This 1 year course leads to an internationally recognised MRes qualification that provides training in transferable skills essential for those wishing to pursue post-graduate PhD, commercial or industrial research opportunities. Focusing on parasites and the diseases that they cause, you will gain expert knowledge in the detection, prevention and control of protozoan as well as metazoan animal and human pathogens. You will be trained in specialisms including biochemistry, molecular biology, whole organism/cell culture and manipulation, bioinformatics, proteomics, transcriptomics, genomics, functional genomics, drug discovery, vaccinology, biomarker discovery, genetics/epigenetics, epidemiology, vector/intermediate host biology and ecology.
At the end of the course you will understand how interdisciplinary methods can be brought to bear on controlling some of the deadliest infectious organisms on the planet and be ready to pursue your career in parasitology.
Parasitism is the most successful lifestyle on the planet and leads to diverse and highly-damaging infectious diseases of agricultural, veterinary and biomedical significance. Therefore, a greater understanding of the parasite species responsible for these conditions and the means by which they are controlled remain a priority for scientists, health care professionals and farmers in this 21st Century. For example, it is recognised that parasitic worms infect greater than 1 billion people worldwide with some species causing between $700 million-$1 billion USDs in economic losses per annum. The development of novel, creative and integrated control strategies are urgently needed to combat the growing threat of changing parasite distributions due to climate change, human migration, animal transportation and farming practices. This MRes course will provide you with a range of vocational skills and prepare you for professional employment or further post-graduate PhD studies in Parasitology or related disciplines (i.e. infectious diseases, public health, epidemiology, etc.).
IBERS continuously maintained an excellent internationally-recognised reputation in parasitological research since the 1930s. One of the British Society of Parasitology’s founding members and two of its past presidents were IBERS Parasitologists. More recently, IBERS appointments and University investments have increased critical mass in Parasitology leading to the formation of the Parasitology and Epidemiology Research Group (in 2007) as well as the Barrett Centre for Helminth Control (in 2016). The creation of both research groupings has facilitated greater interactions with animal health and pharmaceutical/biotech companies as well as increased research grant capture derived from government, research council and charitable funding bodies.
With 360 members of staff (principle investigators, technicians and post-doctoral fellows), 1350 undergraduate students and more than 150 postgraduate students, IBERS is the largest research and teaching institute within Aberystwyth University. Excellence in teaching was recognised by outstanding scores in the National Student Satisfaction Survey (NSS 2017) and being awarded University of the Year for Teaching Quality by the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018. Employability data from the Recent Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE, 2017) shows that 97% of IBERS graduates were in work or further study six months after leaving Aberystwyth University. The economic and social impact of IBERS research was recognised in 2011 when IBERS won the national BBSRC Excellence with Impact Award.
An aspect of this course that uniquely positions itself from other Masters level Parasitology courses in the UK is the 12-month dissertation project (Semesters 1-3). Working under the supervision of active researchers in the field, you will collaboratively develop a research project on diverse topics such as (but not inclusive) intermediate host and vector control, anthelmintic drug and target discovery, biomarker identification, visual cue selection for arthropod vectors, mathematical modelling of disease transmission, host responses to parasite biomolecules, parasite and host population studies and functional genomics manipulation of parasites. A list of available projects and supervisors will be advertised closer to the start of each academic year. Your supervisor/supervisory team will mentor you in hypothesis and discovery driven experimental design, provide training in lab-based and computer-assisted methodologies, arrange instruction in analytical techniques, aid in the trouble-shooting of experimental challenges, assist you in the interpretation of results and prepare you for successful oral presentations. You will also be guided in how to most efficiently communicate your results during the dissertation write-up. It is expected that during this year long research project you will become an expert in your topic.
Please refer to our couse web pages for full details of course modules.
This course is an ideal training programme for those wishing to:
- Pursue PhD studies;
- Work in industry, charities or funding bodies;
- Improve animal and human health;
- Influence governmental policies.
