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Program Specifications For Master Degree: in Medical Parasitology


Program Specifications

For Master Degree: in Medical Parasitology

Program type: single

Program code: 805

Department offering the training program: Department of Medical Parasitology

Total credit points: 140

Starting year: 2011/2012

Program coordinator: Prof. Dr. Jomana Abd El-aziz- Prof. Dr. Safeya  El- Bassiouni

External evaluators: Prof. Dr. Nashaat  El-Sayed Nasef (Prof. of Parasitology Monofeya University)   

I-    General Aim of Program


This program aims to provide core training in the theoretical and practical aspects of Medical Parasitology, covering the protozoan and metazoan parasites of humans, the vectors which transmit them, and provide students with specialized skills that enable them pursue a career in research, control and teaching related to Medical Parasitology. Program helps post-graduate students enter a range of global health fields including diagnostics, applied basic research and control to higher degree studies and academic/teaching-related positions.

II. Intended learning outcomes:

A)   Knowledge and understanding: By the end of the program the candidate should be able to;

1)    Describe the world distribution of important parasitic infections and the epidemiologic principles and the effect of social and demographic patterns on parasitic disease and vulnerability

2)    Recognize the biology and the life cycles of the major parasites and of their vectors or intermediate hosts.

3)    Identify the pathogenesis, clinical features, differential diagnosis and complications of the major parasitic diseases and the immune responses to these parasites

4)    Explain  the diversity of host -parasite  interactions

5)    Distinguish the most important immunological features related to the major parasitic infections of man

6)    Point out the methods of recovery of parasites and their culture methods as well as immunological and molecular methods used for diagnosis of parasitic infections

7)    Define the principles of management for common parasitic diseases and life-threatening conditions

8)    Locate the strategies for control of the vectors and intermediate hosts of human parasites.

9)    Distinguish the key aspects of vector behaviour, vector ecology and vector-parasite interactions and recognize how these features impact on the epidemiology and control of vector-borne diseases

10) Identify chemical, physical and biological methods of controlling vectors and intermediate hosts

11) Recognize the various types of immune responses elicited by parasites

12) Describe the theory, principles and development of a range of advanced diagnostic techniques including those currently used in immune and molecular Parasitology

13)   Recognize the principles underpinning important techniques in molecular biology and their applications in laboratory research on infectious diseases

14) Outline concepts underlying the design of research studies

B)   Intellectual skills: By the end of the program the candidate should be able to;

1)    Analyse clinical and investigational data to develop skill of logic reasoning for clinical problem solving.

2)    Interpret experimental data in an appropriate scientific format.

3)    Specify the main areas of research in a particular subject and explain basic approaches to the design and interpretation of multivariable analysis models.

4)    Criticize published scientific papers in various areas

5)    Summarize the important unanswered questions in particular scientific works

6)    Recommend  methods for  dealing with  different scientific problems

7)    Design an appropriate research work for a given scientific topic dilemma  and provide a rationale for this.

C)   Professional and practical skills: By the end of the program the candidates should be able to;

1)    Diagnose & describe parasites by microscopy.

2)    Prepare the various parasitic stages both free and in tissues and to report  properly positive findings in different samples

3)    Hold  advanced diagnostic, molecular, immunological, genetic, ecological and/or control aspects of the subject

4)    Prepare a laboratory or field based research project, critically analyse and interpret data  with minimal supervision

D)   General and transferable skills: By the end of the program the candidates should be able to;

1)    Acquire the ability to use computers efficiently in reaching biomedical information to remain updated with advances in knowledge and practice

2)    Acquire the capacity of effective communication with those involved in conducting public health research.

3)    Integrate scientific information effectively in scientific meetings as well as scientific conferences, using a variety of techniques including oral talks or poster presentation and responding to oral questioning.

4)    Integrate a range of practical techniques and tools used in teaching or  research on different  areas of  Parasitology  field

5)    Accept  the institutional code of conduct towards the role of staff and co-staff members regardless of degree or occupations

III. Academic standards

External reference for standards:

1- National Academic Reference Standards of postgraduates (NAQAAE)

2- The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the University of London (LSHTM)

Web site:

IV. Program Admission Requirements

According to the bylaws of the faculty of medicine Cairo University, applicants should have M.B.B.Ch degree (of at least good grade) or equivalent degree. Admission for the program is open twice a year (during April and October).   

V. Program Structure and Contents                                 

The program contains compulsory and elective modules. The compulsory modules are started in November each year to allow recently admitted candidates to participate in the course. The related schedules either of theoretical or practical parts are available in October each year.  Each module lasts from 10 to 15 weeks according to the related topics.

