These courses provide a broad understanding of infectious diseases through the core modules in public health, biostatistics and epidemiology, and the biology and control of infectious diseases which are taken by all students, together with the subsequent opportunities for specialised study in areas of the student’s own choice. Most of the students are in-service health professionals working for example as doctors or laboratory staff, who take the courses in order to acquire new knowledge in infectious diseases, or to update their current expertise.
The Infectious Diseases courses draw upon the School’s long tradition in the study of clinical and epidemiological aspects of infectious and tropical diseases. Providing a broad understanding of infectious diseases, together with developing strategies for their control and treatment, the courses will be of particular relevance to in-service health professionals, such as doctors or laboratory staff who either wish to acquire new knowledge in infectious diseases or update their current expertise.
These courses are aimed both at recent graduates who wish to pursue an advanced degree, and at people who took their first training some time ago and wish to update their knowledge in this rapidly evolving field or who wish to change career direction.
You will meet the English language requirement if you have passed, within the past three years:
- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English when a minimum overall score of B or 190 is achieved;
- (IELTS) International English Language Testing System when an overall score of at least 7.0 is achieved with a minimum of 7.0 in the Written sub-test and a minimum of 5.5 in Listening, Reading and Speaking; or
- Pearson Test of English (Academic) overall score of 68 or above, with a minimum of 68 in Writing and a minimum of 59 in Listening, Reading and Speaking
- (TOEFL) iBT Test of English as a Foreign Language overall score of 100 or above with at least 24 in Writing, 23 in Speaking, 22 in Reading and 21 in Listening
Students will develop:
- a comprehensive understanding of the role of biology of infective agents and hosts on the outcome of infection
- the use of this knowledge, in combination with epidemiological and public health approaches, to develop rational strategies for the control and treatment of infection
Method of assessment
All distance learning modules are assessed by means of a two-hour unseen written examination (with 15 minutes planning/reading time at the start of the examination).
Elective modules (i.e. modules other than the IDM1 modules) are assessed partly by the two-hour unseen written examination (70%) and partly by an assessed assignment (30%), submitted electronically to the School by a set deadline.
They are arranged mainly through Ministries of Education or the British Council. Students taking distance learning examinations will need to pay a fee to their local examination centre. Please note that if you fail an examination at the first entry you will be allowed one further attempt, if you have failed the module overall.
You receive your study materials after you register. Study materials may include Subject guides, Readers, Textbooks, CD-ROMs/additional computer software (e.g. Stata), Past examination papers and Examiners’ reports, and Handbooks. You also have access to the School’s online library resources. We also provide all students with a student registration card.
We know that if you have a full-time job, family or other commitments, and wish to study at a distance, you will have many calls on your time. The course allows you to study independently, at a time and pace that suits you (subject to some course-specific deadlines) using the comprehensive study materials provided, with support available from academic staff.You have between 1-5 years in which to complete the Postgraduate Certificate, and between 2-5 years in which to complete the Postgraduate Diploma or the MSc.
The study year for most modules runs from the beginning of October through to the June exams, while two modules run from the beginning of January through to assignment submission at the end of August. Tutorial support is available throughout this time. Students carrying out projects are assigned personal supervisors to support their project work which is mostly carried out between June and the end of September in their final year.
Blended learning: taking modules in London
After successful completion of a minimum number of core modules, Postgraduate Diploma and MSc students may also be eligible for the 'blended learning option', which allows for the study of up to two modules only (from a restricted list) at the School in London during the Spring or Summer terms in place of distance learning modules. Please note that these options, and the dates when the modules are held at the School, are subject to change - full details will be sent to all distance learning students in July each year.
- a web-based learning environment (including web conferencing, allowing you to engage in academic discussions with tutors and fellow students)
- personalised feedback from teaching staff and advice on assignments
- tutors are allocated to each module and are available to answer queries and promote discussion during the study year, through the online Virtual Learning Environment
- communicate with other distance learning students, either individually or through learning support groups