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Infection Control

Course overview

(Postgraduate Diploma) Postgraduate Diploma
Infection Control
University of Essex
University of Essex
Health and Social Care (School of)
Colchester Campus
Postgraduate Diploma
By credit accumulation

External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment. External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course. They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards. External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.

eNROL, the module enrolment system, is now open until Monday 21 October 2019 8:59AM, for students wishing to make changes to their module options.


Core You must take this module You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study
Compulsory You must take this module There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study
Optional You can choose which module to study

Year 1 - 2019/20

Exit Award Status
Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits PG Diploma PG Certificate
01 HS940-7-FY Introduction to Microbiology and Immunology Core 30 Core
02 HS941-7-FY Public Health and Communicable Disease Control Core 30 Core
03 HS942-7-FY Applied Microbiology and Public Health Core 30 Core
04 HS945-7-FY Postgraduate Research Methods Core 30 Core

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

To enhance understanding of the world of microbiology, which will then enable the student to formulate a management strategy to care for infectious patients and prevent further spread of disease.

To enhance understanding of the nature of communicable disease, and enable the student to develop strategies for surveillance, control and prevention of infection in hospital, the community and world-wide.

To enhance understanding of the skills required by an infection control practitioner, which will then enable the student to be more effective in his/her role.

To endow students with an understanding of the essential principles of research design.

Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods

On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:

A: Knowledge and understanding

A1 Advanced understanding of key concepts and principles related to microbiology and public health
A2 Advanced understanding of the science of epidemiology and of epidemiological techniques
A3 Conceptual awareness of high-risk infectious disease globally, and of surveillance and control measures
A4 Advanced understanding of the microbiological testing process.
A5 Advanced understanding of the mechanisms of a variety of antimicrobial agents
A6 Advanced understanding of qualitative and quantitative research methods.
Learning Methods: A1-6 are delivered by means of web-based learning.
A4 is facilitated by a practice supervisor within the students’‘ own clinical areas.
Assessment Methods: A1-6 are assessed by means of coursework - summative essays and a range of formative exercises.
A7 is assessed through completion of a dissertation based upon original coursework

B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

B1 Critically analyse the relationships between mankind and micro-organisms
B2 Critically appraise methods suggested for overcoming microbial resistance to host defence mechanisms
B3 Critically analyse the short and long-term effects of communicable disease
B4 Plan an independent research proposal to a high professional and ethical standard
B5 Write well-structured and well-argued essays.
Learning Methods: B1-4 are delivered by means of web-based learning.

B5 is ongoing throughout the course, beginning with a pre-registration ‘‘return to study’‘ induction course, and enhanced via formative feedback about coursework.
Assessment Methods: B1-4 are assessed by means of coursework summative essays and a range of formative exercises

C: Practical skills

C1 Make a thorough assessment of infection control needs in the community
C2 Create an infection control strategy for community areas
C3 Perform microbiological tests to identify a variety of pathogenic organisms
C4 Develop a strategy for dealing with a food-related outbreak of infectious disease
C5 Conduct a risk assessment related to infection control within a clinical area.
C6 Produce a research proposal to a professional standard, and submit an application to an ethics committee
C7 Carry out health research to a high professional standard
C8 Plan and present work in an appropriate manner.
Learning Methods: C1-5 are delivered by means of web-based learning.

C3 is further facilitated by a practice supervisor within the students’‘ own clinical areas
Assessment Methods: C1-7 are assessed by means of coursework --- summative essays and a range of formative exercises

D: Key skills

D1 Students will be able to: Write clearly and effectively;Communicate effectively via the website discussion pages
D2 Students will be able to: Use Moodle and the Internet; Use word processing packages; Use spreadsheets and statistics packages; Use presentation packages; Use data analysis software
D3 Students will be able to: Read and interpret tables of data and statistics; Use statistics to analyse data; Use packages for handling and analysing data
D4 Students will be able to choose the appropriate method of enquiry in order to address a range of practical and theoretical problems.
D5 Students will be able to: Work with others within their own clinical team to agree and work towards goals; Work successfully with other disciplines; Practise reflectively and facilitate this in others.
D6 Students will be able to learn from feedback and respond appropriately and effectively to supervision and guidance; work pragmatically to meet deadlines; and critically evaluate own performance.
Learning Methods: D1 is introduced in the pre-registration induction day and is supported in class discussions on the study days.

D2 is introduced in the pre-registration induction day.

It is covered in on-line teaching demonstrations and supported laboratory work.

D3/D4 are promoted through the extensive use of enquiry-based learning methods.

D5 is supported by discussions and by feedback on coursework.

D6 is supported by structured feedback on coursework, the enforcement of tight deadlines, and the encouragement of reflection in coursework.
Assessment Methods: D1-6 are assessed through coursework, including formative practical assignments.


The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

Should you have any questions about programme specifications, please contact Course Records, Quality and Academic Development; email: