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Veterinary Epidemiology and Public Health (Msc/Diploma/Certificate)

Course content

This programme aims to provide animal health specialists, scientists and public health specialists with an understanding of the conceptual basis of veterinary epidemiology and public health. Optional modules make the studies suitable for people from a range of professional backgrounds.

Our Veterinary Epidemiology course graduates find that the international recognition and prestige of their degree opens doors and creates opportunities in their careers.

Modules are designed for self-study using materials provided and with full support from RVC academic experts. Everything you require will be mailed to you, including textbooks and reading material. A Virtual Learning Environment and an on-line library are also available.

Under the microscope

The programme aims to provide you with an understanding of the role of veterinary epidemiology and economics in the design and delivery of effective livestock services, and knowledge of risk analysis approaches in food safety and how human health can be protected through control of zoonotic diseases. The programme also aims to equip you with skills in basic and advanced statistical methods in order to undertake epidemiological investigations and disease modelling.

The course

The course modules provide an essential introduction to a variety of approaches, methods and subjects. These modules are designed to equip you with the preliminary practical and intellectual skills necessary for progression to the next level.

Within the Postgraduate Diploma and the MSc, there is a natural progression from the core modules to the optional modules. Within the selection of optional modules, there is an element of choice in subject matter and disciplinary areas of study. Although the optional modules may not in themselves be more difficult, students will develop a greater understanding and a sophistication of thinking as they work through the modules.

You are required to study three compulsory core modules:
- Epidemiology and animal health economics
- Statistical methods in veterinary epidemiology
- Veterinary public health

Plus four further optional modules selected from:
- Advanced statistical methods in veterinary epidemiology
- Developing and monitoring of livestock production systems
- Economics for livestock development and policy
- Management of infectious disease outbreaks in animal populations
- Research, design, management and grant application writing
- Surveillance and investigation of animal health
- Research project in veterinary epidemiology and public health (MSc only)

How will I learn?

This course is a distance learning course, meaning that you can further your studies without attending the RVC in person.

At the start of the course, you will receive a Study Pack consisting of a study guide, reader and textbooks/CDs. Our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) allows studies to be portable, by offering on-line access to the programme handbook, study guide, student discussion board, structured academic tutorials, as well as past exam papers/examiners reports (for the previous 2 years).

A tutorial calendar will be released at the beginning of the academic year and students are advised to plan for these sessions, as academic queries will be answered during tutorials only. Although non-compulsory, indicative study calendars are available and provide an indication of the time to spend on each section.

Examinations take place annually in October, however, the flexibility of the programme allows exams to be deferred, if necessary.

A five-year period is offered to complete the MSc degree, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate, with an average completion time of three years. A two year period is offered for completion of Individual Modules.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, graduates will be able to -

- Improve the health and production of livestock
- Understand the interaction of livestock with people and the environment
- Gain an overview of the factors that influence livestock production (including components on nutrition, reproduction, disease, welfare and the environment)
- Implement control strategies by integrating this knowledge with the principles of epidemiology, economics and disease control within the context of management and infrastructure
- Address the interaction between livestock and the public, in terms of zoonotic disease and clean food production
- Communicate effectively on the health of animal and human populations to a range of audiences, including the general public, farmers, politicians and other key policy makers
- Comprehensive appreciation of welfare and ethical issues connected with farm animal practice
- Formulate a hypothesis and undertake a research project, analyze and present data and how to develop a grant application

Visit the Veterinary Epidemiology and Public Health (Msc/Diploma/Certificate) page on the Royal Veterinary College website for more details!

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