Masters degrees in Animal Toxicology examine the effect that harmful chemicals have on animals, along with the characteristics of (and possible antidotes to) these toxins. Environmental health is usually an important part of these programmes, studying the effect that contaminants have on the air, water and soil.
Similar postgraduate specialisms include Animal Pathology, Animal Pharmacology and Animal Nutrition.
The topics that you’ll study on a Masters in Animal Toxicology have significance beyond the wellbeing of the animal kingdom. As well as covering the ways in which animals are adversely affected by toxic chemicals, you’ll probably learn about the dangers that these poisons can pose for human further up the food chain.
Adopting a multi-disciplinary approach to animal toxicology, you might study the relationship between the agriculture industry and certain environmental health hazards, working on chemical products that are safe for humans and animals alike.
Postgraduate employment prospects could involve work in veterinary research and practice, an environmental regulatory agency or the agriculture industry, to give a few examples.
In the course of our day-to-day life, we come into contact with a vast number of chemical, biological, and physical agents that could do us harm. These agents are present in the air we breathe, the water we drink, and even the food we eat. We encounter them when we travel and when we work or when we use consumer goods such as cosmetics or electrical equipment.
Determining the source of these risks, and quantifying their effects, requires cooperation by experts across a host of different disciplines. Our Master’s programme in Toxicology and Environmental Health has been designed with this in mind, training you in the fundamentals of toxicology, environmental epidemiology, emerging toxicological agents such as nanoparticles and zoonotic components, and exposure assessment. This programme will enable you to assess the risks present in the workplace or the food chain.
The multidisciplinary nature of this programme means that you will have the flexibility to specialise in a particular field or undertake more generalist training in risk assessment. You may also take part in experimental research in the fields of neurotoxicology, immunotoxicology, allergies, in vitro toxicology, endocrine toxicology, environmental toxicology, and chemistry. Alternatively, you may wish to undertake practical work in environmental or occupational exposure assessment engaging in activities such as exposure modelling or in-depth analysis of samples taken from a variety of sources.
As a graduate of this programme, you will be qualified to assess the impact of toxicological agents on populations or work environments by applying the principles of environmental and occupational epidemiology.
This MSc programme will give you the knowledge and skills needed to assess chemical, biological, and physical hazards, as well as the risks associated with exposure to toxicological agents.
After completing the MSc programme in Toxicology and Environmental Health, you will:
Within conservation science there is increasing recognition of the value of genetic data to support management decisions, however scientists and managers with the skills and knowledge to apply population genetic theory to conservation practice are lacking. Within this arena, wildlife forensics is an exciting new field that is attracting increasing global attention in the fight against the illegal wildlife trade.
The Cert/Dip/MSc in Applied Conservation Genetics with Wildlife Forensics aims to provide a blend of theoretical and practical education in the application of genetic data to wildlife management and conservation law enforcement. The programme will cover all essential aspects, from population genetic theory, through data analysis, to the considerations involved in the interpretation and transfer of scientific findings to management, policy and criminal investigation.
Students will have the choice to specialise in either applied conservation genetics or wildlife forensics, with both options providing transferable scientific skills relating to knowledge acquisition and application, problem solving, science communication and decision making. The overall aim of the programme is to equip current and future wildlife professionals with the knowledge, skills and global networks to address modern challenges in conservation management and law enforcement.
The programme is designed as an institutional collaboration between the University of Edinburgh and SASA (Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture), a government facility which houses the UK wildlife DNA forensics laboratory. Students will have a unique opportunity to learn from internationally recognised specialists in the application of genetic analysis to conservation management and wildlife forensics.
In addition, individual courses will engage a number of external tutors from local and international organisations with specific expertise in the subject matter. Course materials will based on actual examples from wildlife management projects and forensic casework.
Suitable participants include wildlife professionals interested in learning how DNA analysis can be applied to conservation management, from captive breeding programmes to reintroductions and natural population management.
The programme will also be appropriate for those working in wildlife law enforcement or wildlife policy sectors who want to understand how genetic data is now relied upon to inform conservation decision-making, trade regulation and criminal investigations.
As a comprehensive introduction to the fields of conservation genetics and wildlife forensics, the programme is will also provide a valuable stepping stone to students seeking to pursue an advanced scientific career in these fields.
Our online learning technology is fully interactive, award-winning and enables you to communicate with our highly qualified teaching staff from the comfort of your own home or workplace.
Our online students not only have access to Edinburgh's excellent resources, but also become part of a supportive online community, bringing together students and tutors from around the world.
Beyond gaining factual knowledge of the immediate subject matter, programme participation is designed to achieve a series of key learning outcomes:
Knowledge and Understanding
The student will be able to demonstrate a critical understanding of practical and ethical issues relating to the application of conservation genetics and wildlife forensics.
Practice: applied knowledge, skills and understanding
The student will be able to demonstrate how to plan, apply and interpret the outputs of appropriate research and forensic techniques.
Generic cognitive skills
The student will be able to analyse complex issues and identify solutions, even in the absence of complete or consistent information.
Communication, ICT, Numeracy Skills
The student will be able to communicate relevant scientific concepts and results, using appropriate methods, to a range of audiences with different levels of knowledge and expertise.
Autonomy, accountability and working with others
The student will be able to manage complex wildlife conservation and law enforcement issues and make or contribute to informed judgements that address current challenges in these fields.