Masters Degrees in Veterinary Sciences study the needs, welfare, medical care and treatment of animals, including domestic pets, livestock and wildlife.
These courses offer a range of opportunities for specialisation. You could learn to treat domestic pets in veterinary practice, focus on agricultural species or even become an expert on wider animal welfare issues such as the conservation and management of wild species.
Courses may have an academic or professional focus, awarding MSc, MRes and MPhil degrees as well as accredited qualifications approved by bodies such as the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (in the UK).
The most obvious career choice with a Veterinary Science Masters is to become a vet and enter professional practice. This isn't the only option for veterinary postgraduates, however and even here there are a wide range of pathways available.
You could specialise in the treatment of domestic pets such as cats and dogs, or focus on more exotic species such as fish, reptiles and invertebrates. Alternatively, you might choose to become an expert in treating and caring for agricultural livestock - working independently with farmers, or as part of a larger agribusiness concern. Other potential employers include zoos, stables or nature reserves.
Outside of core veterinary practice opportunities exist to work on environmental issues involving animals, such as habitat protection and the protection of endangered species.
Information in these tables is based on the 2014/15 publication of the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Longitudinal Survey, produced by the UK’s Higher Education Statistics Agency. Data is given for graduates of UK Masters degrees and other level 7 postgraduate courses, after 3.5 years. Some figures have been rounded.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Our research aims to enhance understanding of disease processes in animals and to translate that understanding into improved therapies for both animal and human disease.
Research focuses on:
Most of our research is carried out within The Roslin Institute, which is incorporated with the School and is the major centre of research.
Studentships are of 3 or 4 years duration and students will be expected to complete a novel piece of research which will advance our understanding of the field. To help them in this goal, students will be assigned a principal and assistant supervisor, both of whom will be active scientists at the Institute.
Student progress is monitored in accordance with School Postgraduate (PG) regulations by a PhD thesis committee (which includes an independent external assessor and chair). There is also dedicated secretarial support to assist these committees and the students with regard to University and Institute matters.
All student matters are overseen by the Schools PG studies committee. An active staff:student liaison committee and a social committee, which is headed by our postgraduate liaison officer, provide additional support.
Students are expected to attend a number of generic training courses offered by the Transkills Programme of the University and to participate in regular seminars and laboratory progress meetings. All students will also be expected to present their data at national and international meetings throughout their period of study.
The Veterinary Campus at Easter Bush includes the new “state-of- the-art” Roslin Institute Building, the Small Animal and Large Animal Hospitals, the Riddell-Swan Cancer Imaging Centre as well as the New Vet School. Our facilities include: rodent, bird and livestock animal units and associated lab areas; comprehensive bioinformatic and genomic capability; a range of bioimaging facilities; extensive molecular biology and cell biology labs; café and auditorium where we regularly host workshops and invited speakers.
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.
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.
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.
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 [email protected] for further information.
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.
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.
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:
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:
Following completion of the programme, students should be able to:
Professional practical skills
Following completion of the programme, students should be able to:
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.
In veterinary management of animals, anaesthesia (rendering animals unconscious to permit procedures) and analgesia (reducing the pain an animal is suffering) have vital importance in improving animal welfare, as well as permitting the ongoing developments in medical and surgical advances.
Knowledge and advances in anaesthesia over the last 20 years have been considerable. We can use techniques to block sensation locally or over a region of the body not just total unconsciousness. We have an array of drugs and methods of drug administration available to us in our fight against pain. Anaesthesia has always carried risks, and we have an increasing availability of monitoring equipment to help us monitor the physiological function of the body during anaesthesia with the aim of reducing morbidity and mortality in our animals.
The University of Edinburgh is offering this unique opportunity for an entirely online MSc to study these advances, during which students can gain knowledge and understanding in the equipment, drugs and techniques associated with anaesthesia and analgesia. Our team can provide a wide range of clinical and research experience across many species.
Our award-winning online learning technology is fully interactive and enables you to communicate with our highly qualified teaching staff from the comfort of your own home or workplace. Online students not only have access to Edinburgh’s excellent resources, but also become part of a supportive online community.
Expert tutors will support you through every stage of the programme and you can engage with fellow students in supportive and constructive online networks.
Your progress will be assessed through online presentations, essays, critical reviews of literature, student self- reflection activities, short-answer questions, scientific posters, group wiki events and peer review activities.
The programme is taught part time over 3 years, but its flexible nature will allow you a maximum of 6 years to complete it. There are also options for studying for a certificate (1-2 years) or a diploma (2-4 years).
Each year will consist of three 11-week terms, structured into two blocks of five weeks of study, with a week in between for independent study and reflection.
The Postgraduate Certificate year (Year 1) starts with a series of compulsory courses to give a foundation in veterinary anaesthesia and analgesia, then progresses to examine how this may be applied in a variety of species. In the Postgraduate Diploma year (Year 2), you have the choice of selected courses to tailor the programme to your requirements. A dissertation completes the final year, however, this is a very flexible course, which can be tailored to suit you (subject to approval).
You will also choose 2 out of 4 species-related courses in dogs and cats, equidae, ruminants, camelids and pigs or small mammals (e.g. rabbits, rats etc).
You will choose courses to total 60 credits from the following:
In addition, you could choose to select additional species courses from Year 1.
During the written reflective element of the programme you will have the opportunity to further develop your scientific skills and utilise scientific theory. The form of the dissertation may vary to suit individual candidates, subject to approval of a submitted proposal. The dissertation will be a piece of written work 10-15,000 words long, which may take the form of a research study, analysis of techniques used in previous clinical work or an extended literature review. A casebook or portfolio submission may also be permitted.
The MSc Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia is likely to be desirable for veterinary surgeons seeking employment in research environments (e.g. as Named Veterinary Surgeon or other roles) due to the key importance of anaesthesia and the emphasis on this from Home Office regulation of research work in the UK.
The MSc will be a different route for progression for veterinary nurses who have key roles in private veterinary practices with regard to veterinary anaesthesia and analgesia. This may be desirable for practices wishing to show a wide range of expertise amongst their staff and patient support for surgical procedures.