Program duration: three years                     Total credit points: 140

Program structure:

First part: 1.5 years:                                                         40 credit points

o   Compulsory courses                                                         8 credit points

1)    Helminthology                                                                  4 credit points

2)    Immunology                                                                     2 credit points

3)    Molecular biology                                                             2 credit point


o   Elective courses: choose one course for                           1 credit points

a)    Special laboratory investigations                                    1 credit point

b)    Fundamental microscopy                                                1 credit point

o   Scientific activities                                                               1 credit point

o   Practical training program                                                 30 credit points



Second part: 1.5 years:                                                    100 credit points

o   Compulsory courses:                                                        13 credit points

4)  Protozology                                                                      4 credit points

5)  Entomology                                                                      4 credit points

6)  Immuno and molecular Parasitology                                2 credit points

7)    Applied Parasitology                                                        3 credit points

o   Elective courses: choose one  course  for                         credit points

c)  Advanced Diagnostic Parasitology                                 -

d)  Design and analysis of epidemiological studies             -

o   Scientific activities                                                                2  credit points

o   Practical training program                                                  45 credit points

o    MSc Thesis:                                                                         40 credit points

Table 1: First Part - Parasitology Master Degree


Program: Parasitology Master degree

Credit Points








PARA 805 Ta



A.(1-2-3), B. (1-3), C. (1-2), D (1-3)


PARA 806


A (4-5-11) , B (3-4-5-6)

Molecular biology 

PARA 803


A (13), B (3-4-5-6)


Fundamental microscopy




A (12), B (3-4), C (1), D (4)

Special laboratory investigations



A (6-7-12-14), B (3-4-5-6), C (1-2-3-4), D (2-4-6)

**PRACTICAL TRAINING PROGRAMS  (phase 1):                  

Ocular micrometry



C (1-2), D (4)

Examination of stool, soil and urine for parasitic stages


C (1-2- 6), D (4)

Examination of blood for parasitic stages


C (1-2-6), D (4)

 Research methodology (1) 


A.(1-3), B.(1-2-3-4-5-6), C.1-4, D.1-2-3-6

*Biostatistics & Basic computing


A (14), B (2), D (1)


 Conferences, Seminars, Workshops, Departmental  activities, assignments, projects



D (3)

Total credit points






Table 2: Second Part - Parasitology Master Degree

Program:  Parasitology Master degree

Credit Points







 b- Protozoa

PARA 805 Tb



A.(1-4), B.(1-4), C.(1-2), D. (1-4)

c- Entomology

PARA 805 Tc


A.(1-5-8-9-10), B. (1-4), C.(1-2), D. (1-4)

d- Molecular and immuno-Parasitology

PARA 805 Td


A (4-11-13), B (3-4-5-6)

e- Applied Parasitology

PARA 805 Te


A (6-7-12),b (1-4-5-6), C (1-2-3-4), D (3-4)


Advanced diagnostic Parasitology


A (12-13), B (3-5-7), C (1-3)

Design and analysis of epidemiological studies


A (14), B (2-3-5-7), C (4), D (2)

*PRACTICAL TRAINING PROGRAMS (phase 2):                  

Research methodology (2)



A (14), B (1-4-5), C (4), D (2)

Application of immunological techniques in Parasitology


A (11-13), C (2-3-4)

Application of molecular technologies in Parasitology


A (14), B (2-3), C (4), D (2)

Mounting techniques for arthropods of medical importance


C (1-2), D (4)

Mounting techniques for helminthes


C (1-2), D (4)


 Conferences, Seminars, Workshops, Departmental activities, assignments or projects.



D (3)





Total credit points




N.B. Not all training programs will be available at the same time. Training program can be taken only after consultation with the responsible staff members. Announcement for any particular program will be at least month before starting the program.

Credit points and learning hours:

The credit points assigned to each module or unit are based on the approximate number of hours. The student is expected to spend hours of learning to achieve the learning outcomes for that module. There is broad agreement amongst Cairo University departments that one credit point represents 15 hours of learning. Teaching strategy depends on calculated total learning hours. Total learning hours include contact time (theoretical lectures, practical sessions and the completion of formative assessment tasks and revision) plus self learning (private reading and study). Therefore, learning hours of each module are determined according to the proposed ILOs of each module.


