Postgraduate MSc

Parasitology (Biomedical)

School of Science, Engineering and Environment





One year

Three year

Next enrolment

September 2020

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In a nutshell

The Parasitology programme will offer a broad-based education in modern Parasitology, incorporating a very large element of module choice. Importantly, depending on module choices and project choice, you will follow one of three different pathways within the programme or you can choose the modules that interest you and come out with the MSc Parastiology.

  • Biomedical
  • Wildlife
  • Genomic

If you follow one of these pathways then this will be reflected in your degree title e.g. MSc Parasitology (Biomedical).

This page will provide you with the details for MSc Parasitology (Biomedical). Please visit the other course pages to find out about the different options:

You will:
  • Study at a recognised centre for parasitology research
  • Train in a department with broadly-based expertise in all of the major platyhelminth groups, ectoparasitic arthropods and parasitic Protozoa - and employing study approaches ranging from the whole organism to the molecular level
  • Train in a department with a wide range of biomedical science expertise that complements an interest in parasitic disease in humans

students accepted

This is for you if...


You want to marry your studies of parasites with broader interests in the biomedical sciences


You want to learn from research active staff


You're interested is both academic and practical elements of a degree

Course details

All about the course

Semester one

Postgraduate Scholarship Skills

This module will provide you with the key skills and knowledge to pursue academic research at the postgraduate and professional level. You will gain knowledge and understanding of the current ‘big issues’ in the life sciences and will understand how ethics and bioethics can enhance critical thinking in often controversial subject areas.

Human and Animal Parasitology

This module provides a level of core knowledge and awareness of the importance of human and animal parasites. A major component of the module is a residential field trip in which you will develop skills in diagnostic parasitology and parasitological surveys. The module is assessed by coursework submission based upon the field course.      

Molecular Parasitology

This module presents a coherent overview of some of the most recent and important research that exploits molecular biology to advance the study of parasite biology and the diseases that they cause. The lecture course is complemented by lab-based learning. The module is assessed by coursework submission based upon the lecture and laboratory classes.

Immunology and Haematology

You will develop an up-to-date advanced theoretical knowledge base of haematological disorders relating to and underpinning the laboratory diagnosis and clinical management of disorders of the haematological system. You will understand the clinical significance of stem cell research and the possible problems that need to be overcome when working with haematopoietic stem cells in clinical laboratory and gain an understanding of transfusion science into a critical awareness of the disease process and its investigation and treatment. Ultimately you will gain a strong understanding of Immune response of human body in disease.

Semester two

Research Design and Delivery

This module will enable you to design, plan and execute a programme of research and to apply appropriate analysis of research results, it has a strong focus on acquiring laboratory skills prior to undertaking the final research project module and as such will develop your practical skills beyond that of a standard MSc programme. It will provide opportunities for you to develop essential research skills in the discipline and allow you to undertake project work broadly aligned to the focus of your dissertation.

Parasite Immunology

This module presents an up-to-date insight into how parasites interact with the mammalian immune response. Mechanisms of resistance and tolerance to infections are discussed as well as disease pathology. Immunology practical classes complement the lecture series. The module is assessed by coursework submission based upon the lecture and laboratory classes.

Medical Biotechnology

You will build a systematic understanding of how biotechnology can contribute to medical advances (focusing on personalised medical approaches, stem cells, regenerative medicine and genome editing technologies) and develop a conceptual understanding of how the challenge of antimicrobial resistance to antibiotics is being addressed. You will gain practical knowledge in the application of laboratory techniques in the field of medical biotechnology.

Infectious Disease Control

You will gain understanding of detailed information about the major impact of infectious disease on global health and the factors that contribute towards their outcomes. This module will discuss the latest technologies used to investigate key infectious diseases and the current developments in diagnostics and treatment options. We will discuss the limitations of current diagnosis; treatment and control options in light of increasing antimicrobial resistance and genetic mutation and develop practical knowledge and skills in the application of basic and molecular microbiology techniques.

