Microbiology BSc/MSci

Emerging Viruses 4A option BIOL4223

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Infection and Immunity
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will examine the importance of viral emergence for humans and animals, the different levels at which this issue has been studied and the challenges that lie ahead to minimise the burden caused by emerging viruses in the future. 


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

Excluded Courses



The course will be assessed by a 2-hour essay examination paper (75%) and an in-course written assignment (25%)

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

This course aims to encourage the development of knowledge and understanding, as well as the acquisition of scientific skills, relating to the burden caused by viral emerging diseases and the underpinning mechanisms that drive their occurrence. 

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ appraise the burden of viral emerging diseases in humans and animals;

■ examine the ecological, evolutionary and molecular drivers of viral emergence;

■ assess patterns of viral emergence;

■ design intervention measures to predict, prevent, contain and control viral emerging disease;

■ evaluate the impact of the above intervention measures. 

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.