MSc Infection Biology

Year of entry: 2021

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Overview

Degree awarded
Master of Science
Duration
1 Year
Entry requirements

We require an honours degree (minimum Upper Second) or overseas equivalent in: 

  • biological science
  • biomedical science

Candidates with a Lower Second may be considered subject to interview performance and academic references.

Students with different academic backgrounds and relevant career experience (eg working in the biotech or pharmaceutical industries) will be considered, keeping in mind the academic potential of the individual. Such students will be accepted onto the course on a discretionary basis at application and interview.

We will also encourage intercalating medical students who have demonstrated an interest and aptitude in biomedical sciences. This will be assessed both by interview and the production of a personal statement.

Minimal requirement for admission will be satisfactory achievement in years 1-3 of the undergraduate medical programme.

Full entry requirements

Number of places/applicants
10
How to apply

Please apply via our online application form. See the application and selection section for details of the supporting documents we require.

We recommend that you apply as early as possible. We reserve the right to close applications if the course is full.

Course options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning
MSc Y N N N

Course overview

  • Join the global fight to tackle infectious diseases which threaten humanity.
  • Learn the skills and knowledge you need to pursue a career in infectious diseases research.
  • Learn directly from internationally recognised scientists and access state-of-the-art technologies in infectious diseases research
  • Study at a university ranked 8th in the UK and among 28th in the world for Medicine (QS World University Rankings 2021).

Open days

For details of the next University Postgraduate open day, visit open days and visits

Fees

For entry in the academic year beginning September 2021, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • MSc (full-time)
    UK students (per annum): £12,000
    International, including EU, students (per annum): £26,000

Further information for EU students can be found on our dedicated EU page.

The fees quoted above will be fully inclusive for the course tuition, research project and administration during your studies.

All fees for entry will be subject to yearly review and incremental rises per annum are also likely over the duration of courses lasting more than a year for UK/EU students (fees are typically fixed for international students for the course duration at the year of entry).

For general fees information please visit postgraduate fees. Always contact the department if you are unsure which fee applies to your qualification award and method of attendance.

Policy on additional costs

All students should normally be able to complete their programme of study without incurring additional study costs over and above the tuition fee for that programme. Any unavoidable additional compulsory costs totalling more than 1% of the annual home undergraduate fee per annum, regardless of whether the programme in question is undergraduate or postgraduate taught, will be made clear to you at the point of application. Further information can be found in the University's Policy on additional costs incurred by students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes (PDF document, 91KB).

Scholarships/sponsorships

The Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health offers an intercalation bursary of £1000 towards tuition fees for successful applicants who are commencing certain MSc courses in 2021.

The bursary is available to students who:

  • are The University of Manchester's medical students intercalating on MSc Tissue Engineering for Regenerative Medicine, MSc Precision Medicine or MSc Infection Biology; 
  • have home fee status;
  • are self-funded and not in receipt of any other funding support. The bursary will be applied as a fee reduction automatically for those students who meet the criteria so there is no application process.

Contact details

School/Faculty
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health
Contact name
Admissions team
Telephone
0161 306 5439
Email
Website
https://www.bmh.manchester.ac.uk/study/biosciences/
School/Faculty
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

Courses in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of courses in related subject areas.

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

We require an honours degree (minimum Upper Second) or overseas equivalent in: 

  • biological science
  • biomedical science

Candidates with a Lower Second may be considered subject to interview performance and academic references.

Students with different academic backgrounds and relevant career experience (eg working in the biotech or pharmaceutical industries) will be considered, keeping in mind the academic potential of the individual. Such students will be accepted onto the course on a discretionary basis at application and interview.

We will also encourage intercalating medical students who have demonstrated an interest and aptitude in biomedical sciences. This will be assessed both by interview and the production of a personal statement.

Minimal requirement for admission will be satisfactory achievement in years 1-3 of the undergraduate medical programme.

English language

International students must demonstrate English proficiency through a secure and approved testing system.

We ask for English language proof if you are from non-majority English speaking countries (a list of majority English speaking countries, as defined by the UK Home Office, can be found here ).

Specifically, we require a minimum of:

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall (6.5 in each component) 
  • TOEFL: 90 internet-based (with 22 in each component)

See further information about requirements for your country.

