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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.
By the end of this programme students will 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
Duration: one year full-time or split-study over two years. Ways to study explained.
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 Research in Infectious Diseases
- Extended Project
- Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
- Cell Biology of Host-Pathogen Interactions
- Neglected Tropical Diseases
- 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.
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 students from all backgrounds feel encouraged to apply to study with us. To that end, we have introduced an innovative contextual admissions system that is designed to consider any barriers applicants may have faced and take account of the circumstances in which their grades have been achieved, rather than relying on results alone. More information on widening participation at LSHTM.
*Mobile users, scroll right to view fees
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 2023/24 academic year is:
- Sunday 23 July 2023 at 23:59 UK time for all students requiring a Student visa
- Thursday 31 August 2023 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.