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Biological Sciences×

Masters Degrees in Veterinary Microbiology

We have 10 Masters Degrees in Veterinary Microbiology

Masters degrees in Veterinary Microbiology offer postgraduate training in the interactions between microorganisms - such as bacteria, viruses, fungus, and parasites – and their animal hosts. Training in molecular biological analysis of microbe genetics and genomics is a component of most courses.

Courses range from taught MSc degrees to research-based MRes and MPhil programmes. Specialisations include subjects such as Tropical Veterinary Science and Livestock Veterinary Science as well as broader branches of Animal Science and Veterinary Studies.

Why study a Masters in Veterinary Microbiology?

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This programme is intended for those who wish to enhance their understanding of the role of microorganisms in animal health and disease, and provides an excellent grounding in molecular biology, immunology, epidemiology and microbiology. Read more

This programme is intended for those who wish to enhance their understanding of the role of microorganisms in animal health and disease, and provides an excellent grounding in molecular biology, immunology, epidemiology and microbiology.

This grounding leads into the study of the complex mechanisms of host/microbe interactions that are involved in the pathogenesis of specific animal diseases, and provides insights into diagnosis and interventions, such as vaccines, essential for disease control.

You will enhance your critical and analytical skills and gain hands-on experience in the diagnosis of veterinary diseases, such that you may identify problems, formulate hypotheses, design experiments, acquire and interpret data, and draw conclusions.

Programme structure

This programme is studied full-time over one academic year.

Example module listing

The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

Who is the programme for?

This is a full or part-time programme, intended mainly for graduates, those already working in veterinary diagnostic/research laboratories and staff from other laboratories who want to enhance their understanding of the role of microorganisms in animal health and disease.

Pharmaceutical research personnel, policymakers, veterinarians, public health personnel and environmental biologists will also benefit.

Part-time and short course study

Most modules are offered as standalone short courses. The fee structure for short courses is different to that for registered students, and details may be obtained via admissions enquiries, please refer to the contact details on this page.

The option to study the MSc on a part-time basis is only available following successful completion of three modules as stand-alone/CPD. Please contact the for further information.

Programme partners

This Masters programme is delivered by a consortium comprising the University of Surrey and two world class veterinary microbiology institutions: the BBSRC funded Pirbright Institute (PI), and the Government sponsored Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA).

The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) and Public Health England (PHE) also contribute to the programme.

Visits

You will have the unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the diagnosis of important veterinary diseases within the world reference laboratories of the APHA and Pirbright Institute (PI).

There will also be an opportunity to visit Public Health England (PHE) to gain a detailed knowledge of how zoonotic diseases outbreaks are investigated, and to visit the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD), a livestock abattoir and an intensive livestock farm.

Colleagues from the CEFAS laboratory will also contribute to the programme, and further research training will be provided during your practical research project.

Educational aims of the programme

This is a one year full-time programme aimed at preparing graduates to work in a range of fields in which a detailed understanding of veterinary microbiology is a valuable asset.

These fields include research, commerce, government and policy, reference laboratory and diagnostic work, epidemiology and disease mapping, veterinary science, farming especially animal production, wild and zoo animal conservation and education.

As such, it is intended that graduates will achieve the highest levels of professional understanding of veterinary microbiology within a range of contexts.

The programme combines the study of the theoretical foundations of, and scholarly approaches to, understanding the application and various practices of veterinary microbiology within the contexts described above along with the development of practical and research skills.

The main aims are to enable students to:

  • Acquire sound knowledge of the major principles of veterinary microbiology
  • Develop the skills to perform relevant interpretation and evaluation of data
  • Apply those acquired skills in practice through research
  • To utilise acquired knowledge and evaluative skills to communicate successfully with stakeholders

Programme learning outcomes

The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, skills, qualities and other attributes in the following areas.

The learning outcomes have been aligned with the descriptor for qualification at level 7 given in the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ) produced by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for Higher Education.

