The two contributing universities - Salford and Keele - have considerable complementary research experience in the biology of parasites and the vectors which transmit them. This has led to the development of this pioneering joint masters degree, focusing on the molecular aspects of parasite infections and vector biology. It aims to provide you with a sound insight into the biology of parasites and their control.
This course will educate you in contemporary studies of research on immunological and molecular aspects of selected parasites and vector/parasite relationships. You will also gain research experience in parasitology and/or entomology. Individual research projects can be based in either of the two institutions, choosing a topical aspect of parasitology, or vector biology.
Teaching is delivered by research active staff from the University of Salford and Keele University. Teaching sessions are primarily based at Salford, though the facilities at Keele are also utilised with transport being provided for classes based at Keele.
Teaching sessions include lectures, laboratory practicals, field work, tutorials, guest lectures and guided reading. Your Dissertation can be based at Salford or Keele.
Part-time students study Fundamentals of Parasitology and Molecular Biology of Parasites in year 1, Vector Biology and Control, and Research Skills (Parasitology) in year 2. Students may wish to complete the Dissertation in year 2, or year 3 depending upon commitments.
The Research Skills (Parasitology) and Dissertation modules are assessed by coursework. The remaining modules are assessed by coursework and examination.
Graduates from this course have entered employment as research assistants or research laboratory technicians in pharmaceuticals, drug design and pesticide research. Other career paths have included pollution microbiologists with water authorities, and work in hospital laboratories investigating the haematology, molecular biology and immunology of infectious diseases.
This MSc also equips students for PhD research and former students have gone on to study at international universities that include our partner university in Toledo (USA). Several students at Toledo have now completed their PhD studies and have gained employment at US Ivy League Institutes (Harvard Medical School and Cornell).
After completion of this course you may wish to specialise in a chosen subject area in one of the School’s two main research centres: Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre (EERC) or Biomedical Research Centre (BRC).
This is a research-based degree, providing you with essential training in scientific research methodology and data analysis, as well as specific scientific techniques appropriate to the research microbiologist.
The course draws from the Department of Biological Sciences research strengths and expertise in cell biology of infectious diseases, host-parasite relationships and drug discovery across a wide range of infectious pathogens/bacteriology, mycology and parasitology. You will undertake a research project in the laboratories of internationally recognised researchers.
The programme consists of lectures and practicals, with a research project in the second year. All modules are compulsory.
The taught Infection Biology MSc will help you to develop your knowledge and understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which bacteria, viruses and parasites cause disease in humans and in domesticated animals, and the immune responses generated by these hosts to such pathogens. You can choose to specialise in virology, microbiology (bacteriology) or parasitology.
The MSc programme will consist of five taught courses and a project or dissertation, spread over 11-12 months. Three courses are compulsory, and two are chosen from a series of options.
The PgDip programme will consist of five taught courses, spread over 7-8 months, with three compulsory courses and two chosen from a series of options.
The PgCert programme consists one core taught course over 3-4 months.
Teaching and learning methods
A variety of methods are used, including lectures, tutorials, workshops, laboratories and problem-based learning. These are supplemented by a wide range of course specific electronic resources for additional learning and self assessment. As a result, you will develop a wide range of skills relevant to careers in infection biology research, diagnostics or drug development. These skills include team-working, data interpretation and experimental design. You will use primary scientific literature as an information resource.
Our online resources were voted the best in the United Kingdom in the International Student Barometer in 2012, and include
About half of our MSc students enter a research career, mainly by undertaking further postgraduate research studies towards a PhD, or by working in research laboratories in clinical or academic settings, including national government laboratories.
Other students go on to work in the pharmaceutical, diagnostic or biotechnological industries.
This Masters in Bioinformatics (formerly Bioinformatics, Polyomics and Systems Biology) is an exciting and innovative programme that has recently been revamped. Bioinformatics is a discipline at the interface between biology, computing and statistics and is used in organismal biology, molecular biology and biomedicine. This programme focuses on using computers to glean new insights from DNA, RNA and protein sequence data and related data at the molecular level through data storage, mining, analysis and graphical presentation - all of which form a core part of modern biology.
