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Infection: Prevention and Outbreaks

In the medical sciences, you will cover in some depth the areas of immunology in response to pathogens. You will learn about organisation and development of the immune system, its activation upon stimulation, microbiology and the defence mechanisms against different pathogens. A key highlight will be discussions surrounding resistance to drugs and antibiotics including the causes, and possible next steps. Different contexts for the use of technology in these fields will also be discussed.

In the health sciences, patient safety, occupational health and wellbeing and risk assessment at work will form the large topic area of prevention. Different expectations and different workplaces (for example an office vs the military) will bring out the complexities in understanding how and why people might expose themselves to pathogens for a humanitarian goal. The concept of, and methodologies surrounding, epidemiological investigation will serve to link public health, patient safety and the biomedical and health sciences.

The cases in this module will explore contemporary examples of viruses and bacteria. You will consider that problem solving in this area might be industry based, environment driven and population focussed. There will also be discussion of the possible complex nature of research involving infection, prevention and outbreaks.

By the end of the module you should be able to:

  1. Develop a broad understanding of the key concepts, principles and theories, which will support a multidisciplinary approach to understanding of infectious diseases
  2. Interrelate the underlying mechanisms of the immune response to pathogens to inform an understanding of the transmission and transduction of infectious disease and the role of technology for managing infectious disease outbreaks
  3. Appreciate the ethical, legal, economic and social implications of infectious disease
  4. Investigate the relationships between the immune system, socio-economic factors and patient/population vulnerability
  5. Explore public health, patient safety and harm prevention strategies in the field of infectious disease
  6. Explore in-depth epidemiology and biomedical aspects of a communicable disease
  7. Develop and use strategic planning and reasoning skills to engage with others to individually or collectively put forward structured ideas that can have a positive influence on local and global challenges in health

Hear from module lead, Dr Dan Todkill:


7 weeks

Teaching methods
You will learn through a mix of lectures, group discussions, interactive presentations, case based learning and technology enhanced learning.


1 x Synoptic paper
1 x Multiple choice question exam
1 x Case study (1,500 words)