Human Parasitology

Course content

Parasites shape the world we live in; from the colour of birds to the regulation of the human immune system. Human parasites come in many different shapes and sizes, from one-celled organisms of 0.01-0.05 mm to multi-celled worms of several meters in length. Some parasites cause few or no symptoms, while others cause severe disease and death. The course contains an introduction to the occurrence and importance of human parasitic diseases with special emphasis on those diseases most prevalent in the tropics, but human parasites in Denmark and Europe will also be included.

The aim of the course is to educate in human ecto- and endo-parasites such as protozoans and helminths (worms). The vectors of parasites (snails and arthropods) will also be included. The focus will be on the epidemiology, diagnosis, mapping, control and surveillance of the infections as well as parasite-host interactions.


MSc Programme in Biology- restrictive elective

Learning outcome

It is the aim of the course to provide the student with an introduction to the occurrence and importance of human parasitic diseases


  • To describe the most important groups of human parasites and the general structure of their transmission, epidemiology and control.
  • To explain principles of disease impact estimation of parasites in man.
  • To explain the fundamental principles of host-parasite interactions.
  • To define the impact of geographical and ecological variables on the occurrence of infections.
  • To describe the main risk factors for the infections and describe the basic principles of disease prevention.


  • Be capable of critical evaluating studies on human parasitic diseases.
  • To use knowledge on transmission and risk factors in writing as well as by oral presentation.
  • To perform overall analysis of transmission and risk factors.


  • To transfer the searching for relevant information, the critical evaluation of this information and the free discussing during group work for use in future courses, thesis writing and work environments.

The applied teaching methods are a mixture of lectures, small group exercises, laboratory demonstrations and laboratory exercises. Throughout the whole course, discussion of peer-reviewed papers in groups and in plenum will be used.

Selected parts of Foundations of Parasitology, L. S. Roberts and J. Janovy, 9th edition, 2013.

Scientific papers

Continuous feedback during the course
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 20-25 minutes
Type of assessment details
Two days before the examination, the students will be given four different scientific papers covering aspects taught at the course. At the examination, the student will blinded select one of the papers which then will be discussed. There will be no time for preparation on the day of examination.
Only certain aids allowed

The student can bring his/her version of the exampapers including their written notes to the paper

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
More than one internal examiner
Criteria for exam assessment

The student will be evaluated on to what extent he/she show adequate knowledge and skills according to what is described in the Learning Outcome. 

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 40
  • Preparation
  • 70
  • Theory exercises
  • 33
  • Practical exercises
  • 25
  • Study Groups
  • 25
  • Guidance
  • 12,5
  • Exam
  • 0,5
  • English
  • 206,0


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 block

Block 2
30 participants
Study Board for the Biological Area
Contracting department
  • Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
Course Coordinator
  • Birgitte J Vennervald   (3-646c784275777066306d7730666d)
If you need to contact the study secretary, please see the Student Affairs Department contact information (list in Danish only): https:/​/​​kontakt/​aus-medarbejderoversigt/​#Studieservice
Saved on the 15-03-2022

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