Livestock Health and Production (MSc, PG Dip and PG Cert)

Overview

Study for a prestigious MSc in Livestock Health and Production by distance learning

Relevant to vets, animal health specialists and livestock farmers, the programme addresses contemporary issues of livestock production that have worldwide relevance. The subject areas covered include breeding, nutrition, welfare and disease processes and management.

Please note: a related programme in Veterinary Epidemiology and Public Health is also available.

Programme aims

Graduates of this programme will be able to improve the health and production of livestock through:

  • understanding the interaction of livestock with people and the environment
  • gaining an overview of the factors that influence livestock production
  • implementing control strategies by integrating this knowledge with the principles of epidemiology, economics and disease control within the context of management and infrastructure
  • communicating effectively on the health of animal and human populations to a range of audiences including the general public, farmers, politicians, and other key policy makers.

Programme summary

  You study Study period Cost (2017)
MSc 7 courses 2-5 years £12,235
Diploma 4 courses 2-5 years £7,270
Certificate 2 courses 1-5 years £3,825
Individual modules Individual modules, either 240-hour, 50-hour or 35-hour, are ideal if you're keen to update your professional knowledge, enhance your career, or sample the programme. See individual modules on our website for more info. Please note that no access is provided to the RVC VLE for 35 and 50 hour individual module students.

Prestige

The programme has been developed by academics at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), the oldest and largest veterinary school in the UK and one of the leading veterinary research centres in Europe. In 1999, RVC became the first UK veterinary school to be granted approval by the American Veterinary Medical Association. The RVC also provides support for the veterinary profession through its three referral hospitals, diagnostic services and continuing professional development courses.

Career progression

Graduates of the programme are employed in a variety of organisations including the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), university veterinary faculties and international organisations including the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO).

Comprehensive study materials and support

The support you receive includes:

  • academic feedback on written assignments
  • access to the RVC’s Virtual Learning Environment, offering structured academic tutorials and student discussion forums
  • opportunities for local networking and mutual support from other students on the programme
  • as all of the study materials you require are mailed to you, there is no requirement to purchase expensive textbooks or spend time trying to locate journals, which may not be available to you locally.

Summary of key dates

Livestock Health and Production
Application deadline 1 November
Registration deadline 15 January
Programme starts February
Examinations take place October

 

Structure

Structure and syllabus

MSc: 7 modules (3 core modules and 4 modules from a choice of options)
PG Dip: 4 modules (2 core modules and 2 modules from a choice of options)
PG Cert: 2 core modules

MSc structure

Three compulsory core modules

Animal disease (current concepts)

This module will enable the student to appreciate the external and internal components of health, agents of disease and how animals respond to them, at an individual and population level. Subject areas: immunology; parasitology; microbiology; introduction to veterinary epidemiology; principles of veterinary pathology.

Developing and monitoring of livestock production systems

This module will adopt a farming systems approach to permit the student to place livestock production within the context of the utilisation of resources. This will allow a critical consideration of appropriate husbandry for different animals in diverse environmental and socio-economic conditions. Subject areas: An introduction to farming systems; Details of major livestock production systems; Developing and monitoring of functioning livestock systems with farmers, including organic farming; Environmental, welfare and breeding issues in sustainable livestock husbandry.

Principles of livestock production

This module will enable the student to understand how feeding, breeding, management and interaction with the environment influence animal production and disease. Subject areas: general principles of nutrition; specialised areas of nutrition (students will select three of the following options which must include at least one ruminant and one non-ruminant choice: feeding dairy cows; feeding dual-purpose, beef and draught cattle; feeding sheep and goats; pig nutrition; poultry nutrition; nutrition of horses, camelids and rabbits. In all the above cases, consideration will be given to the different resources available in temperate and tropical/subtropical regions); environmental studies, including climatic effects and housing; genetics; the physiology of growth and lactation; the relevance of reproduction to livestock production.

Please download the Indicative Study Calendar for Principles of livestock production. [PDF: 1pg 332KB]

PLUS four further optional modules selected from

Animal welfare

This module will provide a comprehensive appreciation of welfare and ethical issues connected with farm animal practice, animal breeding, transport and slaughter, companion animals, laboratory animals, animals used in competition and wildlife. Subject areas: An introduction to veterinary ethics; the physiology of pain, distress, fear and anxiety; the effects of genetics on animal welfare; welfare issues in animal husbandry systems; transport and slaughter; and specific welfare issues in companion, farmed, laboratory, wild and competitive animals.

