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Masters Degrees (Helminth)

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The MSc programme in Parasitology and Pathogen Biology is designed for students seeking training in parasite-borne infectious diseases that severely undermine. Read more
The MSc programme in Parasitology and Pathogen Biology is designed for students seeking training in parasite-borne infectious diseases that severely undermine: human health in the developing world and tropics; agri-food production systems globally (including plant health and animal health and welfare).

Students taking the course will develop expertise directly applicable to human, plant and animal health and welfare, food security and the future sustainability of food production, particularly within livestock and plant/crop production systems.

The course will be run entirely by research active and will offer students the opportunity to gain experience in internationally competitive laboratories.

PROGRAMME CONTENT
The MSc programme in Parasitology and Pathogen Biology is designed for students seeking training in parasite-borne infectious diseases that severely undermine: human health in the developing world and tropics; agri-food production systems globally (including plant health and animal health and welfare). Students taking the course will develop expertise directly applicable to human, plant and animal health and welfare, food security and the future sustainability of food production, particularly within livestock and plant/crop production systems.

Students undertaking this MSc course will study the folling modules:

- Foundation for Research in the Biosciences 20CATS
- Fundamental Parasitology & Advanced Skills 20CATS
- Advanced Parasitology I 20CATS
- Advanced Parasitology II 20CATS
- Bio-Entrepreneurship & Advanced Skills 20CATS
- Literature Review 20CATS
- Research Project 60CATS

CAREER PROSPECTS
It is anticipated that the skills set and knowledge acquired will equip participants with a comprehensive academic and methodological repertoire to undertake careers in agriculture, plant science, animal and human health, pharmaceutica, academia and food security, underpinning the transdisciplinary nature of the programme.

Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.

WHY QUEEN'S?
The MSc programme embraces the One Health approach to these infectious diseases, with strong recognition of the interplay between health and disease at the dynamic interface between humans, animals and the environment.

In addition to embedded generic skills training, students will have the opportunity to acquire subject-specific skills training, e.g. molecular biology techniques, diagnostics, epidemiology (human, animal and plant diseases), drug/vaccine development, pathogen management/control, host-parasite interaction, immunobiology, drug resistance and the potential impact of climate change on parasites and their vectors.

In addition to the taught elements of the course, MSc students will undertake a research project working in research active laboratories (academic or industrial), or in the field, e.g. the impact of helminth infections on animal welfare, the economic impact of parasites on agriculture, the role of vectors in emerging diseases, the ecology of zoonotic diseases, the molecular basis of anthelmintic resistance, emerging technologies for drug discovery, the pathology of infection, parasite immunomodulation of the host.

The transferrable skill set and knowledge base acquired from the programme will equip students with a highly desirable qualification that is suited to those wishing to pursue careers in human health/infectious disease, animal health, veterinary medicine, animal/plant biology, pharmaceutical sciences and food security.

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About the Course. 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. Read more

About the Course

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.

Why study Parasite Control at Aberystwyth?

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.

Why study at Aberystwyth?

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.  

Course Details

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.

Employability

Careers

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.

 

Skills

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

 

How will I learn?

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.



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