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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies : Veterinary Sciences

Postgraduate Course: One Health risk communication and preparedness (VESC11266)

Course Outline
SchoolRoyal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies CollegeCollege of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis is a postgraduate course in risk communication and governance, emergency animal health crisis response and crisis communication, with a focus on diseases of major veterinary and human public health concern. The course will cover topics including strategy design and implementation, and outbreak preparedness, with a focus on disease risk communication at the science-policy-industry interface, and engagement with communities.
Course description Provide an academic description, an outline of the content covered by the course and a description of the learning experience students can expect to get.

The course will examine risk communication at different stages of a One Health emergency preparedness and response cycle and will include sessions on:

- The language of risk, risk perception and tolerance
- Engaging with communities
- Risk communication for disease emergency preparedness
- Media training
- Strategy development
- Communicating during an outbreak
- Monitoring and evaluation of risk communication programmes
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Block 5 (Sem 2) and beyond
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 98 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Formative assessment: There will be Multiple Choice Questions to assess knowledge and understanding.

Summative assessment:
1. Create a risk communication strategy for a provided case study (70%)
2. A recorded soundbite (audio file) in order to deliver information to a specific audience (30%)
Feedback Students receive feedback on all formative and summative assessments. Feedback is also provided during live tutorials or lectures and on discussion boards.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the theories, concepts, principles of risk communication and preparedness for threats to human, animal and environmental health security.
  2. Apply knowledge, critical analysis, evaluation, and synthesis to develop specialised skills, techniques, and practices that apply to forefront issues of risk communication and preparedness for threats to human, animal and environmental health security and sustainability.
  3. Communicate, using appropriate methods, to specific audiences/stakeholder groups with different levels of knowledge or expertise in One Health risk communication and preparedness.
Reading List
Baron J, Hershey JC, Kunreuther H. Determinants of priority for risk reduction: the role of worry. Risk Anal. 2000. 20(4):413-27. doi: 10.1111/0272-4332.204041

Fischhoff B. Helping the public make health risk decisions. In: Covello VT, McCallum DB, Pavlova MT, editors. Effective risk communication: the role and responsibility of government and nongovernment organizations. New York: Plenum Press; 1989. p.111-6

ECDC A Technical Report: A literature review on effective risk communication for the prevention and control of communicable diseases in Europe. Available at

FAO Epic Risk Communication for Animal And Public Health Threats; Global Toolkit for Veterinary Services ¿ An Introduction

Savoia E, Lin L, Gamhewage GM. A Conceptual Framework for the Evaluation of Emergency Risk Communications. Am J Public Health. 2017. 107(S2):S208-S214. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2017.304040
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students will have the opportunity to develop particularly the following Graduate Attributes and Skills:

Under research and enquiry: graduates of this course will be able to define and analyse problems and identify or create processes to solve them. They will exercise analytical thinking, critical judgment, and handling ambiguity and complexity, and they will search for, evaluate and use information to develop their knowledge and understanding.

Under personal and intellectual autonomy: ethics and social responsibility, decision making. The graduates of this course will be independent learners who take responsibility for their own learning, and are committed to continuous reflection, self-evaluation and self-improvement.

Under communication: Verbal communication and presentation, written communication and influencing, and negotiation skills. Graduates of this course will be able to make effective use of oral, written and visual means to critique, negotiate, create and communicate understanding. They will use communication as a tool for collaborating and relating to others.

Under Personal Effectiveness: Graduates of the course will be able to effectively change and be responsive to the situations and environments in which they operate, by demonstrating self-discipline, motivation, adaptability, persistence and professionalism. They will be able to manage risk while initiating and managing change, and understand the social, cultural, global and environmental responsibilities and issues, while effectively working with others, and capitalising on their different thinking, experience and skills.

KeywordsRisk communication,preparedness,disease outbreak,One Health
Course organiserDr Smaragda Tsairidou
Tel: (0131 6)517112
Course secretaryMr Michael Winpenny
Tel: (0131 6)50 8825
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