Usher Institute

STUDY WITH US: MSc Epidemiology at The University of Edinburgh

Five reasons to study an MSc Epidemiology at The University of Edinburgh - written by Prema Howard and the MSc Epidemiology team with contributions from leading public health expert Professor Linda Bauld.

The emergence of a global pandemic has led to a newfound interest in epidemiology. But what is it? Who can study it? What sort of careers can you have with a degree in epidemiology

Epidemiology is a cornerstone for understanding and improving population health. Its methods underpin medical research, investigates the causes of disease, and evaluates intervention to prevent or control disease.  

Now, more than ever, there is a global need for epidemiological expertise. This has led to the development of our new MSc Epidemiology programme, that aims to equip the epidemiological leaders of tomorrow with key foundational knowledge and a portfolio of statistical and data science skills to tackle contemporary challenges. 

1. A degree in epidemiology is highly relevant   

Woman studying epidemiology

The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a light on epidemiology and brought increased recognition of the importance of this discipline. The 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. 

Our online Epidemiology programme will help prepare you to take on leading roles in epidemiology, by developing the skills you will need to address contemporary population health problems. It will allow you to benefit from a strong focus on research and inter-disciplinary opportunities. In an era of data-intensive research and data-driven innovation, this will help position you at the forefront of this exciting and evolving field.

2. You can study at a world-leading centre for Global Health and Epidemiology  

The programme is offered by the Usher Institute at the University of Edinburgh. Having pioneered various epidemiology studies with large-scale digital data resources, the Usher Institute is a world-leader in global health and novel approaches to epidemiology. It is one of five Data-Driven Innovation (DDI) Hubs in the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal. As part of the DDI Programme, the Usher Institute will develop innovative and financially sustainable models of health and social care that improve lives, through the application of data science.  

In recent years, the Usher Institute has become well-recognised for its contribution to the COVID-19 response, which includes conducting research, advising the Scottish and UK governments and providing global public health advice. 

3. You can tailor this flexible programme to your interests  

Our programme has been designed so you can tailor your learning experience whilst building on comprehensive and in-depth core epidemiological and research design training.  

You will also have access to the University's excellent resources. We use the latest in educational technology tools and systems. Our virtual learning platform has a modern, intuitive, fully accessible and responsive interface, delivering a powerful teaching and learning experience on any device with an internet connection, anytime, anywhere. 

4. You can work with real-world data sets to support your learning  

You will have the unique opportunity to interrogate and analyse real-world data through various courses and a dissertation research project. 

5. We have a track record of delivering high-quality online programmes  

You will benefit from our expertise delivering high quality online programmes in health disciplines. Since 2015 we have taught more than 10,000 online students! 

If you are interested in developing specialist skills in the highly relevant field of epidemiology, this exciting and challenging programme is for you.  

You don't need to have studied epidemiology previously, but you do need to be comfortable with numerical reasoning. You may come from a clinical or non-clinical background. You may be interested in developing or progressing a career in academic research, industry or another health-related setting, or you may simply be eager to develop epidemiological expertise.  

"The world needs more epidemiologists. Not just to help us understand and address the current COVID-19 pandemic but future outbreaks of diseases, and their causes and consequences. If you are interested in problem-solving and contributing to improving the health of populations then do consider joining this new programme."

Professor Linda BauldProfessor of Public Health, Usher Institute

If you’re wondering about the benefits of online learning, and how this compares to an on-campus degree, please visit our online learning webpages here.  

To learn more about our programme, please visit our degree finder page here and apply. 

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