Master's degree in research and diagnosis of tropical diseases


Program Description

Tropical diseases affect about 1 billion people worldwide, particularly in countries with low-income economies and areas of tropical and subtropical climate. According to the WHO, Tropical Diseases constitute one of the main causes of death in the world, with Africa being the most punished continent.

The Master in Research and Diagnosis of Tropical Diseases (MIDETROP) will acquire knowledge and skills that will lead to a better approach of Tropical Diseases, contribute to improving public health in the developing country and conduct research in this broad field of health.

Justification title

This Master is organized, coordinated and taught by professors of the University of La Laguna, members of the University Institute of Tropical Diseases and Public Health of the Canary Islands, doctors from the different hospitals of the Canary Islands Health Service, and professors and researchers from different centers of excellence related to tropical diseases.

Interest and relevance

In recent years we have witnessed a significant increase in international migratory flows that has facilitated the exchange of diseases considered, until now, exclusively from developing countries. To this emergency of tropical diseases also contributes the remarkable increase of travelers to tropical countries for commercial and tourist reasons. The Health Systems of Spain and Europe present high-level healthcare resources; There is, however, a manifest lack in the knowledge of tropical diseases. Early diagnosis, the use of homogeneous criteria in the management of patients, as well as the training of health personnel are fundamental for the control of these diseases, taking into account that every day more our health professionals face diseases that a few years ago They were forgotten or considered exotic.

At this time, infections are the leading cause of infant and juvenile mortality, with more than 13 million deaths per year, half of them in developing countries, and especially in children under 5 years of age. Globalization entails a greater degree of solidarity among countries, which has led to the international return of the concept of Poverty-linked Diseases, among which we find so-called tropical diseases. The relevance of this issue is reflected in the incorporation, among the priority R & D lines of the Seventh Framework Program of the European Union, of a line called Diseases Linked to Poverty. For the new Framework Program for Research and Innovation, Horizon 2020, health continues to be a priority, with the inclusion of the specific objective of Health, demographic change and well-being. In addition, this Master is involved in 5 of the 7 strategic initiatives embedded in the three Growth Axes of the 2020 program: Innovation Objectives (Union for innovation), Education (Youth on the move), Competitiveness (Industrial policy for the era of globalization), Employment and Skills (Agenda for new skills and employment) and Fight against poverty (European Platform against poverty). Finally, the World Health Organization (WHO) also coordinates a Program on Research in Tropical Diseases (TDR) among which are malaria, trypanosomosis, leishmaniasis, schistosomiasis, filariasis, leprosy, tuberculosis and dengue.

The impoverishment and instability of developing countries have caused an increase in population movements in the last decade. At the same time, the population growth causes densely populated cities, with poor water quality, poor sanitation and the expansion of poverty. All this has created the favorable breeding ground to favor the increase of the infectious pathologies in these countries, with the appearance of emerging and re-emerging diseases.

Canarias has traditionally been a crossroads of three continents: Europe, Africa and America. Millions of people in transit to and from other parts of the world come and go through its ports and airports. On the other hand, the Canarian population has had the vocation of being an emigrant throughout its history, with two large migratory flows in the 20th century. In the first one, at the beginning of the century, a significant number of canaries went to Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and mainly to Cuba; Years later, in the post-war Spanish, emigration was directed mainly towards Venezuela. The current socioeconomic situation of many countries in South America means that many of these Canarians and their families are returning to the islands. Another important factor related to Tropical Diseases in Spain is the geographic proximity to the "countries of origin" of immigration, which makes the Canary Islands the gateway, for Spain and Europe, of a large immigrant population, both legal and illegal.

The importance that Tropical Diseases have for the Canary Islands is evidenced by the inclusion in the Canarian Plan for Research, Development, Innovation and Dissemination (2007-2010) of a Strategy in which these diseases are considered part of the Key Activities and Initiatives . The BIOMED Strategy includes among its priorities high prevalence diseases and tropical diseases, and clearly establishes the relevance of the training of professionals in the field of Tropical Disease Research and Diagnosis, as proposed in this Master. The new Canary Islands Integrated R + D + I Plan 2011-2015, currently under development, within its transversal strategic axis 6, includes a series of scientific and technological areas that are considered priorities, as well as the strategies to develop them, trying to respond to the current needs and the future opportunities and challenges of the Canary Islands. Within these strategic lines are Health and Science and Technology for development cooperation, demonstrating once again the interest that the Canary Islands Government has for Tropical Diseases and the challenge of their control.