For more information see the following:

Economics for livestock development and policy

The objectives of this module are to stimulate awareness of the socio-economic, political and environmental issues that will affect future livestock development and to provide the tools to analyse the issues confronting producers, their advisers, planners and policy makers. Subject areas: Basic concepts of the economics of livestock production; Extensive, medium intensity and intensive systems of livestock production; Marketing and policy; Further economics for the analysis of livestock development; Tools for livestock economists.

Epidemiology and animal health economics

This module will enable students to understand the role of epidemiology and economics in the design and delivery of effective veterinary services aimed at improved animal health and productivity. Subject areas: introduction to statistics; introduction to veterinary epidemiology - basic principles, descriptive epidemiology, study design, sampling, quantitative aspects of diagnostic testing; animal health economics - principles, partial budgets, decision tree analysis, cost-benefit ratio, economics and project planning.

Management of infectious disease outbreaks in animal populations

This module is designed to teach both the theoretical and practical information required for the management of a major infectious disease outbreak of farm animals. Topics will include epidemiology of infectious diseases, risk and cost-benefit analysis, surveillance, diagnosis and vaccination strategies before and during an outbreak, contingency planning and case studies to illustrate how disease outbreaks could be better managed.

Note: A Windows-based operating system is recommended for this module, however, should you wish to use an Apple Mac, please contact the Course Administrator for advice.

Reproduction and fertility - a species approach

This module will enable students to gain a comprehensive insight into the physiology of reproduction and the management and manipulation of fertility to optimise animal productivity. Subject areas: general principles of reproduction; introduction to reproductive anatomy and physiology; control of breeding; fertilisation, conception and pregnancy; reproductive disorders and disease; embryo transfer and assisted reproduction; reproduction management. Students will be required to specialise in three of the following: cattle; small ruminants; pigs; camelids, rabbits and poultry; equids.

Please download the Indicative study calendar for Reproduction and fertility [PDF: 2pgs 347KB]

Research design, management and grant application writing

This module will enable students to undertake a research project, with an appropriate study design to validate a hypothesis and analyse the data, including the presentation of results and writing a grant application. Subject areas: introduction to scientific research and how to formulate a hypothesis; literature search, critical analysis of papers and writing a scientific review; experimental and statistical design in project planning; project management; preparing data for analysis - qualitative data, quantitative data; statistical analysis and analysing the validity of findings; report writing, presentation of data and writing a scientific paper; introduction to grant application writing, planning the project and budget; guidelines to writing a good grant proposal.

Research project in livestock health and production

The objective of this module is to enable the students to conduct a research project and prepare a scientific paper for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. Students are given guidance and supervision from a distance in the following:

  • Deriving a suitable hypothesis to base the research project
  • Writing a critical literature review
  • Designing the appropriate study with experimental and statistical details
  • Costing the project and conducting experiments
  • Managing the project to obtain relevant data
  • Documenting and analysis of results to achieve a conclusion selecting an appropriate scientific journal to publish the findings and preparing a paper for publication according to author guidelines of the selected journal.
  • Pre-requisite: It is advisable that students should study ‘Research design, management and grant application writing’(LVM014) prior to registering for this module.
Sustainable livestock farming in the environment

This module aims to provide an understanding of the threats presented by changes in the environment on livestock production and wildlife population, and explains the ways in which global and regional environmental change can impact on sustainability of farming systems, conservation of ecosystems and animal health. It will outline approaches that can used to minimize unwanted environmental impacts of modern farming and land use systems, as well as consider the values academics, researchers, veterinarians and livestock specialists attach to the environment and to conservation issues. The course will also guide students in the approach they take in future when considering animal–environment interactions.

Veterinary public health

The module will examine the role of veterinarians and other related professionals in the protection of human health through the safe production of foods of animal origin, control of zoonotic disease and environmental contamination. Subject areas: disease surveillance and risk analysis; zoonoses and their control; disseminating information on veterinary public health; quality and safety assurance in food production (meat, milk and eggs); development of disease control programmes.

To hear the content discussed by leading RVC academics, view the video featuring Prof Dirk Pfeiffer and Dr Christine Thuranira-McKeever who talk about One Health, or watch Prof Katharina Stärk discussing the spread of diseases between animals and humans.

