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Global Infectious Diseases (MRes)

Birkbeck, University of London    Department of Biological Sciences

Full time & Part time October MRes 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time.

About the course

Global infectious diseases have set off alarms with serious public health emergencies from time to time. Interdisciplinary research approaches and international co-operation are vital to tackling infectious disease outbreaks, epidemics and unprecedented global pandemics like the ongoing severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) due to a novel coronavirus, along with our old foes tuberculosis (TB), cholera, malaria, Ebola, Zika, bird flu to name a few. 

Read more about this course

Entry Requirements

A second-class honours degree in a relevant science discipline.

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

 Course Content

Where is Birkbeck, University of London


All Available Videos:
[Biological Sciences] TB Research at Birkbeck [Biological Sciences] TB Research at Birkbeck 01/03/2017 10:55:15
[Biological Sciences] TB Research at Birkbeck
A Day in the Life of a Birkbeck Scientist A Day in the Life of a Birkbeck Scientist 18/06/2020 15:35:49
A Day in the Life of a Birkbeck Scientist
MRes Global Infectious Diseases MRes Global Infectious Diseases 18/06/2020 15:52:06
MRes Global Infectious Diseases

Student Profile(s)

Nicola Spence

'Intellectually it was a wonderful change from my day job, because I was working in real labs,' says Professor Spence, who at the time was a tutor of O and A level biology, zoology and botany.

'The College made a real difference to me at a time when I wasn't sure if I wanted a career in research and needed a low risk option to find out. It turned out to be the best decision I made at the start of my career.'

In her first class, Nicola remembers that she was 'amongst an interesting, diverse bunch of motivated people who all had a reason to want to be there. It felt like it was exactly the right place to be at that time. I realised I had missed learning and studying.'

'What I found most rewarding about Birkbeck was having a central London lab to work in, and being able to gain experience and qualifications in a timescale that suited my ambitions, lifestyle and budget. Thanks Birkbeck!'

Her master's degree helped Nicola prepare for her PhD in plant virology at the University of Birmingham, which she completed in 1992. In 2009 Nicola took on the role of chief scientist at the Food and Environment Research Agency, responsible for directing its strategic science aims and objectives, providing scientific guidance and leadership, and maintaining and raising science quality.

In January 2010 she became Chief Executive of Science City York, which is a central supporter of York and North Yorkshire's economic regeneration, driving the creation and growth of business and employment opportunities within bioscience, IT and digital and the creative industries.

'One challenge of trying to bring the worlds of business and academia together is that they have different drivers and motivations, so the key is to engage both sectors together with a common purpose of using ideas and innovation to solve problems of scientific interest that have applications to business.

'The advantages of doing this are that it can generate some totally new thinking and some exciting outcomes from which everyone benefits. Many academics are very entrepreneurial; they get a real buzz out of turning their ideas into profit. Others are more motivated by the highest quality of science they can achieve, which also has a useful application. All businesses and academics want talented staff and partnerships can help provide skills and recognise talent for everyone.'

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