MSc Epidemiology

Career opportunities

Our online MSc Epidemiology programme will help prepare you to take on leading roles in epidemiology

Photo of epidemiologist examining sample

The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a light on epidemiology and brought increased recognition of the importance of this discipline. This recent enhanced focus on infectious diseases and global epidemic control has resulted in job creation, professional opportunities and recognition of the key role in this discipline to help resolve some of the global challenges in the future.   

The Usher Institute has well-established strong connections to the National Health Service, Public Health Scotland, Scottish Government and Public Health Policy. 

Photo of man reviewing statistics on computer

MSc Epidemiology graduates will be suitably qualified to pursue a range of careers across multiple sectors, including in academia, healthcare, research, government, NGOs/charities, private sector, medical practice including public health agencies and other health-related professions.    

  • Epidemiologists work for national, international, public and private organisations involved in the study of patterns of health and disease in populations. 
  • Epidemiologists also work for other government bodies. 
  • Universities and research institutions employ lecturers within the field of public health and epidemiology, as well as researchers working on specific projects. 
  • The private sector, especially global pharmaceutical companies, also employs epidemiologists with strong commercial awareness. 
  • Clinical scientist positions, specialising in infection sciences, are also available at hospitals. 
  • Employers offering the possibility of hands-on field work include international charities targeting disease outbreaks overseas. These include: 

Having gained the right combination of skills, qualifications and experience, you can progress to a higher level role such as lead epidemiologist or field epidemiologist. 

As your career develops, whether in the public or private sector, you're likely to take on a more supervisory role with responsibility for your work and the work of others. 

Registration with professional bodies and many years of experience can lead to consultant epidemiologist roles.  


Hear how the MSc Epidemiology helped Mikaela Watson land a better role

From being selected for better roles, to needing good time management skills, and being able to fit online learning around a full-time job and world travels, find out from final year student, Mikaela Watson, what our MSc Epidemiology programme is like. 

Link to video


The University of Edinburgh Career Services

The University of Edinburgh provides an excellent career service advice to all our students. As an online student you will have access to all the following resources and more: 

University of Edinburgh Careers Service  Contacts and resources
Meet the Careers Information Team Daily drop-ins and bookable appointments
Careers Service Webinars

Topics include

  • Career planning; Career change 
  • Graduate job market 
  • Networking 
  • Applying for a PhD 
  • Developing your professional profile: applications and CVs OR interviews and selection 
Employer events Career fairs and other flagship events
Careers Service Blog Keep informed on sector updates, graduate labour market, alumni stories and more


If you have any other questions about this programme, please email or if you want to read more details about the programme and start an application, please visit our degree finder page.

Link to MSc Epidemiology application page