Postgraduate taught 

Infection Biology (with specialisms) MSc/PgDip/PgCert

Emerging viruses BIOL5314

  • 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: Yes

Short Description

Emerging viral diseases of humans and animals such AIDS, influenza, MERS, Zika and Schmallenberg pose significant threats to public health and food security. Understanding the factors that drive viral emergence is essential to design proper intervention measures that aim to predict, prevent or control the emergence of new epidemic viruses. This course will cover basic concepts of viral emergence, research approaches to determine their underpinning mechanisms, as well as current topics in emerging viral diseases.


Lectures and tutorials spread over 3 weeks.

Excluded Courses





The students will write a 1500 word essay on a topic related to Emerging Viruses as set by an essay tutor.

Course Aims

The specific aims of this taught course are

■ to provide students with fundamental knowledge and intellectual skills to critically analyse the factors involved in viral emergence

■ to give students up-to-date knowledge of the current burden of emerging viral diseases and the methods employed to study and contain them

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ critically analyse the factors that drive emergence of viral diseases in new host populations

■ construct an overview of current emerging viruses and the threats they pose to humans and animals

■ discuss the application of current technological developments in the study and containment of emerging viruses 

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.