Bioinformatics helps biologists gain new insights about genomes (genomics) and genes, about RNA expression products of genes (transcriptomics) and about proteins (proteomics); rapid advances have also been made in the study of cellular metabolites (metabolomics) and in a newer area, systems biology.
‘Polyomics’ is an intrinsically systems-level approach involving the integration of data from these ‘functional genomics’ areas - genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics - to derive new insights about how biological systems function.
The programme structure is designed to equip students with understanding and hands-on experience of both computing and biological research practices relating to bioinformatics and functional genomics, to show students how the computing approaches and biological questions they are being used to answer are connected, and to give students an insight into new approaches for integration of data and analysis across the 'omics' domains.
On this programme, you will develop a range of computing and programming skills, as well as skills in data handling, analysis (including statistics) and interpretation, and you will be brought up to date with recent advances in biological science that have been informed by bioinformatics approaches.
The programme has the following overall structure
Additional information about the programme can be found in the Bioinformatics MSc Programme Structure 2017-18.
Please note: students undertaking the three month PgCert will also be required to take two exams in March/April.
Most of our graduates embark on a University or Institute-based research career path, here in the UK or abroad, using the skills they've acquired on our programme. These skills are now of primary relevance in many areas of modern biology and biomedicine. Many are successful in getting a PhD studentship. Others are employed as a core bioinformatician (now a career path within academia in its own right) or as a research assistant in a research group in basic biological or medical science.
A postgraduate degree in bioinformatics is also valued by many employers in the life sciences sector - eg computing biology jobs in biotechnology, biosciences, neuroinformatics and the pharma industries.
Some of our graduates have entered science-related careers in scientific publishing or education. Others have gone into computing-related jobs in non-bioscience industry or the public sector.
This programme is the only one of its kind in the UK. It is designed for high-calibre, veterinary graduates from clinical backgrounds who want to explore and benefit from veterinary research, perhaps with a view to pursuing a PhD or a career in research.
The programme offers you the opportunity to undertake a research project in a laboratory or department relevant to your speciality. The choice of research projects carried out is wide, and ranges from bench research to clinical research.
Admission to this programme is subject to identifying a suitable research project and appropriate supervisor before starting the degree.
The programme begins with a month of teaching to give you an overview of the whole range of techniques used in medical research. The first two weeks comprise lectures on subjects from stem cell biology to ethics and clinical trials and statistics training. This will follow with two weeks of practical workshops in cell biology and molecular medicine and learning practical techniques, including basic tissue culture, how to do PCRs and run Western Blots. After the first month of teaching you will move to a laboratory most relevant to your own speciality.
The programme begins with a month of teaching to give you an overview of the whole range of techniques used in medical research.
The first two weeks comprise lectures on subjects from stem cell biology to ethics and clinical trials and statistics training.
This will follow with two weeks of practical workshops in cell biology and molecular medicine and learning practical techniques, including basic tissue culture, how to do PCRs and run Western Blots.
After the first month of teaching you will move to a laboratory most relevant to your own speciality.
Most MVetSci graduates go on to study for a PhD. Those who choose to return to clinical practice go back with a broader experience of research than is afforded by the undergraduate clinical veterinary curriculum.
This course aims to provide a balance between theoretical, practical and biomedical skills, and develop your levels of critical enquiry. You will be encouraged to pursue creative approaches to contemporary research in biomedical science and communication through creative thinking, research methods, computer systems, case studies and practicals. You will evaluate how these various approaches can assist you in formulating your own experiments and research project, increasing your skill set and future employability.
This course has both full-time and part-time routes, comprising of three, 14-week semesters or five 14-week semesters, which you can take within one or three years respectively.
Teaching sessions include lectures, laboratory practicals, tutorials, guest lectures and guided reading. Lectures provide a thorough theoretical basis for the course subjects and are delivered by internationally recognised, research active staff. A variety of other teaching approaches including tutorials, case studies, and workshops reinforce theoretical knowledge and facilitate the development of individual and group based research and transferable skills.
