Veterinary epidemiology is a key component in a number of the global grand challenges relating to disease control, food security and climate change. Consequently, there is a need to improve our ability to understand, predict and respond to patterns and dynamics of disease 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. The 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 disease, which facilitates prediction of disease risk and control. This multidisciplinary systems approach will provide you with the skills to make significant contributions to tackling food security, climate change and disease control in your role as an animal health professional.
By the end of the 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 agricultural management practices to determine the efficacy of disease control strategies and livestock production (i.e. interdisciplinary systems thinking and communication). Furthermore, the systems approach offers a way to frame disease challenges and problem solve disease risk at a range of scales (e.g. from veterinarians tackling specific outbreaks to the consequences of climate change on disease risk). To this end the 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.
Courses are 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 appropriate for developing a research career.
The programme will use the University’s award winning online learning environments, which includes video podcasts, web-based discussion forums and expert tuition.
The programme is delivered part-time by online learning over period of 3-6 years.
You may undertake the programme by intermittent study (flexible progression route), accruing credits within a time limit of:
The programme is modular in structure, offering a flexible student-centred approach to the choice of courses studied; other than the three core courses required for the certificate, students may choose to study individual courses, to complete a sufficient number of credits to be awarded the:
Postgraduate Professional Development
Postgraduate Professional Development (PPD) is aimed at working professionals who want to advance their knowledge through a postgraduate-level course(s), without the time or financial commitment of a full Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate.
You may take a maximum of 50 credits worth of courses over two years through our PPD scheme. These lead to a University of Edinburgh postgraduate award of academic credit. Alternatively, after one year of taking courses you can choose to transfer your credits and continue on to studying towards a higher award on a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme. Although PPD courses have various start dates throughout a year you may only start a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme in the month of September. Any time spent studying PPD will be deducted from the amount of time you will have left to complete a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme.
The courses and programme as a whole will provide:
Postgraduate Loans are now Open for Home/EU students - https://www.gov.uk/postgraduate-loan/how-to-apply
Scholarships & Discounts available
This programme provides advanced contemporary training in parasitology and the study of disease vectors. The broad scope of the programme ranges from the biology, immunology, ecology and population biology of the organisms to public health, disease epidemiology and tropical health issues. In addition to providing a solid foundation in parasite and vector biology, the programme provides practical experience of essential techniques, as well as significant theoretical and practical knowledge in all important and topical areas of the field. Following the taught component, participants complete a dissertation including a period of applied research either overseas or in Liverpool.
LSTM education courses are taught within a dynamic environment by staff working at the cutting-edge of research in tropical medicine and global health. They are designed to enable the professional development of the student, to be relevant to students from both the UK and overseas and to promote approaches to study that will enable students to continue their learning into the future.
This course aims to:
To equip students with the knowledge and practical skills needed to develop a career in research, training or control of parasitic and vector-borne diseases.
To provide practical experience of a range of specialised technical and analytical skills relevant to the study of parasites and disease vectors.
To enable students to conduct independent research in the laboratory and/or field.
To produce graduates who are experienced, committed, informed, proactive and effective professionals, capable of taking substantial and leading professional roles.
To facilitate high quality learning that is informed by critical analysis of current research.
To develop independent and reflective approaches to study that will enable graduates to continue to learn in the future.
Over many years, we have educated hundreds of Masters students, many of whom have established successful careers in research in the academic or private sectors, or who have gone on to work in development as part of government or NGO teams. Graduates of the MSc Biology & Control of Parasites and Disease Vectors typically follow careers in research (some in LSTM) or training in areas related to the control of infectious disease, in particular parasitic and vector-borne tropical diseases. Other careers paths have led to teacher training, working overseas for NGO’s, military and public health-related careers.