The University of La Laguna has constituted, over the last 10 years, an outstanding forum for research and discussion on Tropical Diseases linked to Poverty, with the organization of international courses and seminars in this regard and the training of international researchers They have done their Doctoral Thesis here. At this moment, the achievement of the Atlantic Tricontinental Campus of the Canary Islands 2010-2015 requires participating universities to develop a series of improvement activities in the areas of teaching, research, innovation, transfer and urban-territorial. In the teaching field, the improvement actions are grouped according to the concept of the Tricontinental Atlantic Campus of the Canary Islands, with actions based on tri-continentalism that catalyze teaching actions in the thematic areas of specialization of the campus, among which the so-called Applied Biomedicine stands out to Development Cooperation. This thematic area includes the mandate of the creation of the Master of Research and Diagnosis of Tropical Diseases described in this Report, promoted by the Faculty of Pharmacy of the ULL, in collaboration with the University Institute of Tropical Diseases and Public Health of the Canary Islands.

The professors participating in this Master have a long teaching career, research or assistance related to tropical diseases. They have extensive experience in the participation and organization of courses related to the subject, both local, national and international. They also participate in regional, national or international research projects and cooperation programs that guarantee the excellence of the faculty of this Master.

This Master is oriented so that the professionals who study it can adapt it to their interests, and thus complement the university study plans in Health Sciences (Medicine, Pharmacy, Biology, Nursing ...) that do not contemplate many aspects related to the Diseases Tropical. The creation of a Master in research and diagnosis of tropical diseases at the University of La Laguna allows health professionals to acquire knowledge, skills and abilities that lead to better care for patients with tropical diseases, contribute to the development of actions aimed at improvement of Public Health in developing countries and to develop research in this broad field of health.

Entry and exit profile

Admission Profile

Branch graduates of Health Sciences and Science Branch.

Graduation profile

The graduates of the Master in research and diagnosis of tropical diseases (MIDETROP) will acquire the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to act in the prevention, diagnosis, research and control of Tropical Diseases. They will be able to perform, design and interpret the different tests necessary to solve the situations that arise in the diagnosis and research of Tropical Diseases, as well as design and implement programs related to the promotion, education, management, information and research in Tropical Diseases. .

In addition, the completion of this master's degree will provide the necessary bases to pursue doctoral studies and to continue a research career in these fields in any national or international center.


  1. To acquire the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to operate in the prevention, diagnosis, investigation and control of so-called "Tropical Diseases".
  2. The student should be able to perform design and interpret the various tests required to resolve the situations that are presented in the diagnosis and research of Tropical Diseases.
  3. Provide the ability to design and conduct related to the promotion, education, management, information and research programs in Tropical Diseases.



  • Apply reagents and methods related to diagnosis and research of Tropical Diseases analytical techniques.
  • Effectively analyze information related to Tropical Diseases.
  • Communicate and report correctly on tropical diseases, both orally and in writing.
  • Contribute to and work in multidisciplinary teams with other health professionals.
  • Aware of the ethical and deontological principles, understanding the ethical implications of health in a changing social context.
  • Find and manage sources of information necessary for the diagnosis, prevention, innovation and research in Tropical Diseases.
  • Define and evaluate reagents, and methods related to diagnosis and research of Tropical Diseases analytical techniques.


  • Knowing the useful tools for diagnosing Tropical Diseases adapted to the health circumstances of countries.
  • Develop diagnostic protocols for Tropical Diseases adapted to the health circumstances of countries.
  • Apply investigacióin epidemiological methodologies applicable to health problems.
  • To know the main infectious agents causing tropical diseases and their symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.
  • Knowing the particularities of the clinical presentation, diagnosis and treatment of infectious and parasitic diseases in children.
  • Know the main dermatologic and present sexually transmitted diseases in tropical countries, as well as clinical, diagnostic and treatment procedures.
  • Intervene in the activities of health promotion, prevention and diagnosis of Tropical Diseases on the individual, family and community level with a comprehensive and multidisciplinary vision of health-disease process.
  • Knowing the ecological factors that influence the global distribution and the emergence of infectious tropical diseases.
  • Participate in the development of therapy protocols Tropical Diseases.
  • Apply knowledge to solving health problems in the tropical environment.
  • Analyze health problems in social and political environments poverty.
  • Transmit to society health problems and their relationship to poverty, its causes and possible solutions.
  • Develop health and hygiene protocols related to the transmission of causative agents of Tropical Diseases.
  • Knowing the prospects for future treatments applicable to Tropical Diseases.

