The MSc Microbiome in Health & Disease will provide you with a deep understanding of microbial communities and their diversity, and the impact of these communities on host health and disease. You will be exposed to the concepts and techniques involved in profiling and analysing large omics data sets associated with characterising and investigating microbial communities.
You will learn to analyse omics data sets, such as genome, transcriptome, metabolome and metagenome data, and how to integrate these data to develop a holistic understanding of the interactions between host and microbial communities in both health and disease states.
You will also learn how these skills apply in industry and have the opportunity to undertake research in collaboration with industrial partners. You will study the intersection between microbiome and engineering and learn how to identify and develop innovative products in different microbiome fields, applying learning from computational, multiomics analysis and basic biology, through advanced synthetic biology tools, and integrative analysis and modelling, to design new engineered therapeutic microbial communities and optimize their effectiveness in clinical, agricultural and environmental challenges.
You will also undertake a 10,000 word supervised dissertation on a subject within the field of microbiome in health and disease.
The course aims to develop students' knowledge of the microbial communities that reside within or upon us, and how they impact our health and disease processes.
It is designed for students who wish to improve their background knowledge and skills prior to applying for a PhD studentship, and also for students who wish to enhance their knowledge and skill set for analysing and interpreting the large, multiple omics data sets that are involved in microbiome research.
Course format and assessment
The MSc Microbiome in Health & Disease consists of 4 taught modules (two covering microbiology, microbial diversity and host-microbiome interactions, and two covering computational analysis of microbiome, and systems and synthetic biology), followed by a lab-based research project. The taught component will run from September until January, with the research component running from February until August.
Teaching comprises conventional lectures, tutorials and computational workshops, supported by example sessions, project work and independent learning via reading material and online courses. During the computational modules, you will be provided with data sets to analyse for written and oral projects.
After completing the taught component, you will undertake a lab-based research project for which you will provide a proposal and subsequent dissertation and presentation under the guidance of a supervisor.
The typical hours you will spend as you progress through your studies are as follows:
Lectures, seminars & feedback: 214 hours
Self-study: 1586 hours
Contact time is based on 24 academic weeks and self-study time is based on 31 academic weeks.
Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.
You may typically expect assessment by a combination of coursework (76%) and examinations (24%).
The study time and assessment methods detailed above are typical and give you a good indication of what to expect. However, they may change if the course modules change.
Dr David Moyes
Course director, Dr David Moyes’ research interests focus on Host-Microbiome interactions; Microbiome; Mycobiome; host innate immune responses; epithelial cells and immunity. Recent research outputs include a collaborative and pioneering study to discover a toxin in the fungus Candida albicans, which plays a crucial role during human mucosal infection.
Dr Saeed Shoaie
Deputy course director, Dr Saeed Shoaie, is Lecturer in Host-Microbiome Systems Biology and Systems Medicine. His research interests focus analysing and integration of (Meta)’omics data in different cohort studies and aim to identify biomarkers and novel treatment strategies for human diseases, generation of genome-scale metabolic models for host and microbiome and apply them in personalized diagnosis and treatment. He has experiences in working with biotech companies and he applies these to set up stable collaborations between academia and industrial biotech companies.