One Health: ecosystems, humans and animals
What is the MSc in One Health: ecosystems, humans and animals?
Changing environmental, social and agricultural conditions are a threat to animal and human health and welfare.
Many infectious 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 veterinary infectious diseases 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.
If you are interested in One Health and the control of infectious disease (particularly in the developing world), then this unique 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).
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, transdisciplinary 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
The MSc may be completed full-time in one year or part time over two years, and consists of eight taught modules and a research project.
The course starts in September each year and you will split your time between the RVC and LSHTM. Students then undertake a four-month research project on a topic of their choice.
There is a one-week orientation period that includes an introduction to studying at the Royal Veterinary College and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, followed by four compulsory modules:
- Foundations of One Health (RVC)
- Introduction to Disease Agents for One Health (LSHTM)
- Infectious Disease Emergence (RVC)
- Introduction to One Health Epidemiology and Surveillance (RVC)
Terms 2 and 3
All students take three compulsory modules:
- Economics of One Health (RVC)
- One Health: Situation Analysis and Systems Thinking(RVC)
- Medical Anthropology and Public Health (LSHTM)
In addition, students choose a fourth module from the following:
- Vector Biology and Vector-Parastite Interactions (LSHTM)
- Environmental Epidemiology (LSHTM)
- Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases (LSHTM)
- Globalisation and Health (LSHTM)
Here is an example of a previous student project by Olga Munoz Pogoreltseva (MSc One Health 2013-14 graduate): Possible cross-transmission of parasites in Ecuador between humans and animals
To apply for the MSc One Health: ecosystems, humans and animals, you must have (or expect to receive) a first or second class Honours degree.
Please contact our Admissions Office if you are unsure whether your degree is equivalent to a UK first or second class Honours degree. We invite applications from candidates from a range of backgrounds, including 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 contact us in advance of applying so we can consider such cases on an individual basis.
English language requirements
A good working knowledge of scientific English is essential in order to follow the course. All applicants must have an acceptable English Language qualification:
- IELTS (Academic) score of 7.0 or above with minimum 6.5 in each component
For those without IELTS, please see our English Language Requirements page for a full list of qualifications we will accept as alternatives.
Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme applicants
If you intend to apply for the course under the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme, please note you will need to apply to both the CSC and RVC directly. Applications for 2021 Commonwealth Shared Scholarships will open in February 2021 and close on 9th April 2021. Please ensure you are eligible before submitting an application: you will need to make clear in the Funding section of your RVC application that you are a Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme applicant.
Priority applicants NB: Applicants who have met the English language requirements for the course (and uploaded/sent us their results) by 31st March 2021, as well as those from the countries listed below, will be prioritised for consideration. We have listed the equivalent qualification to a UK Bachelor Honours degree for each country, which will be needed to meet our entry requirements. Where a qualification is not listed there is not an equivalent qualification from this country which would meet our current requirements, but qualifications studied elsewhere which are equivalent to a UK Bachelor Honours degree would be accepted. Note: only those who have submitted applications to both the RVC and the CSC by the deadlines above will be shortlisted.
Eswatini – Master’s degree
Lesotho – Master’s degree
Malawi – Master’s degree
Mozambique – Grau de Mestre (Master’s)
Papua New Guinea – Bachelor(hons) degree
Rwanda – Diplome de Docteur en Medecine/Bachelor(hons) degree
Solomon Islands – Bachelor degree from University of the South Pacific
Tanzania – Bachelor degree/Doctor of Medicine/Veterinary Medicine
Gambia – Master’s degree
Vanuatu – Bachelor degree from University of the South Pacific
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 Masters provides 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 human and animal health programmes.
Please see the testimonial below of Jessica Floyd, one of our successful One Health graduates, who has gone on to work on human and livestock movement patterns in Kenya, and the associated risk of zoonotic disease transmission:
Key academic staff – RVC
Dr Pablo Alarcon: Course Co-Director (joint with Dr Sian Clarke) and Module Leader
Lecturer in Animal Health Economics
Dr Rob Noad: Deputy Course Director and Module Leader
Lecturer in Molecular Virology
Professor Damer Blake: Module Leader
Professor of Parasite Genetics
Dr Jackie Cardwell: Module Leader
Lecturer in Epidemiology
Dr Julian Drewe: Module Leader
Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Epidemiology
Dr Barbara Haesler: Module Leader
Lecturer in Agrihealth
Professor Richard Kock
Chair in Wildlife Health and Emerging Diseases
Dr Lucy Brunton
Lecturer in Veterinary Public Health
Key academic staff – LSHTM
Dr Sian Clarke: Course Co-Director (joint with Dr Pablo Alarcon) and Module Leader
Associate Professor in Malaria Research and Control
Prof Simon Cohn: Module Leader
Professor of Medical Anthropology
Professor Francesco Checchi: Module Leader
Professor of Epidemiology and International Health
Professor Jo Lines: Module Leader
Reader in Malaria Control & Vector Biology
Professor Michael Miles: Module Leader
Professor of Medical Protozoology
Professor Mark Rowland: Module Leader
Professor of Medical Entomology and Malaria Control, and Head of Department
Prof Carolyn Stephens: Module Leader
Honorary Professor of Urban Health
Professor Paul Wilkinson: Module Leader
Professor of Environmental Epidemiology
The tuition fees for students commencing the course in 2021/22 are as follows:
UK Tuition Fees EU Tuition Fees International Fees Island Fees (Channel Islands
& Isle of Man)
For part-time fees please see this link https://www.rvc.ac.uk/study/fees-and-funding/fees#panel-tuition-fees-for-postgraduate-taught-and-research-students
Tuition fee amounts are subject to increase each academic year, please be aware of this when making your calculations and planning how much money you will require.
Alumni Fee Discount
The Royal Veterinary College is offering a postgraduate tuition fee discount to Alumni who are self-financing their postgraduate study and meet the eligibility criteria.
Bursary for Postgraduate Taught Courses
RVC bursary for outstanding home and international students undertaking a Masters in 2021/22.
Canadian Student Loans
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.
Commonwealth Master’s Scholarships
This scholarship is only available to students from Member countries of the Commonwealth.
Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme (DFID)
Offered by the US- UK Educational Commission (Fulbright Commission).
Other Sources of Financial Information for Postgraduate Taught Courses
for more information see
Postgraduate Master's Loan
Postgraduate Master's Loan is funding to help with course and living costs whilst studying a postgraduate Master’s level course. The loan is seen as a contribution to the costs of postgraduate study, and is paid directly to the students, so you can spend it as you wish – tuition fees, accommodation, course books, and living expenses.
Study a Master's in Europe Scholarship
Study abroad scholarship worth €5000. This scholarship is open to students from any country who are planning to study a Master's degree at a European university in the autumn 2021.
USA Student Loans
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.