MSc Medical Parasitology

Overview - Medical Parasitology

Academic year 2020/21

The programme team for this MSc has conducted a detailed analysis of options and has concluded that an element of on campus laboratory teaching is essential to achieve all the Programme Learning Outcomes.

This means that, in order to study and complete your degree with us, it will be necessary for our students to attend some laboratory practical sessions at our campus in London in each of Term 1, Term 2 and Term 3.

Term 1

Term 1 core module teaching will be taught via a blended learning approach. Lectures will be delivered using a combination of asynchronous (recorded) and synchronous (live and interactive) activities.

The on campus teaching will include laboratory parasitology and entomology practical training and small group discussions. These will require you to be available on campus in London for at least 4 weeks from Monday 2 November to Friday 27 November 2020 with a practical assessment taking place on Monday 30 November and Tuesday 1 December 2020.

Term 2 & 3

Terms 2 and 3 modules will be taught via a blended learning approach. Teaching will be a delivered through a combination of on-campus practicals and online lectures.

Term 2 - we are planning for modules involving laboratory training to operate on campus and you should be in London for Term 2 from Monday 11 January to Friday 26 March 2021.

Term 3 - you will be required to be on campus from Monday 19 April to Friday 21 May 2021 and, depending on your MSc project plans, from end of May to early September 2021.

As MSc Medical Parasitology uses a primarily practical teaching method, if the UK is forced to go into another period of lockdown this programme will have to be suspended until it is safe and reasonable to continue. In this scenario, students will be able to defer their studies until the next academic year.

For more information about the academic year 2020-21, please check our COVID-19 advice for applicants and offer holders FAQs.


Appropriate measures will be in place to ensure practical sessions can be carried out safely and in line with the UK government Coronavirus regulations. This includes limiting the numbers of students and staff in laboratories at any given time, full availability of personal safety equipment such as lab coats, gloves and face masks, and thorough cleaning of laboratories between practical sessions. Please note that government guidance and regulations are updated regularly and our safety provisions will be updated accordingly, both before and during the programme.

Outside of laboratory practical sessions, access to our buildings will be limited to meet safety requirements.

The programme

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.

Brittany Burger, USA
Brittany Burger, USA

"We gain incredible hands-on experience, both in the lab and in the field which, in my opinion, is unmatched by other schools."

Objectives - Medical Parasitology

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.
Structure - Medical Parasitology

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.

Term 1

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.

*Recommended modules

Slot 1

  • Malaria: From Science to Policy and Practice*
  • Molecular Biology & Recombinant DNA Techniques*
  • Advanced Immunology 1
  • Designing Disease Control Programmes in Developing Countries 

Slot 2

  • Advanced Diagnostic Parasitology (compulsory)

Slot 3

  • Vector Sampling, Identification & Incrimination*
  • Advanced Training in Molecular Biology*
  • Spatial Epidemiology
  • Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, and Health 

Slot 4

  • Molecular Research in Infectious Diseases* 
  • Vector Biology & Vector-Parasite Interactions*
  • Epidemiology & Control of Communicable Diseases
  • Immunology of Parasitic Infection (not available in 2020-21)

Slot 5 

  • Antimicrobial Chemotherapy*
  • Integrated Vector Management*
  • Cell Biology of Host-Pathogen Interactions*
  • Pathogen Genomics*
  • HIV
  • Vaccine Immunology (not available in 2020-21)
  • Neglected Tropical Diseases (not available in 2020-21)

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: due to the unpredictable nature of the pandemic, we are not currently in a position to guarantee that overseas or field based projects will be possible or that London based laboratories will be accessible. Whilst we are hopeful that the situation will change before next summer, should it be the case that you are unable to travel overseas or access labs, you will be able to complete an alternative desk-based project allowing you to obtain your qualification within the original timeframe. 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 course

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.

Entry requirements
Entry requirements - Medical Parasitology

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.

Admissions FAQs

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

Intercalating Students

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

Fees & funding
Fees 2020/21- Medical Entomology & Parasitology
Fees 2020/21    
Home Full-time £12,050
  Part-time £6,025
Overseas Full-time £25,770
  Part-time £12,885
Field Trip   £760
Funding general

Please note that EU nationals will continue to benefit from home fee status and can access financial support for the 2020-21 academic year. Find out more.

Other sources of funding:

Careers - MSc Medical Parasitology

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
Assistant Professor
Clinical Pharmacist
Clinical Researcher
Data Manager
Microbiology Laboratory Technician
Research Scientist
Research Technician
Scientific Officer
Veterinary Parasitologist Housing Officer
Vector Biologist

Example organisations:

EDF Energy
Laboratory of Government Chemists
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Medacs Healthcare
Medical Research Council
National History Museum
National Institute for Medical Research
Quest Diagnostics
Restless Development
Ridgeway Research
The Institute of Cancer Research
University of Oxford
NIBSC (National Institute for Biological Standards and Control
Delta Vector Control


Graduate Careers & Destinations

Want to read more about our graduate careers and destinations? Take a look at our infographics on our Graduate Careers & Destinations page.

Laura del Reis de Oliveira Gomes, MSc Medical Parasitology
Laura, Brazil

"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."

How to apply
How to apply - applications

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.

How to apply - deadlines and fees

Application deadlines

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).

Application fee

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.

How to apply - visa

Do you need a visa?

EEA Nationals

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.

Still unsure on whether you need a visa?