Taught course

Infection Biology (with specialisms)

University of Glasgow · Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation

Entry requirements

You should have at least a second class Honours Degree or equivalent in Biomedical Science or a relevant subject. Alternative qualifications will also be considered on a case-by-case basis. You are required to provide two references and a full degree transcript with your application.

Months of entry


Course content

The taught Infection Biology MSc will help you to develop your knowledge and understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which bacteria, viruses and parasites cause disease in humans and in domesticated animals, and the immune responses generated by these hosts to such pathogens. You can choose to specialise in virology, microbiology (bacteriology) or parasitology.

Why this programme

  • This degree in Infection Biology allows you to study in an Institute housing two UK National centres of excellence, in Virology and Parasitology, and active in the Scottish Infection Research Network (SIRN), a key clinical focus on healthcare-related
  • You will work in the laboratories of internationally recognized infection biology researchers, conducting high quality basic, translational and clinical science.
  • We have exciting scholarship opportunities.
  • This MSc in Infection Biology provides access to a combination of highly specialised equipment, unique in Scotland, including cutting edge in vitro and in vivo research facilities for biological imaging, high content screening microscopy , and a state of the art polyomics facility bringing together metabolomics, proteomics, genomics, transcriptomics, and integrations of data sets with bioinformatics.
  • You can attend guest lectures and workshops from scientists and clinicians working in the pharmaceutical, diagnostic and biotechnology fields.
  • You can carry out a research project in an internationally recognized centre of excellence, working with world-leading researchers in infection biology.
  • This Infection Biology degree integrates infection biology with cutting edge molecular and cellular techniques.
  • The MSc in Infection Bilogy offers breadth, covering bacteria, viruses and parasites.
  • Students can opt to specialise in one of the three areas of infection biology, and will graduate with a named specialism e.g. MSc Infection Biology (Microbiology).
  • Optional courses allow students to develop their interests:
    • Technology transfer and commercialisation of bioscience research.
    • Drug discovery
    • Diagnostic technologies and devices
    • Current trends and challenges in biomedical research and health
  • We have excellent opportunities to engage with industrial and clinical scientists, with guest lecturers from the pharmaceutical industry, medical diagnostic laboratories and bioscience business.
  • Students have the opportunity to carry out a research project in an internationally recognized centre of excellence, working with world-leading researchers in infection biology.

Programme structure

The MSc programme will consist of five taught courses and a project or dissertation, spread over 11-12 months. Three courses are compulsory, and two are chosen from a series of options.

The PGDip programme will consist of five taught courses, spread over 7-8 months, with three compulsary courses and two chosen from a series of options.

The PgCert programme consists one core taught course over 3-4 months.

Core Courses and Project

  • Host-pathogen interactions and immune responses to infection
  • Omic technologies for the biomedical sciences: from genomics to metabolomics
  • Designing a research project: biomedical research methodology
  • Infection Biology Research project (laboratory based or non-laboratory based, in Virology, Parasitology, or Microbiology)

Optional Courses

  • Drug discovery
  • Diagnostic technologies and devices
  • Current trends and challenges in biomedical research and health
  • Technology transfer and commercialisation of bioscience research

Teaching and Learning Methods

A variety of methods are used, including lectures, tutorials, workshops, laboratories and problem-based learning. These are supplemented by a wide range of course-specific electronic resources for additional learning and self assessment. As a result, you will develop a wide range of skills relevant to careers in infection biology research, diagnostics or drug development. These skills include team-working, data interpretation and experimental design. You will use the primary scientific literature as an information resource.

Electronic Resources

Our online resources were voted the best in the United Kingdom in the International Student Barometer in 2012, and include:

  • a continually updated Moodle (virtual learning environment) with extensive additional teaching and self-assessment materials
  • over 35,000 online textbooks and e-journals available through the University library website, 24/7
  • academic databases of biological sciences and medicine
  • Henry Stewart Talks - animated audio visual presentations by world leading experts covering many topics in infection biology.

Career prospects

The University of Glasgow MSc in Infection Biology provides you with many career opportunities.

Research: About half of our MSc students enter a research career, mainly by undertaking further postgraduate research studies towards a PhD), or by working in research laboratories in clinical or academic settings, including national government laboratories.

Industry: Other students go on to work in the pharmaceutical, diagnostic or biotechnological industries.

Information for international students

Please refer to our website for more information.

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • overall score 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.0
  • or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification:

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:

  • ibTOEFL: 90; no sub-test less than:
    • Reading: 20
    • Listening: 19
    • Speaking: 19
    • Writing: 23
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII at Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses

The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months


full time
8 months


full time
3 months

Course contact details

MVLS Infection Biology
+44(0)141 330 2000