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Masters Medical Entomology for Disease Control MSc

This course aims to provide training in the theoretical and practical aspects of the biology and control of disease vectors as well as the human pathogens that they transmit, and equip students with specialised skills to facilitate careers in global health that demand knowledge of the molecular biology of infectious diseases.

This course is now closed for applications.  
Applications for 2016-17 will open in November 2015.

Check available funding

Intercalating this course


Course Overview

Introductory sessions cover all aspects of major vector-borne diseases and offer a thorough grounding in the systematics of medically important arthropods, the main processes regulating vector populations, and in 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.

Course Duration

Full-time for one year or split study over two years. Students taking the course by split study over two years attend full-time for part of Year 1, and then undertake the remainder of the course in Year 2. The split can occur anytime between the Christmas break and the end of the formal teaching in May, by prior arrangement with the Course Director. Paper 2 may be taken at the end of Year 1 or at the end of Year 2. Paper 2 must be taken at the end of Year 2. Interested applicants should indicate their choice on the application form.

* The tuition fees for part-time and split-study students are for each year of study. Please note that fees are subject to an increase each year. Students attend the field trip in their first year and pay the relevant field trip fee. They are not expected to attend the field trip in the second year and as a result do not pay the field trip fee in the second year.

" At first I was worried about coming to London as I had never been to the UK but after only one week of being here I felt the staff and students were like old friends. Hmooda Toto from Sudan studied the MSc Biology & Control of Disease Vectors. - Full profile


At 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

Programme specifications: A comprehensive summary of the key elements of the degree, including educational aims and intended learning outcomes, plus details on programme structure, assessment requirements, student support and more.

Term 1

The one-week orientation period includes sessions on key computing and study skills and an introduction to major groups of pathogens. This is followed by three compulsory modules; Analysis & Design of Research Studies, Parasitology & Entomology and Critical Skills for Tropical Medicine. Further recommended modules include 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. Modules shown in italics are compulsory.

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

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

Further details for the course modules

Residential Field Trip

There is a compulsory one week field course, after the Term 3 examinations, on vector and parasite sampling and identification methods.

Project Report

Students complete a field or laboratory research project on an appropriate entomological topic.

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. For example, all of our 2005-6 graduates are now either working in relevant posts overseas (e.g. as field managers or NGO's in Bènin, Sudan and Tanzania), or have registered as research students (e.g. "Novel control strategies against leishmaniasis", Dept of Biological Sciences, University of Warwick, "PCR assay to diagnose agriculturally important biotypes of the whitefly, Bemisia tabaci", University of Nottingham/Rothamsted Research and "Chemical ecology of bed bugs", London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine/Rothamsted Research).

The majority of students who undertake projects abroad receive financial support for flights from the School's trust funds set up for this purpose.

Entrance Requirements

Applicants must normally satisfy LSHTM’s general entrance requirements and additional programme-specific entrance requirements to be considered for admission. Applications must be submitted in accordance with the procedures and deadlines given in the web-based or printed prospectus.

• The normal minimum entrance qualification for registration is at least a second-class Honours degree of a UK university, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, or a registerable qualification in medicine, dentistry or veterinary studies appropriate to the programme. Applications with an appropriate technical qualification, or equivalent qualification and experience from overseas, are also welcomed.

• An additional preferred requirement for the MSc Medical Entomology of Disease Control is an interest in medical entomology, public health and disease control.

• Any prospective student who does not meet the above minimum entry requirement, but who has relevant professional experience, may still be eligible for admission. Qualifications and experience will be assessed from the application.

Application for London-based Study

Applications should be made online. Paper application forms are available upon request and will normally incur an administration fee of £50. You must send a copy of the personal details and photograph page of your passport with all paper applications. Your application will not be considered until you have provided the above documents. 

Masters Courses

Applicants wishing to be considered for School scholarships should apply as early as possible. Deadlines for scholarship applications appear on the Masters Funding webpage. Course applications will be considered until all places on the course have been filled. Notification of when a course is closed will appear on the relevant course webpage.All applicants should be able to start the course on the first day of the academic year.

All Masters courses are offered on a part-time basis over two years. Students interested in part-time study should contact the appropriate Course Organiser, via the Registry, to discuss course requirements and likely timetables, and should read the Masters degree information.

There are two ways of undertaking part-time study:

1) attending part-time throughout the two years: Students need to be available for up to four or five half days every week for 27 weeks per year. Evidence may be required to prove that applicants are able to commit this minimum period of time to their study

2) attending full-time for modules in the first two terms in Year 1 (September-March), and undertaking third term modules, exams and project in Year 2 (April - September). Such an option may be attractive to applicants who are unable to be released from employment for a continuous twelve-month period. This option is called split study.

All courses last one year for full-time study or two years for part-time study.

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