Infection, Immunity and Human Disease MSc

Year of entry

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Start date
September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
12 months full time
Entry requirements
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in a relevant subject.
Full entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in all components
UK fees
£13,500 (Total)
International fees
£31,000 (Total)

Course overview

This image shows a tumour

Understand, diagnose and combat human disease

Never before has this area of study been so publicised and been so important to the modern world, this is your chance to make a real impact in the field. On this course you’ll gain an understanding of human disease through a series of specialist taught modules covering topics such as infectious and non-infectious disease, advanced immunology, medical diagnostics and treatment of infectious diseases and cancer.

To complement this you will also learn about an exciting range of modern techniques and methodologies that underpin contemporary biomolecular sciences. These will include: molecular biology, structural biology, cell imaging and flow cytometry, high throughput techniques such as bioinformatics, and transgenic organisms.

To help you develop and specialise, in the final part of the course you’ll receive substantial subject-specific training through an independent laboratory-based research project in an area of infection, immunity or human disease related to your course options and interests. There is currently a noticeable skills gap in the sector, your Masters programme has been specifically designed to enhance your employment prospects.

If you choose to study at Leeds, you’ll join a faculty highly ranked in the UK for its research impact in the recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021), and you’ll graduate with the solid base of scientific knowledge and specialist skills highly valued by employers.

Course details

During this course you will have the opportunity to take specialist taught modules covering topics such as: infectious and non-infectious disease, advanced immunology, medical diagnostics and treatment of infectious diseases and cancer.

You will gain a focussed overview of modern techniques and methodologies that underpin contemporary biomolecular sciences. You’ll investigate five topic areas: molecular biology, structural biology, cell imaging and flow cytometry, high throughput techniques and transgenic organisms.

You’ll also apply your knowledge to an extended practical investigation in the form of a laboratory-based project, involving practical training in a range of modern molecular biology and protein engineering techniques such as: gene cloning, PCR, mutagenesis, protein expression, protein purification and analysis.

To help you to develop and specialise, you will have substantial subject-specific training through an independent research project in an area of infection, immunity or human disease.

In the final part of the course you'll work on an independent laboratory-based research project related to your course options. You’ll receive extensive training in experimental design, the practical use of advanced techniques and technologies, data analysis and interpretation, and will be assigned a research project supervisor who will support and guide you through your project.

If you have previous experience of immunology, you could opt to investigate the structure, regulation and development of the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector, or explore aspects of human toxicology. These could include: the actions of toxicants on the cardiovascular, immune and nervous systems, kidneys, liver and lungs, genetic toxicology and chemical carcinogenesis, and the effects of chemicals on foetal development.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Infection, Immunity and Human Disease MSc in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Infectious and Non-Infectious Diseases 15
Practical Bioinformatics 15
Advanced Immunology 15
Research Planning and Scientific Communication 15
Advanced Biomolecular Technologies 15
Medical Diagnostics 15
Treatment of Infectious Disease and Cancer 15
Protein Engineering Laboratory Project 15
Bioscience MSc Research Project 60

Learning and teaching

You’ll have access to the very best learning resources and academic support during your studies.

Your learning will be heavily influenced by the University’s world-class research as well as our strong links with highly qualified professionals from industry, non-governmental organisations and charities.

In addition, you will experience a vast array of teaching methods including formal lectures, interactive workshops, problem-solving, practical classes and demonstrations.

Our teaching and assessment methods are designed to develop you into a scientist who is able to think independently, solve problems, communicate effectively and demonstrate a high level of practical ability.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


We use a variety of assessment methods: practical work, data handling and problem solving exercises, group work, discussion groups (face-to-face and online), computer-based simulation, essays, posters and oral presentations.

Choose your independent advanced research project from a wide list of topics, which are designed to offer you an immersive individual research experience, as well as the opportunity to contribute to science in an area you are passionate about.


Entry requirements

Applicants should normally have a bachelor’s degree with at least a 2:1 in a subject that has covered the cellular and molecular basis of life such as: Genetics, Microbiology, Biochemistry.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in all components. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read Language for Science (6 weeks) and Language for Science: General Science (10 weeks)

We also offer online pre-sessionals alongside our on-campus pre-sessionals. Find out more about our six week online pre-sessional.

You can also study pre-sessionals for longer periods – read about our postgraduate pre-sessional English courses.

How to apply

Documents and information you’ll need

  • Completed online application form (for Taught Postgraduate Study).
  • Full CV.
  • Transcript of degree examination marks achieved to date.
  • Copy of final degree certificate (if completed).
  • Evidence of English language qualification (non-native English speakers only).
  • Copy of passport (if you’re an overseas student).
  • Completed supporting statement.

