Image of a microscopic view of viruses

Blood-borne Viral Infections and Sexually transmitted Diseases

Masters Certificate of Professional Development in Blood-borne Viruses and Sexually Transmitted Infections

Level 7, 20 credits

Course aims

  1. To introduce students to the study of viruses transmitted by blood, body fluids, sexual secretions and by sexual activity
  2. To develop an understanding of the risks of viral transmission by transfusions, transplants, tattoos, scarification and needle-sharing, and high risk sexual activities, and the potential long-term effects on individuals, their partners and their children
  3. To review and evaluate the laboratory and symptomatic diagnosis of these viral infections
  4. To place in context the lifestyle effects of these infections

Course length

The module is delivered in one calendar year.  

Course structure

The module is assessed through one written assignment (40%) and a module examination (60%).


You will undertake the module through distance learning, using the University’s virtual learning environment, Blackboard.

Course content
  • The basic structure and components of blood in relation to viral infections
  • Viruses transmitted by blood and blood products (HBV and delta, HCV, HIV, HHV-8, CMV)
  • Viruses causing actual infection of the genital tract by skin-to-skin contact (HSV-1, HSV-2, HPV)
  • Viruses transmitted sexually by blood and body fluids (HBV, HIV, HSV-1, HSV-2, CMV)
  • HHV-8 infection of the central nervous system
  • Other hepatitis viruses (HAV, HEV)
  • Acute and chronic viral infections, persistence and latency, virulence, quasispecies
  • Mechanisms of viral transmission and infection; development of chronicity, long-term carcinogenesis and immunodeficiency
  • The long-term consequences of chronicity, STIs and immunodeficiency and the effects on children and the immunocompromised host
  • Passive and active vaccination, therapy and antiviral drugs
  • Lifestyle relationships between viral and other STIs
Course fees

£640 (£32 per credit)

Entry requirements

All applicants normally require a relevant BSc degree in a Biological Sciences subject with at least a lower second (2:2) award. We also consider non-standard qualifications supported by relevant experience.  

How to apply

Please apply using the postgraduate online application form 

Accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) 

Further information

Faculty Admissions Team
James Parsons Building
Byrom Street
L3 3AF

Telephone: 0151 231 2888

Dr Anne Humphreys, Programme Manager
Telephone: 0151 231 2205

Janet Jackson, Programme Administrator
Telephone: 0151 231 2524

This Continuing Professional Development programme is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS)

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The University may make changes to a programme of study or module where 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.

Further guidance on programme changes