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MSc Parasitology and Pathogen Biology

Academic Year 2017/18

A programme specification is required for any programme on which a student may be registered. All programmes of the University are subject to the University's Quality Assurance and Enhancement processes as set out in the DASA Policies and Procedures Manual.

Programme Title

MSc Parasitology and Pathogen Biology

Final Award
(exit route if applicable for Postgraduate Taught Programmes)

Master of Science

Programme Code

BIO-MSC-PP

UCAS Code

JACS Code

C111 (DESCR) 100

Criteria for Admissions

Normally a 2:2 Honours degree or above in a relevant area of science or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. Applicants with qualifications below 2:2 Honours degree standard (or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University) will be considered on a case-by-case basis, if they can demonstrate appropriate experience, acceptable to the School.
INTERNATIONAL QUALIFICATIONS:
For information on international qualification equivalents please select Your Country from the list on our International Students website.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
International students (for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their studies. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes. Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.0, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required (*taken within the last 2 years).

ATAS Clearance Required

No

Health Check Required

No

Portfolio Required

Interview Required

Mode of Study

Full Time

Type of Programme

Postgraduate

Length of Programme

1 Academic Year(s)

Total Credits for Programme

180

Exit Awards available

INSTITUTE INFORMATION

Awarding Institution/Body

Queen's University Belfast

Teaching Institution

Queen's University Belfast

School/Department

Biological Sciences

Framework for Higher Education Qualification Level 
http://www.qaa.ac.uk/publications/information-and-guidance

Level 8

QAA Benchmark Group
http://www.qaa.ac.uk/assuring-standards-and-quality/the-quality-code/subject-benchmark-statements

Agriculture, horticulture, forestry, food and consumer sciences (2009)

Accreditations (PSRB)

External Examiner Name:

External Examiner Institution/Organisation

Professor Peter Brophy

University of Aberystwyth

REGULATION INFORMATION

Does the Programme have any approved exemptions from the University General Regulations
(Please see General Regulations)

Programme Specific Regulations

Awards, Credits & Progression of Learning Outcomes

A candidate who fails to satisfy the Board of Examiners for the award of a MSc may, provided a satisfactory standard has been achieved (and on the recommendation of the Board of Examiners), be awarded the Postgraduate Diploma according to the regulations contained in the corresponding programme specification.

Students with protected characteristics

The programme does not contain barriers to access or progression among protected groups

Are students subject to Fitness to Practise Regulations

(Please see General Regulations)

No

EDUCATIONAL AIMS OF PROGRAMME

On completion of the programme students will be able to:
- Critically assess parasite-borne issues utilising acquired in-depth knowledge of human, plant and animal health and welfare, food security and the future sustainability of food production, particularly within livestock and plant/crop production systems.
- Select appropriate control strategies to monitor and address parasite-borne issues
- Select and apply the correct analytical tools in a logical and scientific manner to help identify parasite infection
- Critically analyse how parasite infection can be combated to improve human, plant and animal health and the performance of agri-livestock production systems
- Design scientific research in an area associated with parasite/pathogen biology
- Successfully undertake a substantial piece of original scientific research within the field of Parasitology/Pathogen Biology
- Pursue a career in human health/infectious disease, animal health, veterinary medicine, animal/plant biology, pharmaceutical or related industries, or other areas of professional scientific employment.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Learning Outcomes: Cognitive Skills

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

Critically assess parasite-borne issues
and select appropriate control strategies to monitor and address these issues

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students will develop a portfolio of cognitive skills comprising analysis and evaluation through a number of taught key modules comprising: Foundations for Research in Biosciences, Bioentrepreneurship and Advanced Skills, Literature Review and a Research Project. Foundations for Research in the Biosciences and Bioentrepreneurship and Advanced Skills modules are classroom based, with lectures, directed reading and seminars. The specialist module Key Skills in Parasitology will incorporate practical based classes and demonstrations.

Methods of Assessment

The development of cognitive skills will be assessed throughout the duration of the programme based on the completion of continuous assessment and written examinations.

Analyse and critically evaluate data obtained from analytical and experimental investigations

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students will develop appropriate skills through practical components of the modules and also the Literature Review and Research Project modules. Skills in judgement of evidence and synthesis are practised and demonstrated through group learning activities and problem-based exercises.

Methods of Assessment

Evaluation and analysis skills are emphasised in the examinations and are specifically mentioned in the marking criteria for the project and literature review.

Make sound scientific judgments and assessments in the absence of complete data

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Both the Literature Review and Research Project modules require students to work independently, guided by a supervisor or tutor. Students will practise bibliographic search skills through a comparison of different online databases. The underlying skills necessary for research are emphasised in Foundations for Research in the Biosciences and Bioentrepreneurship and Advanced Skills.

Methods of Assessment

Successful completion of Literature Review
and Research Project dissertations.

Learning Outcomes: Knowledge & Understanding

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

Display an in depth knowledge of the key current and emerging issues relating to parasite impacts on human, plant and animal health and welfare, food security and the future sustainability of food production.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Subject-specific knowledge is principally taught through the specialist modules of Skills in Parasitology and Parasitology I and II. In- depth knowledge of a specific subject area is developed through supervised research in the Literature Review and Research Project modules.

Methods of Assessment

Continuous assessment including Literature Review, Research Project and the written examination.