Throughout this course you will:
· Develop strong data collection/analysis, fieldwork and laboratory skills;
· Enhance your scientific communication and team work skills;
· Write for a range of audiences including academics and the wider public;
· Enhance your analytical abilities, critical thinking and problem solving skills;
· Develop study and research skills;
· Direct and sustain a self-initiated programme of study underpinned by good time management skills;
· Work effectively and independently;
· Hone your project management skills to deliver a demanding combination of research, analysis, communication and presentation
During the one year of full-time study students complete 40 60 credits of core modules centred on parasitology, parasite control and a further 20 credits focusing on laboratory techniques & research methodologies. The taught modules are assessed by scientific writing assignments (such as reports, critical reviews, essays and journalistic articles), presentations, contribution to group discussions in seminars and online assignments. The core element of this course is the 120 credit MRes Dissertation, during which students will have supervision meetings to give them guidance before undertaking a prolonged period of experimental work/data gathering, research, and writing up of the dissertation. All postgraduate students in IBERS also have a named personal tutor, with whom they can discuss personal or domestic concerns that impact on their studies. Subsequent successful submission of your dissertation leads to the award of an MRes.
The need for sustainable development is a global concern. This flexible Masters degree prepares you to address the challenges faced in safeguarding the planet’s ecosystems in a fast developing world.
This programme is ideal if you want a career in the environmental field, in the private, public, or not-for-profit sectors. It can be taken as an MA or MSc depending on your dissertation topic.
You will be based within one of the largest groups of environmental scientists in the UK and will be taught by world-leading researchers from our three internationally-renowned partner organisations: Lancaster Environment Centre, Rothamsted Research and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, which has a government laboratory at Lancaster. Their expertise spans a wide range of disciplines in the natural and social sciences including the sustainable use of resources, food security, energy, water and soil science, political ecology and environmental pollution.
You will complete six taught modules and a dissertation research project, with individual supervision from a research active expert. We offer great flexibility with over 40 modules to choose from, spanning the natural and social sciences from sustainable soil management and conservation biology to environmental law and globalisation. This enables you to construct a degree that fits your interests and career ambitions and to put your learning in a wider cultural context.
You will gain a solid foundation in the key theoretical issues around environment and development. You will apply this learning to real-world problems and gain the practical problem solving skills valued by employers. Hands-on experience in the laboratory is complemented by field work opportunities in the beautiful and topographically varied countryside around Lancaster and internationally. There are also opportunities to gain work experience through one of our many business and research partners.
Your dissertation forms a substantial part of your Masters degree and will enhance your practical and analytical skills and give you the opportunity to apply your learning to a rea- world challenge. Our many research projects and partners across the globe provide exciting fieldwork opportunities when you are choosing your dissertation subject.
Examples of previous dissertation topics are:
The Ecology and the Environment master’s programme prepares students to work with the management of ecosystems, ecological communities and populations, based on a thorough knowledge of ecological concepts and theories.
The programme has a critical scientific approach to ecology and its applications in society. Students acquire training in practical areas such as experiment design, data interpretation, ecological fieldwork and theoretical modelling, both in a classroom setting and through fieldwork.
There is a strong focus on the practical application of ecological knowledge in society. You learn about environmental and natural resource management, and how it is implicated by various stakeholders. Courses cover population ecology, community ecology and ecology systems theories, including their relationship to current environmental problems. Furthermore, the programme has an internship period and a course that focuses on ecological decision support for forestry and agriculture.
The key part of the programme is a one-year master’s project in which students apply their theoretical and methodological knowledge. The project can be linked to current research projects at the Division of Biology in subjects such as conservation ecology, ecology of shallow waters, design and management of treatment wetlands, spatio-temporal ecology, and population and community ecology. Alternatively, the master’s project can be conducted at a university or research institute abroad, in a field such as tropical ecology or ecological engineering.
