MSc Infection, Immunity and Human Disease | Postgraduate Degrees at the University of Leeds

MSc Infection, Immunity and Human Disease | Postgraduate Degrees at the University of Leeds


[MUSIC PLAYING] Working in virology is
important because of the impact it has on say the health
of others around the world. What draws them to the
course is an interest in infection and the
way in which disease works in the human body and
how we can counteract that. [MUSIC PLAYING] On this degree course,
we have students from a wide variety
of backgrounds, and they come from both
the UK and overseas. They were all from
scientific backgrounds. It was quite nice to
have a perspective from a different university. And you can really
learn from each other. The infection immunity
course is a specific set of modules of classes basically
that they can give you, that cover subjects on infection
and immunity and human disease. We start off in
the first semester by looking at the source of
diseases caused by bacteria, by viruses, by parasites. And we also consider the
immune systems and how your body fights infection. And then in the
second semester, we try and look more at
how we diagnose disease and how we treat disease. Get to write things
on cancer biology, different infectious diseases,
malaria, things like that. And then in the last part of the
course, the bit which is still compulsory, but you
have some choices, when you do a research project. And obviously, then
you would select a project working with
one of the research labs within this faculty. So there will be projects
which you have interest in. And also, the projects
are also quite good in terms they have a
broad range of techniques and principles. Even just being like three
weeks into the project, you can already
tell that there’s a huge amount of direction that
you can apply to it that you can’t with just a bachelors. So that’s been a
really positive thing. The most important thing that’s
changed over the last say, 10, 15 years, is the
amount of information that we have available
and the speed in which we can generate
that information about biological systems. People talk about big data. It’s true, it’s
just mind boggling the amount of information
that’s out there. And learning how to deal with
that is part of the process. You can tell that you’re
there to learn what’s going on in the research world,
what’s actually happening, instead of just sort of
following a curriculum. I give some lectures on
viruses, for example, like hepatitis C virus,
which is one of the viruses that my lab research
on, and I’ll bring into those
lectures information from what the guys in the
lab are doing at the moment. And then, of course, when they
do their research project, they come into a lab, they’re
working with the postdocs, with the PhD
students, and they’re doing a piece of
original research, which we hope will lead to
publications or increased knowledge about the field. So research-led teaching
is implicit in the whole of the process. [MUSIC PLAYING] It’s a very good
sense to prepare you for say working within science. And the skill set
that you develop could be also
applied to jobs which aren’t in science, as well. It’s a springboard to the
rest of your career basically. And I think that’s how
a lot of people see it, and that’s definitely
what it was for me. We’re trying to tailor this, not
only to the ability of students to work in research, but
also to go into industry and to be competitive
for those industry jobs. Leeds has a very active
research community with fantastic facilities. We have new kit, which is
arriving all the time, which is state of the art. And we are, in fact,
envied by a lot of other universities in
the UK for the facilities we have for biological sciences. Every day is different. You go do your own
experiments and you try to do
hypothesis-driven research to study towards a bigger goal. The sense of
independence that I’ve been able to develop while
I’m working in the lab has been really,
really valuable. And that’s something
that I think will come across in research
that I do in the future. And it prepares you
for the next level. And I believe that
doing research could hopefully help
make a difference.


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