Veterinary Public Health & Epidemiology VETSCI4024

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Biodiversity One Health Vet Med
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course addresses the broad topics of population medicine, epidemiology and veterinary public health.


Weekly lecture and practical sessions

Requirements of Entry

Students must have attained the minimum requirements for entry into level 4 of the Veterinary Biosciences [Hons]/MSci Programme as specified in the Veterinary Biosciences [Hons]/MSci Programme Supplementary Regulations.

Excluded Courses



In course assessment: Solo oral presentation (15%) and applied assessment (20%) based on an aspect of food safety/risk management.

End of course assessment: Written examination composed of Qs which may include SAQ, data interpretation questions (DIQ) and MCQ (65%)

Main Assessment In: December

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

To provide students with knowledge and understanding of:

■ Epidemiological concepts, principles, methods and measures that can be applied to human and animal populations by means of which to enhance understanding of disease and to inform control

■ The positive and negative impacts of human-animal interaction through direct and indirect exposure and through consumption of foods of animal origin, with major emphasis on farm-to-fork food safety

■ The organization of human and animal health systems, at resolutions ranging from global to local, and the principles of the legislative and regulatory basis for disease control

■ The adoption of the principles of population preventive medicine to manage and control diseases of animals and humans

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Extend and develop the notion of diagnostic tests, from prerequisite and co-requisite courses in the programme, to an understanding of the important characteristics of sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values

■ Describe, explain and apply standard epidemiological study designs/disease investigations with appreciation of strategies to avoid/minimise biases and errors

■ Derive and interpret standard epidemiological measures of frequency and association,

■ Explain the organisation of disease surveillance systems, for animal and human diseases, and correctly interpret their output

■ Describe the routes of transmission of pathogens between animals and humans, including indirect routes and contact networks, with emphasis on the food chain

■ Discuss the steps and processes that take place between the production and consumption of foods of animal origin, including regulatory issues in relation to traceability, food safety and animal welfare

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.