University of Chester

Programme Specification
Infection and Immunity MSc
2015 - 2016

Master of Science

Infection and Immunity

Infection and Immunity

University of Chester

University of Chester


Postgraduate (Taught)

Full-time and Part-time

Classroom / Laboratory, Distance,

13 months full-time, 2 years part-time

6 Years

Annual - September


17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Medicine, Dentistry and Life Sciences Chester Medical School


Biomedical Science

The programme is consistent with the Royal College of Physicians syllabus for training in Infectious Disease and for Tropical Medicine.

Institiute of Medicine

Monday 13th July 2015

The MSc in Infection and Immunity is designed to provide an up-to-date advanced understanding of the interactions between bacterial, fungal and parasitic pathogens and their hosts.

The overall aims of the MSc Infection and Immunity are to:

  • provide students with an advanced study of infectious diseases which underpins professional development
  • provide a high level of scientific knowledge of processes associated with infectious disease
  • provide expertise in scientific development in relation to diagnostic laboratory pathology
  • increase self awareness and insight into both professional and ethical issues relevant to infectious disease
  • develop a mastery of the subject area through a research dissertation


1. Demonstrate extensive knowledge and a critical understanding of relevant theoretical concepts; MD7001, MD7002, MD7006, MD7025, MD7026, MD7027

2. Demonstrate a critical understanding of a broad range of practical issues as applied to the field of biomedical sciences; all modules

3. Synthesize and integrate knowledge and understanding from different areas of microbiology and immunology; MD7001, MD7006, MD7025, MD7026, MD7027, MD7100

4. Apply a critically and theoretically informed perspective to relevant issues and current developments in biomedical sciences; – all modules.

Be able to analyse, synthesise, evaluate, apply and reflect upon information gained from academic and professional literature, professional organisations, and experiences in the workplace, in order to propose solutions to problems in biomedical contexts – all modules.

Be able to deploy academic and practical techniques for the integration of academic knowledge and understanding into effective professional practice contexts – MD7002, MD7025, MD7026

Have understanding of the limits of own knowledge, and how this influences analysis and interpretations based on that knowledge – all taught modules.

Have skills of self-evaluation to understand own strengths and weaknesses, challenge received opinion, and develop own criteria and judgement – MD7027.

Have key/transferable skills and confidence to undertake further training, develop existing skills, and acquire new competences that will enable the assumption of significant responsibility within relevant organisations – all modules.

Be able to use IT to manipulate quantitative and qualitative information to solve defined problems – all modules.

Be able to manage resources for effective learning – all modules.

Be able to effectively communicate information, arguments, and analysis in a variety of forms to specialist and non-specialist audiences – all modules.

Be able to work effectively within a team, giving and receiving information and ideas, and modifying responses as appropriate – all modules.

A number of the modules are shared with other MSc programmes, but students will address the assignments in those modules using agreed titles/studies associated with infection and immunity. Practical skills will be developed in MD7002 and then MD7026. Students will be encouraged to complete their Personal Development Plan throughout the course – in particular using the knowledge and competency framework from The Royal College of Physicians.

MD7001 The first module taken by students is split into 2 parts

a) we explore literature searching methods, reading and writing skills through a series of formative exercises. Students chose a topic related to infection and immunity for the assignment, which is agreed with the tutor.

b) Statistical analyses and their uses are explored through a series of exercises completed during the 3 day block or in the weekly sessions.

MD7002 - all students complete the sessions on Health and Safety, and experimental design. They then complete a creatinine assay – exploring issues of replication, sensitivity, specificity, recovery and sample storage. An ELISA optimisation is completed before analysing CRP concentrations from blood samples and looking at confounding factors. Methods for identifying microorganisms using differential media growth, ATP based assays and PCR will complete the modules. Students would also be provided with data from other blood ELISA assays and flow cytometry to enable discussion of a series of case studies.

MD7025 – the lectures and seminars look at a number of different infectious diseases. The students are asked to discuss the production of a book that they are to produce. They need to discuss the structure of the book, linking themes and presentation of each chapter. Their assignment is the production of these individual chapters.

MD7006 and MD7026 focus on immunological responses to infectious agents, how they are treated and how this may change over the next few years.

MD7027 comprises of a series of seminars by clinical researchers – external and internal. Students will complete assignments with agreed titles based on at least 2 of these seminars. Each seminar will be supported by material provided by the speaker and also a follow-up seminar by a member of staff.

