Recent years have been a stark reminder that we’re all vulnerable to infectious diseases, whoever we are, and wherever we live in the world. By studying MSc Immunology of Infectious Diseases, you’ll explore how the body defends itself against infection and how we can use this information to create life-saving therapeutics and vaccines.
Most immunology courses focus on non-communicable diseases such as cancer, but infectious diseases represent an increasingly important cause of morbidity and mortality around the globe. We’re one of the few universities to offer an immunology course that is devoted to this area. We’ll help you understand the whole research process, from the fundamental discoveries at the forefront of the field to the application of findings and vaccinology.
What you will learn
- Master the basic principles of host immunity against the diverse range of pathogens that confront human populations
- Explore the immunology of a whole range of infectious diseases, from viral to fungal, bacterial to different types of parasites
- Apply scientific concepts, evaluate primary scientific data, and carry out techniques for assessing immune responses to pathogens
- Learn how to plan, design and conduct research and use these skills to investigate basic immunological mechanisms and applied issues in the immunology of infection
- Discover our unique mix of expertise in immunology, vaccinology, molecular biology, virology, bacteriology, parasitology, mycology and clinical medicine
The aims and learning outcomes are detailed in the programme specification.
What sets us apart is our global profile in infectious diseases research – we have world-class expertise in a whole host of areas including tuberculosis and malaria, as well as neglected tropical diseases such as worm infections and leishmaniasis. You’ll be taught by our global community who will introduce you to the whole spectrum of challenges societies face around the world.
The flexible nature of the degree means you’ll be able to focus on the areas that interest you, whether that’s the development of vaccines, parasitic infections, or another area of this fascinating subject. You’ll also carry out an original research project which might involve travel to somewhere like Asia or Africa. Past students have looked at everything from characterising the development of memory B cell responses to malaria to dendritic cell metabolism during helminth infection.
Who is it for?
We’ve designed this course for anyone with an interest in immunology – in particular infectious diseases. Most of our students have studied biology or biomedical sciences at undergraduate level. However, you might have a background in medicine or veterinary studies. We also welcome intercalating medical students to help you go beyond what you’ll cover in your medical degree on this topic.
If you’re looking to gain practical experience in the lab, this course is the perfect opportunity to do exactly that. You’ll be able to work with us in our research labs, but there will also be chances for some students to go to various locations overseas for their projects to work with our partners there.
Many of our students go on to continue their research with a PhD in biomedical science or clinical research. However, you could also apply your research skills to clinical lab settings in hospitals or a role in the pharmaceutical industry.
Throughout the course, we’ll help you boost your employability and network within the field. The field trip to the British Society for Immunology Annual Conference or attending their winter school is just one of the many opportunities to meet leading immunologists, hear about their work and start building your own network.
One year full-time or split-study over two years. Ways to study explained.
Find out about intercalating this programme.
Immunology of Infectious Diseases
Watch Programme Director, Greg Bancroft, and students talk about the programme.
"I chose the course as it provided a balance of lab work with subject teaching. LSHTM has recognised experts and ongoing research in most areas associated with infectious diseases."
The below structure outlines the proposed modules for this programme. Programme and module specifications provide full details about the aims and objectives of each module, what you will study and how the module is assessed.
- Structure of the year
Term 1 (September - December) consists of ten teaching weeks for AB1 slot modules, plus one Reading Week* in the middle of the term. Followed by the Winter break.
Term 2 (January - March) consists of examinations, followed by a further ten weeks of teaching for C and D slot modules, plus a Reading Week in the middle of the term. C modules are taught in five half-week blocks before Reading Week. D modules are taught in five half-week blocks after Reading Week. Followed by the Spring break.
Term 3 (April - September) consists of five weeks of teaching for E slot modules, taught in half-week blocks, and the project report.
*Reading Week is a week during term where no formal teaching takes place. It is a time for private study, preparing for assessments or attending study/computer skills workshops. There are two Reading Weeks at LSHTM: one in November and the other in February.
- Term 1
Students take two compulsory AB1 modules:
- Immunology of Infectious Diseases
- Analysis & Design of Research Studies
Optional module: Molecular Biology
Sessions on basic computing 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 (C1, C2, D1, D2, E). The list below shows recommended or compulsory modules. There are other optional modules which may be taken only after consultation with the Programme Director.
