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School - School of Environment & Life Sciences

Subject area - Biomedical Science

Start Date(s): September


MSc (one year full-time or up to three years part-time)
PgDip (eight months full-time or 16 months part-time)

Fees 2018-19:

2019-20 fees will be displayed shortly.

Part-time - £1,370 per 30 credits

UK - £8,220

International - £13,860

In Brief:

  • You will be studying at a recognized centre for parasitology research.
  • You will be trained in a department that has one of the greatest concentrations of wildlife parasitology research activity in the country or worldwide – with broadly-based expertise in all of the major platyhelminth groups, ectoparasitic arthropods and parasitic Protozoa.
  • You will be studying a flexible programme with a varied choice of modules.
  • Part-time study option
  • International students can apply

Course Summary

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 five different pathways within the programme

  • Biomedical
  • Wildlife
  • Genomic
  • Vector biology
  • Human and animal

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

Biomedical Research at the University of Salford

Course Details

Core modules  

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.      
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.        
This module presents an up-to-date insight into how parasites interact and influence 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.        
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.            
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.        
Research projects in the areas of parasite biology or vector biology.      

Optional modules  

You will build a systematic understanding of whole genome sequencing technologies and the field of genomics  and develop a general understanding of sequence assembly, annotation and analyses using different types of sequence data.The module will demonstrate a range of medical applications of genomics, and genetics counselling, and describe future directions of the field, including employment opportunities and the skills required for research in this field.        
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.            
This is a unique module that builds on the considerable research experience that staff at Salford have in Parasitology and infectious diseases. It covers the basics and epidemiology of this group of diseases from a holistic view.          
In this module, you will learn the essential tools to produce and interpret maps, an essential tool in conservation planning and monitoring.      
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.            
This module provides an overview of the main concepts and issues in the epidemiology of communicable and non-communicable diseases, including the key environmental and biological drivers of epidemics.            
In this module you will learn about the role the invasive species and pathogens play in altering local ecological communities  and biodiversity.      
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.          
This module provides an up-to-date insight into the transmission potential and ecology of arthropod disease vectors and the application of modern control techniques. The module is assessed by a coursework submission including problem based learning tasks.

Entry Requirements

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.

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).

English Language Requirements

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.

Suitable For

  • 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.

Fees 2019-20

Fees for entry in 2019 will be displayed shortly.

Fees 2018-19

Type of StudyFee
Part-time£1,370 per 30 credits
Full-time International£13,860

Additional costs

There is an additional cost of £500 for an optional field trip.

Scholarships and Bursaries

For more information please see our funding section


You are taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and laboratory practicals. 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 use industry-standard software and have access to computer laboratory facilities throughout your course.

You will typically have around 11 contact hours per week, typically consisting of:

  • 6 hours of lectures
  • 1 hours of seminars
  • 3 hours of supervised lab practicals
  • 1 hours of one-to-one meetings.

Independent learning

When not attending lectures, seminars and laboratory or other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. We advise you should take around 34 hours of independent study per week. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for examinations. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities, including the library, the learning zone, and our computer laboratories.


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 assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback on examination performance is available upon request from the module leader. Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module tutor.

We aim to provide you with feedback within 10 working days of hand-in (practice assessment) and 20 working days of hand-in (formal coursework assessment).

Postgraduate Staff Profile

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

"Being a young and enthusiastic African involved in the fight against tropical diseases, this course serves as a robust weapon marching forward."

Salum Mapua  - MSc Molecular Parasitology and Vector Biology (forerunner to the current programme - similar core modules)

The Masters in Parasitology provided me with excellent knowledge, skills and guidance, which helped me reach my goals of working in parasitology research and studying for a PhD. The lecturers and staff during my time at Salford, were excellent, supportive and wanted everyone to succeed.

Anna Thomason - MSc Molecular Parasitology and Vector Biology

After her masters Anna secured a full-time 4-year research assistantship at Aberystwyth University and then moved to an equivalent post at the University of Salford, where she is now also completing a Ph.D


Career Prospects

Graduates from this course have competed successfully for prestigious early career research posts at Universities. They have also gained employment as research assistants or research laboratory technicians in 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).

Alumni Profile

Professor Niroshini Nirmalan

Chair in Biomolecular Sciences

University of Salford

Following her BSc, Professor Nirmalan enrolled for a Masters degree in Parasitology at the University of Salford. After completing a Ph. D. in Parasitology at Salford she worked as a postdoctoral scientist in Prof. John Hyde’s laboratory at the University of Manchester, Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST). Professor Nirmalan was then employed as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Manchester Interdisciplinary Biocenter (MIB, University of Manchester), conducting research that led to the first annotated 2D proteomic maps for the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum and the development of a novel heavy isoleucine-based quantitative proteomic methodology to investigate the malarial proteome. Professor Nirmalan was appointed Senior Scientist at the Cancer Research UK Clinical Center at St James’s Hospital, University of Leeds in 2007, where she worked on developing a novel label-free quantitative proteomics methodology to investigate formalin-fixed tissue archives. Since 2010 she has been based at the University of Salford, as a senior lecturer and then professor.

Further Study

After completion of this course you may wish to specialise in a chosen subject area in one of the School’s two main research centres: Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre (EERC) or Biomedical Research Centre (BRC).

Biomedical Research at Salford

"The best thing about being at Salford was how friendly and close all the staff and students were - I felt like I had been accepted as one of the team rather than just another student.

I really enjoyed everything about the course, especially the fact that I gained expertise from two different institutions. The teaching was excellent and the research project has helped me immensely."

Jayde Whittingham-Dowd
MSc Molecular Parasitology and Vector Biology


The School is home to state-of-the-art laboratories with dedicated research labs for your research project..

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