MSc Medical and Molecular Virology / Course details

Year of entry: 2019

Course description

Our MSc Medical & Molecular Virology course covers the medical and molecular aspects of virology, and some general microbiology, as well as immunity to infection and epidemiology.

You will explore the current issues and concepts in medical virology, and acquire the academic and practical skills necessary to make independent, informed judgements in relation to these issues.

A unique feature of our course is the focus on practical, laboratory-based teaching; you will spend time in the laboratory, learning how to be a virologist.

At the end of our course, you will be prepared for a career in clinical sciences or academic or industrial research.

This course runs alongside our  MSc Medical Microbiology  course. 


We aim to provide you with an understanding of and expertise in microbiology, with a particular focus on medical virology.

You will develop an understanding of the scientific basis of established and novel medical virology concepts, as well as the specialist knowledge, practical skills and critical awareness required to pursue a career in medical virology.

Special features

IBMS accreditation

This course is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science and meets the requirements for registration with the Science Council as a Chartered Scientist (CSci).

Extensive practical learning

The lab-focused nature of this course means you will gain maximum exposure to both the practical and theoretical aspects of a wide range of clinically relevant pathogens, helping develop practical skills that are valued by potential employers.

Various study options

You can study either full-time or part-time on both the MSc and PGDip routes, enabling you to fit learning around your other commitments if needed.

Research experience

You will typically carry out research projects within one of the University's research groups. The close relationship between the diagnostic virology services and the University department enable our research activities to be directly related to current relevant issues in medical virology. In some circumstances, research projects may be undertaken in your home institution. 

Teaching and learning

This course is delivered by academics from the University and NHS specialists in infectious disease and medical microbiology.

You will learn via a range of methods, including lectures, seminars, tutorials and comprehensive practical classes.

We use both face-to-face sessions and blended learning methods, with some material delivered and assessed online.

Find out more by visiting the  postgraduate teaching and learning  page.

Coursework and assessment

You will be assessed via continual assessment and formal theory and practical examinations.

Course unit details

The course consists of 90 credits of taught material and followed by a 90-credit research project (MSc only). Some units are shared with the MSc Medical Microbiology course. The taught units are as follows:

Shared units

  • Research Methods (15 credits)
  • Practical Microbiology (15 credits)
  • Understanding Infection (15 credits)
  • Molecular Diagnostics (15 credits)

Course-specific units

  • Clinical Virology (15 credits)
  • Molecular Virology (15 credits)

All MSc students carry out a five-month research project .

Full-time students take the above units and research project in Year 1. Part-time students can undertake the MSc over two years, one full semester per year.

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Molecular Virology MEDN61372 15 Mandatory
Clinical Virology MEDN62582 15 Mandatory


This course is based in Stopford Building on Oxford Road, where you will find state-of-the-art teaching and research laboratories, a student common room and good access to University computing clusters.

You will attend lectures across the University campus.

You will be able to access a range of  facilities  throughout the University.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the  Disability Advisory and Support Service .