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Professional Doctorate in Medical Entomology for Disease Control (MSc)

About This Professional Doctorate

Course Description

This course combines theoretical and practical training in biology and control of disease vectors and the human pathogens they transmit. Students will gain specialised skills in the molecular biology of infectious diseases, and will cover all aspects of major vector-borne diseases. The course also offers a thorough grounding in the systematics of medically important arthropods, processes regulating vector populations, and the biology of vector–parasite and vector–vertebrate interactions.

Graduates enter operational control programmes, applied basic research and academic fields. Students benefit from close interaction with staff who have extensive international expertise.

The James Busvine Memorial Medal and Prize, donated by Professor James Busvine in 1987, is awarded each year for outstanding performance.

- Full programme specification (pdf) (https://www.lshtm.ac.uk/files/medic_progspec.pdf)

- Intercalating this course (https://www.lshtm.ac.uk/study/courses/ways-study/intercalating-study-masters-degree)

Visit the website https://www.lshtm.ac.uk/study/masters/medical-entomology-disease-control


By the end of this course students should be able to:

- demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of the biology of vectors and intermediate hosts of human pathogens together with methods for their control

- describe the biology, pathogenesis and diagnosis of parasitic infections in humans and relate these to human health and disease control strategies

- demonstrate a range of specialised technical and analytical skills relevant to vectors and vector-borne diseases

- design and carry out a research project on biology or control of disease vectors, analyse and interpret the results and prepare a report including a critical literature review

- design, undertake and evaluate vector control interventions, and show written and verbal competence in communicating scientific information


Term 1:

There is a one-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

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.

*Recommended modules

- Slot 1:

Epidemiology & Control of Malaria*

Designing Disease Control Programmes in Developing Countries

Molecular Biology & Recombinant Techniques

- Slot 2:

Advanced Diagnostic Parasitology*

Design & Analysis of Epidemiological Studies

Statistical Methods in Epidemiology

- Slot 3:

Vector Sampling, Identification & Incrimination (compulsory)

- Slot 4:

Vector Biology & Vector Parasite Interactions*

Epidemiology & Control of Communicable Diseases

Molecular Biology Research Progress & Applications

Population Dynamics & Projections

- Slot 5:

Integrated Vector Management (compulsory)

Further details for the course modules - https://www.lshtm.ac.uk/study/courses/masters-degrees/module-specifications

Residential Field Trip

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.

Project Report

During the summer months (July - August), students complete a field or laboratory research project on an appropriate entomological topic, for submission by early September.

Titles of some of the recent summer projects completed by students on this MSc

Due to our collaborative networking, students are given the opportunity to conduct research projects overseas. This unique experience provides students with skills that are highly desirable to potential employers. The majority of students who undertake projects abroad receive financial support for flights from the School's trust funds set up for this purpose.

Find out how to apply here - http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/study/masters/msbcdv.html#sixth

Visit the Medical Entomology for Disease Control (MSc) page on the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Vanessa Chen-Hussey

172.gif It was during my first degree in Ecology at Durham that I first became interested in insect biology and control. This was also where I first heard about the school as my tutor was an LSHTM alumni. I worked for a few years in a pest control company in London before coming to the school and it has been interesting to compare the views of pest control in London and disease vector control in tropical countries.
My main concern was that having taken a break from formal learning, I would struggle to keep up with the course. So I was pleased to find that most of my classmates had also worked and this experience was a plus rather than a drawback. The exceptional quality of teaching and amount of assistance and help given has made this year a fantastic and valuable experience. The huge variety of nationalities and cultures at the school was an unexpected bonus. The highlight of the course so far was our field trip which was a fantastic opportunity to get to know everyone and chat more informally with the lecturers. Meeting parasitologists and vector control workers from all over the world has broadened and matured my views around the subject.

(Student Profile)

Mary Gebhardt

World-renowned in the world of tropical medicine, the School offered me something I couldn’t get anywhere else: a program devoted specifically to medically important insects and parasites of the tropics. I had also been itching to go abroad since my undergraduate degree and this was the best opportunity I could have hoped for as London is incredible! After an intensive nine months of lectures and practicals in London and a summer research project in Borneo, I have received not only an excellent education, but friends from all over the world and an incredible, unforgettable experience.

(Student Profile)

Karen Polson

4386.jpg The course offered a comprehensive overview of vector-borne diseases and the biology of these vectors, and has definitely benefitted my career as a Medical Entomologist at the Caribbean Epidemiology Centre. My work focuses on giving technical advice to vector control units in twenty-one Caribbean countries as well as providing training courses in the microscopic identification of important mosquito species and methods of vector control. I love being able to help make vector control programmes in the Caribbean more effective so that they do not have to rely on assistance from external bodies.

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Entry Requirements

The normal minimum entrance qualification for registration at the School on a Master's programme is at least one of the following: a second-class honours degree of a UK university, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, in a subject appropriate to that of the course of study to be followed OR a registrable qualification appropriate to the course of study to be followed, in medicine, dentistry or veterinary studies. Applications with an appropriate technical qualification, or equivalent qualification and experience from overseas, are also welcomed.

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