The MSc Medical Entomology for Disease Control aims to provide training in the theoretical and practical aspects of the biology and control of disease vectors as well as the human pathogens that they transmit, and equip students with specialised skills to facilitate careers in global health that demand knowledge of the molecular biology of infectious diseases. Introductory sessions cover all aspects of major vector-borne diseases and offer a thorough grounding in the systematics of medically important arthropods, the main processes regulating vector populations, and in the biology of vector-parasite and vector-vertebrate interactions.
Graduates enter operational control programmes, applied basic research and academic fields.Students benefit from close interaction with staff who have extensive international expertise.
The James Busvine Memorial Medal and Prize, donated by Professor James Busvine in 1987, is awarded each year for outstanding performance.
At the end of this course students should be able to: demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of the biology of vectors and intermediate hosts of human pathogens together with methods for their control; describe the biology, pathogenesis and diagnosis of parasitic infections in humans and relate these to human health and disease control strategies; demonstrate a range of specialised technical and analytical skills relevant to vectors and vector-borne diseases; design and carry out a research project on biology or control of disease vectors, analyse and interpret the results and prepare a report including a critical literature review; design, undertake and evaluate vector control interventions, and show written and verbal competence in communicating scientific information.
The one-week orientation period includes sessions on key computing and study skills and an introduction to major groups of pathogens. This is followed by a ten-week compulsory core teaching module, Parasitology & Entomology. 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 six modules, one from each timetable slot. A typical selection of modules is given below; not all modules will be available in any one year. Some modules can be taken only after consultation with the Course Director.
C1 Vector Sampling, Identification & Incrimination.
C2: Advanced Diagnostic Parasitology; Vector Biology & Vector-Parasite Interactions; Statistical Methods in Epidemiology.
D1: Predicting Disease in Time & Space; Molecular Biology of Infectious Diseases: Advanced Practical Training in Gene Cloning; Molecular Cell Biology & Infection; Designing Disease Control Programmes in Developing Countries.
D2: Genetics of Pathogens & Vectors; Epidemiology & Control of Communicable Diseases; Molecular Biology of Infectious Diseases: Research Progress & Field Applications.
E1: Methods of Vector Control.
E2: Control & Epidemiology of Malaria; Tropical Environmental Health.
Residential Field Trip
There is a compulsory one week field course, between Terms 2 and 3, on vector and parasite sampling and identification methods.
Students complete a field or laboratory research project on an appropriate entomological topic.
Due to our collaborative networking, students are given the opportunity to conduct research projects overseas. This unique experience provides students with skills that are highly desirable to potential employers. For example, all of our 2005-6 graduates are now either working in relevant posts overseas (e.g. as field managers or NGO's in Bènin, Sudan and Tanzania), or have registered as research students (e.g. "Novel control strategies against leishmaniasis", Dept of Biological Sciences, University of Warwick, "PCR assay to diagnose agriculturally important biotypes of the whitefly, Bemisia tabaci", University of Nottingham/ Rothamsted Research and "Chemical ecology of bed bugs", London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine/Rothamsted Research).
The majority of students who undertake projects abroad receive financial support for flights from the School's trust funds set up for this purpose.
Full-time for one year or split study over two years. Students taking the course by split study over two years attend full-time for part of Year 1, and then undertake the remainder of the course in Year 2. The split can occur anytime between the Christmas break and the end of the formal teaching in May, by prior arrangement with the Course Director. Paper 2 may be taken at the end of Year 1 or at the end of Year 2. Paper 2 must be taken at the end of Year 2. Interested applicants should indicate their choice on the application form.
Either a Second-class Honours degree of a recognised university in science, or a related subject, or a degree in medicine.
Applicants with an appropriate technical qualification and work experience, or equivalent qualifications, are also welcomed.
* Tuition fee: fees status is considered on application.
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