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 the School.
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.
Graduates from this programme go into research positions in academia and industry, and further training such as PhD study. Find out more about our graduate careers and destinations.
Duration: one year full-time or split-study over two years. Ways to study explained.
Watch Programme Director, Greg Bancroft, and students talk about the programme.
"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."
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
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
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 Course Directors.
- Advanced Immunology 1 (compulsory)
- Advanced Immunology 2 (compulsory)
- Advanced Training in Molecular Biology*
- Clinical Immunology*
- Extended Project*
- Basic Parasitology
- Clinical Infectious Diseases 3: Bacterial & Viral Diseases & Community Health in Developing Countries
- Extended Project*
- Immunology of Parasitic Infection: Principles*
- Molecular Biology Research Progress & Applications*
- Clinical Infectious Diseases 4: Parasitic Diseases & Clinical Medicine
- Epidemiology & Control of Communicable Diseases
- Ethics, Public Health & Human Rights
- Genetic Epidemiology
- Antimicrobial Chemotherapy*
- Extended Project*
- Molecular Cell Biology & Infection*
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 £500 field trip fee.
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.
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.
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.
Applications should be made online. Paper application forms are available upon request and will normally incur an administration fee of £50. You must send a copy of the personal details and photograph page of your passport with all paper applications. Your application will not be considered until you have provided the above documents.
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.
The final closing date for taught Master’s applications is as follows:
- 1st August 2017 by 23:59 British Summer Time (BST) for international applicants requiring a Tier 4 Student Visa, and
- 22nd August 2017 by 23:59 British Summer Time (BST) for applicants not requiring a Tier 4 Student Visa.
Do you need a visa?
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.