Biosciences Graduate Research Symposium, organised by PhD students, is an example of an event where the whole School comes together to talk about science.
We have extensive high-technology facilities in areas such as functional genomics, proteomics and metabolomics, including a world-class Advanced Mass Spectrometry Facility. Our cutting-edge facilities extend to protein structure determination and analysis, confocal microscopy, drug discovery, horticulture, structural biology and optical imaging. The £8 million Phenome Centre Birmingham is a large metabolic phenotyping facility led by internationally recognised metabolomics and clinical experts at the University of Birmingham, in collaboration with Birmingham Health Partners.

Funding and Scholarships

There are many ways to finance your postgraduate study at the University of Birmingham. To see what funding and scholarships are available, please visit: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/funding

Open Days

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at our on-campus open days.
Register to attend at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/visit

Virtual Open Days

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: http://www.pg.bham.ac.uk

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Medical Molecular Biology is the application of modern molecular biology and genetics in medical research, medical sciences and the clinic has led to huge advances in the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of human disease. Read more
Medical Molecular Biology is the application of modern molecular biology and genetics in medical research, medical sciences and the clinic has led to huge advances in the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of human disease. Students choosing to study the Medical Molecular Biology with Genetics program will enjoy a modular, but highly integrated course that delivers the theoretical knowledge and extensive practical laboratory experience required for progress on to PhD studies in medical molecular research and/or employment in molecular diagnostics or medical sciences industries.

Successful graduates will also have attained transferable skills required to independently adapt and optimize scientific methodologies, critically interpret and evaluate self-generated and published scientific literature and data and undertake a predominantly self-reliant approach to laboratory based work, study and research.

Modules:

Research Skills
Medical Biotechnology
Human Molecular Genetics
Human Immunology & Disease
Laboratory Molecular Research
Stem Cells, Disease & Therapy
Applied Anatomy & Histopathology
Research projects are run in the Robert Edwards laboratory and the laboratories of the North West Cancer Research Institute.

Semester 3 consists of a 60-credit laboratory based research project and dissertation.

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The contribution of inflammation and immune dysfunction to a wide range of diseases, from arthritis to cancer to obesity is becoming increasingly clear. Read more

The contribution of inflammation and immune dysfunction to a wide range of diseases, from arthritis to cancer to obesity is becoming increasingly clear. The MSc in Immunology and Inflammatory Disease integrates basic, translational and clinical immunology and inflammation biology with cutting edge molecular and cellular techniques to equip students with both a working knowledge of inflammatory disease together with state of the art research approaches used to study the area.

Why this programme

  • You will receive training in the disciplines of immunology and inflammation within an internationally recognised centre of excellence.
  • You will have opportunities to work together with scientists, clinicians and pharmaceutical industry scientists on research and drug discovery to drive improvements in patient care in areas of critical international importance.
  • You will attend the UK Congress of Immunology.
  • The University of Glasgow is home the GLAZgo Discovery Unit, a unique facility established between the Respiratory, Inflammation, Autoimmunity Medicines Unit at AstraZeneca and the Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation to identify new pathways by which inflammation can promote diseases and ultimately create better medicines for patients.
  • The University of Glasgow is home to an Arthritis Research UK (ARUK) Experimental Arthritis Treatment Centre to recruit local patients to test new and existing drugs and to find new approaches that can predict which treatment works best in Rheumatoid Arthritis.
  • The University of Glasgow is home to the ARUK Rheumatoid Arthritis Pathogenesis Centre of Excellence (in collaboration with Birmingham and Newcastle Universities), which aims to find out more about the causes of rheumatoid arthritis. 

Programme structure

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 of one core taught course over 3-4 months.

4 core courses

  • Immunology: Basic, Translational and Clinical
  • Omic Technologies for the Biomedical Sciences: From Genomics to Metabolomics
  • Designing a Research Project: Biomedical Research Methodology
  • Research project or dissertation

5 optional courses (choose 2)

  • Drug Discovery
  • Diagnostic Technologies and Devices
  • Viruses and Cancer
  • Current Trends and Challenges in Biomedical Research and Health
  • Technology Transfer and Commercialisation of Bioscience Research

The course will include registration and attendance at the British Society for Immunology Annual Congress. This will enable

  • exposure to the best international immunological research.
  • networking with prospective employers in academia and the pharmaceutical industry.
  • excellent opportunities to engage with industrial and clinical scientists, with guest lecturers from the pharmaceutical industry, medical diagnostic laboratories and bioscience business.