Postgraduate Diploma structure

One compulsory core module

Animal disease (current concepts)

This module will enable the student to appreciate the external and internal components of health, agents of disease and how animals respond to them, at an individual and population level. Subject areas: immunology; parasitology; microbiology; introduction to veterinary epidemiology; principles of veterinary pathology.

One further core module from

Developing and monitoring of livestock production systems

This module will adopt a farming systems approach to permit the student to place livestock production within the context of the utilisation of resources. This will allow a critical consideration of appropriate husbandry for different animals in diverse environmental and socio-economic conditions. Subject areas: An introduction to farming systems; Details of major livestock production systems; Developing and monitoring of functioning livestock systems with farmers, including organic farming; Environmental, welfare and breeding issues in sustainable livestock husbandry.

Principles of livestock production

This module will enable the student to understand how feeding, breeding, management and interaction with the environment influence animal production and disease. Subject areas: general principles of nutrition; specialised areas of nutrition (students will select three of the following options which must include at least one ruminant and one non-ruminant choice: feeding dairy cows; feeding dual-purpose, beef and draught cattle; feeding sheep and goats; pig nutrition; poultry nutrition; nutrition of horses, camelids and rabbits. In all the above cases, consideration will be given to the different resources available in temperate and tropical/subtropical regions); environmental studies, including climatic effects and housing; genetics; the physiology of growth and lactation; the relevance of reproduction to livestock production.

Please download the Indicative Study Calendar for Principles of livestock production. [PDF: 1pg 332KB]

Two optional modules chosen from

Developing and monitoring of livestock production systems [if not taken as a core module]

This module will adopt a farming systems approach to permit the student to place livestock production within the context of the utilisation of resources. This will allow a critical consideration of appropriate husbandry for different animals in diverse environmental and socio-economic conditions. Subject areas: An introduction to farming systems; Details of major livestock production systems; Developing and monitoring of functioning livestock systems with farmers, including organic farming; Environmental, welfare and breeding issues in sustainable livestock husbandry.

Principles of livestock production [if not taken as a core module]

This module will enable the student to understand how feeding, breeding, management and interaction with the environment influence animal production and disease. Subject areas: general principles of nutrition; specialised areas of nutrition (students will select three of the following options which must include at least one ruminant and one non-ruminant choice: feeding dairy cows; feeding dual-purpose, beef and draught cattle; feeding sheep and goats; pig nutrition; poultry nutrition; nutrition of horses, camelids and rabbits. In all the above cases, consideration will be given to the different resources available in temperate and tropical/subtropical regions); environmental studies, including climatic effects and housing; genetics; the physiology of growth and lactation; the relevance of reproduction to livestock production.

Animal welfare

This module will provide a comprehensive appreciation of welfare and ethical issues connected with farm animal practice, animal breeding, transport and slaughter, companion animals, laboratory animals, animals used in competition and wildlife. Subject areas: An introduction to veterinary ethics; the physiology of pain, distress, fear and anxiety; the effects of genetics on animal welfare; welfare issues in animal husbandry systems; transport and slaughter; and specific welfare issues in companion, farmed, laboratory, wild and competitive animals.

For more information see the following:

Economics for livestock development and policy

The objectives of this module are to stimulate awareness of the socio-economic, political and environmental issues that will affect future livestock development and to provide the tools to analyse the issues confronting producers, their advisers, planners and policy makers. Subject areas: Basic concepts of the economics of livestock production; Extensive, medium intensity and intensive systems of livestock production; Marketing and policy; Further economics for the analysis of livestock development; Tools for livestock economists.

Epidemiology and animal health economics

This module will enable students to understand the role of epidemiology and economics in the design and delivery of effective veterinary services aimed at improved animal health and productivity. Subject areas: introduction to statistics; introduction to veterinary epidemiology - basic principles, descriptive epidemiology, study design, sampling, quantitative aspects of diagnostic testing; animal health economics - principles, partial budgets, decision tree analysis, cost-benefit ratio, economics and project planning.

Management of infectious disease outbreaks in animal populations

This module is designed to teach both the theoretical and practical information required for the management of a major infectious disease outbreak of farm animals. Topics will include epidemiology of infectious diseases, risk and cost-benefit analysis, surveillance, diagnosis and vaccination strategies before and during an outbreak, contingency planning and case studies to illustrate how disease outbreaks could be better managed.

