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Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (Online Distance Learning) - MSc


Course Description

Programme description

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.

Online learning

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.

Programme structure

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.

Year 1:

  • Introduction to Immunology
  • Science and biology of bacteria
  • Science and biology of viruses
  • Science and biology fungi, parasites and prions
  • Laboratory practise in microbiology, virology and serology
  • Anti-infective therapy and resistance

Year 2:

  • Immunopathology
  • Molecular diagnostics of infection
  • Community acquired infections and public health
  • Infection prevention & control
  • HIV infection and other immune-compromised patients
  • Clinical syndromes and infection
  • The returning traveller: Diagnosis, investigation and management of imported infection
  • Bioinformatics and study design in infectious diseases
  • Emerging Infectious Diseases

Year 3:

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.

Flexible study

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.

Career opportunities

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.


Visit the Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (Online Distance Learning) - MSc page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a biomedical, medical, public health or relevant bio-science topic.

We may also consider your application if you have relevant work experience; please contact us to check before you apply. You may be admitted to certificate level only in the first instance.

All applicants must also meet our English language requirements.

Last Updated

31 July 2017

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