MSc Medical and Molecular Virology / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

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Course unit details:
Viruses and Disease 2

Course unit fact file
Unit code BIOL65221
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by School of Biological Sciences
Available as a free choice unit? No


Virology and clinical features

Diagnosis including molecular diagnosis

Epidemiology and global Impact

Treatment, management and prevention of diseases

In the following disease settings:


HIV and other Retroviruses

Hepatitis viruses

Viral infections in immunocompromised patients

The unit will also cover current areas of viral research interest in each of these three areas.



Provide students with a detailed and applied knowledge and understanding of the viruses which cause hepatitis, the human retroviruses including human immunodeficiency virus and of the role of viruses in causing disease in immunocompromised persons.


Teaching and learning methods

Teaching and Learning processes will include lectures, structured practical laboratory classes, and seminars and student-led presentations. Resource materials will be provided via Blackboard.

Knowledge and understanding

Be able to identify and show depth of knowledge of the hepatitis viruses, of HIV and other retroviruses and of the viruses that are particularly problematic in immunocompromised patients.

Have a critical understanding of the particular problems and ongoing challenges that these types of viral infections cause.


Understand how the above viral infections are diagnosed including the importance and current limitations of molecular methods.


Demonstrate a knowledge of current viral treatment and prevention strategies, how they are applied with respect to these infections and how effective they are.


Understand how the above viral infections are transmitted and how they impact on and affect global health.


Identify a current area of research in at least one of these areas of viral infection.

Intellectual skills

Synthesise and critically evaluate relevant scientific literature.


Present scientific and clinical data in an appropriate format.


Understand ethical issues associated with virology, particularly with regards to diagnosis and treatment of HIV infection, including different cultural and societal viewpoints and be able to articulate these.


Practical skills

Manipulate and analyse bioinformatic data and be able to use it to identify antiviral drug resistance


Work with increasing independence to design and carry out laboratory assays.


Carry out routine laboratory techniques competently and safely.


Keep clear records of methods and data collection in the laboratory.


Present information clearly and concisely in written and oral form

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Critically evaluate information from a variety of sources.


Interpret data and understand its significance to a particular viral infection


Demonstrate good time management and organisational skills in the laboratory setting.


Demonstrate oral presentation skills.


Make a valuable contribution within a team

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 50%
Written assignment (inc essay) 50%

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 150

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Pamela Vallely Unit coordinator

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