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Health and Disease (MSc)

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  • Objectives
    This programme is designed to provide up-to-date understanding of human biology and the disease process, with emphasis on emerging threats to human well-being. Throughout, the objective is to provide those with a background in health and related fields (or other service professions) with a thorough understanding of the molecular basis of life processes and so the critical capacity to evaluate the efficacy of new breakthroughs in diagnosis and treatment of disease. An awareness of the research process and application of the scientific method is reinforced by the independent research project undertaken in the second year. On graduation, you will be qualified to work in the health sector, the pharmaceutical industries and other industries where biomedical knowledge is required.
  • Entry requirements
    Entry requirements Second-class honours degree in a science-based subject, or the equivalent. Other relevant professional qualifications and/or work experience welcome.
  • Academic Title
    Health and Disease (MSc)
  • Course description
    In the first and second years, a range of taught courses will provide an in-depth knowledge of the immune system, molecular biology, genetic disease, toxicology, endocrinology, energy metabolism, parasitology, virology, bacterial pathogenicity, and biopharmaceutical analysis. In the second year, you gain research experience via a laboratory-based or literature-based research project.

    Topics include: immune responses to disease (basic immunology, cell biology, inflammatory responses, cancer, HIV, TB, how to control emerging diseases); molecular biology and genetic disease (techniques of molecular biology, genetic susceptibility to disease, prions, BSE and CJD, inherited disorders of metabolism, the moral issues of gene tampering); toxicology and phytotherapy (environmental hazards and remediation, adverse reactions to drugs, metals and ageing); endocrinology (chemical signalling); synthesis, release and mechanisms of action of hormones; disorders of the endocrine system; microbial pathogenicity; how humans can protect against bacterial diseases; antimicrobials; antibiotic development; mode of action of chemical antibiotics and bacterial resistance to antibiotics; modern concepts in parasitology and virology; statistics (data analysis techniques); human genetics; plant products for health and nutrition.

    Lectures combined with laboratory practicals, problem-solving sessions, computer simulations, poster presentations, seminars and oral presentations. The degree involves using computer packages and the Internet, for which training is provided.

    Coursework assessed throughout the two years; written, unseen examinations at the end of the degree; a written project report; and a viva voce examination.

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