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Medical Microbiology (MSc)


Course Description

This course provides comprehensive knowledge and practical training in the spread of microorganisms (predominantly bacterial and viral pathogens), disease causation and diagnosis and treatment of pathogens significant to public health. The increasing incidence of microbial infections worldwide is being compounded by the rapid evolution of drug-resistant variants and opportunistic infections by other organisms. The course content reflects the increasing importance of genomics and molecular techniques in both diagnostics and the study of pathogenesis.

In response to a high level of student interest in viral infections, the School has decided to offer the opportunity for students who focus on viruses in their module and project choices to be awarded a Master's degree in Medical Microbiology (Virology). This choice will depend on the module selection of the individual student in Terms 2 and 3 and choice of project.

Graduates from this course move into global health careers related to medical microbiology in research or medical establishments and the pharmaceutical industry.

The Bo Drasar Prize is awarded annually for outstanding performance by a Medical Microbiology student. This prize is named after Professor Bohumil Drasar, the founder of the MSc Medical Microbiology course.

The Tsiquaye Prize is awarded annually for the best virology-based project report.

- Full programme specification (pdf) (http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/edu/qualityassurance/mm_progspec.pdf)
- Intercalating this course (http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/study/intercalate)

Visit the website http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/study/masters/msmm.html

Objectives

By the end of the course students should be able to:

- demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of the nature of viruses, bacteria, parasites and fungi and basic criteria used in the classification/taxonomy of these micro-organisms

- explain the modes of transmission and the growth cycles of pathogenic micro-organisms

- demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the mechanisms of microbial pathogenesis and the outcomes of infections

- distinguish between and critically assess the classical and modern approaches to the development of therapeutic agents and vaccines for the prevention of human microbial diseases

- demonstrate knowledge of the laboratory diagnosis of microbial diseases and practical skills

- carry out a range of advanced skills and laboratory techniques, including the purification of isolated microbial pathogens, study of microbial growth cycles and analyses of their proteins and nucleic acids for downstream applications

- demonstrate research skills

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 course-specific sessions, followed by two compulsory modules:

- Bacteriology & Virology
- Analysis & Design of Research Studies

Recommended module: Molecular Biology

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 modules, one from each timetable slot (Slot 1, Slot 2 etc.). The list below shows recommended modules. There are other modules that can be taken only after consultation with the Course Director.

- Slot 1:
Clinical Virology
Molecular Biology & Recombinant DNA Techniques

- Slot 2:
Clinical Bacteriology 1
Molecular Virology

- Slot 3:
Advanced Training in Molecular Biology
Basic Parasitology

- Slot 4:
Clincal Bacteriology 2
Molecular Biology Research Progress & Applications

- Slot 5:
Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Molecular Cell Biology & Infection
Mycology
Pathogen Genomics

Further details for the course modules - http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/study/currentstudents/studentinformation/msc_module_handbook/section2_coursedescriptions/tmmi.html

Project Report

During the summer months (July - August), students complete a laboratory-based original research project on an aspect of a relevant organism, for submission by early September. Projects may take place within the School or with collaborating scientists in other colleges or institutes in the UK or overseas.

The majority of students who undertake projects abroad receive financial support for flights from the School's trust funds set up for this purpose

Course Accreditation

The Royal College of Pathologists accepts the course as part of the professional experience of both medical and non-medical candidates applying for membership. The course places particular emphasis on practical aspects of the subjects most relevant to current clinical laboratory practice and research.

Find out how to apply here - http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/study/masters/msmm.html#sixth

Visit the Medical Microbiology (MSc) page on the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Leon Biscornet

176.gif After completing a degree in Biomedical Science here in UK, I returned to the Seychelles to work in the Public Health Laboratory of the Ministry of Health. Having developed an interest in Medical Microbiology from the course at Kingston University I sought to pursue it further, but only managed to get funding for it last year through the Commonwealth Scholarship, the same year I got married. The reputation of the LSHTM for the Medical Microbiology course reached even the shores of the Seychelles and I feel truly privileged to have experienced it. The diverse mix of people at the LSHTM has proven to be more than I expected and it has been a pleasure to learn with and from my fellow students. With the amazing opportunities that studying in London has brought, I thank God for the opportunity of having been able to do so at the LSHTM, with my wife making the trip with me. I’m looking forward to furthering my career when I get back home and I aspire to undertake a PhD in the fullness of time.

(Student Profile)

Avinandan Saha

I graduated in medicine with a strong interest in medical microbiology and a desire to specialize in this subject. This course at the School was recommended to me by my department head and clinical attachment supervisor in medical school. Their advice, coupled with the School’s renown for research in infectious diseases, made it my top choice for beginning postgraduate studies.

What made the course special was the reference laboratory level teaching and cutting edge diagnostic and research techniques I was exposed to. The teaching ensured that complex ideas were delivered in a lucid, comprehensible manner, while practicals were unique in that they closely simulated real-life diagnostic laboratory situations. We were often given realistic clinical scenarios to work with using the latest guidelines and techniques. This degree has equipped me with an in-depth understanding of pathogens and advanced laboratory skills, which will give me an edge as I continue my specialist training in medical microbiology.

(Student Profile)

Philip Hefford

4387.jpg The learning experience at the School has been fascinating, in the truest sense of the word. The principles of molecular biology have been brought to life not only through learning about viruses, but bacteria and parasites too. There are always challenges, but it is all part and parcel of hoping to tackle very real problems which affect millions of lives across the globe daily. Studying Medical Microbiology can help identify solutions in the form of drugs and vaccines, which can be implemented through various health initiatives. This is my personal drive.


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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