Career prospects

The programme provides an ideal grounding for progression to further research studies in immunology, inflammation and infectious diseases, or for a career in pharmaceutical/bioscience industries. Our graduates have gone on to take up careers/routes in

  • PhD study
  • pharmaceutical industry research and development
  • research technologist
  • graduate research assistant 
  • healthcare scientist
  • scientific publishing
  • scientific management.


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The MSc course in Microbiology and Immunology was set up to enhance the training of scientists studying the interactions between microbes and the immune system, and for those students wishing to enter a research career and gain high level skills in Microbiology and Immunology. Read more
The MSc course in Microbiology and Immunology was set up to enhance the training of scientists studying the interactions between microbes and the immune system, and for those students wishing to enter a research career and gain high level skills in Microbiology and Immunology.

The course aims to provide training in theoretical and practical aspects of microbiology and immunology, with particular emphasis on molecular biological techniques and the interactions at the interface between microbes and the immune system. Students will gain basic and advanced knowledge of important viral, bacterial and parasitic infections. Alongside this, students will acquire an understanding and knowledge of the immune system and how it detects and responds to pathogens.

Students who have completed the course will acquire relevant transferable skills such as data management, interpretation and presentation, time management and organisation, and effective verbal and written communication skills. In addition, the students' ability for analytical and creative thinking will also be improved whilst undertaking the course.

The MSc will consist of seven taught modules and a laboratory-based project. Successful completion of the course will necessitate accumulation of 180 credits, 120 of which will derive from the taught modules and 60 from the research project. All of the modules are compulsory. There is an additional non-credit bearing module to provide the students with factfinding networking opportunities with each other and the staff alongside navigation of teaching facilities.

Autumn Semester:

Microbiology and Immunology General Sessions
Introduction to Medical Microbiology
Research Methods in Immunology and Microbiology
Viral Pathogenesis and Infections

Spring Semester:

Bacterial Pathogenesis and Infection
Immunity and the Immune System
Therapeutic Immunology
Innate Immune Recognition
Research Project

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Our Immunology MSc will enable you to gain an understanding of the structure and functioning of the immune system at the cell, molecular and genetic level, and how it relates to health and disease. Read more

Our Immunology MSc will enable you to gain an understanding of the structure and functioning of the immune system at the cell, molecular and genetic level, and how it relates to health and disease. We will give you the vital skills needed to pursue doctoral-level research or to enhance your career prospects in other medicine or related industry.

Key benefits

  • Includes a six-month research-based laboratory project.
  • Attendance at national residential immunology conference included.
  • Draws on expertise of a large team of lecturers from King’s, from the University of London colleges and from further afield. 

Description

Our Immunology MSc will enable you to develop a detailed understanding of the structure and functioning of the immune system at the cell, molecular and genetic level and its relation to health and disease. This course has many distinctive features, such as our emphasis on group study and problem-directed learning. There is also a strong focus on developing the core skills you will need for further career progression, such as the ability to understand and interpret research data, presentational skills and experimental design skills.

This course is ideal if you are a scientist from either a clinical or non-clinical background, and you want to improve your employment prospects by extending your expertise in the field of modern immunology, or if you want to acquire relevant research training for a PhD. 

Course format and assessment

Teaching

For most of your modules we will give you approximately 30 hours of teaching through a mixture of lectures, tutorials and presentations. We will expect you to undertake 270 hours of self-directed learning for each module.

For your Research Project module, you will have contact with a research project supervisor, and we will expect you undertake 600 hours of work, which includes time spent in the laboratory.

Assessment

You will be assessed through a combination of coursework and exams for most of your modules, but the Research Skills module is assessed entirely through coursework, and your Research Project will be assessed through a dissertation.

The study time and assessment methods detailed above are typical and give you a good indication of what to expect. However, they are subject to change. 

Career prospects

Many of our MSc Immunology graduates go on to positions in either a university or research institute as PhD students or graduate research assistants. Others have gone into careers in hospital laboratories as clinical scientists or positions in the pharmaceutical industry.



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