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This programme 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.
By the end of this programme students will be able to:
- demonstrate detailed knowledge and understanding of the biology, life cycles, pathogenesis, diagnosis of parasitic infections in humans and their relevance for human health and strategies for control
- demonstrate 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 the various parasite stages both free and in tissues and diagnose infections
- demonstrate specialised skills acquired through taking modules on: advanced diagnostic, molecular, immunological, genetic, chemotherapeutic, ecological and/or control aspects of the subject
- demonstrate the ability to design a laboratory or field based research project, apply relevant research skills, critically analyse and interpret data, and work with minimal supervision
- prepare a written report including a critical literature review of relevant scientific publications; and show competence in communicating scientific information and findings.
Duration: one year full-time or split-study over two years. Ways to study explained.
Watch Programme Director Matt Rogers talk about the programme.
"LSHTM is renowned for its research excellence and innovation. I wanted to study at an institution where I could develop my research skills, be in a diverse academic environment and collaborate with students and staff from around the world."
The below structure outlines the proposed modules for this programme. Programme and module specifications provide full details about the aims and objectives of each module, what you will study and how the module is assessed.
- Structure of the year
Term 1 (September - December) consists of ten teaching weeks for AB1 slot modules, plus one Reading Week* in the middle of the term. Followed by the Winter break.
Term 2 (January - March) consists of examinations, followed by a further ten weeks of teaching for C and D slot modules, plus a Reading Week in the middle of the term. C modules are taught in five half-week blocks before Reading Week. D modules are taught in five half-week blocks after Reading Week. Followed by the Spring break.
Term 3 (April - September) consists of five weeks of teaching for E slot modules, taught in half-week blocks, and the project report.
*Reading Week is a week during term where no formal teaching takes place. It is a time for private study, preparing for assessments or attending study/computer skills workshops. There are two Reading Weeks at LSHTM: one in November and the other in February.
- Term 1
Students take two compulsory AB1 modules:
- Parasitology & Entomology
- Analysis & Design of Research Studies
Optional module: Molecular Biology
Sessions on basic computing and statistics are run throughout the term for all students.
- Terms 2 and 3
Students take a total of five study modules, one from each timetable slot (C1, C2, D1, D2, E). The list below shows recommended or compulsory modules. There are other optional modules which may be taken only after consultation with the Programme Director.
- Designing Disease Control Programmes
- Malaria: from Science to Policy and Practice
- Molecular Biology and Recombinant DNA Techniques
- Advanced Diagnostic Parasitology
- Design & Analysis of Epidemiological Studies
- Statistical Methods in Epidemiology
- Advanced Training in Molecular Biology
- Spatial Epidemiology
- Vector Sampling, Identification & Incrimination
- Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases
- Immunology of Parasitic Infection
- Molecular Research in Infectious Diseases
- Vector Biology and Vector-Parasite Interactions
- Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
- Cell Biology of Host-Pathogen Interactions
- Integrated Vector Management
- Pathogen Genomics
- Neglected Tropical Diseases
- Vaccine Immunology
- Residential field trip
There is a compulsory one-week field course, between Terms 2 and 3, on vector and parasite sampling and identification methods. The cost of this 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 LSHTM's trust funds set up for this purpose.
Please note: Should it be the case that you are unable to travel overseas or access laboratories in order to complete your project, you will be able to complete an alternative desk-based project allowing you to obtain your qualification within the original time frame. Alternatively, you will be able to defer your project to the following year.
The Patrick Buxton Memorial Medal and Prize is awarded to the best student of the year.
Changes to the programme
LSHTM will seek to deliver this programme in accordance with the description set out on this programme page. However, there may be situations in which it is desirable or necessary for LSHTM to make changes in course provision, either before or after registration. For further information, please see our page on changes to courses.
In order to be admitted to an LSHTM master's degree programme, an applicant must:
- hold either a first degree at Second Class Honours (2:2) standard in a relevant discipline, or a degree in medicine recognised by the UK General Medical Council (GMC) for the purposes of practising medicine in the UK, or another degree of equivalent standard awarded by an overseas institution recognised by UK ENIC or the GMC.
- hold a professional qualification appropriate to the programme of study to be followed obtained by written examinations and judged by LSHTM to be equivalent to a Second Class Honours (2:2) degree or above.
- have relevant professional experience or training which is judged by LSHTM to be equivalent to a Second Class Honours (2:2) degree or above.
If you have not previously studied in the UK, you can check our guide to international equivalent qualifications for our master's degrees.
An additional preferred requirement for the MSc Parasitology is an interest in parasites of public health importance and disease transmission.
Relevant subjects for the MSc Medical Parasitology include biological and biomedical sciences and zoology. Other life science qualifications (e.g. medicine, ecology, forensic science, public health, environmental science, pharmacy and medical engineering) will be considered subject to evidence within transcripts or relevance of research projects or work experience. Within the application it should be clear how the MSc would further your career or interests in parasitic diseases and/or their vectors.
Applicants who do not meet the minimum entry requirement, but who have relevant professional experience may still be eligible for admission. Qualifications and experience will be assessed from the application.
English language requirements
If English is not your first language, you will need to meet these requirements: Band B
Please see our English language requirements for more information.
You will need the equivalent of a bachelor's degree to undertake an MSc. This will usually require you to have a BSc degree or have completed the first three years of your medical degree. More information on intercalating an MSc at LSHTM.
Access and widening participation
At LSHTM we are committed to ensuring that students from all backgrounds feel encouraged to apply to study with us. To that end, we have introduced an innovative contextual admissions system that is designed to consider any barriers applicants may have faced and take account of the circumstances in which their grades have been achieved, rather than relying on results alone. More information on widening participation at LSHTM.
*Mobile users, scroll right to view fees
Funding available for this programme:
- 2023-24 Mansfield Aders and Avebury Memorial Fund (application deadline: 16 April 2023)
Graduates from this programme enter global health fields ranging from diagnostics through to applied basic research and operational control to higher degree studies and academic/teaching-related positions.
Below you will find just a few of the positions and organisations that our graduates from this course have entered after graduating:
- Example job titles:
Applied Research Analyst
Microbiology Laboratory Technician
Veterinary Parasitologist Housing Officer
- Example organisations:
Laboratory of Government Chemists
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Medical Research Council
National History Museum
National Institute for Medical Research
The Institute of Cancer Research
University of Oxford
NIBSC (National Institute for Biological Standards and Control
Delta Vector Control
Applications should be made online and will only be considered once you have provided all required information and supporting documentation.
Please also read LSHTM's Admissions policies prior to submitting your application.
You can apply for up to two master's programmes. Make sure to list them by order of preference as consideration will be given to your top choice first.
All applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible to ensure availability of a place and a timely decision on their application. This is particularly important for applicants with sponsorship deadlines.
We strongly advise that you apply early as popular programmes will close earlier than the stated deadline if they become full.
The final closing dates for all taught Master’s applications for entry in the 2023/24 academic year is:
- Sunday 23 July 2023 at 23:59 UK time for all students requiring a Student visa
- Thursday 31 August 2023 at 23:59 UK time for all UK, Irish and non-Student visa students
Applicants will be required to meet the conditions of their offer and provide all necessary documents by the date of their Offer of Admission.
A standard non-refundable application fee of £50 applies to all taught Master’s degree programmes and is payable upon application submission. Income generated from the application fee is shared between scholarships and student hardship fund.
Tuition fee deposit
Applicants are required to respond to their Offer of Admission and pay the £500 deposit within 28 days of receipt, or their place will be released and the offer automatically declined. The deposit is deductible from tuition fees upon full registration with LSHTM.