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Course content

One Health is an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the complex interactions between human health, animal health and ecosystem health. Its original emergence was largely driven by the threat of global pandemics of disease, in particular highly pathogenic avian influenza and SARS. There was a recognition that the complex health challenges faced in the 21st century required a new interdisciplinary approach that included both the natural and social sciences.

Launched in 2014, this programme utilises the many strengths of the University of Edinburgh across multiple disciplines to provide the key training and skills required for a successful career in this emerging field.

The One Health programme is part of the Global Health Academy and we share many elective courses with other programmes in the Academy. This provides a great deal of flexibility allowing you to personalise your studies to reflect your professional interests and career aspirations. As well as learning from our expert tutors you will join with students from around the world on a number of different master’s programmes to share experiences and knowledge.

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

Year 1: Courses for the Certificate

The Certificate comprises four compulsory courses. These four courses are:

  • Introduction to One Health (20 credits)
  • Applied Epidemiology and Surveillance (20 credits)
  • One Health Policy (10 credits)
  • Ecosystem Health (10 credits)

Year 2: Courses for the Diploma

For the diploma a selection of courses totalling 60 credits must be made from the following courses. Each 20-credit course is taught over a period of ten weeks, whilst the 10-credit courses are taught over a five-week period.

  • Socio-economic Principles of One Health
  • Zoonotic Diseases
  • Zoonotic Diseases in a Global Setting
  • Emerging Infectious Diseases
  • Communication and Public Engagement of Conservation
  • Introduction to GIS and Spatial Data Analysis
  • Wildlife Disease Management
  • Ex-Situ Wildlife Management
  • Environmental Law
  • Extreme and Fragile Ecosystems
  • Water and Sanitation
  • Introduction to Transboundary Diseases and their Impact on Trade and Wildlife Populations
  • Managing Ecosystems for Human Health and Wellbeing
  • Captive and Free-ranging Wild Animal Welfare
  • Surveillance and Control of Transboundary Diseases Affecting International Trade
  • Pastoralism and Herd Health
  • Animal Disease Survey Design and Analysis

Please note that although all courses are offered, we cannot guarantee that places will be available on all elective courses to all students, each year (it will be at the discretion of the Programme Director to assign places on courses and this will depend on demand).

Year 3: Completion of the MSc programme in One Health

The written reflective element is an assignment of 10-15,000 words (60 credits). This may take the form of one of the following:

  • a written dissertation
  • a casebook (relating to relevant professional experience)
  • a personal portfolio of reflective and practical activity
  • a research project

Students will be required to submit a proposal that demonstrates an appropriate level of critical analysis, academic knowledge and reflection, or one health practice depending on the choice made, prior to being admitted to the masters year. The University of Edinburgh’s common marking scheme will be applied.

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.

Career opportunities

A qualification from our programme will enhance your career prospects in academia, research, government departments, non-governmental organisations, international development and the private sector.

Despite being a relatively new field, One Health is rapidly gaining global recognition and current students have already reported improvements in career development through studying on the programme.


Visit the One Health - MSc/PgDip/PgCert/PgProfDev page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

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