This 1 year course leads to an internationally recognised MRes qualification that provides training in transferable skills essential for those wishing to pursue post-graduate PhD, commercial or industrial research opportunities. Focusing on parasites and the diseases that they cause, you will gain expert knowledge in the detection, prevention and control of protozoan as well as metazoan animal and human pathogens. You will be trained in specialisms including biochemistry, molecular biology, whole organism/cell culture and manipulation, bioinformatics, proteomics, transcriptomics, genomics, functional genomics, drug discovery, vaccinology, biomarker discovery, genetics/epigenetics, epidemiology, vector/intermediate host biology and ecology.
At the end of the course you will understand how interdisciplinary methods can be brought to bear on controlling some of the deadliest infectious organisms on the planet and be ready to pursue your career in parasitology.
Parasitism is the most successful lifestyle on the planet and leads to diverse and highly-damaging infectious diseases of agricultural, veterinary and biomedical significance. Therefore, a greater understanding of the parasite species responsible for these conditions and the means by which they are controlled remain a priority for scientists, health care professionals and farmers in this 21st Century. For example, it is recognised that parasitic worms infect greater than 1 billion people worldwide with some species causing between $700 million-$1 billion USDs in economic losses per annum. The development of novel, creative and integrated control strategies are urgently needed to combat the growing threat of changing parasite distributions due to climate change, human migration, animal transportation and farming practices. This MRes course will provide you with a range of vocational skills and prepare you for professional employment or further post-graduate PhD studies in Parasitology or related disciplines (i.e. infectious diseases, public health, epidemiology, etc.).
IBERS continuously maintained an excellent internationally-recognised reputation in parasitological research since the 1930s. One of the British Society of Parasitology’s founding members and two of its past presidents were IBERS Parasitologists. More recently, IBERS appointments and University investments have increased critical mass in Parasitology leading to the formation of the Parasitology and Epidemiology Research Group (in 2007) as well as the Barrett Centre for Helminth Control (in 2016). The creation of both research groupings has facilitated greater interactions with animal health and pharmaceutical/biotech companies as well as increased research grant capture derived from government, research council and charitable funding bodies.
With 360 members of staff (principle investigators, technicians and post-doctoral fellows), 1350 undergraduate students and more than 150 postgraduate students, IBERS is the largest research and teaching institute within Aberystwyth University. Excellence in teaching was recognised by outstanding scores in the National Student Satisfaction Survey (NSS 2017) and being awarded University of the Year for Teaching Quality by the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018. Employability data from the Recent Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE, 2017) shows that 97% of IBERS graduates were in work or further study six months after leaving Aberystwyth University. The economic and social impact of IBERS research was recognised in 2011 when IBERS won the national BBSRC Excellence with Impact Award.
An aspect of this course that uniquely positions itself from other Masters level Parasitology courses in the UK is the 12-month dissertation project (Semesters 1-3). Working under the supervision of active researchers in the field, you will collaboratively develop a research project on diverse topics such as (but not inclusive) intermediate host and vector control, anthelmintic drug and target discovery, biomarker identification, visual cue selection for arthropod vectors, mathematical modelling of disease transmission, host responses to parasite biomolecules, parasite and host population studies and functional genomics manipulation of parasites. A list of available projects and supervisors will be advertised closer to the start of each academic year. Your supervisor/supervisory team will mentor you in hypothesis and discovery driven experimental design, provide training in lab-based and computer-assisted methodologies, arrange instruction in analytical techniques, aid in the trouble-shooting of experimental challenges, assist you in the interpretation of results and prepare you for successful oral presentations. You will also be guided in how to most efficiently communicate your results during the dissertation write-up. It is expected that during this year long research project you will become an expert in your topic.
Please refer to our couse web pages for full details of course modules.
This course is an ideal training programme for those wishing to:
- Pursue PhD studies;
- Work in industry, charities or funding bodies;
- Improve animal and human health;
- Influence governmental policies.