- Advanced Immunology 1 (compulsory)
- Advanced Immunology 2 (compulsory)
- Advanced Training in Molecular Biology
- Immunology of Clinical Diseases
- Extended Project
- Immunology of Parasitic Infection
- Molecular and Cell Biology of Infectious Diseases
- Extended Project
- Neglected Tropical Diseases
- Novel Drug Discovery & Antimicrobial Resistance
- Vaccine Immunology
- Extended Project
- 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 LSHTM's trust funds set up for this purpose.
Please note: Should it be the case that you are unable to travel overseas or access laboratories in order to complete your project, you will be able to complete an alternative desk-based project allowing you to obtain your qualification within the original time frame. Alternatively, you will be able to defer your project to the following year.
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.
In order to be admitted to an LSHTM master's degree programme, an applicant must:
- hold either a first degree at Second Class Honours (2:2) standard in a relevant discipline, or a degree in medicine recognised by the UK General Medical Council (GMC) for the purposes of practising medicine in the UK, or another degree of equivalent standard awarded by an overseas institution recognised by UK ENIC or the GMC.
- hold a professional qualification appropriate to the programme of study to be followed obtained by written examinations and judged by LSHTM to be equivalent to a Second Class Honours (2:2) degree or above.
- have relevant professional experience or training which is judged by LSHTM to be equivalent to a Second Class Honours (2:2) degree or above.
If you have not previously studied in the UK, you can check our guide to international equivalent qualifications for our master's degrees.
Relevant subjects and appropriate qualifications for the MSc Immunology of Infectious Diseases include Biology, Biochemistry, Biomedical Sciences, Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Medicine and Veterinary Sciences. Other life science qualifications (eg. Medical or Biological Engineering) will be considered subject to evidence within transcripts of sufficient cell and molecular biology and/or immunology exposure (please make this exposure clear within the application).
Applicants who do not meet the minimum entry requirement, but who have relevant professional experience may still be eligible for admission. Qualifications and experience will be assessed from the application.
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 for more information.
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 LSHTM.
Access and widening participation
At LSHTM we are committed to ensuring that excellent students feel encouraged to apply for a course of study with us. We have introduced an innovative contextual admissions system that is designed to support those students who have faced the greatest barriers to their learning. More information on widening participation at LSHTM.
*Mobile users, scroll right to view fees
Early application fee reduction for UK MSc Students 2024-25
Apply early and lock-in lower fees. If you are a student from the UK (and have a home fee status), you will be eligible to receive a 5% reduction in your tuition fee if you submit your application by Friday 5 April 2024 and subsequently register onto one of our in-person MSc programmes (some exclusions apply, see detailed terms and conditions).
You must be applying for full-time study on a programme starting in September 2024; be funding your fees yourself; and be a new applicant.
If you meet the above criteria and submit your application by the deadline, you will automatically receive the tuition fee discount.
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:
Medical Copy Writer
Research Funding Officer
Science Teaching Assistant
- Example organisations:
Infectious Disease Research Corporation
King's College London
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Medical Research Council
Public Health England
Queen Mary University's Societies
T2S UK Limited
The Medical Research Council
Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute - Florida
Hear from a MSc Immunology of Infectious Diseases student
Charlotte describes her experience of studying the MSc Immunology of Infectious Diseases at LSHTM.
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 programmes. Make sure to list them by order of preference as consideration will be given to your top choice first.
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 dates for all taught Master’s applications for entry in the 2024/25 academic year is:
- Sunday 21 July 2024 at 23:59 UK time for all students requiring a Student visa
- Sunday 1 September 2024 at 23:59 UK time for all UK, Irish and non-Student visa students
Applicants will be required to meet the conditions of their offer and provide all necessary documents by the date of their Offer of Admission.
A standard non-refundable application fee of £50 applies to all taught Master’s degree programmes and is payable upon application submission. Income generated from the application fee is shared between scholarships and student hardship fund.
Tuition fee deposit
Applicants are required to respond to their Offer of Admission 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.