MSc Immunology of Infectious Diseases (pre-course info)

General welcome

We are delighted to welcome you to LSHTM and to the MSc Immunology of Infectious Diseases.

You have chosen an exciting, multi-cultural place of academic excellence to develop your career for the next 12 months and this programme will provide a sound basis for your future plans in research or infectious disease control.

During the year you will make a lot of new friends, not just with other MSc students but also PhD students and staff. We are a friendly and interactive bunch of people who look forward to supporting you in this next phase of your academic career.  We hope to bring to you our excitement in trying to understand the intricate biology of immune system, the devious strategies of the pathogens that try to attack us and the real-life implementation of immunology, such as in vaccination, which has had such a dramatic effect on global public health.

Welcome week

MSc Immunology of Infectious Diseases welcome week timetable 2019 (pdf)
Welcome week timetable (all programmes) (pdf)
​​​​​​​• Welcome week marketplace guide (pdf)

• International Students’ Induction & Reception: taking place on Monday, 4-6.30pm, and featuring talks on Tier 4 Visa terms and conditions, and healthcare and banking in the UK. This event is strongly recommended for Tier 4 Visa students, and may be of interest to other international students.

• Student Welcome Party: celebrate your first week at LSHTM with your new friends, live music and light refreshments on Friday, 5-8pm in the lower ground floor.

• Accommodation helpdesk: if you are still looking for accommodation, visit the helpdesk in our Keppel Street building, where former students are on hand to guide you in your search. Open daily 12-5pm Monday 23 to Friday 27 September.

• Bank letters: bank letters will be available 11am-4pm on Wednesday and 10am-4pm Thursday & Friday in the Library. From Monday 30 September they will be available from the Student Hub. You will need to provide the name and address of the bank where you intend to open your account. Visit our banking pages for details of banks with branches near LSHTM.

• Council tax letters: council tax exemption certificates can be obtained from the Student Hub from Wednesday 25 September onwards.

The first week of term is given over to an introductory process involving registration and meeting the programme director and staff. This week is relatively relaxed with few timetabled events. We will find you a tutor and you will start to find your way around the institute. You should be able to access your email account and get to know the Moodle, LSHTM's virtual learning environment. We will start the immunology on Monday of the second week of term. You will note that the timetable is fairly full so by then you should be able to give your full attention to the MSc.

Preparing for the programme

It may be useful if you have limited prior knowledge of immunology to look through one of the major immunology text books but there is no essential requirement for this. If you are worried – don’t be – but if you are please contact We do start at the beginning with antibodies and antigen recognition and the immune system biology, immune organs, their architecture and cells. Although we progress rapidly, we do start at the beginning.

We do not recommend an individual book as each book has its strengths and weaknesses and it would be wrong to suggest the programme relies on a particular source. Immunology is fast-moving and even the core immunology course includes material where expert lecturers in particular areas will provide insights beyond the current text book material. The important thing is to have within a week or so of starting lectures a recent edition of one of the following:

- Janeway’s Immunobiology by K. Murphy
- Kuby Immunology by Owen et al.
- Cellular and Molecular Immunology by Abbas et al.
- Immunology by Male et al.
- Roitt’s Essential Immunology by Delves et al.

You will not need any other materials. Lab coats are provided by the appropriate laboratory and you will be given a book which describes the way research labs work and provides information about basic laboratory skills.

Timetable and programme materials

You will receive your Term 1 timetable during orientation week and materials at the start or shortly before each module. Rest assured that this is a full-time programme and there will not be much time off during the day and what you have is expected to be spent in private study.

In the case of the core general immunology, we will have most of the course information on Moodle which you will be able to access by the first week. Lecture handout notes from each speaker usually go online only a few days before the lecture so please don’t expect to see a lot of material for specific lectures too many weeks in advance. We try to update things as close to the time of presentation as possible. Please note that for the Core Immunology 3120 course in Term 1 you will be expected to print these handouts for yourself prior to attending the lecture.

Module and summer project choices

Everyone taking the MSc does the Immunology of Infectious Diseases core followed by Advanced Immunology modules.

As you will have gathered from reading about the MSc, the length of the project can vary considerably to suit your needs. Those who wish may pursue additional taught course modules (after completion of Advanced Immunology 1 & 2) and then do a laboratory project over the summer period. For these students, the decisions about modules are likely to be made at around the end of Term 1 and the project needs to be chosen by the start of February.

Some students may choose to do the extended project starting immediately after the end of Advanced Immunology. You should be aware that this is one of the earlier decisions you will need to make. We will discuss this more with you when you arrive but you will have time to discuss areas and potential projects with a variety of supervisors at least until towards the end of the core module.

Information for split-study students

Initially you will be doing the whole of the Term 1 core module so your timetable will be the same as everyone else. You will have until Christmas to finalise any arrangements for which components of the MSc you complete in which year, but as you will be aware this is not a part-time programme.

Programme handbook

MSc Immunology of Infectious Diseases Handbook 2019-20 (pdf)

Page last updated September 2019