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Professional Doctorate in Medical Parasitology (MSc)

About This Professional Doctorate

Course Description

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.

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

Additional Requirements

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.

*Recommended modules

- 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

- Slot 5 :

Antimicrobial Chemotherapy*

Integrated Vector Management*

Molecular Cell Biology & Infection*


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 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.

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

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

(Student Profile)

Rinki Deb

177.gif Having personally often visited India and witnessed the challenges faced by the medical infrastructure of a developing nation, I always aspired to work in an area that allowed me to have a positive impact on what seems like an un-ending detrimental situation. The school shares my firm opinion that essential health-care should be readily available to people in all countries, regardless of their economic status. Throughout my Masters, staff expressed such passion and motivation about what they were teaching us that it was impossible not to be completely engrossed in the course.
My background in molecular biology and genetics gave me an ideal foundation upon which I could expand and enrich my knowledge-base, as well as refine my laboratory techniques. My love for studying parasites - their vectors and how they affect their hosts - has intensified over time. Our spring field-trip to Devon, allowed me to put the theory that I had learnt into practice. With a vast array of modules available to us, I was given the opportunity to select unrelated aspects of public health, to complement the core study unit of my Masters.
This course has definitely opened new doors to me and allowed me to travel to countries I never thought possible. I applied for the Helena Vrbova Scholarship which helped me to research the cases of Malaria drug resistance found in Yunnan, Southern China. After this project, I aim to further my research in this field to a PhD level.
I have found like-minded people with whom I have developed life-long social and professional relationships. LSHTM really has become my second home in London. I had high expectations of the university, and I have not been let down; from the friendly staff to the state-of-the-art facilities, I would recommend this school to all students who wish to pursue a career in public health.

(Student Profile)

Brittany Burger

I completed my two undergraduate degrees in the United States, an Associate’s degree in Veterinary Technology and a Bachelor’s Degree in Biotechnology. I have also done research at both my undergraduate university and the local medical college, working in the fields of prostate cancer, DNA replication, and diabetes studies.

While researching graduate schools for the study of parasitic diseases, the School stood out for its good reputation and the publications and studies put out by its professors, students, and alumni. If that wasn’t enough to get me to apply, the amazing location of the School and the positive feedback about its Medical Parasitology program was.

What I enjoyed most at the School is the unique and specialized set-up of the courses. In our Medical Parasitology program, we have the most experienced and knowledgeable professors give us lectures based on our specific subjects being studied at the time. We also get incredible hands on experience, both in the lab and in the field which, in my opinion, is unmatched to anything else offered in other schools. I feel the School has well prepared me for work in the real world.

I hope to return to the US and eventually work in the field of Lyme disease research. With the lab experience and field experience I gained at the School, along with the opportunity to study Lyme disease for my Master’s project, I feel as though I have been well prepared to take on the work associated with this parasitic disease research.

(Student Profile)

Tom Pennance

4388.jpg The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is a world-renowned institution, so when I wanted to take further studies in parasitology, the School was the first place I looked to. After reading up on the course, I was happy to see that the course would be practical and lecture-based, with lots of hands-on experience.

The MSc Medical Parasitology covers a wide range of parasites, including the vectors that transmit them, and with a focus on practical and clinical settings it is very relatable to working in the tropical medicine field. The first term provides a broad overview, while the second and third terms allow you to specialise in an area of interest. For example, I took the Advanced Diagnostic Parasitology module, as I wanted to develop my skills in this field and take these into a future career. During the summer you undertake a project, which can be at the School or any other cooperating institution, either in the UK or abroad. This is an exciting possibility to put into practice what is taught on the course, and also network with world-leading researchers.

The networks that are built at the School will benefit all students greatly in future endeavours, as staff and research associates are very friendly and helpful. Students can build strong relationships with colleagues and the teaching staff, which really makes studying here a community experience.

I would recommend coming to the School and seeing what it is like yourself, and if possible meet the course director. However, I know many have made the decision without coming to the School and no one has been disappointed.

(Student Profile)

Rinki Deb

4389.jpg The School shares my firm opinion that essential healthcare should be readily available to people in all countries, regardless of their economic status. Throughout my MSc, staff expressed passion and motivation about what they were teaching us. I have found like-minded people with whom I have developed life-long social and professional relationships. The School really has become my second home in London. I had high expectations of the university, and I have not been let down; from the friendly staff to the state-of-the-art facilities, I would recommend this School to all students who wish to pursue a career in public health.

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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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