Knowledge and understanding

Following completion of the programme, students should display knowledge of:

  • The main principles of current veterinary microbiology
  • The methods and approaches used for the molecular characterisation, and diagnosis of disease agents
  • The main principles of infectious diseases epidemiology
  • The analysis of disease and disease carriage that impact on the development and application of control measures to combat diseases
  • Modes of control of infectious diseases
  • Modes of transmission
  • The various aspects of host pathology and immune responses to disease agents
  • Analytical skills to allow interpretation of data and formulation of conclusions

Intellectual/cognitive skills

Following completion of the programme, students should be able to:

  • Critically appraise scholarly and professional writing on a wide range of subjects pertaining to the various aspects of veterinary microbiology
  • Critically analyse experimental data to enable the formulation of hypotheses
  • Design relevant experiments to test formulated hypotheses
  • Efficiently analyse new developments in technology and critically assess their utilisation to answer existing and new problems

Professional practical skills

Following completion of the programme, students should be able to:

  • Plan and execute an experiment/investigation, act autonomously and demonstrate originality
  • Analyse numerical data using appropriate computer tools including specialist computer packages
  • Communicate experiments at a project level, including report writing
  • Perform specific specialised experimental skills

Global opportunities

We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.

In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.



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Research profile. This programme is the only one of its kind in the UK. It is designed for high-calibre, veterinary graduates from clinical backgrounds who want to explore and benefit from veterinary research, perhaps with a view to pursuing a PhD or a career in research. Read more

Research profile

This programme is the only one of its kind in the UK. It is designed for high-calibre, veterinary graduates from clinical backgrounds who want to explore and benefit from veterinary research, perhaps with a view to pursuing a PhD or a career in research.

The programme offers you the opportunity to undertake a research project in a laboratory or department relevant to your speciality. The choice of research projects carried out is wide, and ranges from bench research to clinical research.

Admission to this programme is subject to identifying a suitable research project and appropriate supervisor before starting the degree.

Subjects include:

  • epidemiology
  • gene delivery
  • genetics
  • immunology
  • microbiology
  • neuroscience
  • parasitology
  • pathology
  • welfare and zoo animals.

The programme begins with a month of teaching to give you an overview of the whole range of techniques used in medical research. The first two weeks comprise lectures on subjects from stem cell biology to ethics and clinical trials and statistics training. This will follow with two weeks of practical workshops in cell biology and molecular medicine and learning practical techniques, including basic tissue culture, how to do PCRs and run Western Blots. After the first month of teaching you will move to a laboratory most relevant to your own speciality.

Programme structure

The programme begins with a month of teaching to give you an overview of the whole range of techniques used in medical research.

The first two weeks comprise lectures on subjects from stem cell biology to ethics and clinical trials and statistics training.

This will follow with two weeks of practical workshops in cell biology and molecular medicine and learning practical techniques, including basic tissue culture, how to do PCRs and run Western Blots.

After the first month of teaching you will move to a laboratory most relevant to your own speciality.

Career opportunities

Most MVetSci graduates go on to study for a PhD. Those who choose to return to clinical practice go back with a broader experience of research than is afforded by the undergraduate clinical veterinary curriculum.



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Research profile. This programme is organised by Edinburgh Infectious Diseases (EID), which is hosted by the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine and the College of Science and Engineering. Read more

Research profile

This programme is organised by Edinburgh Infectious Diseases (EID), which is hosted by the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine and the College of Science and Engineering.

It provides an introduction to research methodology for biologists, medics and veterinarians. The training also provides an entry into PhD studies. Previous students have undertaken projects in the following areas:

  • antibiotic resistance and hospital-acquired infections
  • arthropod vector biology and vectorborne diseases
  • epidemiology and mathematical modelling of animal and human infections
  • functional genomics and bioinformatics
  • molecular diagnosis and point-of-care detection of infectious diseases
  • the immunology of bacterial and parasitic infections (including major tropical diseases such as malaria, lymphatic filariasis and river blindness)
  • the immunology of ruminant infections (for example Johne's Disease)
  • the pathogenesis of prion and viral diseases (animal and human, including herpes and HIV)

The learning process includes a one-year research project and during the study period students will be required to attend research seminars and lectures, including those on the related areas of immunology, microbiology and pathology. Training will also be given in generic skills including: statistics; project management and planning; oral and written presentational skills.