MD7100 – is the opportunity for the students to integrate what they have learnt during the year and complete a research project in an area related to infection and immunity. The module is assessed by the production of 2 publishable papers – the first a review in the subject area and the second reporting their experimental data.

MSc Infection and Immunity: Successful completion of MD7001, MD7002, MD7025, MD7006, MD7026, MD7027 & MD7100

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
MD7001 7 Evidence Based Medicine 20 Comp
MD7002 7 Analysis and Interpretation of Clinical Data 20 Comp
MD7006 7 Clinical Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis 20 Comp
MD7025 7 Infectious Disease 20 Comp
MD7026 7 Advanced Immunology 20 Comp
MD7027 7 Case Investigations in Molecular Medicine 20 Comp
MD7100 7 Research Dissertation 60 Comp

Postgraduate Certificate Medical Science 

Successful completion of MD7001, MD7002 & MD7025

Postgraduate Diploma Infection and Immunity

Successful completion of MD7001, MD7002, MD7025, MD7006, MD7026 & MD7027

MSc Infection and Immunity

Successful completion of MD7001, MD7002, MD7025, MD7006, MD7026, MD7027 & MD7100


Applicants should normally have one of the following:

  • a Medical first degree
  • An Honours degree (minimum 2.2) containing a significant content of biological/biomedical science or a relevant postgraduate qualification. Graduates without a degree in Biomedical Sciences (e.g. Biological Sciences or Life Sciences) must have at least 50% of Level 6 (or equivalent) modules in Biomedical Sciences-related subjects (e.g. immunology, genetics, human biology, physiology, microbiology, histology, biochemistry, haematology etc).
  • hold appropriate professional qualifications and be able to demonstrate suitable background knowledge and skills.
  • Substantial relevant work experience, together with evidence of recent study or writing at an appropriate level

Overseas Candidates should also be competent in English and have achieved, as a minimum, one of the following standards: IELTS-6.5; TOEFL – 60.

Potential students may be invited to attend for interview

This programme complies with the credits per module and for award as recommended in the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) as identified by the QAA, and with the NQF qualifications descriptions for each Level. The module descriptors clearly demonstrate the competencies expected at each Level, and the amount of student effort required. The Level characteristics as described by the QAA in the National Qualifications Framework also relate closely to the overarching characteristics of learning as defined by the University of Chester.

The construction of this programme's learning outcomes, knowledge, skills and content together with the methods of learning, teaching and assessment have been informed by the the QAA benchmark statement for Medicine and the Royal College of Physicians Training Board publications - Speciality Training for Infectious Disease, Speciality Training for Tropical Medicine.

The programme will be delivered by blended learning in the form of learning packages, e-mail, discussion boards, telephone contact, residential schools and workplace mentoring. The Module Texts (supplemented by set texts) will provide the main learning materials and the University intranet will be used to provide the learning framework, information on work patterns, additional support materials and the platform for communication throughout the programme. Laboratory-based practical exercises which contribute to the Learning Outcomes of some modules will be undertaken within the appropriate Residential School, which will be scheduled at the start and end of each module.

Members of the Institute of Medicine have many years of experience in offering distinctive programmes of study at diploma, undergraduate, postgraduate and post-experience levels. They has considerable experience of supporting the learning needs of mature students and of students generally with ‘non-standard entry’ qualifications. Considerable experience has been achieved with students with limited entry qualifications both in terms of academic performance and personal development.   

Residential Schools 

At the start of each module, students will attend a Residential School at which the module content (including support provision, learning materials and assessment details) will be described. In addition, this will provide an opportunity  for the delivery of some subject matter and, where appropriate, relevant practical work. Cohort meetings will also be scheduled to take place at the Residential Schools. 

Students will be encouraged to form self-help groups (communicating through e-mail, Facebook, discussion boards or telephone) and these will be explained and organised at the Residential School.

Learning Packages

(a) The main learning materials will be in the form of Module Texts supported by a Programme Handbook. The Module Texts will contain a range of materials (e.g. text, articles, data handling exercises and so on) and will be augmented by on-line learning. Students will be encouraged to carry out self-assessment which will be progressively developed using a variety of in-text questions (ITQs) and self-assessment questions (SAQs). Answers to these questions – together with explanatory notes where appropriate – will give valuable on-going feedback to the students as they progress through the learning materials.