Practical sessions demonstrate techniques and methods used in biomedicine, and provide an opportunity for you to learn complex experimental approaches and operate laboratory equipment. Guided reading will recommend key articles and other materials to help you learn. Guest expert seminars from clinicians and academics will provide insight into modern biomedical research.
The research project will enable you to start your own research and be part of active, internationally recognised research teams, where you will practice the application of relevant biomedical techniques and skills valuable for your future employment in biomedical sector.
Assessment is by a combination of written examinations, oral presentations, coursework, laboratory reports and submission of the dissertation.
We have newly refurbished and well-equipped teaching and research laboratories for practical work in molecular biology and biochemistry. State-of-the-art instrumentation includes cell culture facilities, FACS, MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry, FTIR and FTNMR spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy and microscopy and scanning electron microscopy.
At the University of Salford we aim to produce graduates who meet the needs of their future employers: highly skilled practitioners and excellent communicators who are seeking to push the boundaries in the rapidly growing biomedicine sector.
Many of our biomedical science graduates are employed in roles such as research assistants and research laboratory technicians, across various sectors including clinical and research laboratories and pharmaceutical and biotechnology organisations. Some have gone on to pursue the field of education, working as lecturers and teachers in universities and schools.
A number of our graduates choose to continue their education by pursing PhD studies, with areas of research including microbiology, parasitology, medicinal chemistry, cancer and cell biology- to name a few! Furthermore, graduates of this course have been accepted into medical schools as students on completion of this degree.
Guest speakers provide a valuable contribution to the course, and bring a real world perspective to the academic delivery of the modules. The School of Environment and Life Sciences has a regular Postgraduate Research Seminar Series in which experts from outside the University share their knowledge and latest research findings. This Series not only augments scientific knowledge and progresses students’ understanding of effective science communication, it also allows for networking and the formation of valuable academic and industrial contacts.
There are over 50 fully research-active academic staff and a number of early career researchers engaged in a range of innovative research fields and in advancing the boundaries of theoretical investigation. Research in the School focuses on understanding disease processes and applying this information to understand pathology and develop new diagnostics and treatments. Research areas include microbiology, parasitology, medicinal chemistry, rational drug design, cancer, molecular endocrinology, pharmacology, physiology, immunology, proteomics, molecular diagnostics and cell biology. The School offers several fully funded Graduate Teaching Studentships for studying in these areas.
Postgraduate Loans are now Open for Home/EU students - https://www.gov.uk/postgraduate-loan/how-to-apply
Scholarships & Discounts available
Molecular biology and genomics play an increasingly important and exciting role in research on medically important parasites and arthropods, and this award provides advanced training in this field. It provides an important foundation of knowledge of the basic biology of parasites and vectors, followed by specialised modules on the molecular and cellular biology and functional genomics of parasites and vectors, as well as related public health, and tropical health issues. There is a significant practical component throughout the programme, and the laboratory work undertaken provides a wide range of techniques that would be highly relevant to a future research career. 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:
Equip students with the knowledge and practical skills to develop a career in molecular research in parasitology or vector biology.
Provide practical experience of a range of specialised technical and analytical skills relevant to the study of the molecular biology of parasites and disease vectors.
Enable students to conduct independent research in the laboratory and/or field.
Produce graduates who are experienced, committed, informed, proactive and effective professionals, capable of taking substantial and leading professional roles.
Facilitate high quality learning that is informed by critical analysis of current research.
Develop independent and reflective approaches to study that will enable graduates to continue to learn in the future.
Many alumni of LSTM hold prominent positions in health ministries, universities, hospitals, and international organisations throughout the world. Graduates are competitively placed to begin PhD programmes, seek employment as research assistants, work in developing countries with a wide variety of employers, or return to previous employers with enhanced knowledge and skills with which to advance their existing careers. Graduates of the MSc Molecular Biology of Parasites and Disease Vectors have undergone excellent general preparation for a career in laboratory research in biological sciences, in which molecular biology is widely applied, and are particularly well placed for careers in research or training in areas related to the molecular biology of parasitic and vector-borne tropical diseases.
