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BI2903: PARASITOLOGY (2018-2019)

Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

Residential field course designed to provide you with training in field identification and sampling techniques.

Field work provide opportunities to observe, identify and collect host and intermediate host species in an ecologically rich area of Highland Perthshire.

Lab work provides for the exploration and discovery of parasites in the context of the anatomy and physiology of vertebrate and invertebrate hosts.

Group based project work provides skills in team working, data collection, analysis and presentation.

Hard work throughout the days is rewarded through the development of deep understanding and the enjoyment of spending time with peers and staff.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 2
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Old Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Jeremy Sternberg

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Programme Level 2
  • One of BSc Biology or BSc Conservation Biology or BSc Zoology or BSc Marine Biology or BSc Animal Behaviour or BSc Ecology

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

Parasitism is to be found all around us and we (humans living in the developed world) are exceptional in generally not harbouring a diverse parasite fauna. This course will introduce the diversity of parasites and exquisite complexity of their life cycles in our indigenous wildlife. A central theme will be understanding the ecological relationships in life cycles and transmission strategies, and for this reason much of the time will be spent in the field, observing, identifying and collecting hosts and intermediate host species. These will include fish, small mammals, amphibians and invertebrates. To place parasites in the context of host ecology, there will be an opportunity to apply ecological survey methods in both terrestrial and freshwater habitats. Laboratory work will allow exploration and discovery of parasites in the context of host anatomy and physiology. Group projects allow the development of skills in experimental design, data analysis and hypothesis testing.

Kindrogan Field Centre is situated in Strathardle, between Pitlochry and Blairgowrie. Lying on the Highland fringe, there is easy access to a wide range of habitats. It is a fantastic location for anyone interested in the wildlife of Scotland, with Osprey, Golden Eagle and Otters regularly seen, and at night frequent visits of pine marten to a specially constructed viewing hide.  The Centre offers comfortable accommodation, and is fully catered. It has good lab facilities, and an excellent natural history library.

Further Information & Notes

Please note that places are limited and, due to health and safety regulations, the School reserves the right to move students onto another field course when capacity is reached. 


BI2903 - 1 dates:  Fri 17th May - Thurs 23rd May 2019.

BI2903 - 2 dates:  Thurs 23rd May - Wed 29th May 2019.


Costs: £200. Deposit (inc): £50.


Deposits are normally non-refundable. The cases where deposits are likely to be refunded are as


1) where there is good cause for student withdrawing from a field course, good cause is

determined by DoT or nominated person;

2) where the withdrawal has not resulted in a gap because a different student has enrolled

to take that place; and,

3) when the student withdraws from the course in good time and before the end of the

first semester.

Full payments are also normally non-refundable. The cases where full refunds may be made are

similar to points 1 and 2 above.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

Field Trip Log (33%), Individual skills and application (33%) and group work (33%)

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.


Individualised written feedback; in common with all field courses there is a high level of interaction between staff and students and formative assessment in the form of informal feedback will be given based on close observation of field work skills, lab skills and critical interpretative skills and general level of application effort.

Design Project: students will receive oral feedback following the presentation

Course Learning Outcomes


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