Veterinary Professional Studies - Introduction to Epidemiology

Aims of Module

The overall aims of this module are:

  • to develop a systematic understanding and critical awareness of key topics relevant to veterinary epidemiology;
  • to develop the theoretical knowledge and skills necessary to critically evaluate published epidemiological studies and findings;
  • to be able to plan epidemiological studies and have a systematic approach to analysis and interpretation of epidemiological data.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module successful candidates will be able to:

1. develop a systematic understanding and in depth knowledge of the role of epidemiology in animal and public health;
2. demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of epidemiological measures and study designs;
3. demonstrate an in depth understanding of the importance of bias and confounding in epidemiological studies, how to look for them and how to avoid them;
4. demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of techniques for sampling strategies and sample size calculations for field studies;
5. demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the performance characteristics of diagnostic tests and strategies to deal with their limitations;
6. analyse, accurately interpret and communicate the findings from epidemiological data (using appropriate computer software);
7. critically evaluate research methodologies in epidemiology;
8. demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the application of epidemiological approaches to real-world problems, including disease surveillance and outbreak investigation;
9. demonstrate critical awareness of ethical and data protection issues in epidemiological studies.

Module Structure

The module provides an introduction to epidemiology. It covers key concepts and methods related to application of epidemiology to the study of diseases in animal populations. The teaching and learning strategy allows students to study at a distance in an online forum that encourages communication and interaction between professional peers as well as the teaching staff while maintaining flexibility to be available to working professionals on a part time basis. The module comprises lectures and tutorials that build on and enable debate and reflection based on guided and self-directed preparatory reading and problem solving.

This module will cover the following study areas:

1. Putting epidemiology into context
2. Epidemiological Measures
3. Design of Epidemiological Studies
4. Questionnaire design and implementation
5. Bias and sampling
6. Confounding and Interaction
7. Sampling and sample size calculations
8. Evaluation of Diagnostic Tests
9. Veterinary Surveillance
10. Epidemiological principles of outbreak investigation
11. Infectious disease epidemiology
12. Analysis and Interpretation of Epidemiological Studies
13. Critical Examination of Published Material
14. Journal critiques


Introduction to Epidemiology Module - £1000

How to Enrol 

Applications are invited from candidates who have already completed 60 credits towards a Veterinary Professional Studies award at the University of Liverpool (i.e. as per the Certificate in Veterinary Professional Studies), and who are continuing to study towards the Diploma or MSc.

For more information on enrolment, please contact us.