module specification

BC6066 - Advanced Infection Science (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Advanced Infection Science
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 150
111 hours Guided independent study
39 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 60%   Case Studies (1500 words)
Unseen Examination 40%   Online Exam (1.5 hour)
Attendance Requirement 0%   Practical Attendance
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Wednesday Morning

Module summary

The module aims to provide students with knowledge of  a range of microorganisms  and the diseases that they cause. Students will develop an appreciation  of how pathogens cause disease and be able to carry out diagnosis from  associated  pathophysiological features.  They will also have knowledge of the identification, prediction and control of disease. The epidemiology of selected diseases will be studied and strategies used for  disease control and management will be explored including examples of prophylaxis and therapy.

The module also addresses the gross structure and ultrastructure of normal cells and tissues and the structural changes which may occur during infectious disease. Students will further develop their microbiological, cellular visualisation and imaging techniques in the laboratory in practical sessions. The principles and applications of laboratory diagnosis including aspects of QA and QC will also be studied.  Theoretical and practical problems will be employed to assist students in the development of their analytical and problem solving capabilities. Case studies will be examined to give students practice in diagnosis.


This module will cover clinical pathology  including pathophysiological features of infectious diseases and their cause.
Paradigms of microorganism-host interactions in disease: concepts and mechanisms of infection; pathogenicity and virulence; constitutive and induced host defence mechanisms; microbial evasion/subversion of host defences; rationale  of diagnostic procedures and antimicrobial chemotherapy. (1-4)
Paradigms of microorganism-community interactions: exogenous encounter; major transmission routes of human pathogens; emerging microbial infections; the role of public health laboratories in disease control; strategies for control of community, health care associated and hospital acquired infections; rationale of immunisation programmes. (3,4)
Practical exercises will involve microbial and tissue identification, reviewing diseased tissue, fluorescent staining techniques and other molecular biology (4)

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Students will be provided with the opportunity to acquire knowledge through a programme of lectures, problem-solving tutorial sessions, laboratory based practical exercises and on-line exercises. Students’ ability to make critical evaluations will be developed through analysis of source material and case studies supported by tutorial material. Students will be expected to reflect on taught material in order to demonstrate their understanding of the principles and practices of infection science (total:150 hours).

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
1.  Apply knowledge of the pathogenicity and virulence mechanisms of major groups of microorganisms and assess  the pathophysiological features  of diseased tissues and organs, and apply the interpretation of laboratory results in diagnosing disease.
2.  Evaluate the relevance of epidemiology in the prediction, control and identification of  current and emerging diseases.
3. Appraise the application of  therapeutic and prophylactic measures.
4. Understand the use of laboratory investigations to integrate clinical diagnosis and treatment of disease and work individually and as a member of a team in performing and evaluating microbiological, molecular and cellular laboratory diagnostic procedures.

Assessment strategy

The module will be summatively assessed by means of one coursework component (60% of the overall module mark) and one time constrained unseen examination (40% of the overall module mark). The coursework will consist of a time constrained case study exercise. The case study exercise will test the application of student’s knowledge of disease and associated pathogens. The unseen exam will assess knowledge of the subject and its application.

Summative assessment of the case study will be given within three weeks of the hand-in date.  The coursework component will also be used to provide formative feedback to students. Exemplar case studies are discussed in tutorials to prepare students for summative assessment in case studies.

To pass the module, students need to achieve a minimum aggregate mark of 40%. There will be an attendance requirement for the practical sessions. If the module is passed on reassessment, then the maximum mark awarded will be 40%.

Component                                          Learning Outcomes          

Case Study questions (1500 words)    2,3,4
Unseen exam (1.5 hrs)                        1,2,3



Clinical Microbiology Reviews
Infection and Immunity
International Journal of Medical Microbiology
Journal of Medical Microbiology
Reviews in Medical Microbiology
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Federation of European Microbiological Societies:
Health Protection Agency:
Microbe World:
Microbes Info:
Microbiology On-line:
Society for General Microbiology:
World Health Organization: