Medical Virology 4C option BIOL4224

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Life Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course aims to encourage critical analysis of human viruses and their relationship to disease as well as treatment and vaccination strategies. There will be a focus on medically-important viruses that cause disease in both the immunocompetent and the immunocompromised host, and those that are related to cancer. In addition, the course aims to encourage the development of skills enabling acquisition, critical analysis, interpretation and discussion of relevant factual information. 


This option is assigned to block S2-C. There are normally 3 hours of teaching on Thursdays, which may be split over more than one session.

Requirements of Entry

Normally, only available to final-year School of Life Sciences students in a Degree Group B (Biomolecular Sciences group) or Degree Group D (Infection & Immunity group) programme. Visiting students may be allowed to enrol, at the discretion of the School of Life Sciences Chief Adviser and the Course Coordinator. 

Excluded Courses



The course will be assessed by a 2-hour examination (75%) and in-course assessment consisting of writing a Nature Microbiology News and Views style article on a research paper (25%). Students will choose one paper from a number provided. 

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

The aim of this course is to examine medically-important human viruses and their relationship to disease, and potential approaches for prevention, detection and treatment. 

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course, students will be able to: 

■ evaluate the recent scientific knowledge on medically-important human viruses; 

■ appraise the basis of the diseases caused by a range of viruses in both the immunocompetent and the immunocompromised host;

■ evaluate current approaches for disease management, treatment and prevention for medically important viral infections;

■ evaluate vaccine and therapeutic development strategies.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.