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.
Duration: one year full-time or split-study over two years. Ways to study explained.
Video - Medical Parasitology
Watch Programme Director, Mary Cameron, and students talk about the programme.
"We gain incredible hands-on experience, both in the lab and in the field which, in my opinion, is unmatched by other schools."
By the end of this programme students should be able to demonstrate:
- 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.
The below structure outlines the proposed modules for this programme. Module specifications provide full details about the aims and objectives of each module, what you will study and how the module is assessed.
There is a one-week orientation period that includes an introduction to studying at LSHTM, sessions on key computing and study skills and an introduction to major groups of pathogens, followed by two compulsory core modules:
- Parasitology & Entomology
- Analysis & Design of Research Studies
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 Programme Director.
- Malaria: From Science to Policy and Practice* (formerly Epidemiology & Control of Malaria)
- Molecular Biology & Recombinant DNA Techniques*
- Advanced Immunology 1
- Designing Disease Control Programmes in Developing Countries
- Advanced Diagnostic Parasitology*
- Advanced Immunology 2
- Design & Analysis of Epidemiological Studies
- Statistical Methods in Epidemiology
- Vector Sampling, Identification & Incrimination*
- Advanced Training in Molecular Biology
- Spatial Epidemiology
- Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, and Health (formerly Tropical Environmental Health)
- Immunology of Parasitic Infection*
- Molecular Research in Infectious Diseases* (formerly Molecular Biology Research Progress & Applications)
- Vector Biology & Vector-Parasite Interactions*
- Epidemiology & Control of Communicable Diseases
- Antimicrobial Chemotherapy*
- Integrated Vector Management*
- Cell Biology of Host-Pathogen Interactions (formerly Molecular Cell Biology & Infection)*
- Neglected Tropical Diseases*
- Pathogen Genomics*
- Vaccine Immunology*
- HIV (formerly AIDS)
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.
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.
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.
A student must normally satisfy the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine general entrance requirements and the additional programme specific entrance requirements as follows:
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
- 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.
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.
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 FAQs for 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 the School
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
"The practicals were fantastic, and I can’t stress enough how much you learn during them. The option to take our final research project abroad was also a huge attractant to me, giving the opportunity to go into the field and put all the theory we learnt during the year into practice, with full support from supervisors and the School."
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. 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 date for all taught Master’s applications for entry in the 2020/21 academic year is:
- Monday 31 August, 23:59 (BST).
Applicants will require to meet the conditions of their offer and provide all necessary documents by Monday 7 September, 23:59 (BST).
A standard application fee of £50 applies to all face-to-face Master’s degree programmes and is payable upon application submission.
Tuition fee deposit
Applicants are required to respond to their Offer of Admissions 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.
Do you need a visa?
If you have EU nationality or you are from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, you do not need immigration permission to come to the UK. You can enter, study and work in the UK without restriction. If you have dual nationality, and you choose to come to the UK using your EEA or Swiss passport, you do not need immigration permission.
For useful guidance on EEA nationals in the UK, go to the UKCISA website.
Students from outside the EEA
All non-EEA nationals who want to study in the UK must hold immigration permission that allows you to study in the UK.
If you are coming to the School to study on a full time degree programme and you have no other immigration permission for the UK, you will need to apply for a Tier 4 Student visa. You can only apply for Tier 4 when your offer at the School is unconditional.
If you already hold a Tier 4 visa for a different institution, you will probably have to apply for a Tier 4 visa for the School before you can start studying with us.