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

Our MSc in Veterinary Epidemiology will equip you with the skills you need to address key global grand challenges. Animal health and disease control are crucial components in key global grand challenges such as food security and climate change. Our innovative online MSc in Veterinary Epidemiology allows students across the world to develop the skills needed to meet these global challenges.

Be part of a world-leading university

Join our online Veterinary Epidemiology Masters programme and gain a graduate degree from a world-leading university. Veterinary science at Edinburgh is currently ranked 6th among all veterinary departments in the world (QS University Rankings, 2019). Agriculture and veterinary research at the University of Edinburgh has been ranked as the most powerful in the UK (Times Higher Education, Overall Ranking of Institutions). This degree covers the latest research and techniques in veterinary epidemiology, taught by those doing the research.

Develop an in-depth understanding of complex patterns of disease

This programme explores the fundamental processes driving disease transmission, persistence, prevalence and spread. This includes biological processes (such as behaviour, physiology, immunology, and ecology) and environmental and farming management practices (such as husbandry, nutrition, and livestock trade). This enables in-depth understanding of complex environmental patterns of disease, which facilitates prediction of disease risk and control.

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 in livestock production. Furthermore, the systems approach offers a way to frame disease challenges and problem solve disease risk at a range of scales - from veterinarians tackling specific outbreaks to predicting the consequences of climate change on disease risk.

Gain the skills that you need to excel in your career

The demand for veterinary epidemiologists is currently greater than the supply. Our multidisciplinary systems approach will provide you with the skills to make significant contributions to tackling disease control and food security in your role as an animal health professional. Our Veterinary Epidemiology MSc has a strong quantitative element, with a focus on dynamic modelling of animal-disease systems, which makes it stand out from other programmes. These quantitative skills are highly valued by employers. The courses are designed specifically for those from non-mathematical backgrounds, and will guide you through the latest quantitative techniques that employers look for.

Study flexibly, in a way that suits you

The Veterinary Epidemiology MSc uses the University’s award winning online learning environment. All lectures are recorded, so can be watched in your own time and can be viewed in bitesize chunks. This enables you to study at a pace that suits you, in a flexible way that fits around your ongoing work or personal commitments

Learn about the latest research from active researchers

Courses are delivered by active researchers presenting their own research, which is placed into context with global grand challenges. These courses are further enriched by a wide range of guest lectures from top scientists around the globe.

Within each course there are specialist tutors who will lead discussions, set assignments and provide detailed feedback on specific topics. You will also be allocated a Personal Tutor who will support you throughout the Programme.

Collaboration with others

You will be studying collaboratively with students from all over the world. Debates on the discussion forums take place throughout each course, encouraging you to engage with the course material and debate the latest research. The flexible nature of these forums allows you to contribute to the discussion in your free time, around your other commitments.

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 compulsory 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

Through our multidisciplinary systems approach you will develop the skills needed to help tackle grand challenges in animal health, disease control, food security and climate change. Through our programme you will:

  • Acquire knowledge about disease systems in livestock production environments and the interactions between the biological and livestock management processes driving disease dynamics.
  • Gain the methodological skills necessary for disease surveillance and control in animal populations and wider host communities. This includes the design, implementation, analysis, interpretation and communication of epidemiological studies.
  • Understand the importance of wildlife disease ecology, and disease transmission at the livestock:wildlife interface.
  • 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 research
  • Develop quantitative skills in epidemiological modelling and data analysis

There are excellent career opportunities for Veterinary Epidemiologists, and a current shortage in graduates with the desired skills.

Veterinary Epidemiologist graduates go on to work at a wide range of organisations, including academic institutes, research institutes, international organisations (e.g. DFID, WHO, OIE, FAO), research laboratories, veterinary investigation laboratories, government organisations (e.g. Ministries of Agriculture & Food, US Food and Drug Administration).

Our Veterinary Epidemiology MSc focuses on the skills that employers value the most. It has a strong quantitative element, with a focus on dynamic modelling which is a key area in current epidemiological research – this makes our MSc stand out from other programmes. We also emphasise the development of key research skills including experimental design and data analysis.

Hearing first hand experience from the lecturers is something that can only be achieved on courses like this. Veterinary Epidemiology MSc student, 2019

I enjoy guest lectures as I think its good to see how what we learn is used in the real world outside of a university setting. Veterinary Epidemiology MSc student, 2019

This course has given me the confidence to pursue veterinary epidemiology as a career I can achieve. Veterinary Epidemiology MSc student, 2017

The thing I like about this course as a whole is the applied nature of it with real life examples used with research papers that cover the globe (i.e. not limited to the UK for example), and activities that get you thinking about real-life situations. Veterinary Epidemiology MSc student, 2018

I have really enjoyed this course, it really reaffirmed for me this is what I want to do. Veterinary Epidemiology MSc student, 2017

Activities have been interesting, far better than writing essays! Veterinary Epidemiology MSc student, 2017

It was a real honour to hear lectures from the guest speakers, as well as get an idea of what research you are doing yourself. I find having the activities to do weekly and getting feedback really valuable to my learning, as passively reading papers can be a bit dry and not much sinks in! Veterinary Epidemiology MSc student, 2019

Discussions have been informative. It’s been good to see other people in other areas of the world’s perspective and experiences. Veterinary Epidemiology MSc student, 2018

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.

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
14 September 2020 28 August 2020

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

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