This course provides core training in the theoretical and practical aspects of medical parasitology, covering the protozoan and metazoan parasites of humans and the vectors which transmit them. Students will gain specialised skills to enable them to pursue a career in research, control or teaching related to medical parasitology.
Graduates enter a range of global health fields ranging from diagnostics through to applied basic research and operational control to higher degree studies and academic/teaching-related positions.
The Patrick Buxton Memorial Medal and Prize is awarded to the best student of the year. Founded by relatives of Patrick Alfred Buxton, Professor in Entomology, who died in 1955.
An additional preferred requirement for the MSc Parasitology is an interest in parasites of public health importance and disease transmission. Any student who does not meet the minimum entry requirement above but who has relevant professional experience may still be eligible for admission. Qualifications and experience will be assessed from the application.
By the end of this course students should be able to demonstrate:
- detailed knowledge and understanding of the biology, life cycles, pathogenesis, and diagnosis of parasitic infections in humans and their relevance for human health and control
- detailed knowledge and understanding of the biology and strategies for control of the vectors and intermediate hosts of human parasites
- carry out practical laboratory identification of parasite stages both free and in tissues and diagnose infections
- specialised skills in: advanced diagnostic, molecular, immunological, genetic, chemotherapeutic, ecological and/or control aspects of the subject
- the ability to design a laboratory or field-based research project, and apply relevant research skills
- prepare a written report including a critical literature review of relevant scientific publications, and show competence in communicating scientific findings
Term 1: There is a two-week orientation period that includes an introduction to studying at the School, sessions on key computing and study skills and an introduction to major groups of pathogens, followed by three compulsory core modules:
- Parasitology & Entomology - Analysis & Design of Research Studies - Critical Skills for Tropical Medicine
Recommended module: Molecular Biology
Sessions on basic computing, molecular biology and statistics are run throughout the term for all students.
Terms 2 and 3: Students take a total of five modules, one from each timetable slot (Slot 1, Slot 2 etc.). Some modules can be taken only after consultation with the Course Director.
- Slot 1: Epidemiology & Control of Malaria* Molecular Biology & Recombinant DNA Techniques* Advanced Immunology 1 Designing Disease Control Programmes in Developing Countries
- Slot 2: Advanced Diagnostic Parasitology* Advanced Immunology 2 Design & Analysis of Epidemiological Studies Statistical Methods in Epidemiology
- Slot 3: Vector Sampling, Identification & Incrimination* Advanced Training in Molecular Biology Spatial Epidemiology in Public Health Tropical Environmental Health
- Slot 4: Immunology of Parasitic Infection: Principles* Molecular Biology Research Progress & Applications* Vector Biology & Vector Parasite Interactions* Epidemiology & Control of Communicable Diseases Genetic Epidemiology
There is a compulsory one week field course, after the Term 3 examinations, on vector and parasite sampling and identification methods.The cost of £630 is included in the field trip fee.
During the summer months (July - August), students complete a research project, for submission by early September. This may be based on a critical review of an approved topic, analysis of a collection of results or a laboratory study.Students undertaking projects overseas will require additional funding of up to £1,500 to cover costs involved.
The majority of students who undertake projects abroad receive financial support for flights from the School's trust funds set up for this purpose.