To help us assess your application, please write a supporting statement. As a guideline, we would expect this statement to be 1-2 pages in length. In your statement please:

  • Provide a brief synopsis of any courses/modules you have studies that have covered the cellular and molecular basis of life. Please make reference to your academic transcript, as this information is not always apparent from the course titles.
  • Provide details of any previous or current research experience (e.g. undergraduate project, vacation placements, fieldwork, internships). Describe clearly the aim of the work, your part in it, how long the project lasted and whether this research was carried out individually or in a group. Also mention specific techniques you have used. Again, please ensure that you make reference to the cellular and molecular aspects.
  • Outline the reasons why you wish to study this particular Masters programme. Explain how the skills and experiences you have outlined above are relevant to your programme of choice and the career you intend to pursue.

Find out more about how to apply.

The ‘Apply’ link at the top of this page takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.

If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Next steps

  • We process your application.
  • We inform you of our decision.
  • If we make you an offer, you respond by accepting or declining.

Taught postgraduate confirmation

Taught postgraduate applicants are required to submit their results for consideration as soon as possible. Applicants who require a Student visa to study in the UK are recommended to submit their results no later than 31 July, although they will still be considered if submitted after this date.


It is standard procedure to interview applicants, prior to making a decision on their application, for MRes Neuroscience, MRes Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation, MSc Biopharmaceutical Development (Industrial) and MSc Sport and Exercise Medicine. Interviews do not form part of the standard admissions process for other programmes in the Faculty of Biological Sciences.

International application deadline: July 31 2024

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Admissions Policy 2025

This course is taught by

Faculty of Biological Sciences

Contact us

Faculty of Biological Sciences postgraduate taught admissions team



UK: £13,500 (Total)

International: £31,000 (Total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

Scholarships for Faculty of Biological Sciences students

The Faculty of Biological Sciences offers a number of Masters scholarships to support and reward students from the UK and around the world. Don’t miss out on available support, visit our dedicated faculty scholarship page to check your eligibility.

Government-backed loan = If you are ordinarily resident in England or the Republic of Ireland and planning to start your first full-time, part-time or distance learning taught or research Masters course from September 2023 you may be eligible to apply for a UK government Postgraduate Masters Loan to help towards your study-related costs. Find out more.

Alumni bursary = If you are a former student of the University of Leeds you may be eligible for a 10% alumni tuition fee bursary

You can also search our postgraduate scholarships database or you can also find information on MoneySavingExpert.

Career opportunities

The strong research element of this course, along with the specialist and transferable skills you’ll develop, mean you’ll graduate equipped for a wide range of careers.

Our graduates work in a diverse range of areas, ranging from bioscience-related research through to scientific publication, teacher training, health and safety and pharmaceutical market research.

Links with industry

We have a proactive Industrial Advisory Board who advise us on what they look for in graduates and on employability-related skills within our programmes.

We collaborate with a wide range of organisations in the public and commercial sectors. Many of these are represented on our Industrial Advisory Board. They include:

  • Labcorp (formally Covance). 
  • European Bioinformatics Institute.
  • Astra Zeneca.
  • Gowling WLG LLP.
  • Qiagen.
  • PWC.
  • Barnsley Hospital (NHS).
  • IAOCR.
  • ApotheCom.
  • GlaxoSmithKline.

Professional and career development

We take personal and career development very seriously. We have a proactive Industrial Advisory Board who advises us on what they look for in graduates and on employability related skills within our courses.

Our dedicated employability and opportunity team will ensure that you’re aware of events and opportunities to increase your employability. In addition, our Masters career development programme will support you to:

  • Explore career options and career planning.
  • Understand the PhD application process and optimise PhD application.
  • Learn how to use LinkedIn and other social media for effective networking and career opportunities.
  • Practice interviews for both job and PhD applications.

You’ll also have access to seminars and presentations from industry professionals (including our alumni) at faculty led career events. We also have regular research seminars presented by leading academics from around the world on their specialist subjects.

Graduate destinations

Examples of posts held by recent MSc graduates include:

  • Trainee Cytogeneticist, UK.
  • Commissioning Editor, scientific publishers, UK.
  • Research Fellow, National Centre for Biological Sciences, India.
  • Clinical Researcher, Kent and Medway Cancer Network and NHS Trust, UK.
  • Research Technician, University of Warwickshire/University of Oxford, UK.
  • Graduate Medical Degree, UK.
  • Bioassay analyst, Novartis Vaccines & Diagnostics, UK.
  • Laboratory technician, Exova Group Limited.
  • Quality Management at Johnson & Johnson Lifescan Technologies.
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Education, UK.
  • Trainee Embryologist, UK.
  • Research Assistant, Qatar National Research Fund, Qatar.
  • Sypol, Health and Safety Services, UK.
  • Research Executive, Adelphi International Research, UK.
  • Biopharmaceutical Experimental Officer, Covance, UK.

Further study

A substantial proportion of our graduates undertake further study at Leeds or elsewhere. Recent graduates have gone on to:

  • PhD positions in the UK, USA and overseas eg at the Max Planck Institute, Germany.
  • Research post at Harvard School of Public Health, Botswana.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more about Careers support.

Alumni profile: Sophie Mathew

My role is to produce COVID-19 testing kits - it feels immensely rewarding to know that these kits are being used all around the UK.
Find out more about Sophie Mathew's time at Leeds