Postgraduate study

Veterinary Epidemiology (Online Learning) MSc, PgCert, PgDip, PgProfDev

Awards: MSc, PgCert, PgDip, PgProfDev

Study modes: Part-time Intermittent Study

Online learning

Funding opportunities

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.

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

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)

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.

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.

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.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScVeterinary EpidemiologyUp to 6 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2019/20
PgCertVeterinary EpidemiologyUp to 2 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2019/20
PgDipVeterinary EpidemiologyUp to 4 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2019/20
PgProfDevVeterinary EpidemiologyUp to 2 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2019/20
  • 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.

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

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.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 (at least 6.0 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 92 (at least 20 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: 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

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.*

(*Revised 8/11/2018 to provide more accurate information on English language qualifications expiry dates. Revised 22/03/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScVeterinary EpidemiologyUp to 6 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees
PgCertVeterinary EpidemiologyUp to 2 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees
PgDipVeterinary EpidemiologyUp to 4 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees
PgProfDevVeterinary EpidemiologyUp to 2 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees

Featured funding

SRUC alumni discount

The SRUC alumni discount aims to encourage SRUC graduates to take up opportunities to study on taught masters (MSc) degree programmes run by SRUC in conjunction with the University of Edinburgh by providing a financial contribution towards the programme tuition fees to eligible applicants.

Eligible applicants will:

  1. have graduated, or be expecting to graduate, with an honours degree delivered through SRUC, and awarded by either the University of Glasgow or the University of Edinburgh, within five years prior to the commencement of the masters programme
  2. have been accepted for admission to one of the following MSc programmes:

  3. have been offered a place for the next academic session
  4. have firmly accepted that offer, or be intending to do so

We will inform you if you are eligible to receive the discount on tuition fees during the application and admissions process. (Please tell us on your application if you are a SRUC graduate, as this will help speed up the process.) For further information please contact the Programme Secretary.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Programme Administrator, Angela Harding
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 7363
  • Contact: vetepi@ed.ac.uk
  • Programme Director, Spiridoula Athanasiadou
  • Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies
  • Easter Bush
  • Edinburgh
  • EH25 9RG
Programme start date Application deadline
9 September 2019 30 August 2019

We strongly recommend you submit your completed application as early as possible, particularly if you are also applying for funding or will require a visa. We may consider late applications if we have places available.

You must submit one reference with your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Programme Administrator, Angela Harding
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 7363
  • Contact: vetepi@ed.ac.uk
  • Programme Director, Spiridoula Athanasiadou
  • Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies
  • Easter Bush
  • Edinburgh
  • EH25 9RG