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Conservation Medicine (Online Learning) (MVetSci/PgDip/PgCert/PgProfDev)

    Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies Logo
  • Study Type

    Distance learning & Part time available

  • Subject Areas

    Veterinary Sciences

  • Start Date

    September

  • Course Duration

    MVetSci: 3-6 years, PgDip: 2-4 years, PgCert: 1-2 years, PgProfDev: 2 years

  • Course Type

    PgDip, PgCert, Other

  • Course Fees

    Tuition fees vary between degree programmes. Find the specific fees for your chosen programme on our website.

  • Last Updated

    12 November 2018

Course content

Programme description

Conservation Medicine is an established field that continues to evolve as we develop our ability to study the complex relationships and interactions between animal health, human health and ecosystem health. It emerged in the 1990s as a response to the need for a more holistic and interdisciplinary approach to the conservation of biodiversity. In particular, the importance of health in many conservation issues was widely recognised. With its foundation in the principles of conservation biology, Conservation Medicine incorporates contributions from the health sciences, ecology and the social sciences. It may be regarded as the application of One Health to the conservation of biodiversity.

This programme provides veterinarians with the skills, knowledge and global networks required to become effective practitioners of Conservation Medicine. It is an online programme and the flexible and part-time format allows participants to achieve a world-class award while maintaining busy professional and personal commitments.

  • Suitable applicants will be qualified veterinarians with an interest in conservation, wildlife health and ecological health. It is suitable for veterinarians without any wildlife experience as well as those already working in conservation. Participants will gain enhanced career opportunities in academia, non-governmental organisations, government veterinary positions and captive or free-ranging wildlife conservation projects, as well as being better able to drive the development of novel career pathways as this field continues to evolve in response to the complexity of the conservation challenges we face.

Online learning

As an online programme, the flexible and part-time format allows participants to achieve a world-class award while maintaining busy professional and personal commitments. Our online learning technology is supported by our investment in our Digital Education Unit who have extensive experience of pedagogy in today’s age of digital connection. They work closely with the teaching staff to deliver a fully interactive, award-winning experience that enables you to communicate with our highly qualified teaching staff from the comfort of your own home or workplace. In the national Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (2018), we received a 100% satisfaction rating from our students that we believe reflects the quality of the experience we strive to provide.

Our online students not only have access to the University of Edinburgh’s excellent resources, but also become part of a supportive online community, bringing together students and tutors from around the world.

  • The teaching provides a blend of theoretical and practical education to provide the foundation for a career in conservation. A variety of innovative techniques and approaches to teaching are used including online lectures, case studies, discussion forums and personal or group activities. Participants will have a unique opportunity to learn from internationally recognised specialists, both within the University of Edinburgh and from local and international organisations.

Programme structure

The MVetSci Conservation Medicine programme is delivered part-time by Online Learning (OL), over a maximum period of six years.

The programme is modular in structure, offering a flexible student-centred approach to the choice of courses studied. In addition to the three core courses specified for the certificate, you may tailor your selection of non-core courses according to your needs, interests and career ambitions. These courses can be chosen from across a number of programmes offered across the University of Edinburgh, providing you with a breadth of options. You are required to complete a sufficient number of course credits to be awarded the certificate (60 credits), the diploma (120 credits) or the MSc (180 credits).

You may undertake the programme by Intermittent Study (flexible progression route), accruing credits within a maximum time limit of six years for the MVetSci. For students wishing to study for the Certificate, the maximum time period for this is 2 years and for those undertaking the Diploma as well, the maximum time period for this is 4 years. You have 12 months to complete the final written dissertation element.

In summary, times for completion are as follows:

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, currently, 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.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

Career opportunities

Graduates can expect to enhance their career prospects in academia, research, governmental and non-governmental organisations and consultancies, government veterinary positions and captive or free-ranging wildlife conservation projects, as well as being better able to drive the development of novel career pathways as this field continues to evolve in response to the complexity of the conservation challenges we face


Visit the Conservation Medicine (Online Learning) (MVetSci/PgDip/PgCert/PgProfDev) page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

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