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Unit information: Parasite Biology in 2015/16

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Parasite Biology
Unit code BIOL20202
Credit points 10
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2C (weeks 13 - 18)
Unit director Professor. Gibson
Open unit status Not open


We recommend that students should normally have 120 cps of appropriate L1 units or BIOL11000 or BIOL12000 or A level Biology



School/department School of Biological Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

Parasite diversity. Adaptations to the special ecological and physiological problems of life in or on another animal. Life history strategies, especially the adaptations of parasites to exploit host behaviour. The factors regulating parasite populations, niche biology, competitive interactions, the host immune response. The concept of parasite disease and human influence in exacerbating its effects. Evasion of the host immune responses. Zoonotic diseases.


  • to learn about parasite diversity and adaptations to the special ecological and physiological problems of life in or on another animal.
  • to provide a foundation for more advanced courses involving parasite biology.
  • to provide background knowledge for practical projects relating to parasite biology.

Intended Learning Outcomes

You will have developed an informed general knowledge of parasitology, be able to place parasitism in a wider biological context, have acquired the foundation for further study in the subject.

Teaching Information

  • 3 x 1 hour weekly lectures (weeks 13-17)
  • 2 x 3 hour lab/practicals in wks 14 and 16
  • Self-directed learning week (week 18). Students are expected to spend this time on directed reading.
  • Use of statistical software package SPSS.

Assessment Information

Attendance at practicals and completion of specified practical reports is mandatory. Assessment is based on the end of unit theory exam (60%) and Laboratory practical reports (40%). The 1 hour theory exam consists of compulsory short answer questions with a mixture of factual, data handling and problem-solving questions. Each exam question may cross the boundaries of several lectures and require information from different parts of the course, including practicals.

Reading and References

The recommended textbook for the course is:

Goater, T. et al (2014) Parasitism. The diversity and ecology of animal parasites. Cambridge University Press. Paperback 9780521122054 £40