Postgraduate taught 

Infection Biology (with specialisms) MSc/PgDip/PgCert

Animal Models of Disease BIOL5238

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Infection and Immunity
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

The course aims to provide students with a critical understanding of the technologies and techniques used to develop animal models of human inflammatory and infectious disease. Students will understand the place of animal models in exploring disease pathogenesis and therapy, and will discuss the ethical issues relating to the use of animals in medical research.


■ 2.5-week fulltime course: Lectures, tutorials/PBL sessions, group work and presentations.

Excluded Courses





■ Report (Coursework: 100%): Students will be provided with relevant papers on the use of a particular animal model of infectious or inflammatory disease. They will individually produce a report (2000 words max) critiquing the approaches and techniques used and suggesting improvements, for example in terms of the principles of the 3Rs, the question being addressed and the quality of the data derived.

Course Aims

The course aims to provide students with the opportunity -

■ To develop an understanding of comparative anatomy and the technical approaches used in evaluating and developing animal models of disease (e.g. imaging, transgenesis, polyomics, flow cytometry)

■ To develop a working knowledge of animal models of human inflammatory and infectious diseases

■ To discuss the ethical basis for the use of animals in medical research and role of animal models in drug discovery and development

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

i) Explain the anatomy of the immune response in relevant animal models;

ii) Discuss technologies used in the development of new animal models for human inflammatory and infectious diseases;

iii) Critically evaluate recent developments in analytical approaches, such as imaging, cytometry and 'omics and their impact on the value animal models of disease;

iv) Critique widely used animal models of human inflammatory (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, multiple sclerosis, asthma) and infectious disease (e.g. malaria);

v) Critically review how animal models have provided insight into the critical points in pathogenesis of inflammatory and infectious disease;

vi) Critically review the contributions of animal models within the drug discovery and development process;

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.