The MSc Medical Microbiology program aims to provide a comprehensive theoretical knowledge of medical microbiology including the spread of micro-organisms, disease causation, diagnosis and/or treatment of pathogens of major significance to public health and advanced practical training in this diverse field. The increasing incidence of microbial infections worldwide is being compounded by the rapid evolution of drug-resistant variants and opportunistic infections by other organisms.
Students wishing to be awarded the MSc degree in Medical Microbiology may take any of the courses shown below. In response to a high level of student interest in viral infections, LSHTM has decided to offer the opportunity for students who focus on viruses in their course choices to be awarded an MSc degree in Medical Microbiology (Virology). This choice will depend on the study unit selection of the individual student in Terms 2 and 3.
Graduates from this course move into global health careers related to medical microbiology in research or medical establishments and the pharmaceutical industry.
The Bo Drasar Prize is awarded annually for outstanding performance by a Medical Microbiology student. This prize is named after Professor Bohumil Drasar, the founder of the MSc Medical Microbiology course.
The Tsiquaye Prize will be awarded annually for the best virology-based project.
By the end of the course students should be able to: demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of the nature of viruses, bacteria, parasites and fungi and basic criteria used in the classification/taxonomy of these micro-organisms; explain the modes of transmission and the growth cycles of pathogenic micro-organisms; explain the modes of transmission and the growth cycles of pathogenic micro-organisms; demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the mechanisms of microbial pathogenesis and the outcomes of infections; distinguish between and critically assess the classical and modern approaches to the development of therapeutic agents and vaccines for the prevention of human microbial diseases; demonstrate knowledge of the laboratory diagnosis of microbial diseases and practical skills; carry out a range of advanced skills and laboratory techniques, including the purification of isolated microbial pathogens, study of microbial growth cycles and analyses of their proteins and nucleic acids for downstream applications, and demonstrate research skills.
Term 1 begins with an initial one-week orientation period for all students. During this time students are introduced to the LSHTM and members of staff, given time to settle into London and to meet the other students on their course. There is an introduction to studying at the LSHTM, sessions on key computing and study skills and an introduction to major groups of pathogens. The Term 1 Module for the MSc Medical Microbiology consists of five weeks of Core Bacteriology teaching, followed by a reading week, and then five weeks of Core Virology teaching. There is a separate assessment at the end of each Core Module, which both take the form of a practical examination and Multiple Choice Question test. Sessions on basic computing, molecular biology and statistics are run throughout the term for all students.
Terms 2 and 3
Students take a total of six modules, one from each timetable slot (C1 to E2). A typical selection of modules is given below; not all modules will be available in any one year. Some modules can be taken only after consultation with the Course Director.
-- Term 2 choices
C1: Molecular Biology & Recombinant DNA Techniques; Basic Parasitology.
C2: Clinical & Public Health Bacteriology 1 (linked); Molecular Virology.
D1: Advanced Practical Training in Gene Cloning; Clinical Virology; Molecular Cell Biology & Infection.
D2: Clinical & Public Health Bacteriology 2 (linked); Genetics of Pathogens & Vectors; MBID: Research Progress & Applications.
-- Term 3 choices
E1: AIDS; Mycology; Training in Research Methods 1 (linked).
E2: Antimicrobial Chemotherapy; Control of Reproductive Tract Infections/Sexually Transmitted Diseases; Training in Research Methods 2 (linked).
Students complete a laboratory-based original research project on an aspect of a relevant organism. Projects may take place within the School or with collaborating scientists in other colleges or institutes in the UK. The students studying for the MSc in Medical Microbiology (Virology) must take a virology-based research project.
The majority of students who undertake projects abroad receive financial support for flights from the School's trust funds set up for this purpose.
The Royal College of Pathologists accepts the course as part of the professional experience of both medical and non-medical candidates applying for membership. The course places particular emphasis on practical aspects of the subjects most relevant to current clinical laboratory practice and research.
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.
Either a Second-class Honours degree from a recognised university of science, or a related subject or a degree in medicine. Applicants with an appropriate technical qualification and work experience, or equivalent qualifications, are also considered for admission to the course.
* Tuition fee: fees status is considered on application.