LSC-20073 - Microbes, Viruses and Parasites
Coordinator: Helen P Price Room: N/A Tel: +44 1782 7 34219
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 5
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 734414

Programme/Approved Electives for 2020/21


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2020/21

In this module, you will study the biochemistry of bacteria, viruses and parasites and how specific mechanisms and pathways affect disease. You will be introduced to a range of pathogenic organisms (including SARS-CoV-2), the diseases they cause and strategies used to control them. Topics covered by the module will include: an introduction to epidemiology and managing disease outbreaks; ways in which parasites adapt to changing environments in order to survive; how drugs work to kill a range of pathogens; factors that cause some bacterial strains to be more pathogenic than others; introduction to the biology of viruses; why we can use single vaccines against some viruses and not others; application of selected viruses as research tools.
Please note that either LSC-20015 or LSC-20073 is a pre-requisite for taking the module LSC-30036.

This module aims to introduce students to a range of pathogens and their associated biochemistry. Students will also learn about scientific writing and write an essay in the style and format of a textbook section.

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

discuss key biochemical differences between bacteria, viruses and parasites and link these to diagnostic tools and methods of disease control: 1,2,3
locate and analyse information on pathogens and diseases they cause using a range of library-based and online resources: 3
communicate effectively using a scientific writing style: 2,3
work collaboratively and present collated information in a range of formats: 3
discuss ethics and sustainability issues in terms of global health: 2,3
describe the adaptations used by a range of pathogens to survive in challenging environments: 1,2,3

Study hours

Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity Hours will be divided into:
lectures 23 hours
tutorial 1 hour
Independent Study Hours will be divided into:
Directed and not directed reading 73 hours
Preparation of assessments 50 hours
Formative class test 1 hour
Exam 2 hours

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Online Tasks weighted 35%
Online MCQ/short answer test
This paper will be released as a timed test in Blackboard. Students will find a link to this test on KLE on the day of the assessment. Once started, students will be given 2 hrs to complete. This is 1 hour more than we expect most students will actually need. International students will be asked to notify the School if they need an extension due to different time zones. This test will comprise a number of multiple choice and short answer questions covering material across the full module. All questions are compulsory. Students should pay careful attention to the number of points that each question is worth. In general, we would expect only one or two sentences for each point. Adjustments We have added an additional 1 hour to this test than is ordinarily needed to complete. By doing this, we do not expect that any student will require additional time due to dyslexia or disability.

2: Open Book Examination weighted 35%
Online open book exam
The paper will be released on KLE as a Word document at 9am on the morning of the exam. The paper will give students a choice of 1 out of 3 essay-based questions that cover material from all three themes of the module. Students should answer each question using Word, clearly labelling each question as they provide their answers. Work will be submitted to Turnitin no later than 5pm on the day of release. International students will be asked to notify the School if they need an extension due to different time zones. Although students have been given significant time to complete this exam script, we expect most students to spend no more than 1 hour. Answers should be as accurate and concise as possible. For essay-based questions, typical answers would be in the range of 500-750 words per question. We recommend that students do not exceed 750 words per essay-based question as we will be assessing the quality of your answer, not the quantity.

3: Essay weighted 30%
A textbook section
Students will write a 1200-word essay in the style and format of a textbook section on a named pathogen species from a provided list. As part of this assignment, students will be required to include a short section on similarities between their pathogen species and others in the list. A synchronous 1 hour breakout session will be held on MS Teams to give the students the opportunity to discuss this aspect of the assignment in groups.