Orientation and tutoring

The Faculty of Pharmacy of the ULL has an Orientation and Action Plan Tutorial developed according to the general guidelines of the University of La Laguna in this regard. The objectives of the Tutorial and Action Plan Tutorial focus on:

  • Facilitate the adaptation and knowledge of the students about the structure and functioning of the Faculty and the University of La Laguna.
  • To encourage reflection, dialogue, autonomous learning, participation in the institution and the use of training resources in the students.
  • To guide students in their studies and in their learning process.
  • Help the student to configure his own training curriculum.
  • To guide the student on academic and professional decision making.
  • Establish patterns of organization, coordination and monitoring of tutorial activities.

Within this plan the Tutoring of the students of the Master of Research and Diagnosis of Tropical Diseases is integrated. To this end, an Academic Guide will be published that will contain the Master's Teaching Organization Plan, the programs of the subjects and their evaluation system, and the professors who can assume the tuition of students. For the dissemination of this Academic Guide, the website of the Faculty of Pharmacy of the ULL will be used. The University of La Laguna also has within its institutional website a space dedicated to its official master's degree programs in which the general information on these degrees and the necessary to carry out the pre-registration and registration processes is contemplated.

The Tutorial Action Plan contemplates the following aspects:

  • From the beginning of the academic year, the student will have a tutor who will be assigned by the Academic Committee of the Master.
  • The tutor must be a teaching member of the Master.
  • The tutor can have a maximum of two students under his tutelage, and will be responsible for advising and directing the student's educational and administrative activities.

External practices

The subject Placement comprises 12 ECTS and compulsory. External Practices MIDETROP shall be governed by the Policy Management Placement of students of the ULL (BOC No. 57, March 21, 2012). 300 hours comprising this course, students will use a total of 200 hours of work at its training center. The rest will be devoted to activities with their PE tutor, and to the student's autonomous work.

The objective of the PE is to allow students to apply the knowledge acquired during their academic training to work experience, thus favoring the acquisition of skills in the field of professional activities. They will be held in various companies, institutions, organizations and institutions outside ULL, but may also be performed in centers or ULL services external to the Faculty of Pharmacy of the ULL. In any case, it will be essential to sign a Framework Agreement on Educational Cooperation, as well as a Specific Agreement, which will include the Teaching Guide of the subject of PE and the training project to be carried out by the student.

The student of the PE will be mentored by a professor of the Master responsible for the subject (academic tutor) and by a professional providing services in the enterprise, institution or entity where the same (external fixator) is performed. The COPYPE of the Faculty of Pharmacy (Commission for Vocational Guidance and Placement) shall establish and publish the criteria for assigning students to entities in which they perform external practices. The coordinator of the subject of PE will be responsible for assigning students to schools realization of PE, as directed by the COPYPE.

Master's thesis

The Final Master's Thesis course consists of 6 ECTS. In his TFM, the student will individually carry out a project, report or study in which he applies and develops the knowledge and skills acquired within the Master applied to a subject of his interest, develop the knowledge and skills acquired within the Master's Degree. Master applied to a subject of your interest.

During the elaboration of the Final Master's Project, the student must develop the skills for: the design of hypotheses about relevant problems, the review of bibliographic data and their analysis, the ability to defend and discuss proposals through efficient communication, and Above all, the ability to actively reflect and take a stand before complex situations in the field of tropical diseases.

The Academic Committee of the Master will present a list of the subjects that students can request to carry out their TFM and their tutors. It will also publish the allocation criteria, the composition of the evaluation tribunal, which, if appropriate, would judge the corresponding TFM and basic rules of style, extension and structure that the TFM memory must fulfill. The students will request that they be assigned the subject of the TFM and the corresponding tutor, and must include in their application a prioritized list of, at least, three subjects of those that offer the corresponding master's studies.

The priority in the selection by the students will be based on the grades presented for their access to the Master. The Academic Committee will individually assign to each student the faculty responsible for their tutoring and the topic to be developed in their TFM. Each TFM can be supervised by one or two tutors, of which at least one will belong to the teaching staff of the University of La Laguna who teach in the corresponding degree. Its function will be to guide the students during the work, supervise and ensure compliance with the objectives set. Each tutor can not supervise more than two jobs per academic year.

Last updated Mar 2020

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La Universidad de La Laguna ha ejercido una importante función de liderazgo educativo, científico y cultural en Canarias durante sus dos siglos de historia, impulsando el progreso de nuestra comunidad ... Read More

La Universidad de La Laguna ha ejercido una importante función de liderazgo educativo, científico y cultural en Canarias durante sus dos siglos de historia, impulsando el progreso de nuestra comunidad y contribuyendo decisivamente a su modernización. Read less
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