MSc in Veterinary Epidemiology and Public Health


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

If you’re an animal health specialist, an epidemiologist or a public health specialist, this programme provides an understanding of veterinary epidemiology and public health.

This programme helps you develop skills for disease modelling and for devising strategies to combat chronic farm animal disease.

Learn about the use of economic concepts in animal health, and apply herd-health programmes to maximise economic returns from animal production.

How you study

The programme is offered by distance learning and is fully supported by a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). You study independently, at a time and pace that suits you (subject to course-specific deadlines), using the study materials provided.

Study materials

We will provide study materials developed by academics at the Royal Veterinary College. Your materials will include a module pack, comprising of a study guide and specially selected readings. For some modules, materials are available via the Virtual Learning Environment only.

When you register, we will provide access to both the Royal Veterinary College’s Virtual Learning Environment (RVC Learn) and your personal RVC email account:

  • RVC Learn provides access to academic tutorials, study materials, previous exam papers and student discussion forums.
  • Online tutorials provide the opportunity to ask questions of RVC academics and you are strongly advised to plan for these sessions. Typically, two scheduled, online tutorials, are offered throughout the academic year of February to September) and run for one week.
  • The RVC library holds thousands of journal articles which you can access free of charge. A dedicated help desk is available if you have any difficulties in finding what you need.
  • The Online Library provides access to over 100 million academic electronic items comprising E-books, E-journals, conference proceedings, etc. In addition, students can request items which are not held in the library via the library's Inter-Library loans service with the British Library.
  • Senate House Library provides free reference access for all registered distance and flexible learning students.

Academics will offer feedback, along with a numerical mark on two written assignments and the highest mark will count towards your overall assessment. Academic feedback helps you to reach high standards and support your preparation for exams.

Time commitment

To complete the programme in the minimum study period, we recommend that you should study approximately 15 hours per week. (Academic year: February to September).


The assessment for each module includes a three-hour written examination which takes place in October (80% of the mark) and you submit up to two written assignments, from which the highest mark will count towards the overall module assessment (20%).

The optional Research Project (MSc only) is assessed through a research paper, written in the style required by an identified scientific journal (80%) and an oral examination (20%).

You can sit exams at an approved centre anywhere in the world.

Programme structure

By taking this programme, you will challenge perceptions of what constitutes safe food production, make objective judgements about contemporary issues such as antibiotic resistance, and develop the skills you need for epidemiological investigations.

Three compulsory core modules:

  • Epidemiology and animal health economics
  • Statistical methods in veterinary epidemiology
  • Veterinary public health

Plus four further optional modules selected from:

  • Advanced statistical methods in veterinary epidemiology
  • Developing and monitoring of livestock production systems
  • Economics for livestock development and policy
  • Management of infectious disease outbreaks in animal populations
  • Research design, management and grant application writing
  • Research project in veterinary epidemiology and public health
  • Surveillance and investigation of animal health

Entry requirements

Either a second class honours degree (or equivalent) in a scientific subject, veterinary, animal science, agriculture, biological sciences, or medicine. Or a second class honours degree (or equivalent) in a scientific discipline which has included suitable training.

English Language requirements

You will meet our language requirements if you have achieved one of the following within the past three years:

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall, with 6.0 in each sub-test.
  • TOEFL iBT: 92 overall, with 22+ in reading and writing, and 20+ in speaking and listening.

Alternatively, you may satisfy the language requirements if you have at least 18 months of education or work experience conducted in English.

Computer requirements

Please see the individual module outlines for information concerning specific software requirements.

For the modules 'Management of infectious disease outbreaks in animal populations', you will require the following additional requirements:

  • Industry-standard PC (as some of the software is not compatible with Macs)
  • Pentium processor or better (Pentium IV or higher recommended)
  • 512MB RAM (1GB or higher recommended)
  • CD-ROM drive, double speed (or faster recommended)
  • Windows 2000 or higher
  • 10GB of hard disk space.

This master is ideal for both animal health and public health specialists. Hear from Laura, who studied the MSc in Australia.

Last updated Feb 2020

About the School

We are one of the largest, most diverse universities in the UK with over 120,000 students in London, and a further 50,000 studying across 180 countries for a University of London degree.

We are one of the largest, most diverse universities in the UK with over 120,000 students in London, and a further 50,000 studying across 180 countries for a University of London degree. Read less
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