This programme provides comprehensive knowledge and practical training in the spread of microorganisms (predominantly bacterial and viral pathogens), disease causation and diagnosis and treatment of pathogens significant to public health. The increasing incidence of microbial infections worldwide is being compounded by the rapid evolution of drug-resistant variants and opportunistic infections by other organisms. The course content reflects the increasing importance of genomics and molecular techniques in both diagnostics and the study of pathogenesis.
In response to a high level of student interest in viral infections, the School has decided to offer the opportunity for students who focus on viruses in their module and project choices to be awarded a Master's degree in Medical Microbiology (Virology). This choice will depend on the module selection of the individual student in Terms 2 and 3 and choice of project.
Graduates from this programme move into global health careers related to medical microbiology in research or medical establishments and the pharmaceutical industry. Find out more about our graduate careers and destinations.
The Bo Drasar Prize is awarded annually for outstanding performance by a Medical Microbiology student. This prize is named after Professor Bohumil Drasar, the founder of the MSc Medical Microbiology course.
The Tsiquaye Prize is awarded annually for the best virology-based project report.
Duration: one year full-time or split-study over two years. Ways to study explained.
Watch programme leaders and students talk about the programme.
"Complex ideas were delivered in a lucid, comprehensible manner, while practicals were unique in that they closely simulated real-life diagnostic laboratory situations."
By the end of the programme students should be able to:
- demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of the nature of viruses, bacteria, parasites and fungi and basic criteria used in the classification/taxonomy of these micro-organisms
- explain the modes of transmission and the growth cycles of pathogenic micro-organisms
- demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the mechanisms of microbial pathogenesis and the outcomes of infections
- distinguish between and critically assess the classical and modern approaches to the development of therapeutic agents and vaccines for the prevention of human microbial diseases
- demonstrate knowledge of the laboratory diagnosis of microbial diseases and practical skills
- carry out a range of advanced skills and laboratory techniques, including the purification of isolated microbial pathogens, study of microbial growth cycles and analyses of their proteins and nucleic acids for downstream applications
- demonstrate research skills
The below structure outlines the proposed modules for this programme. Module specifications provide full details about the aims and objectives of each module, what you will study and how the module is assessed.
There is a one-week orientation period that includes an introduction to studying at the School, sessions on key computing and study skills and course-specific sessions, followed by two compulsory modules:
- Bacteriology & Virology
- Analysis & Design of Research Studies
Recommended 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 modules, one from each timetable slot (Slot 1, Slot 2 etc.). The list below shows recommended modules. There are other modules that can be taken only after consultation with the Course Director.
- Clinical Virology
- Molecular Biology & Recombinant DNA Techniques
- Clinical Bacteriology 1
- Molecular Virology
- Advanced Training in Molecular Biology
- Basic Parasitology
- Clincal Bacteriology 2
- Molecular Biology Research Progress & Applications
- Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
- Molecular Cell Biology & Infection
- Pathogen Genomics
During the summer months (July - August), students complete a laboratory-based original research project on an aspect of a relevant organism, for submission by early September. Projects may take place within the School or with collaborating scientists in other colleges or institutes in the UK or overseas.
The majority of students who undertake projects abroad receive financial support for flights from the School's trust funds set up for this purpose
The Royal College of Pathologists accepts the course as part of the professional experience of both medical and non-medical candidates applying for membership. The course places particular emphasis on practical aspects of the subjects most relevant to current clinical laboratory practice and research.
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.