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Viral Infections of the Respiratory and Alimentary Tracts

Masters Certificate of Professional Development in Viral Infections of the Respiratory and Alimentary Tracts

Level 7, 20 credits

Course aims
  1. To introduce students to the specialised anatomy and histology of the respiratory and alimentary tracts and their pathology
  2. To provide students with current knowledge of the viruses causing respiratory tract and alimentary tract diseases
  3. To extend knowledge and appreciation of the epidemiology, diagnosis and control of these infections
Course length

The module is delivered in semester one of the academic year which runs from September to December.

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
  • Anatomy of the respiratory tract and gastro-intestinal tract
  • Groups of viruses causing respiratory and gastro-intestinal infections (Orthomyxoviruses; Paramyxoviruses, Rhinoviruses, Coronaviruses, Adenoviruses, Metapneumoviruses, Noroviruses, Caliciviruses, Astroviruses)
  • The role of animal hosts as sources of these viruses
  • Social factors encouraging spread of these infections
  • Laboratory and symptomatic diagnosis of these infections
  • Unusual manifestations in the central nervous system of acute influenza infection 
  • Epidemics and pandemics
  • The consequences of immunity, partial immunity, nutritional state and viral mutation in relation to viral infections with emphasis on the immunocompromised host
  • Passive and active vaccination and antiviral drugs
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
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