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Course content

Our MSc Medical Virology course covers the medical and molecular aspects of virology, bacteriology and mycology, as well as immunity to infection and epidemiology.

In the era of AIDS, avian and swine influenza, and other emerging viral infections, the importance of medical virology as a co-discipline with medical microbiology is increasingly being recognised.

You will explore the current issues and concepts in medical virology, and acquire the academic and practical skills necessary to make independent, informed judgements in relation to these issues.

A unique feature of our course is the focus on practical, laboratory-based teaching; you will spend time in the laboratory, learning how to be a virologist.

At the end of our course, you will be prepared for a career in clinical sciences or academic or industrial research.

This course runs alongside our MSc Medical Microbiology course.


We aim to provide you with an understanding of and expertise in microbiology, with a particular focus on medical virology.

You will develop an understanding of the scientific basis of established and novel medical virology concepts, as well as the specialist knowledge, practical skills and critical awareness required to pursue a career in medical virology.

Special features

IBMS accreditation

This course is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science and meets the requirements for registration with the Science Council as a Chartered Scientist (CSci).

Extensive practical learning

The lab-focused nature of this course means you will gain maximum exposure to both the practical and theoretical aspects of a wide range of clinically relevant pathogens, helping develop practical skills that are valued by potential employers.

Various study options

You can study either full-time or part-time on both the MSc and PGDip routes, enabling you to fit learning around your other commitments if needed.

Teaching and learning

This course is delivered by academics from the University and NHS specialists in infectious disease and medical microbiology.

You will learn via a range of methods, including lectures, seminars, tutorials and comprehensive practical classes.

We use both face-to-face sessions and blended learning methods, with some material delivered and assessed online.

Find out more by visiting the postgraduate teaching and learning page.

Coursework and assessment

You will be assessed via continual assessment and formal theory and practical examinations.

Course unit details

The course consists of 120 credits of taught material and followed by a 60-credit research project (MSc only). Some units are shared with the MSc Medical Microbiology course. The taught units are as follows:

Shared units

  • Principles of Microbiology (15 credits)
  • Research Methods (15 credits)
  • Understanding Infection (15 credits)
  • Microbial Pathogenesis (15 credits)
  • Molecular Diagnostics (15 credits)
  • Global Health and Epidemiology (15 credits)

Course-specific units

  • Clinical Virology 1 (15 credits)
  • Clinical Virology 2 (15 credits)

All MSc students carry out a three-month research project in medical virology.

Full-time (FT) students take the above units and research project in Year 1. Part-time (PT) students can undertake the MSc over two years, one full semester per year.


This course is based in Stopford Building on Oxford Road, where you will find state-of-the-art teaching and research laboratories, a student common room and good access to University computing clusters.

You will attend lectures across the University campus.

You will be able to access a range of facilities throughout the University.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service .

Career opportunities

Our graduates typically find employment in the NHS and related organisations, or as medical microbiologists in industrial and pharmaceutical settings.

In addition, many graduates progress to PhD study and a research or academic career.

The course is also useful if you work or plan to work in developing countries that need expertise in the existing and emerging virological and microbiological challenges facing developing communities.

Accrediting organisations

Our MSc is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS).

Visit the Medical Virology (MSc) page on the University of Manchester website for more details!




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Recipient: University of Manchester

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