This programme provides animal health specialists, epidemiologists and public health specialists with an understanding of the conceptual basis of veterinary epidemiology and public health. Students learn economic concepts in animal health and production and develop statistical skills for epidemiological investigations and disease modelling.
Graduates of this programme will be able to:
- develop their skills in basic and advanced statistical methods in order to undertake epidemiological investigations and disease modelling
- understand the use of economic concepts in animal health and production
- challenge the perceptions of what constitutes safe food production and make an objective judgement of contemporary issues such as antibiotic resistance
- develop their own strategies for combating chronic farm animal diseases, control zoonotic diseases through surveillance and apply herd health programmes to maximise economic returns from animal production.
The programme has been developed by academics at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), the oldest and largest veterinary school in the UK and one of the leading veterinary research centres in Europe. In 1999, the RVC became the first UK veterinary school to be granted approval by the American Veterinary Medical Association. The RVC also provides support for the veterinary profession through its three referral hospitals, diagnostic services and continuing professional development courses.
Graduates of the programme are employed in a variety of organizations, including the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra), University Veterinary faculties and international organisations including the FAO and World Health Organisation (WHO).
The support you receive includes:
- academic feedback on written assignments
- tutorial support concerning academic matters from RVC staff
- opportunities for local networking and mutual support from other students on the programme
- as all of the study materials you require are mailed to you, there is no requirement to purchase expensive textbooks or spend time trying to locate journals, which may not be available to you locally.
A student perspective
Our graduates find that the international recognition and prestige of their degree opens doors and creates opportunities in their careers.
Stuart Jaques chose to study for the MSc in Veterinary Epidemiology and Public Health. When he was appointed to the role of Chief Veterinary Officer to the Isle of Man Government, he became interested in the detail of disease transmission and control, and felt he required a deeper understanding of certain concepts.
"I’ve found my studies have fully reintegrated my knowledge; filling in certain gaps and enhancing my skill set substantially. Would I recommend distance learning? Absolutely." - Stuart Jaques, MSc in Veterinary Epidemiology and Public Health, Isle of Man
If you have any questions, please contact our Student Advice Centre.
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:
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.
This programme is the only one of its kind in the UK. It is designed for high-calibre, veterinary graduates from clinical backgrounds who want to explore and benefit from veterinary research, perhaps with a view to pursuing a PhD or a career in research.
The programme offers you the opportunity to undertake a research project in a laboratory or department relevant to your speciality. The choice of research projects carried out is wide, and ranges from bench research to clinical research.
Admission to this programme is subject to identifying a suitable research project and appropriate supervisor before starting the degree.
The programme begins with a month of teaching to give you an overview of the whole range of techniques used in medical research. The first two weeks comprise lectures on subjects from stem cell biology to ethics and clinical trials and statistics training. This will follow with two weeks of practical workshops in cell biology and molecular medicine and learning practical techniques, including basic tissue culture, how to do PCRs and run Western Blots. After the first month of teaching you will move to a laboratory most relevant to your own speciality.
The programme begins with a month of teaching to give you an overview of the whole range of techniques used in medical research.
The first two weeks comprise lectures on subjects from stem cell biology to ethics and clinical trials and statistics training.
This will follow with two weeks of practical workshops in cell biology and molecular medicine and learning practical techniques, including basic tissue culture, how to do PCRs and run Western Blots.
After the first month of teaching you will move to a laboratory most relevant to your own speciality.
Most MVetSci graduates go on to study for a PhD. Those who choose to return to clinical practice go back with a broader experience of research than is afforded by the undergraduate clinical veterinary curriculum.