What are the Diploma and MSc in One Health (Infectious Diseases)?

Changing environmental, social and agricultural conditions are a threat to animal and human health and welfare.

Many diseases can pass between animals and humans, while food production, human diet and community stability are harmed by diseases that infect livestock and wildlife. Emerging animal and human diseases, such as highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses, emphasise the threat posed by these issues.

The One Health approach recognises the relationship between health and disease at the human, animal and environment interfaces and has become an important focus in both medical and veterinary science. It promotes a “whole of society” treatment of health hazards and a systemic change of perspective in the management of risk.

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

If you are interested in One Health and infectious disease control (particularly in the developing world), then this unique Diploma or MSc course could be for you. We welcome applications from individuals with a background in public health, veterinary sciences, animal or biological sciences, social and environmental sciences, ecology and wildlife health. If you are interested in this field, but do not have the relevant background, please speak with the course directors who can consider such cases on an individual basis.

The course is delivered jointly by the RVC, University of London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). 

Download course brochure 

What will I learn?

The course will provide you with:

  • A comprehensive foundation on the principles of diseases in the context of socio-ecological systems, global health and food safety
  • Knowledge and skills in relation to One Health methodologies, trans-disciplinary interactions and in using a systems approach. 

At the end of the course you will be able to:

  • Understand the One Health concept and approach problem solving using a trans-disciplinary methodology
  • Understand the origin, context and drivers of infectious disease at the human, animal and environment interface
  • Evaluate impacts of multi-host infections on human, animal and ecosystem health and economics directly, or indirectly, via food, disease vectors or the environment.
  • Develop a One Health systems approach to complex disease issues in monitoring, surveillance, diagnosis, prevention and control
  • Critically review published literature
  • Design a research project (MSc students only).

Please see the course syllabus for more information.

Programme delivery

The MSc may be completed full time in one year or part time over two to three years, and consists of eight taught modules and a research project.

The Diploma is shorter (eight modules with no research project component) and may be completed in two terms. 

The course starts in September or October each year and you will split your time between the RVC and LSHTM. Students studying the MSc will then undertake a four-month research project in an area and country of their choice.

Please see an example of a recent student project by Olga Munoz Pogoreltseva (MSc One Health 2013-14 graduate):

Possible cross-transmission of parasites in Ecuador between humans and animals

Academic qualifications

To apply for the MSc or Diploma in One Health (Infectious Diseases) you must have (or expect to receive) a first or second class university honours degree.

Please contact our Admissions Office if you are unsure whether your degree is equivalent to a first or second class university honours degree. We invite applications from candidates with degrees in medicine, veterinary medicine, biological sciences, animal sciences, social sciences, statistics and economics.

If you are interested in this field, but do not have the relevant background, please speak with the course directors who can consider such cases on an individual basis.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you will need to provide evidence of proficiency in spoken and written English, including scientific usage and comprehension. You will be required to achieve an overall score of 7.0 in IELTS (Academic) with a minimum of 6.5 in each sub-test.

See English Language Proficiency in our Guidelines on Applying.

What will I be able to do with my qualification?

A postgraduate degree from the RVC and LSHTM is highly regarded and recognised internationally. This course is one of very few face-to-face One Health courses designed to develop the skills and knowledge needed for resolving complex health challenges.

Ministers of State and international agencies have endorsed the One Health approach and governments are establishing joint committees between public health and veterinary authorities, with close links to wildlife and environmental agencies, with a view to developing inter-sectoral programmes. Our Diploma and Masters provide training to fulfil this growing demand.

Our graduates have a track record of successful careers in Government, research and other organisations where they are involved in the implementation and management of health programmes. However, as this unique MSc/Diploma is a new programme, we are currently unable to provide specific details of what our graduates in One Health have gone on to do.

