MSc Biology of Health and Disease

Start date(s)

September 2021

Study mode

Full-time (1 year)

Tuition fees 21/22

Home (full-time, per year): £9,250

International (full-time, per year): £16,100

About this course

Explore the molecular, cellular, physiological and ecological mechanisms underlying the maintenance of health and development of disease in plants, animals and humans.

  • Develop your knowledge using cutting-edge technologies, research and student-led learning methods
  • Benefit from strong practical teaching and assessment methods and prepare for a career in research or health-related fields
  • Learn from research-active staff who are experts in their field
  • Experience the study of health and disease in a holistic biological context
  • Conduct a research project covering the full ‘research arc’ from study conception to dissemination

The programme explores health and disease in a broad biological context, from molecular mechanisms to the eco-epidemiology of infections, or the biology of food security. This approach will equip you with knowledge of a range of disciplines while a strong practical focus on relevant techniques and real-life scenarios will provide key transferable skills for you to produce and present scientific data effectively.


The Biology of Health and Disease goes beyond the traditional view of symptoms-treatment. A wide diversity of organisms, from plant to invertebrates to mammals and humans, are key components of the programme.

Biology of Health and Disease

Fees and funding

There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students


The fees quoted at the top of this page cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:

  • Library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • Access to programme-appropriate software
  • Library and student IT support
  • Free on-campus wifi via eduroam

Additional costs

Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:

  • accommodation and living expenditure
  • books (should you wish to have your own copies)
  • printing, photocopying and stationery
  • PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
  • mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
  • field trips (travel and activity costs)
  • placements (travel expenses and living costs)
  • student visas (international students only)

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  • study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
  • academic conferences (travel costs)
  • professional-body membership
  • graduation (gown hire etc)


There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.

Please be aware that the UK’s departure from the EU may affect your tuition fees. Learn more about your fee status and which tuition fees are relevant to you.


Further your career prospects

LJMU has an excellent employability record with 96% (HESA 2018) of our postgraduates in work or further study six months after graduation. Our applied learning techniques and strong industry connections ensure our students are fully prepared for the workplace on graduation and understand how to apply their knowledge in a real world context.

You will acquire the skills required to pursue a career as an academic or to work in clinical settings, such as the human and veterinary fields. You may also wish to pursue a career in research departments in the private sector, such as the pharmaceutical industry or food industry.

The student experience

Discover life as a postgraduate student at LJMU.

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Course modules

Discover the building blocks of your programme

Your programme is made up of a number of core modules which are part of the course framework. Some programmes also have optional modules that can be selected to enhance your learning in certain areas and many feature a dissertation, extended report or research project to demonstrate your advanced learning.

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Core modules

Research Project
60 credits

In this module you will choose a topic within the broad spectrum of staff expertise. It can be laboratory-based, through administration of surveys and questionnaires or through computer analysis. You will have the opportunity to develop research, analytical and problem-solving skills, and to contribute to the scientific area of your interest.

Research Methods and Statistics
20 credits

In this module you will learn to conduct data analysis relevant for health and disease, such as power calculations, epidemiological statistics, systematic reviews and meta-analyses, using different statistical software options (R, SPSS). You will also learn to design and plan a research project, considering ethical aspects, costs, time management and impact assessment.

Omics in Health and Disease
20 credits

This module studies how state-of-the-art omic techniques such as genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics are used to understand health and disease states. It covers laboratory methodologies and the complex computational analyses of the resultant data and uses recent examples of the application of omics in the fields of biology and medicine.

Current Topics in Physiology and Metabolism
20 credits

This module presents cutting-edge research on topics such as adaptations to changing environments, gut microbiota and non-communicable diseases, sleep disruption and metabolic alterations, uterine physiology and prenatal programming of health and disease or metabolic stressors. It will be delivered using problem-based learning, supported by tutorials, lectures and practical classes.

Parasites, Pathogens and Infection
20 credits

This module covers major themes, including host-pathogen interaction, eco-epidemiology, disease control and elimination or zoonoses and anthroponoses, illustrated using examples from the range of infectious diseases of humans, animals and plants and emphasising the interactions between pathogens, hosts, vectors and their environment.

Food Security, Nutrition and Health
20 credits

This module explores the relationships between food production, plant biotechnology, nutrition and health. It is delivered through a problem-based learning approach, using a combination of workshops and lectures supported by practical sessions.

20 credits

This module focuses on advanced neuroendocrinology topics to provide understanding of the regulatory mechanisms that ensure health and how disruptions may result in disease. Topics include neuro-endocrine prenatal programming, puberty and pubertal disorders, endocrine disrupting compounds and the developing brain, sexual differentiation, stress or affective disorders. It is delivered using problem-based learning, supported by tutorials, lectures and practical classes.


An insight into teaching on your course

Study hours

Teaching will be delivered between two and three days per week, according to the requirements of your practical sessions. It is recommended that you dedicate 35 hours per week to study, combining both scheduled sessions and independent study. You will lead on organising laboratory/computer work for your Research Project, in consultation and collaboration with your project supervisor.

Teaching methods

You will attend a wide variety of sessions, including lectures, seminars, journal clubs, workshops, laboratory practicals and computer practicals. In addition, you will have individual meetings with your supervisor for guidance and support.

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You will have the opportunity to work in state-of-the-art laboratory facilities, using the latest computer software for data analysis and the internet and social media for communication purposes.


How learning is monitored on your programme

To cater for the wide-ranging content of our courses and the varied learning preferences of our students, we offer a range of assessment methods on each programme. Assessment techniques vary from module to module to reflect relevant assessment approaches and the key learning points of each topic.

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Your progress will be assessed through a variety of methods, including practical reports, posters, exams, presentations, blogs and podcasts.

Course tutors

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School facilities

What you can expect from your School

This programme is based in the City Campus, right in the heart of Liverpool. You will have access to first class teaching facilities, laboratories and study areas. You will work in: tissue culture labs, exercise physiology labs and new, fully equipped labs for molecular and cellular biology within the Life Science Building for conducting: DNA sequencing and gene expression analysis, protein expression analysis and metabolite analysis. You will have access to: DXA (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) for analysis of body composition; Transmission and scanning electron microscopy and IT classrooms with free of charge laptop loans. The Avril Robarts library is within easy walking distance and here you'll find all the information you need to support your studies.

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Entry requirements

You will need:

  • a minimum 2.2 honours degree in a relevant discipline, such as Biology, Zoology and Animal Biology, Pharmacy, Biochemistry, Ecological Sciences, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Genetics, or Microbiology
  • equivalent professional qualifications and experience – candidates will be interviewed by members of the programme team.

Additional Information 

  • IELTS 6.5 (minimum 6.0 in each component)
  • Pearson PTE Academic 64 (minimum 61 in each component for UKVI purposes)

If you have any specific queries, please contact

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Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

You will apply for the majority of postgraduate courses using our online application form. You should complete the form thoroughly and provide a detailed personal statement which reflects your suitability and aptitude for the programme.

As well as meeting the academic criteria for this programme you will need to:

  • demonstrate sufficient knowledge to embark on the programme
  • display the potential to develop high level research skills
  • identify a research area which fits staff supervision capability
  • demonstrate the ability and commitment to work at postgraduate level

All selection processes are conducted in line with the LJMU Admissions Code of Practice. 

The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.

Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.

Important info about this course