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Veterinary Epidemiology MSc/PgDip/PgCert


Course Description

Programme description

Veterinary epidemiology is a key component in a number of the global grand challenges relating to disease control, food security and climate change. Consequently, there is a need to improve our ability to understand, predict and respond to patterns and dynamics of disease and to control outbreaks.

The R(D)SVS and SRUC partnership creates the greatest concentration of research power in veterinary and agricultural sciences in the UK. The MSc draws on this wealth of experience and research activity to provide scientific knowledge of the fundamental biological processes (e.g. behaviour, physiology, immunology, ecology) and environmental and farming management practices (e.g. husbandry, nutrition, livestock trade) driving disease transmission, persistence, prevalence and spread in livestock production systems. This enables in-depth understanding of complex environmental patterns of disease, which facilitates prediction of disease risk and control. This multidisciplinary systems approach will provide you with the skills to make significant contributions to tackling food security, climate change and disease control in your role as an animal health professional.

By the end of the programme you will not only have a detailed understanding of the biology driving disease persistence and prevalence, but also how the biology scales up from individuals to populations. You will understand how this interacts with agricultural management practices to determine the efficacy of disease control strategies and livestock production (i.e. interdisciplinary systems thinking and communication). Furthermore, the systems approach offers a way to frame disease challenges and problem solve disease risk at a range of scales (e.g. from veterinarians tackling specific outbreaks to the consequences of climate change on disease risk). To this end the programme provides training in methodological skills for the design, implementation, analysis, interpretation and communication of epidemiological studies, disease surveillance and disease control in animal populations and wider host communities.

Courses are delivered by active researchers presenting their own research, which is placed into context with global grand challenges. As such, you will be exposed to and taught skills appropriate for developing a research career.

Online learning

The programme will use the University’s award winning online learning environments, which includes video podcasts, web-based discussion forums and expert tuition.

Programme structure

The programme is delivered part-time by online learning over period of 3-6 years.

You may undertake the programme by intermittent study (flexible progression route), accruing credits within a time limit of:
- 1 years for the Certificate (maximum period 2 years)
- 2 years for the Diploma (maximum period 4 years)
- 3 years for the MSc (maximum period of 6 years including a maximum period of 12 months from the start of your written reflective element to it being completed)

The programme is modular in structure, offering a flexible student-centred approach to the choice of courses studied; other than the three core courses required for the certificate, students may choose to study individual courses, to complete a sufficient number of credits to be awarded the:
- Certificate (60 credits)
- Diploma (120 credits)
- MSc (180 credits)

Learning outcomes

- Acquire knowledge about disease systems in livestock production environments and the interactions between the biological and livestock management processes driving disease dynamics.
- Acquire specific skills to link individual farm environments and management practices to disease risk and production efficiency at farm and national scales.
- Be able to interpret, be critical of and communicate scientific results and information in research.

Career opportunities

The courses and programme as a whole will provide:

- general postgraduate training (e.g. for people in education, government, policy-making, agricultural and veterinary organisations) to enable promotion, further employment opportunities or personal fulfilment
- general postgraduate training for people considering a career in research (e.g. a precursor to a PhD)
- topic-specific postgraduate training (e.g. for veterinarians for continuing professional development) to enable promotion, further employment opportunities or personal fulfilment

Visit the Veterinary Epidemiology MSc/PgDip/PgCert page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in veterinary, biological or physical science. We may also consider your application if you have relevant work experience; please contact us to check before you apply. You may be admitted to certificate level only in the first instance.

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Recipient: University of Edinburgh

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