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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Deanery of Biomedical Sciences : International Animal Health

Postgraduate Course: Applied Veterinary Epidemiology (INAH11027)

Course Outline
SchoolDeanery of Biomedical Sciences CollegeCollege of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course aims to promote an understanding of the theory of basic and applied epidemiology of disease using examples from the field of international animal health
Course description The course will introduce modern applied veterinary epidemiology and its current scope.

Epidemiology is concerned with the prevention and control of disease in human and animal populations. Veterinary epidemiology additionally includes the investigation and assessment of other health-related events, notably productivity.

The word 'epidemiology' is derived from Greek roots, whose other constructs, such as 'epidemein' ('to visit a community'), give hints of the early association between epidemiology and infections that periodically entered a community (e.g., the great plagues such as foot-and-mouth disease, rinderpest and smallpox), in contrast to other diseases which were usually present in the population.

Outbreaks of disease in human populations were called 'epidemics', and in animal populations were called 'epizootics', from which the term 'epizootiology' was derived (from the Greek - (zoo-) = animal). However, many infections (the zoonoses) affect both animals and humans, and the semantic differentiation between studies involving human diseases and those concerned with animal diseases therefore is considered unwarranted. Thus, 'veterinary epidemiology' is now preferred to 'epizootiology', although the latter term still persists in some parts of the world.

The course will focus on the basic measures of disease occurrence, overview of transmission and the patterns of disease, necessary basic statistics, surveillance, field survey design and conduct, observational studies and diagnostic testing.
Teaching material is delivered online through the university¿s virtual learning environment. Students are expected to engage with staff and fellow students through discussion boards. Learning outcomes will be assessed through submission of written assignments and participation in assessed discussion boards.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Flexible
Course Start Date 05/08/2024
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Online Activities 60, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 116 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Formal summative written assessment will constitute 60% of the student's grade. Online discussion in both a synchronous and asynchronous environment will contribute further to the final mark. In combination with the submission of electronic course assignments, these elements will provide the remaining 40% of the final mark.«br /»
Feedback Summative assessment consists of two written assessments, worth 30% of the total mark each, and online elements worth 40%. In each case, comprehensive written feedback is provided individually within 15 working days of the assessment deadline. Students are expected to reflect on their feedback, to seek additional clarification if appropriate, and to use this to improve on future assignments of a similar nature.
Formative assessment consists of discussion around what is expected of each piece of assessed work for the course. This is conducted in an open discussion forum for all students to contribute to and provides an opportunity to clearly understand the key requirements for each assignment before submission. Any student can post questions about the assignment and a response will be posted on the discussion board by the course tutor within 3 working days.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Describe basic statistical methods and their application and the measurement of disease frequency.
  2. Describe the methods for quantifying diagnostic test performance, and be able to interpret and discuss the observation and interpretation of diagnostic data.
  3. Demonstrate the principles of survey design and the concepts of sampling.
  4. Critically assess veterinary epidemiology and veterinary services in complying with the World Trade Organization SPS agreement
  5. Critically assess the impact of privatisation of veterinary services in relation to surveillance.
Reading List
Veterinary epidemiology
M. V. Thrusfield
Oxford : Blackwell Science ;2007
Online access available through the library
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students will be able to critically assess existing understanding and the limitations of their own knowledge and will be able to exercise critical judgement in creating new understanding of international animal health issues.

Students will understand social, cultural, global and environmental responsibilities and issues though membership of a global community of practise. This community encourages students to work together to capitalise on their different thinking, experience and skills in order to progress their knowledge and understanding.

Students will recognise the need to keep abreast of current developments as part of a regular routine of self motivated continuing professional development and will make effective use of written and visual means to critique, negotiate, create and communicate understanding.

KeywordsVeterinary epidemiology,surveillance,diagnostic testing,field studies
Course organiserDr Ewan MacLeod
Tel: (0131 6)51 1694
Course secretaryMiss Katherine Shaw
Tel: (0131 6)50 8349
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