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Program Specifications For M.D. Degree in Medical Parasitology

Program Specification for M.D Degree in

 Medical Parasitology

Program type: single

Department offering the program: Medical Parasitology

Program Code: 905

Total Credit points: 240 (140 MSc + 100)

Academic year: 2011/2012

Program coordinators: Prof. Dr. Maysa Kamel- Prof. Dr. Maha El-Arousy


External Evaluator: Prof. dr. Nashaat  El-Sayed Nasef (Prof. of Parasitology Monofeya University)      


I. Aim of the program:

To provide professional development by applying specialized modules which allow  students to enter a range of parasitological fields extending from biological aspects to clinical and immunological parasitological aspects  and applied basic researches to higher degree studies and academic/teaching-related levels,  taking in to consideration the global standards  for academic accreditation.


II. Intended learning outcomes:

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

1)    Distinguish the recent scientific data related to biological aspect of the parasites.

2)    Describe recent theories or strategies as regards the pathogenesis and subsequent clinical manifestations of different parasitic diseases.

3)    Point out the recent immunological responses and the possible dynamics of immune protective mechanisms.

4)    Distinguish the different immune responses; whether balanced or modulated comparing the mechanisms used by parasites to evade the immune response.

5)     Explain the host – parasite interaction and different outcomes (e.g. histopathological,  biochemical, immunological, molecular or genetic…..etc)

6)    Recognize the key aspects of vector behaviour, vector ecology and vector-parasite interactions and  demonstrate an understanding of how these features impact the epidemiology and control of vector-borne diseases.

7)    Describe the application and evaluation of advanced parasitological techniques, whether diagnostic or for research purposes.

8)    Identify the  important ultra structures  of some parasites of great medical importance in our country and neighboring  areas  (e.g. Schistosoma, tissue nematodes, Leishmania , malaria …etc)

9)    Recognize the importance of  ultra structures for  understanding  biological  life of the parasites

10) Demonstrate the factors determining the temporal, spatial and social distributions of parasitic diseases.

11) Recognize the methods and concepts of incubation periods, epidemic patterns, modes of transmission, transmission dynamics, measures of infectiousness, and sero-epidemiology.

B.   Intellectual skills: By the end of the program the candidates should be able to:

1)    Analyze the data of real life stories (case scenarios) concerning history, clinical examination and investigational data into meaningful diagnostic formulation.

2)    Evaluate how parasitic infections can bias the nature of the immune response to subsequent infections.

3)    Apply basic epidemiological and statistical principles to the critical interpretation of parasitological studies.

4)    Assess with justification the main areas of research interest in a particular subject, in addition to designing and interpreting multivariable analysis models.

5)    Recommend  the suitable methods and appropriate laboratory techniques for a proposed scientific research.

6)    Interpret concurrent knowledge and skills required to stay up to date with scientific literature in order to generate a  scientific research project

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

1)    Diagnose the various parasite stages both free and in tissues and to report properly positive findings in different samples.

2)    Perform laboratory or field based research projects with minimal supervision, taking in to consideration critical analysis and interpretation of data.

3)    Prepare a written report on scientific information and findings including a critical literature review of relevant scientific publications.

4)    Internalize the potential benefits and difficulties of laboratory work in molecular biology, based on practical training experience.

5)    Integrate the molecular biological strategies & designs  as applied to epidemiological investigations, clinical diagnosis or fundamental research on parasitic diseases.

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

1)    Integrate scientific information effectively using a variety of techniques including oral presentation, poster presentation and responding to oral questioning.

2)    Emulate a range of practical techniques and tools used in teaching or  research on different  areas of  Parasitology  field.

3)    Reflect provisional recommendations, based on scientific evidence, about the appropriateness and cost-effectiveness of particular diagnostic methods.

4)     Apply the institutional code of conduct  & the role of staff and co-staff members regardless of degree or occupations.

III. Academic standards

      External references for standards:

The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the University of London (LSHTM) with some modifications to cope with needs in our country which is considered one of the endemic areas for some of the parasitic infections.

Web site:

IV. Program Admission Requirements

General entrance requirements

Admission must normally satisfy Cairo University general entrance requirements. According to the Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University Bylaws for Postgraduate Programs, applicants should have Master degree in the same specialty of at least good grade. Admission to the program is open during January and July.

