Veterinary Epidemiology, M.Sc.

  • Application Deadline
  • 36 months
  • Tuition
    Tuition (Year)
    Tuition (Year)
  • English (take IELTS)
The University of Edinburgh Online
The MSc in Disease in Livestock Ecosystems: Dynamics and Control is a new programme in 2016 using the award winning online learning environments offered by the University of Edinburgh.
  • Overview
  • Programme outline
  • Key facts
  • Admission requirements
  • Fees and funding


This Disease in Livestock Ecosystems: Dynamics and Control MSc at The University of Edinburgh teaches students about the fundamental drivers of disease dynamics in livestock and wildlife systems. It focusses on the influence of biological processes (e.g. host behaviour, physiology, ecology) and environmental and management practices (e.g. husbandry, nutrition, livestock trade). This will enable students to identify drivers of disease outbreaks, and have an impact on animal health, welfare and productivity in their own region, through helping prevent/control disease outbreaks at the broader scale rather than on a case by case basis.

We will provide the latest research in disease systems, and facilitate the application of this knowledge in the students’ own areas. This ‘bottom up’ disease systems approach offers in-depth understanding of complex infection patterns seen in livestock and wildlife host communities and the environment, which improves prediction of disease risk and control. We combine experimental and empirical observation with mathematical modelling to follow the numbers of parasites and pathogens flowing through livestock production systems.

The R(D) SVS and SRUC partnership creates the greatest concentration of research power in veterinary and agricultural sciences in the UK. This new distance learning course draws on this wealth of experience and research activity.

Programme Structure

Year 1

Year one comprises of four compulsory courses. Each 20 credit course is taught over a period of ten weeks, and 10 credit courses are taught over 5 weeks. Completion of the first year will lead to a Certificate:

Core courses
  • Introduction to disease in livestock ecosystems: dynamics & control (20 credits)
  • Wildlife disease ecology in livestock ecosystems (10 credits)
  • Livestock behaviour as routes of disease transmission (10 credits)
  • Livestock management impacts on disease risk & control (20 credits)
Year 2

Year two consists of two compulsory core courses and four elective courses, totaling 60 credits. Again, each 10-credit course is taught over a period of five week. Completion of the second year will lead to a Diploma.

Core courses
  • Host pathogen arms race (10 credits)
  • Disease systems research skills & statistics (10 credits)
Elective Courses (to total 40 credits)
  • Modelling disease systems & control (10 credits)
  • Climate change: animal health contribution & consequence (10 credits)
  • Livestock nutrition and disease control (10 credits)
  • Rights, roles and responsibilities in disease control (10 credits)
  • Disease system examples: current knowledge of specific disease systems (10 credits)
Year 3

The final year consists of a dissertation project of 10,000-15,000 words (60 credits). Completion of a dissertation will lead to a Masters. Supervision for this element of the programme will be provided by existing research staff and subject experts currently employed by SRUC and the University of Edinburgh. Candidates will also be encouraged, where appropriate, to work closely with senior staff at their home institutions.


Vets, conservationists, NGO-employees and those working in agricultural environments.


Professor Mike Hutchings

Dr Spiridoula Athanasiadou

Dr Lesley Smith

Dr Naomi Fox

Dr Ross Davidson

Angela Harding

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Full-time duration 36 months
  • Study intensity Part-time
    • Intensity 10 hrs/week
    • Duration part-time 36 months

      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 maximum time limit of: 2 years for the Certificate 4 years for the Diploma 6 years for the MSc (include a maximum period of 12 months from the start of your written reflective element to it being completed)

    • Part-time variant
  • Credits
    180 alternative credits
    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.
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    • Time flexibility
    • Attendance
      No Attendance
    • Teacher support
      Continuous support with feedback on request
    • Student interaction
      Individual work/assignments (with online group discussions)
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Academic Requirements

Entry requirements

A veterinary degree, or a degree in a natural (biological or physical) science, such as:

  • Veterinary medicine/ Veterinary science
  • Biological sciences
  • Zoology
  • Animal/Equine Science

Those working within one of the key topic areas, but who do not have a relevant degree (stated above), may also be considered.

Once successfully on the programme, completion of the four core courses is a pre-requisite for progression to subsequent courses.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 (at least 6.0 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 92 (at least 20 in each module)
  • PTE(A): 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)

If you completed a CAE or CPE before January 2015 please contact the Admissions Office for the accepted grades.

Tuition Fee Per Year

  • GBP 4350 International
  • GBP 4350 EU/EEA
Tuition fees are expected to be in the region of £4,350 per year (approx £13,050 for 3 years) with the total amount of £13,050 being spread over the three years of the programme, for all students (UK, EU & overseas). Each yearly fee can also be paid in installments.


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