Critically assess, select and apply the correct analytical tools in a logical and scientific manner to help identify parasite infection and how it can be combated to improve human, plant and animal health and the performance of agri-livestock production systems

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

The specialist modules Parasitology I and II will be delivered through lectures and seminars, supported by directed reading of textbooks and journal articles. The Advanced Skills in Parasitology module will be delivered through practicals and seminars, supported by additional directed reading.

Methods of Assessment

Continuous assessment, practical assessment and written examination.

Have acquired the in-depth skills to make sound scientific judgements based on proper critical analysis of available data and information

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

An understanding of certain elements in the Advanced Skills in Parasitology module can only be developed through practical exercises which will be a key component of this module whereby students will obtain working knowledge of a range of analytical techniques and technologies which can be applied to the detection and treatment of parasite infections.

Methods of Assessment

Continuous assessment and Research Project dissertation.

Communicate their observations and conclusions clearly and professionally to specialist and non-specialist audiences

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Continuous assessment tasks based on self-directed learning, Literature review and Research Project modules.

Methods of Assessment

Continuous assessment, Literature review and Research Project dissertation.

Demonstrate personal initiative, independence and use team-oriented skills to tackle and solve problems

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Continuous assessment tasks based on self-directed learning, Literature review and Research Project
modules.

Methods of Assessment

Continuous assessment, Literature review and Research Project dissertation.

Demonstrated the ability for independent learning required for continuing professional development

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Continuous assessment tasks based on self-directed learning, Literature review and Research Project modules.

Methods of Assessment

Continuous assessment, Literature review and Research Project dissertation

Learning Outcomes: Subject Specific

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

Demonstrate subject specific knowledge of molecular biology, immunology and other analytical methodologies used in parasitology/pathogen biology research. In particular, students will be able to appreciate the range of methodologies used in modern parasitological/pathogen biology research including their application, strengths and weaknesses; they will also be able to communicate the principles behind these methods.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Subject-specific skills are principally taught through the specialist module in Advanced Skills in Parasitology. Further in- depth skills of a specific area are developed through supervised research in the Literature Review and Research Project modules. Additionally, information will be gained from lectures, practicals, seminars and laboratory-based research activities – these will be supported by directed reading of textbooks and journal articles.

Methods of Assessment

Continuous assessment, practical reports and written examination.

Learning Outcomes: Transferable Skills

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

Develop their transferable skills to a
NQF M-level standard. These skills can be subdivided as:
a) Application of numerical skills

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students develop numerical skills through discussions of the evidence underlying different pieces of scientific research (in lectures and seminars), and through applied practice through completion of a research project.

Methods of Assessment

Continuous assessment tasks and Research Project dissertation.

b) Communication skills

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students practise and develop communication skills throughout the course. Skills development is facilitated through feedback. Students prepare work for different audiences. Communication skills include the preparation of slides for scientific presentations such as scientific talks and posters.

Methods of Assessment

Feedback and assessment on performance in continuous assessment group tasks is given by teaching staff.

c) Information technology skills

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Learning is generally supported through IT-based resources. Students therefore develop skills in internet searching for literature and other web-based material. Email is used to communicate with the students and use of this resource is covered (along with online databases and use of library catalogues) in Foundations for Research in the Biosciences. Students produce coursework assessments using different packages (word-processing, graphics).

Methods of Assessment

Assessment is carried out in formative and summative contexts.

d) Improved own learning and performance

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students are encouraged to reflect on their learning through feedback given formally and informally. Research projects and literature reviews are chosen following discussion and reflection on personal goals and motivation for different types of research. Personal goals and effectiveness are discussed as part of the teaching in Foundations for Research in the Biosciences and students are expected to assess their own performance using evidence obtained from course work and interactions with peers and teaching staff.

Methods of Assessment

Continuous assessment, Literature review and Research Project dissertation. Additionally students are expected to assess their own performance and progression using feedback from their course work and interactions with their peers and module team.

e) Problem solving

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Problem solving is practised in course work assignments and in the research project. Intellectual and practical flexibility, along with creativity, are necessary for much scientific research.

Methods of Assessment

Assessments in subject specific modules include elements of problem solving and report writing.

f) Working with others

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Team work as well as the ability to work individually, either through individual research or in collaborative groups is required by students at various points during the programme. Course work within the modules contains aspects of group-based activities such as collaborative practicals and group presentations.

Methods of Assessment

Feedback and assessment on performance in group tasks will be given to students by teaching staff.

MODULE INFORMATION

Programme Requirements

Module Title

Module Code

Level/ stage

Credits

Availability

Duration

Pre-requisite

 

Assessment

 

 

 

 

S1

S2

 

 

Core

Option

Coursework %

Practical %

Examination %

Foundations for Research in the Biosciences

BBC8042

7

20

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

60%

40%

0%

Bio-entrepreneurship and Advanced Skills

BBC8047

7

20

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

60%

40%

0%

Key Skills in Parasitology

BIO8104

7

20

24 weeks

N

YES

20%

80%

0%

Parasitology 1 (Foundations in Parasitology and Pathogens)

BIO8105

7

20

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Parasitology II (Advanced Parasitology)

BIO8203

7

20

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

50%

0%

50%

Literature Review (Parasitology)

BIO8103

7

20

24 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Research Project (Parasitology)

BIO8302

7

60

12 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Notes