Skip to Content


Last modified: 28 Jun 2018 10:27

Course Overview

Why do some microorganisms cause disease, yet others don’t?  This course explores host-pathogen interactions from bacterial, fungal, parasite, viral and host perspectives in a lecture series, examining virulence factors, host defenses and immune responses.  Students develop a detailed knowledge of one specific host-pathogen interaction through self-directed study and review of a specific disease selected by the student.  In addition, workshops are held which discuss experimental design for analysis of host-pathogen interactions, virulence and novel drug treatments.  The material on the course will enable students to develop and refine their understanding of the roles of host and pathogen in infectious disease.

Course Details

Study Type Postgraduate Level 5
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Donna MacCallum

Qualification Prerequisites


What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Either MSc Immunology (Studied) or MSc Microbiology (Studied)
  • Any Postgraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

This course will explore host-pathogen interactions, examining the relationships from both host and pathogen perspectives.  Topics covered will include fungal, bacterial, viral and parasitic diseases, host responses to disease causing agents, as well as clinical therapies.  The course also aims to explore experimental design for analysis of host-pathogen interactions in workshops.

The course will be research-led and will focus on up-to-date research, exposing students to a stimulating and challenging learning environment.  The course aims to increase student’s understanding of host-pathogen interactions, clinical therapeutics and drug discovery, and experimental design.

The course also aims to encourage development of student critical thinking, through evaluation of literature and writing a major essay on a disease chosen by the student, and to develop personal and transferable skills to equip students for the research or other work environment. 

Further Information & Notes

This course is taken by MSc Microbiology and MSc Immunology students.

Degree Programmes for which this Course is Prescribed

  • MSc Immunology
  • MSc Microbiology

Contact Teaching Time

32 hours

This is the total time spent in lectures, tutorials and other class teaching.

Teaching Breakdown


Continuous assessment (50%); Major essay (3000 words) (40%) and a written report based upon material covered in workshops(10%) Examination (50%): multiple choice examination questions

Formative Assessment




Compatibility Mode

We have detected that you are have compatibility mode enabled or are using an old version of Internet Explorer. You either need to switch off compatibility mode for this site or upgrade your browser.