Key academic staff – RVC

Professor Richard Kock: Course Co-Director and Module Leader (Joint with Dr Jo Lines)
Chair in Wildlife Health and Emerging Diseases, Department of Pathology and Pathogen Biology

Dr Mandy Nevel: Course Co-Director and Module Leader (Joint with Professor Michael Miles)
Senior Lecturer, Department of Pathology and Pathogen Biology

Dr Jackie Cardwell: Module Leader
Lecturer in Epidemiology, Department of Production and Population Health

Professor Jonathan Rushton: Module Leader
Professor of Animal Health Economics, Department of Production and Population Health

Dr Julian Drewe
Lecturer, Department of Production and Population Health

Dr Damer Blake: Module Leader
Senior lecturer, Department of Pathology and Pathogen Biology

Mrs Maria Johnson
RVC Programme Course Coordinator

Key academic staff – LSHTM

Dr Jo Lines: Course Co-Director and Module Leader (Joint with Professor Richard Kock)
Reader in Malaria Control & Vector Biology

Professor Michael Miles: Module Leader (joint with Mandy Nevel)
Professor of Medical Protozoology

Professor Mark Rowland: Module Leader
Professor of Medical Entomology and Malaria Control, and Head of Department

Professor Paul Fine: Module Leader
Professor of Communicable Disease Epidemiology

Dr Clare Chandler: Module Leader
Lecturer in Health Systems Economics

Dr Johanna Hanefeld: Module Leader
Lecturer in Health Systems Economics


The tuition fees for students commencing the course in 2015/16 are as follows:

  UK/EU Overseas
One Health — MSc £10,030  £17,420
One Health — Postgraduate Diploma £tbc £tbc

If you would like to know the fees for part time study, please send an enquiry to admissions@rvc.ac.uk.


Students from the Commonwealth: The Commonwealth DFID Shared Scholarship Scheme is a joint initiative between the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (with funding from DFID) and the RVC as part of the British aid programme to developing countries. In 2015/16, two awards were available to applicants for the Masters in One Health (Infectious Diseases) and Veterinary Epidemiology. Funding covers full costs of an award holder's study in the UK (fees) including airfares. Closing date for receiving applications via UKPass is the 6th March 2015. Please indicate on your application and supporting statement if you wish to be considered for this Scholarship.

Student Bursaries

The RVC will be offering bursaries of £2000-£4000 to contribute towards living expenses to outstanding home/EU and international students undertaking a Masters in 2014/15. These will be allocated on a highly competitive basis to students applying for a full-time place on a Masters course.

The deadline for consideration of this award is the 10th April 2014 and all students who have applied and been offered a full-time place by this deadline will be considered.

Professional and Career Development Loans

A Professional and Career Development Loan could help you pay for learning that enhances your job skills or career prospects. It’s a bank loan, so you’ll have to pay it back once you’ve left your course. However, you don’t pay interest for the period when you’re in learning.

To be eligible, you’ll need to be:

  • 18 or over
  • 'settled’ in the UK, and have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least the three years prior to the start of your learning programme
  • intending to work in the UK, the EU or the EEA when the course finishes.

‘Settled’ means having either indefinite leave to enter or remain or having the right of abode in the UK.

Further details are available from DirectGov.

International Students

The following sources of information may also prove useful to international students:

  1. Contact your local ministry of education/education department. They may provide a scholarship scheme that supports study in the UK.
  2.  Visit the British Council. They will be able to advise you on British scholarship schemes and provide other information about studying in the UK.
  3. The UK government and other UK and EU organisations offer a number of scholarships to enable international students to study in the UK.

Please also see:

Some students will be eligible to apply for commonwealth shared scholarship schemes. To see if you are eligible please see the below link:

For further information about CSFP and DFID please see the following links:

Funding Options

Funding for Canadian Students

The Royal Veterinary College is not involved in processing your application for a loan, however we can confirm your student status; please direct your queries to the Financialaidoffice@rvc.ac.uk

For an overview of the financial aid process for Canadian students, please visit the Campus Access website

Students should apply through their provincial student assistance office or website. When you apply for a loan, you are considered for funding by both the Provincial and Federal Government, meaning you only have to apply once for funding for the year. Federal loans are processed via the National Student Loans Service Centre and provincial loans through the provincial governments and student aid branches.

Funding for International Students

All international students need to ensure that they have secured sufficient funding for their fees and living costs before starting their programme.

There are a range of funding options available to international students studying in the UK. Depending on the country you are applying from, you could be eligible for loans, scholarships or bursaries from a variety of sources.

Funding for USA Students

The RVC participates in the Direct Loan Program in which federal financial assistance is made available from the US Department of Education to US students studying at the RVC. The purpose of this page is to inform you about the process of applying for financial assistance.

The RVC College will originate Direct Stafford loans and Direct Graduate and Parent PLUS loans and full-time students from the USA who are attending at the RVC are normally eligible for funding. The RVC also participates in the VA Educational Benefits programme.

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