Note: A Windows-based operating system is recommended for this module, however, should you wish to use an Apple Mac, please contact the Course Administrator for advice.

Reproduction and fertility - a species approach

This module will enable students to gain a comprehensive insight into the physiology of reproduction and the management and manipulation of fertility to optimise animal productivity. Subject areas: general principles of reproduction; introduction to reproductive anatomy and physiology; control of breeding; fertilisation, conception and pregnancy; reproductive disorders and disease; embryo transfer and assisted reproduction; reproduction management. Students will be required to specialise in three of the following: cattle; small ruminants; pigs; camelids, rabbits and poultry; equids.

Please download the Indicative study calendar for Reproduction and fertility [PDF: 2pgs 347KB]

Research design, management and grant application writing

This module will enable students to undertake a research project, with an appropriate study design to validate a hypothesis and analyse the data, including the presentation of results and writing a grant application. Subject areas: introduction to scientific research and how to formulate a hypothesis; literature search, critical analysis of papers and writing a scientific review; experimental and statistical design in project planning; project management; preparing data for analysis - qualitative data, quantitative data; statistical analysis and analysing the validity of findings; report writing, presentation of data and writing a scientific paper; introduction to grant application writing, planning the project and budget; guidelines to writing a good grant proposal.

Sustainable livestock farming in the environment

This module aims to provide an understanding of the threats presented by changes in the environment on livestock production and wildlife population, and explains the ways in which global and regional environmental change can impact on sustainability of farming systems, conservation of ecosystems and animal health. It will outline approaches that can used to minimize unwanted environmental impacts of modern farming and land use systems, as well as consider the values academics, researchers, veterinarians and livestock specialists attach to the environment and to conservation issues. The course will also guide students in the approach they take in future when considering animal–environment interactions.

Veterinary public health

The module will examine the role of veterinarians and other related professionals in the protection of human health through the safe production of foods of animal origin, control of zoonotic disease and environmental contamination. Subject areas: disease surveillance and risk analysis; zoonoses and their control; disseminating information on veterinary public health; quality and safety assurance in food production (meat, milk and eggs); development of disease control programmes.

To hear the content discussed by leading RVC academics, view the video featuring Prof Dirk Pfeiffer and Dr Christine Thuranira-McKeever who talk about One Health, or watch Prof Katharina Stärk discussing the spread of diseases between animals and humans.

Postgraduate Certificate structure

One compulsory core module

Animal disease (current concepts)

This module will enable the student to appreciate the external and internal components of health, agents of disease and how animals respond to them, at an individual and population level. Subject areas: immunology; parasitology; microbiology; introduction to veterinary epidemiology; principles of veterinary pathology.

One further core module from

Developing and monitoring of livestock production systems

This module will adopt a farming systems approach to permit the student to place livestock production within the context of the utilisation of resources. This will allow a critical consideration of appropriate husbandry for different animals in diverse environmental and socio-economic conditions. Subject areas: An introduction to farming systems; Details of major livestock production systems; Developing and monitoring of functioning livestock systems with farmers, including organic farming; Environmental, welfare and breeding issues in sustainable livestock husbandry.

Principles of livestock production

This module will enable the student to understand how feeding, breeding, management and interaction with the environment influence animal production and disease. Subject areas: general principles of nutrition; specialised areas of nutrition (students will select three of the following options which must include at least one ruminant and one non-ruminant choice: feeding dairy cows; feeding dual-purpose, beef and draught cattle; feeding sheep and goats; pig nutrition; poultry nutrition; nutrition of horses, camelids and rabbits. In all the above cases, consideration will be given to the different resources available in temperate and tropical/subtropical regions); environmental studies, including climatic effects and housing; genetics; the physiology of growth and lactation; the relevance of reproduction to livestock production.

Please download the Indicative Study Calendar for Principles of livestock production. [PDF: 1pg 332KB]

Stand-alone modules for Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

The individual courses of the degree can be studied as stand-alone 240-hour individual modules for CPD. On successful completion of the module(s), students may apply to transfer onto the degree programme. Please note that there is a maximum number of 240-hour individual modules which may be used for progression purposes. There is also a range of shorter 50-hour and 35-hour individual modules.  See individual modules for more information. Please note that no access is provided to the RVC VLE for 50 or 35-hour individual modules.

Study materials

How you study

The defining feature of studying at a distance is that you do not need to attend the University in person. Although the programme is designed to be followed successfully with a minimum of direct academic support, you are able to receive support in several ways:

  • Up to three written assignments, chosen from a selection, may be submitted for tutor comment and guidance. The marks for the best of these will count in the formal assessment process. Although the marks obtained for the other essays do not contribute to the overall assessment, students often find it helpful to receive academic feedback on their work to ensure that they are reaching the required standard. In addition, writing essays can be a useful aid in preparing for examinations.
  • You will be given access to the RVC’s Virtual Learning Environment, which includes structured online tutorials, access to previous exam papers and study materials. The tutorials provide the opportunity for you to ask academic queries and you are strongly encouraged to plan for these sessions. Student discussion boards provide the opportunity for you to collaborate with other students and set up your own study groups. You will also receive an RVC email account which you should access daily in order to keep updated with information regarding your studies.  Please note that academic queries will be answered during tutorials only.
  • Students are invited to allow us to share their contact details with other students studying on the programme in their locality, so that networking and mutual support can be arranged locally if desired.

Study materials

After you register as a student you will receive:

  • A Programme handbook, giving you information on planning your studies, preparing for examinations and study techniques.
  • A Module pack for each module you study. This will contain a study guide, along with a series of readings. The readings will consist of copies of book chapters and articles which have been specially selected from leading academic journals and books. These will present the most concise and readable information and recent developments in the field.
  • Textbooks for certain modules.
  • Sample examination papers from the previous two years and, where a module has previously been examined, an examiner’s report (available via the RVC’s Virtual Learning Environment).
  • CD-ROMs (for certain modules).

In subsequent years of your registration you will receive:

  • an updated Programme handbook (available via the VLE)
  • the relevant module pack for any additional modules you begin studying
  • any revisions to modules previously received (but where the assessment has not been completed), and
  • any examiners’ reports/past examination papers not previously received (available via the VLE).

The programme is designed so that you are provided with all the materials you need to study. The materials are comprehensive so you will be able to complete the modules without access to any additional books or readings. There is, therefore, no need to purchase expensive textbooks, or to spend valuable time in trying to locate journals which may not be available locally.

Period of study and time commitment

Postgraduate Diploma students have a minimum of two years and a maximum of five.

Postgraduate Certificate students have a minimum of one year and a maximum of five.

The ‘study year’ is effectively between February and September, with examinations in early/mid-October. Individuals differ in the number of hours per week they need to devote to study, and in the number of years in which they would like to complete the programme, these factors make it is difficult to be precise about the number of hours’ study required. A rough guide, however, is that to complete in the minimum period you should be prepared for not less than 10 hours of study per week and 15 hours would be recommended. It is very important that the hours given to study, however many they may be, should be given consistently.

What our students say

Sally Gaynor
MSc in Livestock Health and Production graduate, Ireland.

Distance learning gave me the opportunity to gain a postgraduate degree by fitting my studying around a full-time job and rearing three children. I feel it has been a major achievement in my life. It has acted as a refresher module for my primary degree - 25 years after leaving college - giving me renewed confidence. It has also expanded my knowledge and understanding of other areas that impact on my area of work for the State Veterinary Service. I found the course material interesting and very well presented. I am sure the MSc will improve my chances of promotion in the future.

Fees

Fees

The 2017 fees are effective from 1 March 2016 until 28 February 2017.

2017
MSc registration fee£ 1,610
Postgraduate Diploma registration fee£ 1,210
Postgraduate Certificate registration fee£ 805
Fee per module£ 1,610
Total MSc*£ 12,235
Total Postgraduate Diploma*£ 7,270
Total Postgraduate Certificate*£ 3,825
*This incorporates a discount for payment in advance
Continuing Professional Development2017
240-hour individual modules£ 1,750
50-hour individual modules£ 645
35-hour individual modules£ 485
ConvertGBP x 1

Disclaimer: the currency conversion tool is provided to you for convenience only and does not constitute an endorsement or approval by the University of London; the exchange rates are provided dynamically via a third-party source, consequently, the University of London International Programmes is not responsible for their accuracy.

When to pay

Fees may be paid in one of two ways for the MSc, PG Dip or PG Cert:

  • Pay the total fee on registration by making a single payment, this covers the registration fee and all module fees.
  • Or if you prefer to spread out your payments, pay the registration fee plus the fee for each module you want to take in the first year, and then in subsequent years pay the fee for each new module you take.
For Individual modules, which may be taken on a stand-alone basis for continuing professional development, a single fee is payable on registration. This fee covers registration as an International Programmes Students and, as applicable, the first entry for the examination or assessment.

How to pay

All University fees must be paid in pounds sterling (GBP). The University accepts:

  • Western Union - Quick Pay
  • Credit/debit card (Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, Electron, JCB)
  • Sterling banker's draft/cheque
  • International money/postal order 

Further details are given in payment methods.

Other costs

In addition to the fees payable to the University, you should also budget for the fee charged by your local examination centre to cover its costs; this fee will vary.

Note

The University reserves the right to amend previously announced fees, if necessary. For a full list fees that may be applicable, please see the fee schedule.

Assessment

Assessment

Each individual module will be examined by a three-hour unseen written examination, which may contain both essays and shorter questions. You will also be required to submit up to three* written assignments per course, and the one with the highest marks will count as part of the formal assessment. The two elements are weighted as follows: unseen written examination (80%), compulsory written assignment (20%).

Examinations

Examinations take place once a year in October. If you fail an examination at the first sitting, you will be allowed one further attempt. Examinations are normally held in a student’s country of residence. We have examination centres in over 150 countries worldwide (please see our Assessment and Examinations section for further details).

*Note: from 2018 up to two compulsory written assignments may be submitted.

Note: for details of how the 50 and 35 hour individual modules are assessed please see the individual courses and modules section of this website.

Requirements

Academic Requirements

MSc degree

  • An undergraduate degree (e.g. bachelor) which is considered at least comparable to a UK second class honours degree, from an institution acceptable to the University, in one of the following subjects: veterinary science, animal science, agriculture, biological sciences or medicine; or
  • An undergraduate degree (e.g. bachelor) in a scientific discipline which is considered at least comparable to a UK second class honours degree, from an institution acceptable to the University which has, in the opinion of the University, included suitable preliminary training.

Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate and 240-hour Individual Modules

An appropriate degree, professional or technical qualification and work experience considered appropriate and relevant by the University.

35-hour and 50-hour Individual Modules

There are no entrance requirements for the 35-hour and 50-hour Individual Modules.

Language Requirements

You will meet the English language requirement if you have passed, within the past three years:

  • (IELTS) International English Language Testing System when an overall score of at least 6.5 is achieved with a minimum of 6.0 in each sub-test.
  • (TOEFL) iBT Test of English as a Foreign Language overall score of 92 or above with at least 22 in both Reading and Writing Skills sub-tests and at least 20 in both Speaking and Listening sub-tests.

Alternatively, your application will also be considered if you provide sufficient evidence confirming that, within the past three years, you have;

  • been educated in English medium (minimum 18 months) OR
  • have worked in English (minimum 18 months).

Computer Requirements

You must have regular access to a computer (or mobile device*) with an internet connection to use the University of London International Programmes website and the Student Portal. These are where your programme’s study resources are located. Through the Student Portal you can register as a student, enter exams and use your programme’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). The VLE provides you with electronic learning materials, access to the University of London Online Library, networking opportunities, and other resources.

To get the most from your studies, your computer should have at least the following minimum specification:

  • a web browser (the latest version of Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer). This must accept cookies and have JavaScript enabled
  • screen resolution of 1024 x 768 or greater
  • sufficient bandwidth to download documents of at least 2 MB.

and the following applications installed:

  • a word processor that reads Microsoft Word format (.doc)
  • Adobe, or other pdf reader.

* Full mobile access is not available for all programmes.

Additional computer requirements

For the four modules ‘Advanced statistical methods in veterinary epidemiology’, ‘Management of infectious disease outbreaks in animal populations’, ‘Statistical methods in veterinary epidemiology’ and ‘Surveillance and investigation of animal health’, you will require the following:

  • industry-standard personal computer (please note that Macs are not suitable as some of the software is not compatible
  • Pentium-class processor or better (Pentium IV MHz or higher recommended)
  • RAM 512MB minimum (1GB or higher recommended)
  • CD-ROM drive, double speed (or faster recommended)
  • pointing device: mouse
  • display: Resolution 640 x 480 (minimum), 1024 x 768 (recommended); 256 colours (minimum), 65536 colours or higher (recommended)
  • Windows 2000, XP Windows NT4 or higher
  • 10GB of hard disk space.

For ‘Advanced statistical methods in veterinary epidemiology’, access to ArcGIS software (version 9 or higher), including the extensions Spatial Analyst and 3D analyst, is required. For further information regarding specific software requirements for the above three modules, please visit the structure and syllabus page for Veterinary Epidemiology and Public Health.

Academic leaders

Academic leadership - Royal Veterinary College

The Royal Veterinary College (external link) is the UK’s longest established veterinary school and one of the most highly regarded institutions of its kind in Europe. The College has over 1,500 students enrolled on undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing professional development programmes and four state-of-the-art teaching and referral hospitals, providing services to the public and the veterinary profession.

The College’s reputation for excellence and pioneering work in teaching and research makes us stand out from the crowd, and our independent status enables us to innovate and keep at the forefront of theory and practice. Postgraduate students learn alongside experts in their field and are provided with the specialist knowledge and skills required to make it to the very top of their chosen profession. The Royal Veterinary College is one college spread over two campuses, one based in central London and the other in rural Hertfordshire. We are ideally located for all international transport links and within easy reach of London’s many other excellent universities and research hospitals.

Academic leaders

Dr Christine Thuranira-McKeever

Distance Learning Programme Director

Christine's key responsibility is to provide academic guidance and leadership to the postgraduate courses of Livestock Health and Production and Veterinary Epidemiology and Public Health. This includes managing the content of the courses offered, ensuring appropriate management of students‘ progress, ensuring appropriate teaching strategies, co-ordinating the administration of the course and liaising with a range of external partners and collaborators.

More information on RVC website.

 

Dr Julian Drewe

Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Epidemiology

Julian is a Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Epidemiology and co-director for the MSc in Veterinary Epidemiology course (run jointly buy the RVC and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine). He is also an RCVS Specialist in Veterinary Epidemiology, and a European Veterinary Specialist in Wildlife Population Health. He is particularly interested in finding out how diseases transmit between wildlife, domestic animals and humans.

More information on RVC website.

 

Mr John Fishwick

Head of Department

John graduated as a veterinary surgeon from Cambridge University in 1985 having gained an intercalated degree in Pharmacology. He worked for four years in a mixed but largely farm animal general practice in Cheshire where he gained the RCVS Certificate in Cattle Health and Production in 1988. He then moved to a mixed but predominantly small animal practice in Essex before moving to the RVC in 1990 as Lecturer in Farm Animal Practice. He returned to the RVC in 2003 as Senior Lecturer in Dairy Herd Medicine. He was Head of the Biological Services Unit –Hawkshead for 3 years from 2006 and was appointed as Head of the newly formed Department of Production and Population Health in 2012.

More information on RVC website.

Dr Efstathios (Stathis) Giotis

Research Scientist

Dr Giotis received his DVM degree in Veterinary Medicine from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece in 2001 and his MSc and PhD degrees in biotechnology and molecular microbiology respectively from the University of Ulster. His PhD was awarded for studies on the genomic and proteomic regulation of Alkali-Tolerance Response in Listeria monocytogenes in 2006. Since then, he worked at the Illinois State University, the Royal Veterinary College, London, and the Roslin Institute, in research projects involving mainly genomic work on MRSA in humans and animals, and Chicken Anaemia Virus respectively. In 2011, he moved to the Imperial College in London to work as a postdoctoral scientist in the lab of Dr MA Skinner and since 2013 he is the main postdoctoral scientist in the 5-year BBSRC-funded strategic LoLa project ‘Developing Rapid Responses to Emerging Virus Infections of Poultry’. His current focus is on the complexity of avian innate immunity, in particular the antiviral type I interferon system, and viral mechanisms to modulate the host responses.

More information.

Professor Javier Guitián

Professor of Veterinary Public Health

Javier qualified in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Santiago, Spain, in 1993. He then studied for a PhD in epidemiology at the same University, conducted research in the USA and Canada as a visiting scientist, and spent a short period doing international cooperation work in Northeast Brazil. After three years working for a diagnostic laboratory and for dairy producers in Galicia, Spain while lecturing part time at the University of Porto in Portugal, he joined The Royal Veterinary College as a Lecturer in Population Medicine in 2002. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2006 and in 2010 he was appointed as Professor of Veterinary Public Health. Javier is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Public Health. He is a member of the scientific committee of the Basque Foundation for Food Safety and of the epidemiology working group of the Caribbean Animal Health Network.

More information on RVC website.