This programme also emphasises the need for mathematical models and statistical analyses to address complex ecological and environmental problems. Typical applications are in helping to identify crop management strategies for effective biological control, understanding the impact of life-history strategies on the risk of population extinction in a varying environment, and evaluating the preservation status of nature reserves and how they should be managed.
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This programme provides advanced contemporary training in parasitology and the study of disease vectors. The broad scope of the programme ranges from the biology, immunology, ecology and population biology of the organisms to public health, disease epidemiology and tropical health issues. In addition to providing a solid foundation in parasite and vector biology, the programme provides practical experience of essential techniques, as well as significant theoretical and practical knowledge in all important and topical areas of the field. Following the taught component, participants complete a dissertation including a period of applied research either overseas or in Liverpool.
LSTM education courses are taught within a dynamic environment by staff working at the cutting-edge of research in tropical medicine and global health. They are designed to enable the professional development of the student, to be relevant to students from both the UK and overseas and to promote approaches to study that will enable students to continue their learning into the future.
This course aims to:
To equip students with the knowledge and practical skills needed to develop a career in research, training or control of parasitic and vector-borne diseases.
To provide practical experience of a range of specialised technical and analytical skills relevant to the study of parasites and disease vectors.
To enable students to conduct independent research in the laboratory and/or field.
To produce graduates who are experienced, committed, informed, proactive and effective professionals, capable of taking substantial and leading professional roles.
To facilitate high quality learning that is informed by critical analysis of current research.
To develop independent and reflective approaches to study that will enable graduates to continue to learn in the future.
Over many years, we have educated hundreds of Masters students, many of whom have established successful careers in research in the academic or private sectors, or who have gone on to work in development as part of government or NGO teams. Graduates of the MSc Biology & Control of Parasites and Disease Vectors typically follow careers in research (some in LSTM) or training in areas related to the control of infectious disease, in particular parasitic and vector-borne tropical diseases. Other careers paths have led to teacher training, working overseas for NGO’s, military and public health-related careers.
The Pollution Management option focuses on the interface and interaction between science, technology, and policy in the environment. There is an emphasis on local issues, but these are inescapably set within the context of regional and global developments. We draw on best practice in the UK and Western Europe, applied not only here but also in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas.
In Western Europe and North America, many short-range pollution problems of past decades have been solved, but business and industry find themselves operating in an environment where the public and government demand ever more stringent environmental standards. Other parts of the world might be seen as following some way behind this trend and learning from it, including where examples of acute local and regional pollution remain in a context of a pressing need for rapid socio-economic development. Globalisation is an additional, external source of pressure on every nation to meet the highest environmental standards that are increasingly prevalent elsewhere. In many cases, however, developing countries have an opportunity to learn from our mistakes as well as our successes. In particular, the trend of the past was for environmental protection to be an expensive luxury. Today, it is possible to find a different and more efficient path to a better quality of life for everyone, now and in the future, by protecting the environment in a way that leads simultaneously to an increase in economic prosperity. There is therefore continued growth in demand for graduates with expertise in pollution management:
Responses to pollution at least must reassure the public it is safe, or allow adaptation to or protection from its effects. A better approach is to control concentrations of a pollutant in the environment, but the best solution is to prevent its formation in the first place.
Integrated Pollution, Prevention and Control is a major development in this area, pioneered in the UK and now led by the European Union, bringing together management, planning, and communication as well as end-of-pipe technological solutions. But this needs to mesh with other kinds of regulatory and voluntary initiatives, especially where non-industrial sources of pollution including transport and agriculture make an important contribution, in more and less developed countries alike.
