Module code: MMIM015

Module Overview

This module aims at providing students with a fundamental understanding of how viral pathogens cause diseases in the human populations. This includes understanding the pathogenesis of common viral infections, how they spread and how they can be controlled. 

Module provider

School of Biosciences and Medicine

Module Leader

LOCKER Nicolas (Biosc & Med)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 126

Lecture Hours: 18

Tutorial Hours: 6

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

No prerequisites/Co-requisites

Module content

The content of the modules will cover the major viruses that are currently considered a threat to humans, i.e HIV, Herpesviruses, Hepatitis C virus or Dengue virus, but also viruses that are constantly and currently emerging such as Zika virus or SARS-COV-2. Viruses will grouped and studied based on their pathogenesis and as such will be defined groups of blood-borne viruses, viruses that infection the central nervous system, the skin, the respiratory tract and the gastroenterinal tract. 

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Essay (2000 words) 30
Examination EXAMINATION 2 HOURS 70

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate

Deep learning of the intending learning outcome by demonstrating how viruses replicates in the human and how they cause diseases


Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • 2h examination with short answer questions, picking 2 from a choice of 5 and 2000 word critical essay to write on a topical viral pathogens (usually a currently threatening/emerging one not directly addressed during lectures)

Formative assessment and feedback

Students received verbal feedback during lectures and practical. The 4h tutorial provide feedback on the coursework performance and past exam paper study. Finally feedback is provided by extensive annotation of exam papers.

Module aims

  • To consolidate and expand the knowledge of viral infections gained in the first semester of the MSC programme with particular reference to recent advances and viruses relevant to humans. By the end of the module students should be conversant with the aetiology, clinical features, molecular biology, laboratory diagnosis, pathogenesis, epidemiology and control of viral diseases that affect the CNS, skin and epithelia, blood borne-viruses and respiratory viruses. Students will also receive practical training in selected aspects of laboratory diagnosis of virus infections and will be able to critically analyse experimental data.
  • Ad-hoc specialist expertise will be provided from staff at Surrey and seeked through external lecturers to fully cover the range of relevant human pathogens (not restricted but comprising Flu-Measles-SARS-HIV-DENV-ZIV-Rabies-CMV-Enteroviruses-HPV-herpesviruses
  • Students must supplement the lectures with extensive reading to ensure they understand the features described above for each virus. Online video tutorial available the microbe blog will also be used for additional learning

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Develop a detailed understanding of the aetiology, molecular biology, clinical features, and laboratory diagnosis of important viral infectious diseases. KC
2 Critically discuss the principles underlying the pathogenesis, epidemiology and control of important viral diseases. CT
3 Critically analyse experimental data in the context of viral detection and diagnosis. CP
4 Discuss examples of antiviral agents and the mechanism of action against specific viruses. KCT
5 Explain and appraise the types of laboratory assays used to detect viral infections in clinical specimens and describe the fundamental principles behind them. KCPT
6 Analyse and interpret recent research data in relation to these diseases. KCT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:


Ensure a deep understanding of learning outcomes. This will be achieved by using different teaching methods implementing constructivist approaches and interactive learning methods. The distinct lecture topics are not clustered and there is a clear progression and connection throughout the model, which will help the student build on their previous knowledge as they advance in the model. This will allow them to achieve a deeper level of understanding.


The learning and teaching methods include:

Lectures/class discussion/practical as detailed above with 18h lectures, and 6h tutorial. Material is presented through subject-based and core skills lectures

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: MMIM015

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Medical Microbiology (EuroMasters) MSc 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2020/1 academic year.