MSc Medical Microbiology Back
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.
Duration: one year year full-time or split-study over two years. Modes of study explained.
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
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.
- Clinical Virology
- Molecular Biology & Recombinant DNA Techniques
- Clinical Bacteriology 1
- Molecular Virology
- Advanced Training in Molecular Biology
- Basic Parasitology
- Clincal Bacteriology 2
- Molecular Biology Research Progress & Applications
- Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
- Molecular Cell Biology & Infection
- Pathogen Genomics
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
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.