Bacterial Pathogenesis and Infection (BPI) stream

Bacterial Pathogenesis and Infection (BPI) stream

Key information

1 year full-time

Start date

Information on tuition fees 2017-18

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The Bacterial Pathogenesis and Infection stream provides research training in fundamental aspects of bacterial pathogenesis with particular attention to the scientific and professional acumen required to establish research independence. The emphasis is on molecular approaches to understanding infection, as a function of microbial pathogenic strategy and physiology. This research-oriented approach to training in biomedical sciences comprises both theoretical and practical elements.

The programme will expose students to the latest developments in bacterial pathogenesis, host immunity, antibiotic resistance and the microbiota through two six-month research projects and a series of lectures and technical workshops. Students will gain experience in applying technologically advanced approaches to biomedical research questions.

Programme structure

The Bacterial Pathogenesis and Infection stream is based in the  MRC Centre for Molecular Bacteriology and Infection (CMBI),  a cross-faculty, multidisciplinary research centre comprising over 55 academic and postdoctoral research staff and 35 postgraduate students. The overall goals of the CMBI are to understand the biology of infectious diseases with an emphasis on bacterial infections and to translate this information into novel strategies for preventing and treating microbial disease.

The emphasis of the Bacterial Pathogenesis and Infection stream is on molecular approaches to understanding infection as a function of bacterial pathogenic strategy and physiology. This research-oriented approach to training in biomedical science comprises both theoretical and practical elements.

During the research projects, students will be based in the lab of their supervisor and become full members of that lab. In working alongside other students and postdoctoral researchers, they will gain excellent laboratory experience and learn a variety of skills and techniques, and have the opportunity to discuss their work with peers and present their findings at lab group meetings.

Entry requirements

2:1 or overseas equivalent in biological sciences or other appropriate science subject

Is this programme for you?

The programme is designed for students who wish to pursue a career in biomedical research, whether it be in academia, industry or government. To date, all graduates have gone on to study for a PhD.

Key benefits

Individuals who successfully complete the programme will have developed the ability to:

  • Demonstrate practical dexterity in the commonly employed and more advanced practical techniques of molecular and cellular microbiology
  • Exercise theoretical and practical knowledge and competence required for employment in a variety of biomedical environments
  • Identify appropriate methodology during experimental planning
  • Interpret and present scientific data
  • Interrogate relevant scientific literature and develop research plans
  • Recognise the importance of justifying expenditure (cost and time) during experimental planning
  • Recognise potential methodological failings and strategise accordingly
  • Perform novel laboratory-based research, and exercise critical scientific thought in the interpretation of findings
  • Write and defend research reports, which appraise the results of laboratory-based scientific study
  • Communicate effectively through writing, oral presentations and IT to facilitate further study or employment in molecular, cellular and physiological science
  • Exercise a range of transferable skills


A wide range of research projects is made available to students twice a year. The range of projects available to each student is determined by their stream. Students will have priority on projects offered by their own stream but they may also, subject to availability, be able to choose a project from other streams. Please see research project examples.


Applicants should indicate in the first line of their Personal Statement that they are applying for the BPI stream.