In a world where global transport links allow rapid movement of people and animals, disease can spread more quickly than before and is harder to control than ever. In such a world there is a growing need for trained epidemiologists at the front line of disease surveillance.

The UK leads the way in providing this training and, in order to meet the demand for skilled professionals, the RVC has developed a unique postgraduate veterinary epidemiology course, delivered jointly with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).

This demanding masters in veterinary epidemiology programme is led by veterinary epidemiologists and supported by policy makers from the forefront of UK government and you will gain a fascinating insight into the work of the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA, formerly AHVLA). Your areas of study will combine LSHTM’s strengths in epidemiological principles and communicable disease epidemiology, with the RVC’s expertise in veterinary epidemiology, animal health and production.

Study Details:

Full Time 1yr or Part Time 2yrs

Module Details:

What will I learn?

Upon successful completion of the course you will be able to:
•Demonstrate and understand the key concepts underpinning the discipline of veterinary and medical epidemiology
•Select an appropriate study design when confronted with an epidemiological research question and develop a detailed study protocol capable of answering the research question
•Analyse and interpret epidemiological data derived from cross-sectional, case-control and cohort studies
•Review critically the published epidemiological literature
•Apply epidemiological principles to surveillance, and infection and disease control, within animal and human populations
•Communicate effectively with researchers from different disciplinary backgrounds
•Communicate effectively with other people with an interest in human and animal health, including the general public and key policy makers.

Programme delivery

You can choose to complete the Veterinary Epidemiology postgrad course over one year full-time study, or part time over two years.

All participants begin the course in September. Over three terms, you will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, practical’s and tutorials. Both MSc and Diploma students complete the Term One foundation module. MSc students then complete a further five compulsory modules over Terms Two and Three, while Diploma students complete a further four modules, with some module choice available.

Students on both courses sit written examination papers in June, after which the veterinary epidemiology MSc students will work on a research project from June to August, culminating in an oral examination in September.

Part-time students attend the course full-time from October to December in year one, followed by classes two to three days a week from January to May. You will usually study the remainder of the course in year two, including the summer research project (MSc students only).

We recognise the need for flexibility, however, and are happy to tailor your part-time study to meet your specific requirements (subject to agreement with the course director).

The teaching is delivered using the excellent facilities of the LSHTM in London as well as at the RVC’s London and Hertfordshire campuses. The course also includes a visit to the APHA (Weybridge).

The field of Veterinary Epidemiology straddles several different areas. Therefore, although you will be based at the RVC, aspects of basic epidemiology applicable to both human and animal diseases are taught at the LSHTM, and risk analysis and surveillance are taught by APHA staff.


Entry Requirements

Academic requirements

If you are working in the state veterinary service and/or are interested in veterinary epidemiology, then our Masters programme will be highly relevant to you.

You must have (or expect to receive) a first or second class university honours degree. Please contact our Admissions Office if you are unsure whether your degree is equivalent to a first or second class university honours degree. As this is a multidisciplinary subject, we welcome candidates from many different backgrounds. If you have a degree in veterinary science, biological science, veterinary or human medicine, mathematics or statistics, and relevant postgraduate and veterinary work experience, then we encourage you to apply.

English language requirements

A good working knowledge of scientific English is essential in order to follow the course. All applicants must have an acceptable English Language qualification:
•IELTS (Academic) score of 7.0 or above with minimum 6.5 in each component

For those without IELTS, please see our English Language Requirements page for a full list of qualifications we will accept as alternatives.

Maths requirements

The course has highly quantitative components and, although there are opportunities to brush up on basic computer and mathematics knowledge at the start of the course, you will be expected to have basic numerical skills.

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