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International Animal Health (Online Distance Learning) - MSc/PgDip/PgCert/PgProfDev

Course content

Livestock are vital to the lives of millions of people, but endemic and epidemic diseases that affect livestock limit productivity and exacerbate poverty.

The diseases that can be transmitted between animals and people also threaten the health of livestock keepers, their families and their communities. In many developing regions farmers and animal health workers are often ill equipped to deal with this risk.

This programme draws together expertise from across the University to deliver first-class teaching and research to tackle these issues.

Building on a solid foundation of biological, immunological, pathological and epidemiological principles, this online MSc will equip you with the skills needed to identify, control and manage animal diseases and the expertise to tackle the international animal health challenges of the 21st Century.

This programme is affiliated with the University's Global Health Academy.

Online learning

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.

Programme structure

Students may study to certificate, diploma or masters level.

Year 1: certificate

  • Applied Epidemiology and Surveillance
  • Host Responses to Infection
  • Pathogen Strategies for Transmission and Survival

Year 2: diploma

You will undertake the following compulsory course:

  • Zoonotic disease

Choose one one of the following two courses:

  • Surveillance and control of transboundary diseases affecting international trade
  • An introduction to transboundary diseases and their impact on trade and wildlife populations

Then choose from the following electives (up to 60 credits):

  • Control of economically important parasites
  • Environmental and nutritional diseases of livestock of international importance
  • New developments in epidemiology and the control of vector borne disease
  • Veterinary vaccinology
  • Wildlife animal health and environment
  • Technology advances in veterinary diagnostics
  • Animal disease survey design and analysis
  • Project planning and decision support for animal disease control
  • Animal healthcare systems in the post-privatisation era
  • Introduction to health and production of aquatic species
  • Introduction to GIS and spatial data analysis
  • Advanced GIS and spatial epidemiology and modelling
  • An Introduction of Project Cycle Management
  • Globalisation and health
  • The Modern Zoo
  • The Use of Artificial Reproductive Technologies in Threatened Species
  • Pastoralism and herd health
  • Zoonotic diseases in a global setting
  • Socioeconomic Principles for One Health

Year 3: masters

For a masters, you will choose either to conduct a written reflective element of 10–15,000 words or to take Project Cycle Management and Funding Application Preparation.

Postgraduate Professional Development (PPD)

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.

Please contact the programme team for more information about available courses and course start dates.

Career opportunities

This programme has been designed to enhance your career in animal management throughout the world with first-rate expertise and a highly regarded qualification.


Visit the International Animal Health (Online Distance Learning) - MSc/PgDip/PgCert/PgProfDev page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

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