Get to know the world of virology

Covid-19 – a name so new but with massive potential to wreak a worldwide crisis. The Covid-19 outbreak globally has been causing panic as it is affecting travels, trade and plain old human interaction.

Different from the normal human coronavirus that causes the common cold, Covid-19 is unlike anything scientists have seen before and without identifying its causes and how it spreads, virologists are working around the clock to find a cure.

Virology is essentially a branch of biomedical science. It involves the study of microorganisms. Generally, virologists study the spread of viruses to help develop a cure or vaccine. Today, a lot of scientists believe they are that much closer to finding a cure too deadly diseases like AIDS, SARS, hantavirus, and others as far as human contagion is concerned.

Viruses can infect all forms of life. Apart from human infections, some researchers study infections in plants, animals and other living organisms too. Professionals in virology are known as virologists or microbiologists and they are heavily involved in lab research work.

There’s rarely a direct study route to virology since it falls under the umbrella of microbiology. Most researchers who specialise in virology or pathology study microbiology or biochemistry.

SEGi University’s Biomedical Science offers a pathway to medical microbiology and a range of other specialisations in line with the National Higher Education’s Strategic Plan to produce home-grown scientists and researchers.

The three-year degree includes the study of anatomy, physiology, genetics, medical biochemistry/microbiology, immunology, diagnostic pathology, forensic toxicology, pharmacology, laboratory management and more. This provides a strong basis for graduates to pursue their postgraduate studies (by research) in Science or Health Sciences to specialise in virology.

The Institute of Medical Research’s Virology Unit in Malaysia serves as the main public health lab under the Health Ministry that provides diagnostic services for viral infections in the country. It also serves as reference laboratories for diseases. Apart from government prospects, SEGi graduates can also choose to venture into research science, clinical biochemistry, immunology, microbiology, consultancy or academic fields should they choose to specialise in virology.

According to Salary Expert, entry-level virologists can earn an average annual salary of over RM72,000 whereas senior-level professionals can get an average salary of over RM120,000 a year.

On a broader scale, as a biomedical science graduate, you can also explore careers as a scientist, bioinformatician, patent advisor, forensic toxicologist, medical underwriter or researcher as SEGi preps you with relevant skills and technical knowhow in medical sciences technology and knowledge. This includes professional competencies in diagnostics, analytical, managerial and research.

SEGi places a strong emphasis on research culture in tandem with Industrial Revolution 4.0 to increase the nation’s research productivity. Also, students will benefit from SEGi’s student-centred learning approach, state-of-the-art facilities, highly experienced academicians, and well-structured industrial training that prepares them for the industry.

Learn more about our Biomedical Science, MBSS, and other Health Sciences programme at the upcoming Health Science Week from 13 -19 April at the SEGi University Kota Damansara. To find out more, visit or

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