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MSc Immunology of Infectious Diseases

Overview
Overview - Immunology
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Academic year 2020/21

For 2020-21, the delivery of LSHTM teaching has been adjusted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Term 1
Term 1 core module teaching will be delivered online only, with a combination of synchronous (live and interactive) and asynchronous (recordings, independent study, individual exercises, etc) activities.

Term 2
Terms 2 modules will be offered both online and also on-campus where possible. Some on-campus modules will use a blended approach of both face to face and online delivery if permitted under UK social distancing rules at that time.

Term 3
Term 3 will include on-campus pre-project lab training and access for students undertaking lab-based projects. These will require you to be available on campus in London from Monday 19 April to Friday 21 May 2021, and depending on your MSc project plans, from end of May to early September 2021.

If at any point during the academic year the UK is forced to go into another period of lockdown, this programme will be delivered using online methods only. Throughout the year there will be programme- and LSHTM-level activities, such as group seminars and a themed lecture series and discussion forums. These will allow students to study the programme safely at a distance but remain together as a community.

For more information about the academic year 2020-21, please check our COVID-19 advice for applicants and offer holders FAQs.

Safety

Appropriate measures will be in place to ensure practical sessions can be carried out safely and in line with the UK government Coronavirus regulations. This includes limiting the numbers of students and staff in laboratories at any given time, full availability of personal safety equipment such as lab coats, gloves and face masks, and thorough cleaning of laboratories between practical sessions. Please note that government guidance and regulations are updated regularly and our safety provisions will be updated accordingly, both before and during the programme.

Outside of laboratory practical sessions, access to our buildings will be limited to meet safety requirements.

The programme

This programme 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 LSHTM.

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 programme 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.

Duration: one year full-time or split-study over two years. Ways to study explained.

Immunology

Description

Watch Programme Director, Greg Bancroft, and students talk about the programme.

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Tayma van Pomeren, Netherlands
Citation
Tayma van Pomeren, Netherlands
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"I wanted to study infectious diseases, gain more lab experience and dive further into the molecular field, so this course was the perfect choice for me."

Objectives
Objectives - Immunology
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By the end of this programme 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
Structure - Immunology
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For 2020-21, the delivery of LSHTM teaching has been adjusted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

Optional 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 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 Programme Director.

*Recommended modules

Slot 1

  • Advanced Immunology 1 (compulsory)

Slot 2

  • Advanced Immunology 2 (compulsory)

Slot 3

  • Advanced Training in Molecular Biology*
  • Immunology of Clinical Diseases*
  • Extended Project*
  • Basic Parasitology

Slot 4

  • Extended Project*
  • Immunology of Parasitic Infection*
  • Molecular Research in Infectious Diseases* (formerly Molecular Biology Research Progress & Applications)
  • Epidemiology & Control of Communicable Diseases
  • Ethics, Public Health & Human Rights

Slot 5

  • HIV (formerly AIDS)*
  • Antimicrobial Chemotherapy*
  • Extended Project*
  • Cell Biology of Host-Pathogen Interactions (formerly Molecular Cell Biology & Infection)*
  • Mycology*
  • Vaccine Immunology*
  • Neglected Tropical Diseases*

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 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.

Please note: due to the unpredictable nature of the pandemic, we are not currently in a position to guarantee that overseas or field based projects will be possible or that London based laboratories will be accessible. Whilst we are hopeful that the situation will change before next summer, should it be the case that you are unable to travel overseas or access labs, you will be able to complete an alternative desk-based project allowing you to obtain your qualification within the original timeframe. Alternatively, you will be able to defer your project to the following year. 

Changes to the course
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Changes to the programme

LSHTM will seek to deliver this programme in accordance with the description set out on this programme page. However, there may be situations in which it is desirable or necessary for LSHTM to make changes in course provision, either before or after registration. For further information, please see our page on changes to courses.

Entry requirements
Entry requirements - Immunology
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A student must normally satisfy the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine general entrance requirements and the additional programme specific entrance requirements as follows:

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
  • 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.

Any student who does not meet the minimum entry requirement above but who has relevant professional experience may still be eligible for admission. Qualifications and experience will be assessed from the application.

Admissions FAQs

English Language Requirements

If English is not your first language, you will need to meet these requirements: Band B

Please see our English Language Requirements FAQs for information

Intercalating Students

You will need the equivalent of a bachelor's degree to undertake an MSc. This will usually require you to have a BSc degree or have completed the first three years of your medical degree. More information on intercalating an MSc at the School.

Fees & funding
Fees 2020/21 - Immunology
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Fees 2020/21    
Home Full-time £12,050
  Part-time £6,025
Overseas Full-time £25,770
  Part-time £12,885
Field Trip   £590
Funding general
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Please note that EU nationals will continue to benefit from home fee status and can access financial support for the 2020-21 academic year. Find out more.

Other sources of funding:

Careers
Careers - MSc Immunology of Infectious Diseases
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Graduates from this programme go into research positions in academia and industry, and further training such as PhD study. 

Below you will find just a few of the positions and organisations that our graduates from this course have entered:
 

Example job titles:

Biomedical Scientist
Director
Education Officer
Healthcare Scientist
Junior Immunologist
Laboratory Assistant
Medical Copy Writer
Pharmacist
Research Assistant
Research Funding Officer
Science Teaching Assistant

Example organisations:

Boots Pharmacy
ICC Lowe
Infectious Disease Research Corporation
Inter-Media Europe
King's College London
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Medical Research Council
Public Health England
Queen Mary University's Societies
Sainsbury's
T2S UK Limited
The Medical Research Council
Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute - Florida
Vertergi Ltd
NHS

 

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Graduate Careers & Destinations
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Want to read more about our graduate careers and destinations? Take a look at our infographics on our Graduate Careers & Destinations page.

Hear from a MSc Immunology of Infectious Diseases student

Description

Charlotte describes her experience of studying the MSc Immunology of Infectious Diseases at LSHTM.

How to apply
How to apply - applications
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Applications should be made online and will only be considered once you have provided all required information and supporting documentation.

Please also read LSHTM's Admissions policies prior to submitting your application.

You can apply for up to two master's. Make sure to list them by order of preference as consideration will be given to your top choice first.

How to apply - deadlines and fees
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Application deadlines

All applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible to ensure availability of a place and a timely decision on their application. This is particularly important for applicants with sponsorship deadlines.

We strongly advise that you apply early as popular programmes will close earlier than the stated deadline if they become full.

The final closing date for all taught Master’s applications for entry in the 2020/21 academic year is:

  • Monday 31 August, 23:59 (BST).

Applicants will require to meet the conditions of their offer and provide all necessary documents by Monday 7 September, 23:59 (BST).

Application fee

A standard application fee of £50 applies to all face-to-face Master’s degree programmes and is payable upon application submission. 

Tuition fee deposit

Applicants are required to respond to their Offer of Admissions and pay the £500 deposit within 28 days of receipt, or their place will be released and the offer automatically declined. The deposit is deductible from tuition fees upon full registration with LSHTM.

How to apply - visa
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Do you need a visa?

EEA Nationals

If you have EU nationality or you are from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, you do not need immigration permission to come to the UK. You can enter, study and work in the UK without restriction. If you have dual nationality, and you choose to come to the UK using your EEA or Swiss passport, you do not need immigration permission.

For useful guidance on EEA nationals in the UK, go to the UKCISA website.

Students from outside the EEA

All non-EEA nationals who want to study in the UK must hold immigration permission that allows you to study in the UK.

If you are coming to the School to study on a full time degree programme and you have no other immigration permission for the UK, you will need to apply for a Tier 4 Student visa. You can only apply for Tier 4 when your offer at the School is unconditional.

If you already hold a Tier 4 visa for a different institution, you will probably have to apply for a Tier 4 visa for the School before you can start studying with us.

Still unsure on whether you need a visa?