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Viral infections of Pregnancy and Childhood

Masters Certificate of Professional Development in Viral Infections of Pregnancy and Childhood

Level 7, 20 credits

Course aim
  1. To introduce students to the basic physiological changes during pregnancy, the immature immune system and their effects as related to virology
  2. To provide students with current knowledge of those viruses causing infections of the mother and foetus, the neonate and the early childhood years
  3. To critically evaluate both immediate and potential long-term effects of these viral diseases
Course length

The module is delivered in semester two of the academic year which runs from January to April.

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
  • Structure and role of the female urogenital tract and uterus
  • Role of the placenta and infections of the placenta and/or foetus
  • Congenital infections with Rubella, Parvovirus B19, CMV, HSV, VZV
  • Congenital (vertical) infections, mutagenesis and teratogenesis
  • Childhood infections with Measles (including SSPE), Mumps, Rubella, HSV, VZV, CMV, EBV, HHV-6, HHV-7, HBV, HIV, Dengue and enteroviruses including poliovirus
  • Unusual central nervous system manifestations of acute Parvovirus B19 infection
  • Acute and chronic viral infections, persistence and latency, tolerance and the ontogeny of the immune system
  • Mechanisms of these viral infections and immunopathology
  • Rashes (exanthems and enanthems), their distribution and changing pathology with time 
  • Clinical and laboratory diagnosis of infection in the pregnant female, the neonate and child
  • Prognosis of these infections
  • The consequences of immunodeficiency and autoimmunity, and the effects on the immunocompromised host
  • Passive and active vaccination, antiviral and therapy
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 

Further information

Faculty Admissions Team
James Parsons Building
Byrom Street
L3 3AF

Telephone: 0151 231 2888

Dr Anne Humphreys, Programme Manager
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