MSc
2022 start September 

Antimicrobial Resistance

School of Biosciences, Faculty of Science

This course gives you a real-world insight into the approaches used to tackle the global threat of antimicrobial resistance and prepares you for an exciting career in this area. You'll receive hands-on training from our Florey Institute scientists, NHS clinicians and biotechnology industry experts.
Medicine student with petri dish

Course description

Designed in collaboration with the NHS, throughout your course, you’ll learn about the latest clinical practice in the fast-moving area of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) ready for an exciting career in public health, policy making, or academia. 

You’ll receive training in the main aspects of AMR, including microbe pathogenesis and resistance mechanisms, treatment regulations, national and international policies, public health, agricultural and environmental factors and potential new therapies and treatments.

To broaden your knowledge and gain an understanding of AMR, you’ll be taught by a wide range of academics at the forefront of the subject, from social science, engineering, clinical academics, microbiologists and other scientists. Guest lectures from experts in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry, including GSK, and public health policy from Public Health England, will also introduce you to the different approaches that are being used to overcome this global threat. These lectures cover topics such as how infection outbreaks are managed in real life and how new treatments are taken through to clinical trials.

You’ll get hands-on in the lab during modules led by our scientists and clinicians, where you'll gain a good understanding of host-pathogen interaction. You’ll also receive training in science communication so you can explain AMR to a variety of audiences.

The biggest part of the course will be your Research Project in Antimicrobial Resistance. You’ll spend three months researching an area of your choice that matches your future career aspirations and may include microbiology and host-pathogen interactions, public health or drug discovery and new therapies. Some students may have the opportunity to complete their research project with the NHS or with the local Public Health England centre (Yorkshire and Humber) where you'll focus on epidemiology of AMR and diagnostics.

Example research projects include:

  • A new mechanism for AMR? In patient heteroresistance to fluconazole in cryptococcosis and the role of macrophages
  • Targeting the lung immune response in treating AMR infection in chronic lung disease
  • Targeting neutrophils to improve the immune response to antimicrobial resistant infection
  • Combatting the mechanisms underlying antimicrobial-resistant typhoid fever with senolytic drugs
  • To kill and cure: Understanding antibiotic action to enhance activity
  • Investigation of antimicrobial resistance and other virulence determinants in Cutibacterium acnes causing prosthetic joint infections.

The Florey Institute

The Florey Institute for Host-Pathogen Interactions addresses one of the world’s biggest challenges: infectious disease. Members of the Florey Institute include over 30 group leaders who are microbiologists, immunologists and clinician scientists, as well as engineers, chemists, physicists and experts in public health, modelling and politics. By working together with collaborative partners, the Florey Institute bridges the gap between science and patient care to tackle the global threat of antimicrobial resistance and rapidly evolving pathogens. As a student on this course, you’ll become a member of this world leading Institute and join our cohort of PhD and MSc students.

Intercalation

We accept medical students who wish to intercalate their studies. Find out more on the Medical School's website.

Apply now

Modules

The modules listed below are examples from the last academic year. There may be some changes before you start your course. For the very latest module information, check with the department directly.

Core modules:

Infectious Disease and Antimicrobials

This module will provide students with fundamental knowledge of infectious disease and antimicrobial mechanisms. In particular, it will focus on the history of infectious disease, and the infectious mechanisms used by pathogenic organisms, including: virulence strategies; transmission; colonisation; and biofilms. It will consider the host response to microorganisms, including the innate and acquired immune responses, as well as the resident microbiome. The mechanism of action of antibiotics will be discussed, as will common strategies employed by pathogens to circumvent drug treatment. Furthermore this module will develop a student's ability to perform techniques that will establish them as accomplished laboratory practitioners.