(b) On-line learning

On-line facilities (using the University intranet) will be used to provide the following:

 ·        A structured weekly guide to the module content

·        Additional self-assessment questions

·        Assessment details and guidance (e.g. on presenting the assignment(s))

·        Access to distant, appropriate websites

·        Access to Library resources

·        Access to the Discussion Board

·        e-mail links to the tutors

·        Text references

·        Access to the support infrastructure.


Time will be given each week to student/staff interaction via e-mail. Students will be allocated a time slot during which the module tutor will answer e-mails concerning the module content and/or assessment.

Practical work 

Where appropriate, there will be short practical exercises set within the modules which will be performed at the relevant Residential School.

Visiting Lecturers

Visiting Lecturers will be used to support the delivery of the programme. This will provide expertise in specialist areas and will include contributions from a range of personnel involved in various medical disciplines.

Assessment Strategy and Methods

The assessment methods employed all place great emphasis (as shown in their assessment criteria) on the learner's ability to demonstrate skills through the production of coherent responses either to problems or tasks set.

Examples include;

  • Written assignments that critically review and cite key research papers;
  • Case studies which identify and formulate appropriate responses and intervention strategies to biomedical issues;
  • Preparation of research proposals;

Specific details are available in individual module descriptors.

This programme is designed to equip graduates with the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding to pursue careers in the area of medicine, healthcare, or biomedical science - specialising in Infectious Disease and Immunity - either in industry or within the health sector. In addition, the transferable skills embedded throughout the programme will benefit graduates considering a change of career and equip them to enter other areas of employment (e.g. management, medical writing, etc.).

Graduates of this MSc programme should be able to:

  • deal with complex issues systematically and creatively, and communicate findings to specialists and other professional groups;
  • demonstrate self-direction and originality in problem-solving across a variety of areas;
  • continue to advance their knowledge and understanding, and to develop new skills to a high level and possess the necessary qualities and transferable skills at an advanced professional level.  

Postgraduate study involves the development of reflective practice, such that the student can modify personal professional activity, critically evaluate scientific information sources and methodologies, and possess the ability to perform such activities autonomously.

The programme provides specialist training for Doctors, or other healthcare professionals. It also provides an excellent grounding for those looking to undertake MPhil or PhD research. All candidates would be able to register for a PhD on successful completion of the MSc.


The programmes of study in the Institute of Medicine fully embrace the University’s commitment to the active promotion of equality of opportunity. The  University seeks to ensure that no student is disadvantaged or discriminated against on the grounds of: gender; age; marital or parental status; sexual orientation; racial group (race, colour, nationality, ethnicity or national origins); creed (religious, political or personal beliefs or principles); membership or non-membership of a trade union; and socio-economic background. It also aims to ensure that disabled people and those with special needs do not suffer unfair discrimination, and that they are enabled to achieve their full potential as students.  The ultimate objective of the programmes delivered are to ensure all aspects of delivery are open to all sections of society and in whose activities all students can participate to the best of their ability. This programme is designed to ensure inclusivity and to ensure that the diverse needs of our students are provided for.  At an Institute level all programmes are developed and delivered with the following aspects in mind:

  • Admission requirements are clearly set out in promotional materials and due consideration is given to a policy of widening access, participation, diversity and equality. 
  • Each module and programme is developed in line with University policy to both promote equality and diversity and encourage all students in the development of their learning.
  • There is flexibility in materials and delivery of teaching to support students with disability or from culturally diverse backgrounds and the Institute works closely with Learning Support in delivering this support through Learning Support Plans.
  • The induction week activities are designed to integrate all students both academically and socially and to make academic staff aware of any issues.  Students are made aware of avenues of support if they a have any issues regarding diversity and equality.
  • Supportive formative exercises are presented in modules in the first year to give all students an equal chance of succeeding.
  • Assessments are designed to afford equal opportunity to all students to display their knowledge and skills. The introduction of anonymous marking and the blue sticker scheme also enhance equal opportunity to all students.
  • In order to ensure that the needs of all students are met any barriers to access (physical, environmental and curriculum) are identified and removed or reasonable adjustments will be made based on requirements.
  • All learning materials and teaching and learning sessions are designed to be free from racist, sexist and other discriminatory assumptions and practices.
  • All lecturers are aware of diversity issues and discharge their PAT roles with knowledge and sympathy and all students are made aware of the Department structures to discuss issues should a concern arise. 

Back - to previous page  Print - launches the print options panel