NS6209: Parasitology

Please note this module descriptor is indicative of the structure of this course and may be subject to change.

NS6209: Parasitology

Module Title Parasitology
Module Code NS6209
Module Tutor Richard Rolfe
School School of Natural and Social Sciences
CAT Points 15
Level of Study 6
Brief Description

The module considers the fundamentals of parasite biology and will explore the often complex relationships they have with their host organism. Students will examine the main taxa of parasitic organisms and will investigate their biology, ecology, biochemistry and physiology. Different parasitic diseases will be examined and their significance to human and animal health will be discussed in detail. The module will examine the various methods that are available to treat, and control, parasitic infections.


The range of species to be covered will include parasites of multiple taxonomic groups including, for example, humans, equines, birds, companion, and production animals. This module builds on the fundamentals of the relationships between animals and disease causing agents that were taught in NS5206 Equine Biology and NS5203 Microbe-Human Interactions.

Indicative Syllabus

The module will start by introducing parasitology, defining the nature of a parasitic relationship, and discussing classification of the main parasite taxa. The different strategies used by parasites to take advantage of their hosts, and the associated diseases and problems they can cause will be discussed, together with the adaptations necessary for a parasitic mode of life, including physiological, biochemical, cellular and anatomical features. The lifecycles and ecology of parasites will be explored and the opportunities these present in relation to their control will be highlighted. The control of both ecto- and endoparasites using a range of strategies will be examined. Laboratory work on preserved and living parasites will be conducted.

Learning Outcomes

A student passing this module should be able to:

1.     Critically evaluate the nature of parasitic relationships and demonstrate advanced knowledge of the main parasite taxa;

2.     Understand and explain the life cycle and/or transmission strategies of a range of parasitic species;

3.     Explain the pathophysiology of notable animal parasites and discuss in detail the adaptations found within these organisms;

4.     Critically evaluate strategies used to control a range of parasites;

Be able to identify a range of parasitic organisms with a high level of accuracy.

Learning and Teaching Activities Scheduled Contact Hours: 36
Independent Learning Hours: 114
Assessment (For further details see the Module Guide) 001: 60% Coursework: Individual, standard written: 2000 words or equivalent
002: 40% Written Exam: End of module, unseen, closed book: 1.00 hours
Special Assessment Requirements
Indicative Resources The current reading list can be found in the Module Guide, which your lecturer should make available via Moodle.

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