We may also accept evidence of a confirmed place on a University Pre-sessional English language course, if your current IELTS scores are: 

  • Minimum 6.0 overall (with 6.0 in each component) plus enrolment and attendance on the 6-week pre-sessional course (PS6)
  • Minimum 6.0 overall (with 5.5 in each component) plus enrolment and attendance on the 10-week pre-sessional course (PS10).

Please note, we must approve this before you apply for the English course. 

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Relevant work experience

You need to be able to demonstrate relevant work experience in your chosen pathway.

Application and selection

How to apply

Please apply via our online application form. See the application and selection section for details of the supporting documents we require.

We recommend that you apply as early as possible. We reserve the right to close applications if the course is full.

Advice to applicants

We require the following documents before we can consider your application.

  • Transcript of your studies to date, translated into English.
  • Two academic references on letter headed paper. These can be scanned and uploaded when you apply or emailed to pgtaught.biosciences@manchester.ac.uk . We do not request references on an applicant's behalf and it is your responsibility to ensure your referees know how to provide your reference to us. 
  • Degree certificate (if you have already graduated).
  • Personal statement or statement of purpose.
  • Curriculum vitae (CV).

If English is not your first language, we also require proof of your English language ability. If you have already taken an English language qualification, please include your certificate with your application. We may be willing to consider your application without this document, but if we choose to make you an offer, the conditions will include IELTS (or equivalent qualification).

How your application is considered

We consider your full academic history including which undergraduate course units you have taken and the marks obtained. When application numbers are high, even if you have met our minimum entry requirements, we will take into account your marks in relevant undergraduate course units in our final decision making.

Interview requirements

All international applicants will be interviewed by Skype.

Returning to education

We may interview you via Skype prior to making a decision on your application.

Overseas (non-UK) applicants

Self-funded international applicants for this course will be required to pay a deposit of £1,000 towards their tuition fees before a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) is issued. This deposit will only be refunded if immigration permission is refused. We will notify you about how and when to make this payment.

Please upload a copy of your current valid passport with your application showing the photograph page with your application. For CAS purposes, this must show your full name, date of birth, nationality, passport number and the date the passport is valid until, which must be later than the date of your planned arrival in the UK, and the start date of your course.

You cannot use your CAS to apply for a visa more than three months before the start date of your course. Your CAS number is only valid for one Tier 4 application.

Re-applications

If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful you may apply again.

Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry. In your new application you should demonstrate how your application has improved. We may draw upon all information from your previous applications or any previous registrations at the University as a student when assessing your suitability for your chosen course.

Course details

Course description

Our MSc Infection Biology course will equip you with the knowledge and skills required to join the global fight against infectious diseases which threaten humanity.

Infectious disease remains a major cause of human death but the efficacy of antimicrobial interventions continues to decline. The discovery of novel preventative and therapeutic interventions now critically dependent upon a detailed mechanistic understanding of disease processes, their impact upon human pathobiology and the feasibility of therapeutically targeting such mechanisms.

With a view to training a generation of infection biologists equipped with the skills to tackle this global challenge, the MSc in Infection Biology provides outstanding academic and research training in the molecular and cellular basis of host-microbe interactions in health and disease.

You will learn directly from internationally recognised scientists through joint research, thereby securing a sustained interaction with expert mentors for the duration of the course.

The course provides research training in fundamental aspects of infectious diseases, microbial pathogenesis, host interactions, antimicrobial immunity, and antimicrobial therapy. For the talented student this course provides an excellent training prior to registration for a PhD.

This course will equip you with: 

  • a detailed theoretical and practical understanding of molecular microbiology and antimicrobial immunology;
  • a thorough understanding of methods for analysing the biological functions and physiological relevance of microbial virulence factors and host responses to pathogenic challenge; 
  • a working knowledge of mechanistic approaches to problem-solving in molecular and cellular biomedical science;
  • an understanding of a wide repertoire of cutting edge scientific methods including flow cytometry, single cell technologies, imaging and proteomics;
  • transferable skills in critical reasoning and reflection, collaborative team working, scientific communication, use of IT/health informatics, innovation in the application of knowledge to practice and logical/systematic approaches to solving problems and making decisions.

