MSc Molecular Biology of Infectious Diseases Back
This course provides a thorough understanding and practical experience of molecular biology as it applies to infectious agents that cause global health problems. It covers all aspects of the agents, including their taxonomy, diagnosis, epidemiology and chemotherapy. It equips students with the knowledge and skills necessary for research, commercial or management careers that demand knowledge of molecular biology.
Molecular biology forms a cornerstone of many modern scientific disciplines like biomedicine and bioengineering and has broad application in and impact on health, agriculture and the environment. The role of molecular biology is becoming increasingly important in many professions and accordingly this course benefits students pursuing careers in a large variety of professions throughout the public sector (including NHS, DEFRA, DSTL), industry and commerce (including R&D), school and higher education. As such, the course is very effective in transferring high-level skills into other sectors, either directly after graduation or after further research degree study.
The Ralph Neal Memorial Prize is awarded to the best student of the year. This prize was founded in memory of Dr Ralph Neal, a distinguished research worker who died in 1990 in tragic circumstances.
Duration: one year full-time or split-study over two years. Modes of study explained.
By the end of this course students should be able to:
- demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the principles underlying a wide range of molecular biological techniques and apply these techniques in practice
- demonstrate specialist knowledge and skills in the areas of gene cloning, DNA sequencing, bioinformatics and studies of gene function
- devise and critically assess molecular biological approaches to fundamental research, taxonomic studies, production of DNA probes and epidemiological tools, analysis of chemotherapeutic targets and vaccine development
- develop skills for further independent learning in the context of the molecular biology of infectious diseases
There is a one-week orientation period that includes an introduction to studying at the School and sessions on key computing and study skills. Students then choose one of the following ten-week core modules:
- Bacteriology & Virology
- Immunology of Infectious Diseases
- Parasitology & Entomology
In addition, students take two further compulsory modules:
- Analysis & Design of Research Studies
- 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.). Some modules can be taken only after consultation with the Course Director.
- Molecular Biology & Recombinant DNA Techniques*
- Advanced Immunology 1 (linked with Advanced Immunology 2)
- Epidemiology & Control of Malaria
- Advanced Diagnostic Parasitology*
- Molecular Virology*
- Advanced Immunology 2 (linked with Advanced Immunology 1)
- Clinical Bacteriology 2
- Advanced Training in Molecular Biology (compulsory)
- Immunology of Parasitic Infection: Principles*
- Molecular Biology Research Progress & Applications*
- Clinical Bacteriology 2
- Antimicrobial Chemotherapy*
- Pathogen Genomics*
During the summer months (July - August), students complete an original research project, for submission by early September. The project must contain a major practical laboratory component on a molecular biological aspect of a relevant organism. This can cover research in the broad areas of virology, bacteriology, parasitology or mycology. Projects may take place within the School or with collaborating scientists in other colleges or institutes in the UK. Occasionally projects take place overseas, in these cases students are eligible to apply for travel funds.