This course requires you to complete the following core modules:
Introduction to Medical Microbiology (10 credits)
This module will highlight the properties and host range of various micro-organisms involved in infection, and will outline the development of appropriate immune responses. Students will gain the necessary foundations in medical microbiology.
Research Methods I (10 credits)
Human Pathogens (20 credits)
The module will provide an overview of the major bacterial, fungal and parasitic human pathogens of clinical importance (viral pathogens are covered in the complementary module MBD404; Viral Pathogenesis & Infection). Pathogens covered include Campylobacter jejuni; Legionella pneumophila; Staphylococcus aureus; Helicobacter pylori; Anaerobes of Clinical Importance; Coagulase negative Staphylococci; Haemophilus spp.; Listeria monocytogenes; Burkholderia and Stenotrophomonas; Pseudomonas aeruginosa; Yeast and yeast-like fungi; Filamentous and dimorphic fungi; Vibrionacea; Pathogenic Neisseria Spp.; Streptococcus pneumoniae; Group A Streptococci; Mycobacterium tuberculosis and atypical mycobacteria; Enterococcus; Escherichia coli; Enterobacteriaceae; Leishmania and Trypanosoma; Protozoa (Intestinal, Toxoplasma, Trichomonads and Amoebae); Bacillus Spp.
Viral Pathogenesis and Infections (20 credits)
This module will illustrate how viruses interact with cells, what are the underlying molecular mechanisms of infection and replication, and how these interactions lead to clinical disease.
Prevention and Treatment of Infection (20 credits)
This module will facilitate an understanding of antimicrobial therapies for the control of infection and disease. This will encompass study of the action of specific antimicrobial compounds, mechanisms of resistance and the development of preventative and therapeutic vaccines.
Research Project (60 credits)
This module enables students to experience contemporary research methods by engaging them to design a research programme and perform experiments, surveys, or other research activities aimed at solving a specific biomedical problem. Each student will be allocated an academic supervisor with whom they will discuss the research project prior to commencement. Students will first collect, analyse data, read and collate previous results relevant to their project, then embark on a period of research before preparing, writing and submitting a scientific paper. They will write a clear and concise report and will discuss their work with academic members during a viva voce examination. This module is reserved for students registered on a School of Life Sciences MSc course in Immunology & Allergy, Microbiology & Immunology, Clinical & Molecular Microbiology, Clinical Microbiology (distance) or Molecular Genetics & Diagnostics. The form of project may vary and it will be based on laboratory work, bioinformatics or an extended literature review. The principal activities will be completion of the practical work and submission of a final report in the form of a dissertation and oral examination.
In addition, you will be able to choose from one of the following groups of optional modules:
Bacterial Pathogenesis and Infections (20 credits)
Initial lectures will highlight the different mechanisms associated with disease pathogenesis for a selection of bacteria. Subsequent lectures and problem based learning will provide the students with an opportunity to gain an understanding of clinical syndromes using a systematic approach including the microbiology of important diseases, diagnostic approaches and choice of antibiotic.
Applied Molecular Microbiology (10 credits)
This module provides students the opportunity to gain understanding of the theory and potential applications of molecular biological techniques in diagnostic and research microbiology. This is achieved via a series of problem based learning activities.
Research Methods II (10 credits)
Clinical Syndromes in Infectious Disease (10 credits)
The module will provide a clinical syndrome-focused view of important infectious diseases. It will be delivered primarily using Lectures on clinical and scientific aspects of bacterial, fungal and parasitic infections; management of infectious diseases; organ-based microbiology; management of the laboratory service, management of human and financial resources. Clinical syndromes covered: Respiratory infections; Anaerobes of Clinical Importance; Bone and Joint Infections; STDs, Pathogenesis of Food-Bourne Bacterial Diseases; Infections of Travellers/Rickettsiae; Epidemiological, Clinical and Laboratory Aspects of Pneumonia due to Atypical Pathogens; The Clinical Microbiology of Cystic Fibrosis; Malaria; Endocarditis and HACEK; Septicaemia & Bacteraemia; Blood Cultures; Skin and soft tissue infection; Septicaemia; CNS infections; UTI; PUO; and Infection in the immunocompromised host.
Diagnostic Microbiology and Laboratory Methods (10 credits)
Practical sessions covering conventional and molecular methods applied in routine and specialised laboratories for the diagnosis of bacterial, fungal and parasitic infections. Diagnostic microbiology: From Specimen to final report: Blood, CSF, respiratory, enteric, urinary and other tissue specimens. Specimens from sterile sites. Agar-based detection methods; molecular diagnostics; antibiotic sensitivity testing.
Infection Control and Public Health (10 credits)
Hospital infection control: Infection control team, Infection control manual, sterilisation and dis-infection, surveillance, antibiotic policy. Special focus on alert organisms including MRSA, VRE, multi-drug resistant bacteria (gram negatives and mycobacteria).
Epidemiology and public health: Management of outbreaks in the community: natural, man-made or deliberate.
National and regional bodies and their roles: HPA, with special reference to HPUS, CFI and Reference laboratories, Stregic Health Authorities, Primary Care Trusts, Local authority, Public Health.
Health professionals and their roles: CCDC, Health Protection Specialist, Regional Epidemiologists, District nurses, school nurses, Environmental Health Officers.
Reference facilities: Practical sessions on typing schemes, water and environmental microbiology, antibiotic resistance monitoring
We provide some background material for students to look at prior to starting the course, to make sure that everyone is starting off from a similar level of knowledge. This material is delivered online, with quizzes that enable self-testing. The same software is used throughout the course to provide additional learning material.
The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.