Throughout this course you will:
· Develop strong data collection/analysis, fieldwork and laboratory skills;
· Enhance your scientific communication and team work skills;
· Write for a range of audiences including academics and the wider public;
· Enhance your analytical abilities, critical thinking and problem solving skills;
· Develop study and research skills;
· Direct and sustain a self-initiated programme of study underpinned by good time management skills;
· Work effectively and independently;
· Hone your project management skills to deliver a demanding combination of research, analysis, communication and presentation
During the one year of full-time study students complete 40 60 credits of core modules centred on parasitology, parasite control and a further 20 credits focusing on laboratory techniques & research methodologies. The taught modules are assessed by scientific writing assignments (such as reports, critical reviews, essays and journalistic articles), presentations, contribution to group discussions in seminars and online assignments. The core element of this course is the 120 credit MRes Dissertation, during which students will have supervision meetings to give them guidance before undertaking a prolonged period of experimental work/data gathering, research, and writing up of the dissertation. All postgraduate students in IBERS also have a named personal tutor, with whom they can discuss personal or domestic concerns that impact on their studies. Subsequent successful submission of your dissertation leads to the award of an MRes.
This programme is intended for those who wish to enhance their understanding of the role of microorganisms in animal health and disease, and provides an excellent grounding in molecular biology, immunology, epidemiology and microbiology.
This grounding leads into the study of the complex mechanisms of host/microbe interactions that are involved in the pathogenesis of specific animal diseases, and provides insights into diagnosis and interventions, such as vaccines, essential for disease control.
You will enhance your critical and analytical skills and gain hands-on experience in the diagnosis of veterinary diseases, such that you may identify problems, formulate hypotheses, design experiments, acquire and interpret data, and draw conclusions.
This programme is studied full-time over one academic year.
Example module listing
The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
This is a full or part-time programme, intended mainly for graduates, those already working in veterinary diagnostic/research laboratories and staff from other laboratories who want to enhance their understanding of the role of microorganisms in animal health and disease.
Pharmaceutical research personnel, policymakers, veterinarians, public health personnel and environmental biologists will also benefit.
Most modules are offered as standalone short courses. The fee structure for short courses is different to that for registered students, and details may be obtained via admissions enquiries, please refer to the contact details on this page.
The option to study the MSc on a part-time basis is only available following successful completion of three modules as stand-alone/CPD. Please contact the [email protected] for further information.
This Masters programme is delivered by a consortium comprising the University of Surrey and two world class veterinary microbiology institutions: the BBSRC funded Pirbright Institute (PI), and the Government sponsored Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA).
The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) and Public Health England (PHE) also contribute to the programme.
You will have the unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the diagnosis of important veterinary diseases within the world reference laboratories of the APHA and Pirbright Institute (PI).
There will also be an opportunity to visit Public Health England (PHE) to gain a detailed knowledge of how zoonotic diseases outbreaks are investigated, and to visit the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD), a livestock abattoir and an intensive livestock farm.
Colleagues from the CEFAS laboratory will also contribute to the programme, and further research training will be provided during your practical research project.
This is a one year full-time programme aimed at preparing graduates to work in a range of fields in which a detailed understanding of veterinary microbiology is a valuable asset.
These fields include research, commerce, government and policy, reference laboratory and diagnostic work, epidemiology and disease mapping, veterinary science, farming especially animal production, wild and zoo animal conservation and education.
As such, it is intended that graduates will achieve the highest levels of professional understanding of veterinary microbiology within a range of contexts.
The programme combines the study of the theoretical foundations of, and scholarly approaches to, understanding the application and various practices of veterinary microbiology within the contexts described above along with the development of practical and research skills.
The main aims are to enable students to:
The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, skills, qualities and other attributes in the following areas.
The learning outcomes have been aligned with the descriptor for qualification at level 7 given in the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ) produced by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for Higher Education.
Knowledge and understanding
Following completion of the programme, students should display knowledge of:
Following completion of the programme, students should be able to:
Professional practical skills
Following completion of the programme, students should be able to:
We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.
In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.