The Option is divided into six modules, covering all the major areas of environmental concern, and there is a significant interdisciplinary element throughout, reflecting the philosophy of the MSc as a whole. They should not be considered as stand-alone, but should be seen as a closely integrated whole:
Environment and Health
Air Pollution and Climate Control
Waste and Resource Management
Environmental Decision Making and Tools
Environmental Pollution and Assessment
Water Technology and Pollution
The majority of the graduates enter environmental consultancy both in the UK and abroad usually within the risk assessment and contaminated land areas. A second path of graduates is to regulatory agencies/government bodies such as the Environment Agency of England & Wales and the Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. Other paths have included further study, the retail sector and banking. To date, the Option has had an excellent track record of employment with over 90% of graduates employed within 12 months of completing the MSc.
• PhD, Technical University of Athens
• Projects Manager, British Council, Brazil
• Environmental Health Officer, London Borough of Newham
• Assistant Director, Science & Technology Division, Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment Malaysia
• Field Engineer, Schlumberger (Angola)
• Senior Consultant, Arthur D. Little
• General Director, Environmental Management, Environment Ministry, Mexico
• Partner and Director of UK Environmental Services, Price Waterhouse Coopers
• Technical Director, Stanger Science & Technology
• Senior Lecturer, Roehampton University
• Quality Control Engineer, Chiyoda Corporation, Doha, Qatar
• Head of Environmental Audit, Body Shop International
• Head of Solid Waste Control, Hong Kong Environmental Protection Department
Veterinary epidemiology is a key component in a number of the global grand challenges relating to disease control, food security and climate change. Consequently, there is a need to improve our ability to understand, predict and respond to patterns and dynamics of disease and to control outbreaks.
The R(D)SVS and SRUC partnership creates the greatest concentration of research power in veterinary and agricultural sciences in the UK. The MSc draws on this wealth of experience and research activity to provide scientific knowledge of the fundamental biological processes (e.g. behaviour, physiology, immunology, ecology) and environmental and farming management practices (e.g. husbandry, nutrition, livestock trade) driving disease transmission, persistence, prevalence and spread in livestock production systems. This enables in-depth understanding of complex environmental patterns of disease, which facilitates prediction of disease risk and control. This multidisciplinary systems approach will provide you with the skills to make significant contributions to tackling food security, climate change and disease control in your role as an animal health professional.
By the end of the programme you will not only have a detailed understanding of the biology driving disease persistence and prevalence, but also how the biology scales up from individuals to populations. You will understand how this interacts with agricultural management practices to determine the efficacy of disease control strategies and livestock production (i.e. interdisciplinary systems thinking and communication). Furthermore, the systems approach offers a way to frame disease challenges and problem solve disease risk at a range of scales (e.g. from veterinarians tackling specific outbreaks to the consequences of climate change on disease risk). To this end the programme provides training in methodological skills for the design, implementation, analysis, interpretation and communication of epidemiological studies, disease surveillance and disease control in animal populations and wider host communities.
Courses are delivered by active researchers presenting their own research, which is placed into context with global grand challenges. As such, you will be exposed to and taught skills appropriate for developing a research career.
The programme will use the University’s award winning online learning environments, which includes video podcasts, web-based discussion forums and expert tuition.
The programme is delivered part-time by online learning over period of 3-6 years.
You may undertake the programme by intermittent study (flexible progression route), accruing credits within a time limit of:
The programme is modular in structure, offering a flexible student-centred approach to the choice of courses studied; other than the three core courses required for the certificate, students may choose to study individual courses, to complete a sufficient number of credits to be awarded the:
Postgraduate Professional Development
Postgraduate Professional Development (PPD) is aimed at working professionals who want to advance their knowledge through a postgraduate-level course(s), without the time or financial commitment of a full Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate.
You may take a maximum of 50 credits worth of courses over two years through our PPD scheme. These lead to a University of Edinburgh postgraduate award of academic credit. Alternatively, after one year of taking courses you can choose to transfer your credits and continue on to studying towards a higher award on a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme. Although PPD courses have various start dates throughout a year you may only start a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme in the month of September. Any time spent studying PPD will be deducted from the amount of time you will have left to complete a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme.
The courses and programme as a whole will provide: