Taught course

Veterinary Epidemiology

Scotland's Rural College · Department of Animals

Entry requirements

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

Months of entry


Course content

Our MSc in Veterinary Epidemiology explores the fundamental processes driving disease transmission, persistence and prevalence in livestock and wildlife systems, and the role of disease in the performance of livestock production.

Animal health and disease control are crucial components in key global grand challenges such as food security and climate change. This online MSc in Veterinary Epidemiology allows students across the world to develop the skills needed to meet these global challenges.

You will learn about the fundamental drivers of disease dynamics in livestock and wildlife systems. We focus on how disease dynamics are influenced by biological processes (e.g. host behaviour, physiology, ecology) and environmental and management practices (e.g. husbandry, nutrition, livestock trade).

This ‘bottom up’ disease systems approach offers in-depth understanding of complex infection patterns seen in livestock and wildlife host communities, which improves prediction of disease risk and control. This approach will allow you to identify drivers of disease outbreaks, and help control outbreaks at the broader scale rather than on a case-by-case basis. This will enable you to have a greater impact on animal health, welfare and productivity in your own region.

This MSc covers the latest research and techniques in veterinary epidemiology, taught by those doing the research. Agriculture and veterinary research at the University of Edinburgh and SRUC has been ranked as the most powerful in the UK. You will have access to this remarkable range of expertise, with lectures and tutorials delivered by those involved in cutting-edge research. You will interact with active researchers throughout the MSc, and apply the latest knowledge to your own areas of interest.

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. 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 driven by active researchers and focuses on the development of research skills
  • has a strong quantitative element, with a focus on dynamic modelling which makes it stand out from other programmes. These quantitative skills are highly valued by employers.
  • includes a wide range of guest lectures from top scientists around the globe

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    36-72 months
    • Online learningis available for this qualification
  • PGDip
    24-48 months
    • Online learningis available for this qualification
  • PGCert
    12-24 months
    • Online learningis available for this qualification

The Certificate (60 credits) is studied over 1-2 years, the Diploma (120 credits) is studied over 2-4 years and the full Masters (180 credits) can take from between 3-6 years to complete. Each year will consist of three 11-week terms structured into 2 blocks of 5 weeks of study with a week in between for independent study and reflection. One block of 5 weeks will equate to 10 credits of course material. This framework is designed to fit in with the part-time nature of the course, giving you time to reflect on your learning and lessening the impact of the additional requirements that studying will place on your working lives.

Course contact details

Course Director
+44 (0)131 242 6307