Depending on the project selected, students will learn how to apply modern molecular and biochemical techniques to the investigation of pathogenesis of infections, or the use of statistics and mathematical models to study the epidemiology of diseases.

Programme structure

The learning process includes a one-year research project and during the study period students will be required to attend research seminars and lectures, including those on the related areas of immunology, microbiology and pathology. Training will also be given in generic skills including: statistics; project management and planning; oral and written presentational skills.



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Programme description. This new three-year, part-time, online postgraduate programme leads to the degree of Masters of Science in Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (CMID). Read more

Programme description

This new three-year, part-time, online postgraduate programme leads to the degree of Masters of Science in Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (CMID).

Aimed at junior doctors currently undergoing, or about to undertake, specialty training in an infection discipline, this programme is open to trainees in the UK and worldwide.

This degree will also be attractive to those who have completed their training but wish to fulfill continuing medical education requirements or those who wish obtain a formal qualification in Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

The programme is aligned with JRCPTB and RCPath training in infection disciplines: Combined Infection Training and Higher Specialty Training in Infectious Diseases, Medical Microbiology and Medical Virology.

This programme is designed to support trainees/specialists in preparation for FRCPath Part 1/Diploma in Infection, Infection Specialty end of training assessments and hospital-based practice.

Programme participants will have access to key texts and research bases and will have direct contact with leading clinicians and clinical scientists, providing a repository of information on infection disciplines that can be accessed at any time.

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 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.

Programme structure

This programme is taught entirely online. The structure of the degree is designed to meet the needs of trainees and specialist practitioners from all over the world.

Courses are offered as five week courses, each worth 10 credits. Courses in Year 1 are compulsory. Year 2 is a mix of compulsory and optional modules.

Year 1:

  • Introduction to Immunology
  • Science and biology of bacteria
  • Science and biology of viruses
  • Science and biology fungi, parasites and prions
  • Laboratory practise in microbiology, virology and serology
  • Anti-infective therapy and resistance

Year 2:

  • Immunopathology
  • Molecular diagnostics of infection
  • Community acquired infections and public health
  • Infection prevention & control
  • HIV infection and other immune-compromised patients
  • Clinical syndromes and infection
  • The returning traveller: Diagnosis, investigation and management of imported infection
  • Bioinformatics and study design in infectious diseases
  • Emerging Infectious Diseases

Year 3:

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.

Flexible study

The programme also offers the opportunity to take a Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits), either part-time over 9 months or on an intermittent basis over 2 years; or a Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits), either part-time over 21 months or on an intermittent basis over 4 years.

Please contact us before submitting an application if you are interested in applying to the Certificate or Diploma programme.

Career opportunities

This unique programme will offer the student the knowledge and skills required to enhance their career progression in clinical or academic medicine. The programme will offer an alternative to traditional classroom based research training for those candidates who do not wish to take time away from their professional commitments.



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This is a research-based degree, providing you with essential training in scientific research methodology and data analysis, as well as specific scientific techniques appropriate to the research microbiologist. Read more

This is a research-based degree, providing you with essential training in scientific research methodology and data analysis, as well as specific scientific techniques appropriate to the research microbiologist.

The course draws from the Department of Biological Sciences research strengths and expertise in cell biology of infectious diseases, host-parasite relationships and drug discovery across a wide range of infectious pathogens/bacteriology, mycology and parasitology. You will undertake a research project in the laboratories of internationally recognised researchers.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Designed for people who want to learn about the nature of microbes - and how to work with them.
  • Also suitable for microbiologists who want to update and expand their knowledge.
  • Department awarded the highest grading for quality of teaching and learning in the latest Quality Assurance Agency assessment.
  • In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), in a joint submission with UCL, Biological Sciences at Birkbeck were ranked 11th in the UK, with a research environment supporting world-leading and internationally excellent research.

COURSE STRUCTURE

The programme consists of lectures and practicals, with a research project in the second year. All modules are compulsory.

Topics include:

  • bacterial pathogenicity
  • antimicrobials
  • medical bacteriology
  • molecular microbiology
  • statistics
  • parasitology
  • medicinal chemistry
  • research skills in microbiology.