V. Program Structure and Contents

Program duration: 2 years

Program structure:

  • 2 years - 100credit points

o      Compulsory courses: two academic years (30 weeks each) 18 credit points

  1. Helminthology                                                                        5 credit points
  2. Entomology                                                                             5 credit points
  3.  Protozoology                                                                            4 credit points
  4. Immuno & molecular parasitology                                           4 credit points

o    Elective courses (1 credit points for each course):

2 courses  are chosen for a total of 2 credit points

5.    Ultra structure of Helminthes                                                    1 credit point

6.    Ultra structure of protozoa                                                        1 credit point

7.    Epidemiology & Control of parasitic Diseases                          1 credit point

o     Scientific activities                                                           4credit points


o    Advanced practical training program (Phase 3 or C) 36 credit points        (choose 2 programs)

a-    Design and Analysis of Epidemiological Studies                       6 credit points  

b-     Advanced Training in diagnostic and Molecular technology     6 credit points  

c-    Parasitological Diagnostic methods                                          6 credit points

d-    Lab. Works +  preparation & Teaching skills                            18 credit points


·         MD Thesis:                                                                            40 credit points




Table 1



Credit Points







a- Helminthology

PARA 905 Ta



A (1-2-5) B (1-2-3-4-65-) C (1) D(1-2-3-4)

b- Arthropods

PARA 905 Tb


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

c- Protozoa

PARA 905 Tc


A (1-2-5) B(1-2-3-4-56-) C (1) D(1-2-3-4)

d- Immunology of parasitic disease and molecular Parasitology

PARA 905 Td


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


Ultra structure of Helminthes                                                 




A (8-9) B (4-5-6) C (2-3) D(4)

Ultra structure of protozoa                                                       



A (8-9) B (4—5-6) C (2-3) D(4)


of parasitic Diseases                          



A (11-12) B (4-5-6) C (2-3-5) D(4)


Design and Analysis of Epidemiological Studies                      




A (-7-10-11) B (3-4-5-6) C (2-3-4-5) D(1-2-3-4)


 Advanced Training in diagnostic and Molecular technology



Parasitological Diagnostic methods                                         


Lab. Works +  preparation & Teaching skills                           




        B(3)  C (2-3) D(1-2-3-4)    

SCIENTIFIC ACTIVITIES                                        


Seminars, workshops, thesis discussions, routine practical work, departmental duties                



A(1 to 12)B (6) C (2-3) D(1-2-3-4)


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 a 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):

·         Foundations of Parasitology, 9th edition [Print Replica] [Kindle Edition] - 2013 Print ISBN-10: 0073524190-Print ISBN-13: 978-0073524191

·         Manson's Tropical Diseases, 23rd Edition-Print Book ISBN :9780702051012

·          Periodicals, Web site:




All MD degree students should prepare a thesis in Medical Parasitology. The research and ethical committees of the Faculty of Medicine and that of the Parasitology Department 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 and may include other specialties according to the nature of the research. The thesis will be accepted for discussion after approval of department council. 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 (including recent topics and controversial issues).
  • Journal clubs (presenting scientific articles).
  • Scientific meetings.
  • Workshops.
  • Conferences.
  • Thesis discussions.
  • Routine practical work
  • Departmental duties

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 collecting the required credit points for the respective courses, the advanced practical training, the scientific activities, and the thesis, the student will be eligible to sit for the final examination. In case the student fails to pass the examination, he/she may resubmit for the next examination. The candidate will receive his/her degree after passing this final examination. MD degree should be obtained within a maximum of 6 years after registration date.

VII.  Assessment

A: Assessment Tools

·         Supervision and Monitoring of Training Program


According to the Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University Bylaws for Practical Training Programs, professors carry continuous assessment during the program. 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 candidates to undergo the final examination when they complete their training program and collect the credit points needed.

·         Formal Assessment

According to the Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University Bylaws for Postgraduate Programs, students should be assessed at the end of the program by Written, Practical and Oral Exams

B: Assessment Schedule:

Four final exams by the end of the course after acceptance of the thesis

For compulsory courses 2 written exams of 3 hours duration each on 2 days:

       -    Helminthology and Entomology

       -    Protozoology and immune and molecular parasitology

The written examination followed by oral and practical exam


For elective courses 2 written exams of one hour duration each in 2 days:



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

(50 marks for each credit point)











Para 905 Ta






Para 905 Tb


Para 905 Tc






Para 905 Td

Immuno and molecular parasitology

Para 905 ECPD

Epidemiology & Control of  Parasitic Diseases








Ultra structure of  Helminthes


Ultra structure of  Protozoa








-       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

Questionnaire at the end of the program

All the PG students

2. Alumni

The faculty is currently developing an Alumni office for postgraduates

Not yet determined

3. Stakeholders

A meeting will be arranged during annual conference of the department

Available representatives   from:

-       Army hospitals

-       National medical insurance

-       Medical syndicate

-       Ministry of health

4. External Evaluators

Review program and courses

Attending the final exam

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. Maysa Kamel                                                       Prof. Dr. Mona Mahmoud

 Prof. Dr. Maha El-Arousy