Semester three

Research Project in Parasitology

Research projects in the area of parasite biology. Project topics spanning a broad area of this subject are available, including the use of molecular and whole organism approaches.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?


You are taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and laboratory practicals adding up to about 11 hours of contact time per week. Seminars enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures in smaller groups. In addition, you have timetabled meetings with your personal tutor. You will use industry-standard software and have access to computer laboratory facilities throughout your course.


All modules are assessed 100% by coursework except for the optional Medical Biotechnology module, which is assessed by examinations. You will receive feedback on all practice and formal assessments.

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

From cyber security to biomedicine to architecture, our expanding suite of multidisciplinary courses shapes the next generation of scientists, engineers, consultants and conservationists. Through advanced research, we’re pioneering robotics and AI, smart environments and the appliance of data. With a team of over 200 dedicated academic, technical and administrative staff, you’ll experience a supportive, professional environment where you can realise your potential.


The university hosts industry standard instrumentation including cell culture facilities, FACS, MALDI-TOF, LC and GC mass spectrometry, FTIR and FTNMR spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy and microscopy and scanning electron microscopy.

Having access to industry standard technology means that upon graduation, our students are fully prepared and equipped to enter the workplace.

We have recently invested in the development of a new, state-of-the-art, integrated teaching laboratory known as the Bodmer Lab. The Bodmer Lab is a specialist, purpose built facility and ensures our students benefit from the latest technologies to support their learning and remain on the cutting edge of innovation and discovery.

Academic profiles

Professor Joseph Jackson - Programme Lead

Prof. Jackson has over 30 years of research experience studying host-parasite systems. He works in both the field and the laboratory, using techniques spanning classical taxonomy to the latest genomic approaches.

His recent work focusses on the interaction between the environment, the immune system and parasitic disease - and how this determines fitness in wild animals and health and productivity in domesticated animals.

He works, or has worked, on a wide range of vertebrate host systems, including humans, livestock, wild mammals, fishes and amphibians. In recent years, his laboratory has benefited from over £1.3 million in funding from NERC, The Leverhulme Trust, The Fisheries Society of the British Isles and the Welsh Government (National Research Network for Low Carbon Energy and Environment, NRN-LCEE).

Areas of expertise:
  • General Parasitology
  • Wildlife Parasitology
  • Ecoimmunology
  • Disease resistance in Aquaculture
Employment and stats

What about after uni?

This programme prepares you for onward career developments in research, academia and related areas. Graduates from this course have entered employment as research assistants or research laboratory technicians in parasitology, pharmaceuticals, drug design and pesticide research. Other career paths have included pollution microbiologists with water authorities, and work in hospital laboratories investigating the haematology, molecular biology and immunology of infectious diseases.

This MSc also equips students for PhD research and former students have gone on to study at international universities that include our partner university in Toledo (USA). Several students at Toledo have now completed their PhD studies and have gained employment at US Ivy League Institutes (Harvard Medical School and Cornell).

A taste of what you could become

A parasitologist

A microbiologist

A hospital lab technician

A research assistant

And more...


What you need to know


  • Students who wish to prepare themselves for a research career, either at a technical or academic level.
  • Students interested in careers allied to research and academia.
  • The course caters for students with interests ranging from biomedical parasitology to molecular parasitology to wildlife parasitology.


International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this

Standard entry requirements

Undergraduate degree

Applicants should possess at least a UK lower second class honours degree (2:2) or equivalent in either Biological, Medical, Veterinary Science, Microbiology, Biochemistry, Biomedical Pharmacology, Zoology, Biomolecular Science, Biotechnology or Biomedical Lab Technology.

Alternative entry requirements

Accreditation of prior learning (APL)

We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.

The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course.

Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home/EU 2020/21 £9,000per year
Full-time international 2020/21 £15,210per year
Part-time 2020/21 £1,500 per 30 credits
Additional costs

You should consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

 Scholarships for international students 2020/21

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our international scholarships worth up to £5,000. Our international scholarships include the Salford International Excellence Scholarship.

To find out more information, visit our International Scholarships page.

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Enrolment dates

September 2020

January 2021

September 2021