30 credits
AMR and Current Clinical Practice

In this module we will examine current clinical practice in relation to antimicrobial resistant infection, both in the UK and globally. We will discuss why it is a problem now and the implications for the future. We will describe how resistance arises and compare and contrast different antimicrobial resistant infections. We will study the different aspects of clinical practice, examining case studies and the successful reduction in MRSA cases in the UK. Finally, we will discuss and debate the ethics of antimicrobial stewardship and treatment, and the impact this has clinical practice.

30 credits
Global Policy, Disease Control and New Therapies

This module will address the challenges and interdisciplinary approaches in combating antimicrobial resistance. The module will cover local, national and global policy, epidemiology and surveillance strategies centred around antimicrobial resistance. The concept of 'One Health' and the importance of other contributory factors of antimicrobial resistance such as environmental and agricultural, will be introduced and discussed. The module will also cover the development of new therapies from biological and chemical research as well as an industrial perspective. A series of lectures will also be given on the most recent and cutting-edge developments in alternative antimicrobial strategies from across the university.

30 credits
Communication Skills

This module will equip students with the skills required for an online-focused, fast-paced social-media world. Primarily workshop and tutorial based, candidates will be introduced to film, audio and online publishing production, including editing skills. Students will learn to develop a narrative from published research and other sources, that is suitable for a range of audiences, they will also study the ethics of science communication, career structures and progression and how to present themselves to an audience. Learning will be assessed by a portfolio of work.

15 credits
Research and Communication across the Disciplines

This module will expose students to cutting edge research through seminars given by leading experts and the latest published material. Students will attend cross-discipline research forum meetings and specialist seminar series across the university, in addition to a research symposium held in the summer. Students will be shown how to engage with primary research material and will gain experience presenting and discussing complex issues raised in these seminars to their peers. In addition, students will be introduced to good ethical practice within academic research and how various career pathways, linked to their studies, work.

15 credits
Research Project in Antimicrobial Resistance

The aim of the module is to provide the opportunity to undertake, learn and apply appropriate research and analytical methodologies to test specific hypotheses across any discipline pertaining to AMR. The module will also provide opportunities for students to develop skills necessary for conveying the aims and results of their investigation to a scientific audience in the form of an assessed dissertation and a poster. Students will be supervised individually, and supervision will be the responsibility of an academic member of staff.

60 credits

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from.

Teaching

You'll receive personal supervision and tutorials by experienced scientists. Your learning will take place in modern, well-equipped labs and will lead to a project where you’ll design and conduct your own research. You’ll learn cutting edge science from research leaders and gain practice in reading scientific literature and writing reports. You’ll be taught by experts from across the university and NHS as well as external guest lecturers from Public Health England, GSK and Morton Findlay Associates.

Assessment

Assessment is based on a combination of coursework, project work, formal examinations and a dissertation.

Duration

1 year full-time 

Your career

You'll be equipped with the specialist knowledge and transferable skills to pursue careers in:

  • Public health, with the NHS or other similar organisations around the world
  • Policy making for NGOs or in industry
  • Consulting, research scientist or infection controls roles for biotechnology or pharmaceutical giants like GSK, AstraZeneca or Pfizer
  • Research and academia in the areas of microbiology, immunology and beyond.

Throughout your course, external lecturers will visit to give talks on their chosen career paths, allowing you to gain a better understanding of the vast range of careers available to an MSc Antimicrobial Resistance graduate.

Entry requirements

A 2:1 degree or equivalent university qualification in molecular biology or a related subject (eg biochemistry, genetics, biotechnology, and microbiology).

We also accept medical students who wish to intercalate their studies.

Candidates with professional experience may also be considered following interview.

Overall IELTS score of 6.5 with minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

Pathway programme for international students

If you're an international student who does not meet the entry requirements for this course, you have the opportunity to apply for a pre-masters programme in Science and Engineering at the University of Sheffield International College. This course is designed to develop your English language and academic skills. Upon successful completion, you can progress to degree level study at the University of Sheffield.

We also accept a range of other UK qualifications and other EU/international qualifications.

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.

Apply

You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It's a quick and easy process.

Apply now

Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.

Our student protection plan

Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.

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