Professor Mark Taylor "Parasitology at LSTM studies how best to treat and control parasitic diseases such as malaria and the Neglected Tropical Diseases. We cover the entire spectrum of translational research from the discovery of new drugs, vaccines and diagnostics through to large scale global programmes aimed at eliminating diseases such as elephantiasis and river blindness. In addition to the traditional parasites and their vectors, we also work on other important tropical diseases such as snakebite, arboviruses, and tuberculosis."
Global infectious diseases are rarely out of the news, as new communicable diseases - Ebola, Zika, bird flu - along with some old familiar ones - tuberculosis (TB), cholera, HIV, malaria - raise concerns about outbreaks and global pandemics. In our ever-changing, rapidly globalising world, the free movement of people and goods, social change, urbanisation and environmental degradation mean that microorganisms can move quickly between and across populations, crossing natural and human-made borders with ease. A communicable disease that develops in one country has the potential for global impact. On top of this, microorganisms are constantly adapting and developing resistance to existing antibiotic and other treatments, leading to the resurgence of old diseases and the evolution of new ones.
In response, new and improved treatments are constantly required to combat parasitic, bacterial and viral infections. These pathogens have the potential to adversely affect the health of millions of people and they challenge scientists, particularly in the field of microbiology, to respond swiftly and preemptively.
This course is ideal if you have an undergraduate degree in a relevant scientific subject and you would like to develop an academic or professional career as a researcher into global infectious diseases. The course is research-focused and it will help you develop the research skills and subject-specific, laboratory-based expertise you need to develop as a microbiological researcher. You will develop the knowledge and learn the skills you need to undertake an original, independent research project and dissertation.
In addition to your own laboratory work, you will attend group laboratory meetings and seminars, to deepen your theoretical knowledge and practical skills, and to contextualise your research.
The research component of this degree occupies about two-thirds of the programme. The remaining third comprises postgraduate taught modules that will provide the necessary theoretical and practical background for you to pursue your chosen research topic.
You take the compulsory module Research in Microbiology (30-credit taught module, taught in the day), choose taught option modules (worth 30 credits) and complete a research project and dissertation (120 credits, full-time laboratory work, attendance at seminars, journal club, etc.).
Despite incredible advances in medicine, there is still plenty of work to be done in the 21st century to create healthier communities across the globe – and microbiologists are leading the way.
Tuberculosis and cholera still devastate populations around the world. New and deadly strains of influenza are appearing. Zika virus is spreading rapidly with warmer global temperatures – as are other parasitic diseases.
For almost a century, we’ve relied on vaccines and antibiotics to prevent and treat infectious disease. But as new pathogens emerge, and antimicrobial drug resistance spreads, innovative approaches are needed. The stakes for microbiologists are higher than ever.
GCU’s MSc Clinical Microbiology will give you the expertise you need to help conquer these challenges – building knowledge, advancing cures and contributing to the common good.
The curriculum takes a scientific approach to the field of clinical microbiology, keeping it career-focused with an emphasis on research and development.
The programme brings together lectures, seminars and practical laboratory classes, ensuring you’ll acquire both cutting-edge theoretical knowledge and hands-on practical skills. You’ll keep pace with the latest advances in microbiology – including the big breakthroughs happening now in the top microbiology labs across the world.
Finally, you’ll undertake a laboratory-based research project with real-world impact, practising the skills required of a successful independent researcher in clinical microbiology.
(Re)Emerging Infectious Disease; Microbial Pathogenicity; Medical Microbiology; Skills for Professional Practice for Biosciences; Applied Molecular Microbiology; Microbial Genetics; Case Studies in Infectious Diseases; and Research Project.
Through GCU’s MSc Clinical Microbiology, you will acquire the skills necessary for success in this highly competitive and important field.
With an understanding of this fast-changing sector and in-demand lab experience, our graduates make competitive candidates for jobs in health, medicine and life sciences, and in university and industry research departments. You’ll also be well prepared to pursue further study at the PhD level.