Molecular Biology and Pathology of Viruses
  • Postgraduate taught
  • MSc

Molecular Biology and Pathology of Viruses

Analyse the nature of viruses as cellular parasites and their importance in human, animal and plant diseases.

Analyse the nature of viruses as cellular parasites and their importance in human, animal and plant diseases

Engage with leading experts in virology and molecular biology and participate in a leading virology conference

Develop your research skills and methodology and carry out a laboratory-based research project

Course key facts

  • Qualification

    • MSc

  • Duration

    1 year

  • Start date

    October 2023

  • Study mode


  • Fees

    • £14,050 Home

    • £40,800 Overseas

  • Delivered by

  • Location

    • St Mary's

Minimum entry standard 2023

  • 2:2 degree in biological science, medicine or veterinary science

View full entry requirements

Course overview

Examine the fundamental nature of viruses as cellular parasites on this Master's course.

You'll consider their importance in human, animal and plant diseases and explore recent major advances in the understanding of the structure of viruses.

The programme also covers the molecular mechanisms of virus replication, virus disease pathogenesis, and the emergence of novel viruses.

You'll engage with experts from many areas of virology and molecular biology during the course. Through this collaborative work, you'll develop skills to embark on further study at PhD level or pursue a career in academic or industrial research.

Two research projects also provide an opportunity to apply techniques from the course to important research problems.


This page is updated regularly to reflect the latest version of the curriculum. However, this information is subject to change.

Find out more about potential course changes.

You’ll take all of these core modules.

Core modules

You'll carry out an original research project investigating an important question on features of a particular virus. 

During the six-month project, you'll work with a scientific research laboratory under supervision and will interact with researchers working in related areas.

You'll also attend the Annual Conference of the Microbiology Society.

Most projects are carried out at the St Mary's campus. However, some may be carried out at other Imperial campuses or with external research institutions and companies in the UK.

Your work will be assessed by a 10,000 word thesis and an oral presentation.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and learning methods

  • Person giving seminar
  • Four students sitting in a tutorial
    Group tutorials
  • Person at lectern giving speech
  • Journal clubs
  • Group work
  • A person studying independently
    Independent study
  • Data interpretation sessions
  • People attending a conference
  • Blackboard virtual learning environment
    Virtual learning environment
  • Laboratory skills sessions

Balance of assessment


  • Modules and mini-research project
  • Research project

  • 50% Modules and mini-research project
  • 50% Research project

Assessment methods

  • Papers from a written report
    Scientific writing abstract or summary
  • A person completing a written exam
    Written examinations
  • Poster project
    Poster and oral poster presentation
  • Papers from a written report
    Individual written project report
  • Literature review
  • Research project proposal document
    Research grant proposal
  • Research project thesis
  • Oral examination

Entry requirements

How to apply

Apply online

You can submit one application form per year of entry. You can choose up to two courses.

Tuition fees

Home fee

2023 entry


Overseas fee

2023 entry


Your future career

Test tubes

Be equipped with the skills to pursue PhD study, or if medically qualified, move into clinical practice or research.

Lightbulb with graduate cap inside

With specialised knowledge, you'll be highly sought after in a range of sectors.

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These include finance, management and consultancy.

Terms and conditions

There are some important pieces of information you should be aware of when applying to Imperial. These include key information about your tuition fees, funding, visas, accommodation and more.

Read our terms and conditions

You can find further information about your course, including degree classifications, regulations, progression and awards in the programme specification for your course.

Programme specifications