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Immunology of Infectious Diseases (MSc)


Course Description

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

Visit the Immunology of Infectious Diseases (MSc) page on the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Mariam Mirambo

175.gif Having started to establish my academic career in microbiology and immunology, I was looking for Msc programme that would give me in depth immunological and research skills in infectious diseases particularly tropical diseases. Working experience for almost two years at Bugando University College of health sciences in Tanzania gave me good experience and I felt that I needed more immunological skills to expand my knowledge. Through support from my employer I was able to begin Msc Immunology of infectious diseases at LSHTM
Although some of the Msc titles sound specific the materials and flexibility within the modules choices in each programme create good opportunities and accessibilities for every one’s needs. I found this programme would be perfect for me and has really fulfilled what I had hoped to learn and introduced me to different research areas and opportunities. Participating in immunology congress at Glasgow and having advanced immunology module has broadened my way of thinking in different research areas. LSHTM has not only given me good experience in immunological skills but has also fulfilled my passion for research. It is really incredible learning environment with excellent learning facilities, encouragement motivation and compassion.
One of the most striking things about the school is its diversity in international multicultural backgrounds and academic disciplines, and this is what makes the school such an interesting place to study. Studying at LSHTM has been one of the best experiences of my school life. The teaching is of high standard and lectures are given by personnel with high calibre within and outside the school. The support from tutors and other staff and the extent to which they assist students in any way possible is remarkable and create good learning environment. Cultural diversity from colleagues and lecturers enriches the process of learning enormously. I highly recommend the school for different disciplines in tropical medicine and mostly Msc. Immunology of infectious diseases to anyone interested in Immunology and/or thinking of establishing career in research and/or academia afterwards.

(Student Profile)

Tayma van Pomeren

Before this MSc I did my undergrad at VU University in Amsterdam. I studied Health Sciences and specialised in infectious diseases and biomedical aspects of healthcare. I did an internship in collaboration with a project of the World Bank into the predictors of childhood stunting in children in Guyana. For my MSc I wanted to study infectious diseases, but wanted something different to what I had done before. Plus I wanted to gain more lab experience and dive further into the molecular field. The modules that are offered and the lecturers are inspirational and super interesting. Therefore, the MSc Immunology of Infectious Diseases was the perfect choice for me.

At the moment I am doing my summer project for which I spend a lot of time in the lab. And I am loving every bit of it! It is just so much fun. What I have really liked over the past year were some of the guest lecturers. It has been really inspirational to hear such experts talk about their field of research. But what I maybe love most about the School are my fellow students. All are equally enthusiastic about being here, very social and incredibly friendly. They’re the best! I think this degree has been the right platform for me to do a PhD afterwards.

(Student Profile)

Lou Herman

4383.jpg Studying Immunology of Infectious Diseases at the School will be of huge benefit to my career because the course has given me a deeper insight into this particular branch of biological research, enabling me to pursue a more defined path in my scientific career. By focusing on particular aspects of immunology, and specific infections, I can learn better and apply what I have learned in a more efficient manner. If we each focus on one brick, all together we can build a house and be stronger.


Scholarships

Entry Requirements

The normal minimum entrance qualification for registration at the School on a Master's programme is at least one of the following: a second-class honours degree of a UK university, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, in a subject appropriate to that of the course of study to be followed OR a registrable qualification appropriate to the course of study to be followed, in medicine, dentistry or veterinary studies. Applications with an appropriate technical qualification, or equivalent qualification and experience from overseas, are also welcomed.

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