Chronic Disease and Immunity

MSc, 1 year

This is for you if... you want to apply your knowledge of biological sciences to studying the molecular and cellular basis of chronic degenerative diseases, particularly if you want to pursue research at postgraduate level.

Course Description

The World Health Organisation Global Burden of Disease Study has shown that non-communicable chronic disease accounts for about 60% of deaths globally. Major contributors include cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and chronic kidney disease. Inflammation is the central driving force in much of this burden of chronic degenerative disease. Non-communicable inflammatory diseases affect nearly all organ systems of the body including the skin, endocrine glands, gut, lungs, kidneys, musculoskeletal and cardiovascular system. Accordingly, there is high demand worldwide for well-qualified researchers in immunity who understand the molecular and cellular basis of inflammation.

This Postgraduate Degree integrates cutting-edge research in molecular and cellular biology and in immunology to demonstrate:

  • The fundamental processes of inflammation
  • The molecular and cellular mechanisms of disease progression that are driven by inflammation

You will develop your knowledge of the molecular and cellular processes of inflammation. In addition to laboratory practicals and teaching by researchers and clinicians from the University's College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology, you complete a six month laboratory-based research placement.

Key Facts
Start date
September each year
Infection Immunity and Inflammation

Dr Alan Bevington
+44 (0)116 252 1402

Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation website

Why Leicester?

The MSc course is taught by internationally renowned experts in the field of Immunology and Inflammation.

They share between them a scope of research expertise that provides an ideal environment for postgraduate teaching at both Masters and Doctoral levels.

There are currently more than 90 postgraduate students registered in our Department.

Course Structure



Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.



At the end of the first semester you will start your research project, to be undertaken from January until July in the second semester under the supervision of a member of staff. Your project write-up will be submitted as a dissertation and forms a major part of the final degree mark. It may be possible to undertake a project in the Universities of Nantes or Rennes in France as part of an Erasmus Exchange Scheme.

Recent projects by Chronic Disease and Immunity MSc students have included:

  • Procoagulant signalling in platelets via the tyrosine kinase receptor FcγRIIa
  • Regulation of the SNAT2 (slc38a2) amino acid transporter by L-Glutamine in a rat model of chronic kidney disease (CKD)
  • Wnt-5A signalling and fibrosis in asthma
  • Role of properdin in LPS-mediated tolerance of macrophages
  • The role(s) of HTRA1, a novel serine peptidase involved in the activation of the complement system, in the pathophysiology of inflammatory disease
  • Understanding the mechanisms of airway constriction by allergen exposure using the precision lung cut slices ex vivo model

Some MSc projects have contributed to publications in respected journals, for example:

  • Abbasian N, Burton JO, Herbert KE, Tregunna B-E, Brown JR, Ghaderi-Najafabadi M, Brunskill NJ, Goodall AH, Bevington A. Hyperphosphatemia, Phosphoprotein Phosphatases, and Microparticle Release in Vascular Endothelial Cells, J Am Soc Nephrol 26: 2015. doi: 10.1681/ASN.2014070642

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Teaching and Assessment

You will be trained in lab techniques and will develop your proficiency in experimental design. These skills will then be put into practice in the lab-based research project which comprises two-thirds of the credits for your course.

The core lecture programme, which is shared between our various postgraduate lab-based courses, will develop your specialist knowledge. There are also optional lectures in fields related to your own, which will allow you to increase your understanding of the interdisciplinary aspects of your speciality. To bring you right up to date with your chosen topic, you can attend Departmental seminars and College Research Theme days that include both visiting and internal speakers.

On days when there are no lectures, structured lab practicals are run in the first semester, alongside tutorials, seminars and employability sessions. Some of your practicals will be generic to all MSc students in our School of Biological Sciences. In the second half of your first semester you will have specialist immunology practicals covering techniques relevant to your research project.

Assessment is a mix of formal exams and coursework including essays, practical reports, presentations and other written tasks.

Entry Requirements

  • 2:2 degree in a biological science (e.g. Biochemistry, Biomedical Sciences or Immunology)
  • Or a BTEC with experience in a field related to chronic disease and immunity, such as a health service or biopharmaceutical laboratory
  • Or a medical or veterinary degree, provided that the course included significant elements of molecular biology, and immunology
English Language Requirements

IELTS 6.5 or equivalent. If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. If you do not yet meet our requirements, our English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU) offers a range of courses to help you to improve your English to the necessary standard.

International Qualifications

Find your country in this list to check equivalent qualifications, scholarships and additional requirements.

Countries list

Fees and Funding

  • Starting in September 2016

    • £10,070

    Starting in September 2017

    • To be confirmed

    Find out more about scholarships and funding.

    Did you know you can apply for a Postgraduate Loan of up to £10,000, subject to eligibility?


  • Starting in September 2016

    • £17,465

    Starting in September 2017

    • To be confirmed

    If you are a resident of a developing Commonwealth country and cannot afford to fund your own studies, you may be eligible to apply for a Commonwealth Shared Scholarship when applying for this course.

    Find out more about scholarships and funding.

Career Opportunities

The research training you receive and the research project you conduct will provide a training that PhD supervisors and employers value highly when recruiting their postgraduate research students from around the world.


Our Career Development Service is here to support you, with advice on interviews, CVs, work experience, volunteering and more. From Freshers’ Week to Graduation and beyond, they are here to help you reach your professional goals.

Course Qualification Duration Start Dates Availability
Chronic Disease and Immunity MSc 1 year full-time September each year Apply Now
Chronic Disease and Immunity
1 year full-time
Start Dates
September each year