Dr Elizabeth Jackson

Lecturer in Business

Upon completing agribusiness marketing under-graduate studies at Curtin University in Western Australia, Elizabeth spent time working in various aspects of the grain industry: operations, human resource management and biotechnology. During this time, she was studying for an MBA degree. Elizabeth then went back to full-time PhD study to examine the behavioural determinants of farmers and their attitudes to using forward contracts for selling wool. This qualification led to a lectureship at Newcastle University (UK) where Elizabeth lectured in agribusiness management, food marketing and supply chain systems while supervising PhD students and participating in various agribusiness and adult learning-related research projects. Elizabeth was also the degree programme director of the BSc Agribusiness Management (Hons) degree at Newcastle University for four years. Elizabeth joined the RVC as a Lecturer in Business in February, 2014.

More information on RVC website.

Professor Dirk Pfeiffer

Professor of Veterinary Epidemiology

Dirk graduated from Justus Liebig University, Giessen, Germany in 1984 with a Degree in Veterinary Medicine. He went on to complete a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at the same university in 1986. Following this Dirk went on to do a Postgraduate Diploma in Tropical Veterinary Medicine at the Free University of Berlin, which involved fieldwork in Kenya, Somalia, Malaysia and Thailand. In 1987, Dirk moved to Massey University, New Zealand to complete a PhD in veterinary epidemiology and remained there for 11 years, where he became a Lecturer in Production Medicine and Epidemiology in 1992 and was appointed as Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Epidemiology in 1996. Dirk joined the Royal Veterinary College in 1999 as a Professor in Veterinary Epidemiology. Dirk is also an Honorary Professor at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and an Adjunct Professor at the China Animal Health & Epidemiology Centre, Qingdao, China.

More information on RVC website.

Dr Jonathan Rushton

Professor of Animal Health Economics

Jonathan has a personal chair as Professor of Animal Health Economics and holds the Norbrook Endowed chair in Veterinary Business Management. He is a member of the Veterinary Epidemiology, Economics and Public Health Group where his work focuses on improving the wellbeing of people and animals through better resource allocation to food systems and animal health, disease and welfare problems.

More information on RVC website.

 

Dr Ayona Silva-Fletcher

Course Director for the MSc Vet Ed Course & Associate Professor of Veterinary Education

Ayona is the Course Director for MSc Veterinary Education and is a LIVE group member working within the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences. She teaches both undergraduates and postgraduates and is currently working on several international projects that include collaborations with Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, Afghanistan, Netherlands and Sweden. Ayona is passionate about distance and online education, is a Fellow of the Centre for Distance Education at the University of London and was awarded the National Teaching Fellowship (UK) in 2012.

More information on RVC website.

Mrs Kim Stevens

Assistant Lecturer in Epidemiology

Kim is an Assistant Lecturer in Epidemiology. She teaches at statistics at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, together with courses on spatial analysis, data management and data visualization. Her research interests include spatial modelling particularly of vector-borne diseases, and the effect of climate change on disease epidemiology.

More information on RVC website.

 

Dr Kristien Verheyen

Head of the Graduate School/Senior Lecturer in Clinical Epidemiology

Kristien is a Senior Lecturer in Clinical Epidemiology. Her research focuses on equine epidemiology, with projects on musculoskeletal injuries in racehorses, epidemiology of common clinical disorders in the UK horse population and health and welfare of working horses overseas.

More information on RVC website.

 

 

Mr Martin Whiting

Lecturer in Veterinary Ethics and Law

Martin is the Lecturer in Veterinary Ethics and Law at the RVC and his PhD in the concept of public interest within the veterinary profession is nearing completion.  He is also interested in the ways in which vets and veterinary nurses behave in practice including elements of the ethics of EBVM and informed consent. He teaches veterinary students, nurses and post-graduates in veterinary ethics.

Martin is a Visiting Fellow at Lincoln University.

More information on RVC website.

 

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Speak to a student ambassador

Please email former student Stuart Jaques to get his insight on his study experiences.

Alumni Inspiration: Wendy Weirich, MSc Livestock Health and Production

USA-based veterinarian Wendy Weirich talks about studying for an MSc in Livestock Health and Production by distance learning. The MSc is academically directed by the Royal Veterinary College, University of London.

Animal Welfare Module

Martin Whiting form the Veterinary Clinical Sciences Department,Royal Veterinary College, University of London, speaks about the importance of Animal Welfare.