Aims

This course aims to:

  • equip you with a detailed theoretical and practical understanding of molecular microbiology and immunology, delivered in-context during laboratory-based research and self-directed research of the literature; 
  • enable you to integrate molecular and cellular information to understand the genetic basis of microbial virulence, host responses to pathogen challenge, and complexity of infectious disease, diagnostics, and antimicrobial therapies; 
  • give you an understanding of the principles of modelling of host and microbial aspects of infection to help characterise the host-pathogen interaction; 
  • equip you with an understanding of methods for analysing the biological functions and physiological relevance of microbial virulence factors and host responses to pathogenic challenge; 
  • provide you with a working knowledge of mechanistic approaches to problem-solving in molecular and cellular biomedical science;
  • ensure you have a working understanding of the application of a wide repertoire of advanced scientific methods at the cutting edge of scientific research, including flow cytometry, single cell technologies, imaging and proteomics;
  • give you transferable skills in critical reasoning and reflection, collaborative team working, communication, use of IT/health informatics, innovation in the application of knowledge to practice and logical/systematic approaches to solving problems and making decisions.

Special features

  • In our unique technology workshops you will learn, from the skilled experimental officers and technicians who support these key technologies, how to harness modern research technologies including single cell methodologies, live cell imaging, CRISPR, flow cytometry, proteomics, and next generation sequencing technologies to address cutting edge questions in infectious diseases research.
  • You will learn from clinician scientists and global leaders in infectious diseases research by attending our fortnightly seminars in infection.
  • In our grant writing exercise you will learn how to budget for, and become competitive in, securing funding for scientific research programmes.
  • You will benefit from studying amongst a small, talented and motivated peer group, selected at interview for their competitive potential.

Teaching and learning

The course comprises an induction period, sessions to introduce research areas and fundamental background knowledge, two linked research projects (initial literature research and proposal development, followed by a minimum of 25 weeks related laboratory research).

Technologies workshops

These will provide practical training in advanced research methods, giving you exposure to techniques which you may otherwise not be exposed to through your projects. Each session will be led by an expert and will consist of an explanation of the technique, followed by a practical demonstration including, where relevant, hands-on experience and data analysis.

Journal clubs

In these sessions, you will meet to review and discuss relevant research papers. Each session will be led by a senior researcher who will suggest papers for discussion.

Research seminars

You will be expected to attend departmental seminar programmes. This will include presentations provided by external speakers.

Research projects

You will complete one extended research project during the year, designed to give you practical experience of laboratory research. The experience gained will help you develop and focus your research skills in modern biomedical research laboratories. Research projects will be written up and formally evaluated. Upon commencing the course you will be issued with a list of potential research projects and appropriate reading material.

You will attend the 3 week Foundation Lecture Course: Host-Microbe Interactions in Heath and Disease, which will include presentations from research groups that describe the breadth of research opportunities available, and will be able to discuss projects with potential supervisors.

Grant writing exercise

The grant writing exercise will provide hands-on experience of the grant writing process from the initial idea to the submission and peer review of the proposal.

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
Research Project 1 BIOL66121 30 Mandatory
Research Project 2 BIOL66132 90 Mandatory
Technologies Workshops BIOL68911 15 Mandatory
Host-pathogen interactions in health and disease BIOL68921 15 Mandatory
Journal Club Tutorial Unit BIOL68931 15 Mandatory
Grant Application Writing BIOL68941 15 Mandatory

Facilities

The Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health provides a range of research facilities to help researchers in the Faculty to carry out ground-breaking work in biological, medical and health sciences.

The University of Manchester offers extensive library and online services to help you get the most out of your studies.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk

Careers

Career opportunities

This course is designed for students who wish to pursue a career in biomedical research.

The majority of our students will go on to undertake PhD studies at The University of Manchester and elsewhere, or will continue their career in the industrial sector where the rapid recent expansion of genomic science and the ever-increasing demand for cell-based analysis and experimentation emphasises the requirement for suitably trained research graduates.

Intercalating medical students from Manchester and elsewhere will benefit from MSc Infection Biology if they are interested in careers addressing the many challenges of hospital and community acquired infectious disease, antibiotic resistance and novel antimicrobial strategy.