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 2022/23


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2022/23

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, the diseases they cause and strategies used to control them. Topics covered by the module will include: 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; why we can use single vaccines against some viruses and not others; application of selected viruses as research tools. You will also study and practice scientific writing. The module will be assessed by an exam and one writing assignment: production of a collaborative piece of work in the style of a textbook chapter.
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
locate and analyse information on pathogens and diseases they cause using a range of library-based and online resources: 2
communicate effectively using a scientific writing style: 1,2
discuss ethics and sustainability issues in terms of global health: 1,2
describe the adaptations used by a range of pathogens to survive in challenging environments:

Study hours

12x 1 hour tutorials
12x 5 hours engagement with asynchronous content
50 hours completion of textbook ICA
1 hour formative class test
1 hour open book exam
26 hours independent study

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Open Book Examination weighted 50%
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.

2: Essay weighted 50%
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. An in-person session will be held to support work on this assignment.