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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 veterinary epidemiologists at the front line of disease surveillance and control.
This is a joint programme provided by LSHTM and the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) and is supported by policy makers from the forefront of the UK government. There is a shortage of trained veterinary epidemiologists and there are excellent career opportunities for graduates. This course provides training in essential methodological skills for the design, conduct, analysis, interpretation and communication of epidemiological studies; and surveillance and disease control in animal and human populations.
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.
By the end of this programme students will be able to:
- demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of the role of epidemiology, the major health issues in animal populations and the contribution of epidemiology to other health-related disciplines
- demonstrate advanced integration and problem-solving skills
- select an appropriate study design when confronted with an epidemiological research question and develop a study protocol capable of answering the research question
- manage computerised epidemiological data and carry out appropriate quantitative analyses
- assess the results of epidemiological studies (their own or other investigators’), including critical appraisal of study question, study design, methods and conduct, quantitative analysis and interpretation
- design and evaluate health surveillance, quantitative and qualitative risk assessments, and disease control programmes within animal populations
- carry out an independent research project, write the results in the form of a journal article and defend their project orally (MSc only)
This programme is also available as a Postgraduate Diploma
Graduates from this programme hold positions in a variety of organisations including: Ministries of Agriculture & Food; Veterinary Investigation Laboratories; Animal Disease Research Institutes; Animal Health Trusts; Veterinary Faculties in Universities and International Organisations concerned with global health (DFID, FAO, WHO, OIE, etc). Find out more about our graduate careers and destinations.
Applications for this course are processed by the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), not by LSHTM. Further details, programme information, and how to apply.
Duration: one year full-time or split-study over two years. Ways to study explained.
Watch Programme Directors and former students talk about the course.
"The interdisciplinary nature of the program means that I am in classes alongside students in other degrees with many different educational and professional backgrounds."
By the end of this programme students will be able to:
- design and implement epidemiological studies and surveillance systems
- analyse and interpret data from epidemiological studies
- undertake risk analysis and apply this to animal health economics
- apply epidemiological principles to disease control within animal and human populations
- give pragmatic advice on animal health linked to welfare, production and public health
- communicate effectively on the health of animal and human populations to a range of audiences, including the general public, farmers, researchers, politicians and other key policy makers
The below structure outlines the proposed modules for this programme. Module specifications provide full details about the aims and objectives of each module, what you will study and how the module is assessed.
- Structure of the year
Term 1 (September - December) consists of ten teaching weeks plus one Reading Week* in the middle of the term. Followed by the Winter break.
Term 2 (January - March) consists of a further ten weeks of teaching plus a Reading Week in the middle of the term. Followed by the Spring break.
Term 3 (April - September) consists of five weeks of teaching for the final module, and the project report.
*Reading Week is a week during term where no formal teaching takes place. It is a time for private study, preparing for assessments or attending study/computer skills workshops. There are two Reading Weeks at LSHTM: one in November and the other in February.
- Term 1
There is a one-week orientation period that includes an introduction to studying at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the Royal Veterinary College, followed by four compulsory modules:
- Extended Epidemiology (LSHTM)
- Statistics for Epidemiology and Population Health (LSHTM)
- Principles of Epidemiology and Surveillance (RVC)
- Research Skills and Epidemiological Aspects of Laboratory Investigation (RVC)
- Term 2
Students take the following three compulsory modules:
- Statistical Methods in Epidemiology (LSHTM)
- Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases (LSHTM)
- Modelling and the Dynamics of Infectious Diseases (LSHTM)
Students also choose one elective module from the following options:
- Economics of One Health (RVC)
- Spatial Analysis in Epidemiology (RVC)
- Term 3
Students take the following compulsory module:
- Applied Veterinary Epidemiology (RVC)
- Project report (MSc only)
During the summer months (July - August), students complete a research project on a topic in veterinary epidemiology, for submission by early September.
Please note: Should it be the case that you are unable to travel overseas or access laboratories in order to complete your project, you will be able to complete an alternative desk-based project allowing you to obtain your qualification within the original time frame. Alternatively, you will be able to defer your project to the following year.
Changes to the programme
LSHTM will seek to deliver this programme in accordance with the description set out on this programme page. However, there may be situations in which it is desirable or necessary for LSHTM to make changes in course provision, either before or after registration. For further information, please see our page on changes to courses.
Applicants should have a first- or second-class university honours degree or equivalent. Individuals with degrees in biological sciences, veterinary or human medicine, mathematics or statistics, OR who have relevant postgraduate experience, are all encouraged to apply. Applicants are expected to have a high level of numeracy skills (e.g. A level Mathematics or Statistics or a module with a good mark in their university degree).
Applicants from overseas will be required to provide evidence of proficiency in spoken and written English, including scientific usage and comprehension.
You will need the equivalent of a bachelor's degree to undertake an MSc. This will usually require you to have a BSc degree or have completed the first three years of your medical degree. More information on intercalating an MSc at LSHTM.
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Sources of funding:
Applications for this programme are administered by the Royal Veterinary College and should be made via the RVC website.