MSc Molecular Biology of Infectious Diseases

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Program Description

MSc Molecular Biology of Infectious Diseases

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

This course aims to provide a thorough understanding and practical experience of molecular biology as it applies to infectious agents, particularly those that cause global health problems and problems in developing countries.

It covers the application of molecular biology to studying all aspects of the agents, including their taxonomy, diagnosis, epidemiology and chemotherapy.

It aims to equip students with the specialised knowledge and skills necessary for a research career or, increasingly, commercial or management careers that demand knowledge of molecular biology.

Many graduates enter PhD programmes, become academic, hospital-based or industrial research assistants, or work for molecular biology companies.

The Ralph Neal Memorial Prize is awarded to the best student of the year. This prize was founded in memory of Dr Ralph Neal, a distinguished research worker who died in 1990 in tragic circumstances.


By the end of this course students should be able to: demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the principles underlying a wide range of molecular biological techniques and apply these techniques in practice; demonstrate specialist knowledge and skills in the areas of gene cloning, DNA sequencing, bioinformatics and studies of gene function; devise and critically assess molecular biological approaches to fundamental research, taxonomic studies, production of DNA probes and epidemiological tools, analysis of chemotherapeutic targets and vaccine development, and develop skills for further independent learning in the context of the molecular biology of infectious diseases.

Programme specifications - showing which of the various elements of the Course support and achieve each of these specific Objectives.

Term 1

There is an initial one-week orientation period that includes sessions on key computing and study skills and an introduction to major groups of pathogens. This is followed by a ten week core module, selected from three options: bacteria and viruses, parasites and their arthropod vectors, or infectious disease immunology.

Sessions on basic computing, statistics, and molecular biology are run throughout the term for all students.

Terms 2 and 3

Students take a total of six study modules, one in each timetable slot. A list of recommended modules is given below. Certain other modules can be taken only after consultation with the Course Director, see web Prospectus for full details and course map.

C1: Molecular Biology & Recombinant DNA Techniques.

C2: Molecular Virology; Advanced Diagnostic Parasitology.

D1: Molecular Biology of Infectious Diseases: Advanced Practical Training in Gene Cloning (required).

D2: Molecular Biology of Infectious Diseases: Research Progress & Applications.

E1: Training in Research Methods 1; Immunology of Parasitic Infection: Principles; AIDS.

E2: Training in Research Methods 2; Antimicrobial Chemotherapy; Immunology of Parasitic Infection:

Project Report

Students complete a laboratory-based original research project, within the School or with collaborating scientists in the UK on an aspect of the molecular biology of an infectious agent.Only very occasionally do projects take place overseas, but when the project is based overseas the students are eligible to apply for travel funds.

Course Duration

Full-time for one year or split study over two years. Students taking the course by split study over two years attend full-time for part of Year 1, and then undertake the remainder of their course in Year 2. The split can occur anytime between the Christmas break and the end of the formal teaching in May, by prior arrangement with the Course Director. Paper 1 may be taken at the end of Year 1 or at the end of Year 2. Paper 2 must be taken at the end of Year 2. Interested applicants should indicate their choice on the application form.

Entrance Requirements

A First or Second-class Honours degree from a recognised UK university in a science related subject or a degree in medicine, or the equivalent level of degree from recognised universities in other countries. Applicants with an appropriate technical qualification and relevant work experience are also welcomed.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated December 15, 2015
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Oct. 2016
1 year
Part time
Full time
Request Info
Candidates are advised to apply by 30 June for a September start.
Start date Oct. 2016
United Kingdom London, England
Application deadline Request Info
Candidates are advised to apply by 30 June for a September start.
End date Request Info
Duration 1 year
Price Request Info