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 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 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 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.
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."