COMPULSORY MODULES



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Programme Description. Foodborne diseases are a growing public health concern worldwide. Read more

Programme Description

Foodborne diseases are a growing public health concern worldwide. The contamination of food with microorganisms or chemicals may occur at any stage in the process from food production to consumption (“farm to fork”) and as a result of environmental contamination, including pollution of water, soil or air. The global burden of foodborne diseases worldwide is very high affecting every year around 600 million people with 420,000 deaths. Therefore, the World Health Organisation (WHO) highlighted the importance of producing safe food that saves human lives, saves resources and has a positive impact on the economy of every country.

This is a online learning programme aimed at students with relevant agricultural and food related background keen to acquire in-depth knowledge on food safety. The MSc is specifically designed to provide a true holistic food safety approach to the food chain that incorporates to the pre and post-harvest stages of food production, crop safety, animal welfare and economics of the supply chain.

This programme would be suitable for those with an undergraduate degree in agricultural sciences, biological science, food systems, veterinary medicine and human medicine, as well as professionals from agriculture, rural industries, the food industry, government officials, international organisations, researchers in food safety and the third sector.

Programme Structure

Year 1 will consist of 4 core courses: Food Supply Chain and Food Safety, Data Analysis for Food Safety, Food Safety Hazards and Food Safety Management Systems, Food Production Systems. These courses will be developed and delivered by specialists in the field from the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies (RDSVS), the Roslin Institute and the Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC). Students successfully completing Year 1 and exiting the programme will be awarded a PG Certificate (PG Cert) in Food Safety.

Year 2 will consist of 2 core courses: Food Processing and Waste Management, and Research Methods and Statistics. You will also choose 2 to 3 elective courses (10 or 20 credits) from the Postgraduate Taught (PGT) portfolio of courses. These include: Zoonotic Disease, Emerging Infectious Diseases, Animal Welfare and Food Production and Food Security.

Students successfully completing Year 1 and 2 and exiting the programme will be awarded with a Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) in Food Safety.

Year 3 will consist of a final dissertation to gain the award of MSc.

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.

English language requirements

All applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:

  • an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration
  • UKVI list of majority English speaking countries
  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 (at least 6.0 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 92 (at least 20 in each module)
  • PTE(A): total 61 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections; the "Enabling Skills" sections are not considered)
  • CAE and CPE: total 176 (at least 169 in each module)
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components

Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than three years old at the beginning of your degree programme. Language tests must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.

Find out more about our language requirements:



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Our programme gives graduates the scientific knowledge and practical skills to carry out research in the emerging area of animal science and ‘One Health’, by providing foundation knowledge about the functioning of the animal body. Read more

Our programme gives graduates the scientific knowledge and practical skills to carry out research in the emerging area of animal science and ‘One Health’, by providing foundation knowledge about the functioning of the animal body. We explore applications of basic animal sciences to veterinary and human medicine, the livestock industry and food security.

The programme is held in the world-famous Roslin Institute, which is housed in a state-of-the-art research building on the Easter Bush campus, adjacent to the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies. As a member of staff at the Institute, you will benefit from our world-class reputation for research in a vibrant, successful academic community.

You will acquire expert scientific knowledge and practical skills in animal sciences, veterinary and human medicine, the livestock industry and food security.

The programme involves courses that are a blend of lectures, guided practical studies and independent research. You will also complete your own dissertation.

Courses include:

  • Foundations of Animal Science
  • One Health and Comparative Animal Models
  • Laboratory Tools for the Biosciences
  • Avian Biology and Development
  • Analytical Methods in Animal Biosciences
  • One Health, Zoonoses and Emerging Infections
  • Semester 1 courses
  • Semester 2 courses

Dissertation

You will prepare a research proposal based on your laboratory or bioinformatic research project and will carry out this project under the supervision of a staff member of the Roslin Institute.

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

This programme develops theoretical knowledge and practical skills, giving graduates a number of potential career development options in academia or industry.

We envisage that at least 50 per cent of our graduates will find a PhD placement after this MSc.

Our programme has been tailored to fulfil industry demand in vivo skills and a wide range of our industrial partners have told us that graduates from this programme will be attractive employees.



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