Facilities required for teaching and learning:

List of references

·         Course notes

·         Essential books (text books):

Hunter's Tropical Medicine and Emerging Infectious Disease (Ninth Edition) ISBN: 978-1-4160-4390-4

·          Periodicals, Web site:

         American Journal of Tropical Medicine & hygiene – Parasitology United Journal

   DPDx - CDC Parasitology Diagnostic Web Site (


Master Thesis:

All master-degree students should prepare a thesis in Medical Parasitology. The department and the ethical committees must approve the protocol of the research. The thesis should include a review part and a research part. The Thesis is supervised by one or more senior staff members from Medical Parasitology and may include other specialties according to the nature of the research. The thesis should be evaluated and approved by a committee of three professors including one of the supervisors and an external professor.

Scientific Activities:

The candidates should participate in the scientific activities of the department such as:

  • Seminars.
  • Journal clubs.
  • Scientific meetings.
  • Workshops.
  • Conferences.
  • Attending Thesis discussions.
  • Preparation of portfolio (with reflection of self assessment)

Each activity is monitored and given credit points registered in a special section in the logbook. Candidates should collect the required points before being allowed to sit for final exam.

VI. Regulations for Progression and Program Completion

   After finishing the first part, attending the specified courses and collecting the required credit points, the student should pass the first part examination in April before proceeding to the second part. In case the student fails to pass the examination, he/she can resubmit for the next examination in October. After passing the first part, the student submits a protocol for master thesis at the beginning of second part. Before submitting to the final exam in May (or November in case of failure), he/she should finish the thesis and get approval, complete phase 2 of the training program, and collect the required credit points. The candidate will receive his/her degree after passing this final exam. Master degree should be obtained within a maximum of 6 years after registration date.


Attendance criteria:

The prerequisite for entry the final exam is 75% attendance of the lectures as shown in the attendance book.

VII.  Assessment

A: Assessment Tools

·         Supervision and Monitoring of The  Program

According to the Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University Bylaws, professors carry continuous assessment during the program. This continuous assessment is designed and arranged according to each module, in the form of mid & semi- final course quizzes. A practical training program logbook will be kept for each candidate to document all his/her practical activities as well as his/her participation in different scientific activities. The head of the department should allow the students to undergo the final examination when they complete their training program and collect the credit points needed.

·         Formative Assessment

For assessment of students achievement during the theoretical & training courses.

·         Formal Assessment

According to the Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University Bylaws for Postgraduate Programs. Students should be assessed at the end of the program (Written, Practical and Oral Exams) plus the continuous evaluation.

The examination is as follows:

·     Written examination: The exam is put by a committee of at least 3 senior professors

·     Practical: The exam is put by at least 3 professors and supervised by at least 4 assistant professors and the materials are prepared by at least 4 lecturers

·     Oral examination: The exam is attended by a committee of 2 professors for each student.

·     Continuous evaluation: will be at the end of each module or training program


Final exam First Part:  

·                    Written exam: 3 written papers will be held for the 3 compulsory modules including short questions, MCQ, EMCs and problem solving.

·                     Oral exam: 3 oral exams for 3 compulsory modules.

·                     Practical exam


Final exam Second Part:

·                     Written exam: 2 written 1 credit point will be held for the compulsory modules including short questions, MCQ, EMCs and problem solving.

·                     Oral exam

·                     Practical exam

B: Assessment Schedule:

After acceptance of the thesis, 4 final exams will be held by the end of the course; For compulsory courses 2 written exams of 3 hours duration each in 2 days, followed by oral and practical exam

C: Weighing Of Assessment (Marks allocated to courses):

-       (50 marks for each credit point)

WeighingGrading system:








First part:                                                                                400


Written exam.(3hs+pracrical exam+ oral exam)





Molecular biology 

Written exam. (2hs+pracrical exam+ oral exam)






Written exam. (2hs+pracrical exam+ oral exam)





Second Part:                                                                            650                     

Protozoa & entomology

Written exam.(3hs+pracrical exam+ oral exam)





Molecular & Immuno-parasitology



Written exam.(3hs+pracrical exam+ oral exam)





Applied parasitology

-       It is mandatory to pass all the papers of written exams separately.

-       The passing mark in any written exam is ≥ 60%.

VIII. Evaluation of Program Intended Learning Outcomes




1. Senior Students


All the PG students (100%)

2. Alumni



3. Stakeholders

A meeting will be arranged


4. External Evaluators

Review program and courses


Once before implementation

        Bi-annual report

5. College Quality Assurance committee

Annual program reviewer





Date of approval by department:  September  2012

Program Coordinator                                               Head of Department

Prof. Dr. Jomana Abd El-aziz                                            Prof. Dr. Mona Mahmoud

 Prof. Dr. Safeya  El- Bassiouni