MSc/PGDip in Clinical Microbiology is available for one year’s full-time study or part-time for two years. Part-time students attend for one day per week on day release from their hospital or laboratory for two academic years. Applicants for part time study must hold a full-time appointment or attachment in a medical/clinical microbiology department of a medical school, hospital, PHE or other appropriate institution for the duration of their studies.
Full-time students study for 12 months and have two full days of lectures per week with tutorials and research and journal club meetings on other days. Full-time students will be attached to the Centre for Immunobiology, Blizard institute at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry (this is not a clinical attachment).
Teaching and learning
Teaching comprises lectures, workshops, practicals and demonstrations. The lecturers are specialists in their field and are invited from many institutions in the UK.
The practical classes are an important component of the course and are designed to give students the maximum hands-on experience, particularly in medical microbiology. Students are encouraged to relate current practices in their sponsoring institution to their studies, and to discuss and critically evaluate these techniques with their colleagues (including clinicians and clinical scientists) in the light of their formal teaching. The practical classes are taught in the purpose-built teaching laboratory, which is well equipped with all necessary materials and is based on a routine clinical microbiology laboratory.
In addition to the formal face to face teaching, students use on line learning materials in the university’s electronic learning environment QMplus. These materials include discussion threads, chat rooms, lecture notes and quizzes.
Self-directed learning, by reading and reviewing literature to supplement the lectures, is essential and students are encouraged to use the library facilities of the department and the University. All students have access to the library and computing facilities of the University.
For every hour spent in classes you will be expected to complete further hours of independent study. Your individual study time could be spent preparing for, or following up on formal study sessions; reading; producing written work; completing projects; and revising for examinations.
The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study sessions you attend, along with your reading lists and assignments. However, we expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your own knowledge, understanding and critical ability.
Independent study will foster in you the ability to identify your own learning needs and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area. This is an important transferable skill and will help to prepare you for the transition to working life.
Modules are assessed by a combination of in-course assessments and end-of-module examinations. In addition to traditional written and practical examinations, assessments include posters, oral presentations, case reports, essays and comprehension of scientific papers. Each assessment is designed to be a learning experience as well as a test of your knowledge.
To complete the MSc, you will undertake an original piece of research involving the application of scientific investigation to an area relevant to clinical microbiology. The investigation can be laboratory based or can be patient care focused (e.g. an audit).
Full-time students usually complete their project within the Blizard Institute or at Barts Health NHS Trust. Part-time students complete their project at their sponsoring institution.