Skip to Content


Last modified: 16 Aug 2021 13:48

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 defences 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 Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Donna M. Maccallum

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

  • One of Master Of Science In Molecular Medicine or MSc Immunology or Master Of Science In Immunology And Immunotherapy or MSc Microbiology

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. 

In light of Covid-19 this information is indicative and may be subject to change.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

  • 1 Seminar during University weeks 27 - 35, 38 - 39

More Information about Week Numbers

Summative Assessments

Alternative Assessment

Major essay 3000 words 40%

Workshop report short answer questions 20%

Infographic 10%

Online test – MCQ, short answer questions, single best answer, choose all correct answers, etc. based on lectures and experimental design 30%

Alternative Resit Assessment

Oral exam – 30 min to be carried out via Online Classroom (Collaborate) to test achievement of intended learning outcomes.

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ProceduralApplyAbility to apply knowledge gained to the solution of theoretical problems and to communicate these effectively in group situations and in written form
ReflectionEvaluateKnowledge and understanding of current clinical therapeutics for bacterial, fungal, viral and parasitic pathogens and drug discovery, including novel therapies
ReflectionUnderstandIn-depth knowledge and understanding of pathogenesis of bacterial, fungal, viral and parasitic pathogens and host immune responses to these pathogens
ReflectionApplyAcquisition of self-directed learning skills
ReflectionEvaluateTo equip students with critical and analytical skills required for further studies in specialised areas of microbiological, immunological or related research.

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.