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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."
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.
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).