module specification

BC5052 - Parasitology (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Parasitology
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 150
111 hours Guided independent study
39 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 60%   Presentation and report
Unseen Examination 40%   Online exam (1.5 hrs)
Attendance Requirement 0%   Practical Attendance
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Friday Afternoon

Module summary

The module addresses the major parasites of medical importance.  It emphasises those aspects of parasite life-cycles that contribute to disease and pathology, the anti-parasite immune responses they engender, how parasites evade these responses, and alternative control measures.
The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications
The aims of this module are to review a range of medically important parasites, investigating the variety of parasite life-cycles as these contribute to disease and pathology. The module aims to advance students’ abilities in parasite recognition and diagnosis and develop students’ understanding of immunological control, evasion of that control, the development of anti-parasite vaccines and alternative methods of control.
This module aims to provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring: the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility; decision making in complex and unpredictable contexts; and, the learning ability needed to undertake appropriate further training of a professional or equivalent nature.

Prior learning requirements



Review of different classes of parasitic organisms.  The nature and classification of different animal phyla with significant parasitic groups.
The variation and adaptations entailed in parasite lifecycles and how these contribute to success of this form of life.
Routine, specialist and research methodologies for parasite detection and diagnosis will be considered in the context of selected exemplars.
Selected parasitic disease including malaria, sleeping sickness and filariasis; causes, pathogenesis and treatment.
Host parasite interactions including vaccination and immunity.
Ectoparasites and parasite vectors.
Consequences, monitoring and control of major parasitological diseases.

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The material for the module is delivered via a variety of media, including practical work, tutorials, lectures, on-line material and directed course work.
Students’ knowledge and understanding of parasitology will be developed in a programme of lectures and supporting exercises, together with some use of the problem-based approach and the guided use of student centred learning resources. Lectures will be used to provide a conceptual framework. Tutorials will be based around a theme and involve discussion of relevant ideas and research. Guided activities, including laboratories and on-line comprehensive assessments, will enable students to reinforce and expand their knowledge, develop subject skills and competence.

Practical sessions will entail the study and analysis of biological material and emphasize the need to follow instruction clearly and logically. Students will be expected to process information obtained from the sessions. On-line assignments linked to the practicals are used as formative assessment of understanding.

The module is supported with electronic learning materials on WebLearn, Students are expected to use the site for self-directed learning and investigative links to further parasitological sites and information. Students will use the study week to follow the links, read further and prepare for the coursework and final examinations.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
1. Describe the characteristics of several different phyla of parasitic organisms and explain parasite pathology and catalogue specific examples of parasite pathogenesis.
2. Demonstrate an ability to differentiate common kinds of parasite eggs and distinguish between blood forms of important parasite species.
3. Consider the significance of adaptations and mutations in the context of the parasitic lifestyle and relate principal methods for the control of significant parasitic organisms.


Journal of Parasitology
Veterinary Parasitology