Veterinary epidemiology is a key component in the global grand challenges of disease control, food security and climate change. Consequently, there is a need to understand, predict and respond to patterns and dynamics of animal diseases and to control outbreaks.
The R(D)SVS and SRUC partnership creates the greatest concentration of research power in veterinary and agricultural sciences in the UK, and the University of Edinburgh is the top university for veterinary science in the UK (Guardian University League table 2018). So you will be taught by the scientists working at the cutting edge of epidemiological research. The veterinary epidemiology MSc draws on this wealth of experience and research activity to provide scientific knowledge of the fundamental biological processes (e.g. behaviour, physiology, immunology, ecology) and environmental and farming management practices (e.g. husbandry, nutrition, livestock trade) driving disease transmission, persistence, prevalence and spread in livestock production systems. This enables in-depth understanding of complex environmental patterns of animal disease, which facilitates prediction of disease risk and control. This multidisciplinary systems approach to veterinary epidemiology will provide you with the epidemiological skills to make significant contributions to tackling disease outbreaks and maintaining food security in your role as an animal health professional.
By the end of the online veterinary epidemiology MSc programme you will not only have a detailed understanding of the biology driving disease persistence and prevalence, but also how the biology scales up from individuals to populations. You will understand how this interacts with livestock management practices to determine the efficacy of disease control strategies and livestock production. Furthermore, the systems approach to veterinary epidemiology offers a way to frame disease challenges and problem solve disease risk at a range of scales (from veterinarians tackling specific disease outbreaks, to policy makers understanding the consequences of climate change on disease risk).
This online MSc programme provides training in methodological skills for the design, implementation, analysis, interpretation and communication of epidemiological studies, disease surveillance and disease control in animal populations and wider host communities. You will learn the latest methods in data analysis, statistics and epidemiological modelling, and learn how to present your findings to a wide audience from vets to policy makers.
This online veterinary epidemiology Masters programme is delivered by active researchers presenting their own research, which is placed into context with global grand challenges. As such, you will be exposed to and taught skills required for developing a research career.
The programme will use the University of Edinburgh’s award winning online learning environments, which includes video podcasts, interactive web-based discussion forums, and expert tuition.
The Veterinary Epidemiology MSc programme is delivered part-time by online learning over a period of 3-6 years.
You may undertake the programme by intermittent study (flexible progression route), accruing credits within a time limit of:
- 1 year for the Certificate in Veterinary Epidemiology (maximum period 2 years)
- 2 years for the Diploma in Veterinary Epidemiology (maximum period 4 years)
- 3 years for the MSc in Veterinary Epidemiology (maximum period of 6 years including a maximum period of 12 months from the start of your written reflective element to it being completed)
The programme is modular in structure, offering a flexible student-centred approach to the choice of courses studied. Building on the core courses required for the certificate, students may choose to study individual courses to suit their interests, to complete a sufficient number of credits to be awarded the:
- Certificate in Veterinary Epidemiology (60 credits)
- Diploma in Veterinary Epidemiology (120 credits)
- MSc in Veterinary Epidemiology (180 credits)
Veterinary epidemiology course topics:
- Introduction to veterinary epidemiology
- Livestock behaviour and disease risk
- Wildlife disease ecology
- Livestock management and disease risk & control
- The host-pathogen arms race
- Climate change and animal health
- Livestock nutrition and disease control
- Rights roles & responsibilities in disease control
- Modelling disease systems & control
- Statistics and research skills
- ‘R’ for Veterinary Epidemiologists
By the end of this MSc in veterinary epidemiology you will:
- Be confident in the analysis and interpretation of epidemiological data, to inform disease control decisions.
- Acquire knowledge about disease systems in livestock production environments and the interactions between the biological and livestock management processes driving disease epidemiology.
- Acquire specific skills to link individual farm environments and management practices to disease risk and production efficiency at farm and national scales.
- Be able to interpret, be critical of and communicate scientific results and information in research.
The courses and programme as a whole will provide:
- general postgraduate training (e.g. for people in education, government, policy-making, agricultural and veterinary organisations) to enable promotion, further employment opportunities or personal fulfilment
- general postgraduate training for people considering a career in research (e.g. a precursor to a PhD)
- topic-specific postgraduate training (e.g. for veterinarians for continuing professional development) to enable promotion, further employment opportunities or personal fulfilment