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

Programme delivery

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.

An additional new optional module, Spatial Analysis in Epidemiology, has recently been developed and, subject to approval, will be included as an optional module. This would not change the compulsory options currently required for completion of this course, but would add an additional choice to the list of term 2 optional modules. All existing options will also continue to be made available. Notification of this additional option will be made to students in advance of course commencement.

Term 1

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)
  • Infectious Disease Emergence and Control (RVC/LSHTM)
  • Principles of Epidemiology and Surveillance (RVC)
  • Research Skills and Statistical Analysis (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)
  • Spatial Analysis in Epidemiology (RVC)*

* For the eighth module of the course students must complete one 15 credit module from a choice of 5 options. One of these module, the Spatial Analysis in Epidemiology module, is subject to approval (as at 1/03/23). Were approval not to be awarded then students would still be required to choose from one of the 4 remaining modules. Notification of this additional option will be made to students in advance of course commencement.

Research project

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

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Academic qualifications

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. 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. Applications for 2023 Commonwealth Shared Scholarships are open and will close on 13th December 2022. 

Priority applicants NB: Applicants who have met the English language requirements for the course (and uploaded/sent us their results) by 4th March 2023, 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
  • Kiribati 
  • 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
  • Tuvalu
  • 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:

Jessica Floyd testimonial 

Key academic staff – RVC

Dr Pablo AlarconCourse 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 ClarkeCourse 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

Tuition Fees

The tuition fees for students commencing the course in 2023/24 are as follows:

Home Tuition Fees including Island Fees (Channel Islands & Isle of Man)

International Fees


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.

Funding Options

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.

The value of the discount is 20% for all Alumni.

Bursary for Postgraduate Taught Courses

RVC bursary for outstanding home and international students undertaking a Masters in 2023/24.   

The RVC postgraduate bursary will be offering a discretionary amount, typically of £5,000 upwards per recipient, to select outstanding home and international students undertaking a Masters in 2023/24. These will be allocated on a highly competitive basis to students applying for a full-time place.

Bursaries will be allocated in or by July 2023 at the discretion of the Scholarship Allocation Board. All students who have applied by the course deadline or 5 June 2023 (whichever is soonest) and have been offered a full-time place will be considered. Priority will be given to those who have met the English language requirements, or shown evidence of their exam booking, by 5 June 2023.

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.

Applications for Commonwealth Master’s Scholarships for the academic year 2023/24 are now closed

Applicants can expect to hear the outcome of their applications by June 2023.

Commonwealth Master’s Scholarships are for candidates from low and middle income Commonwealth countries, to undertake full-time taught Master’s study at a UK university.

For full details, including eligibility criteria and how to apply, visit: https://cscuk.fcdo.gov.uk/scholarships/commonwealth-masters-scholarships/

Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme (DFID)

This scholarship is only available to students from Member countries of the Commonwealth

Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme (DFID)

Commonwealth Shared Scholarships for the academic year 2022/2023 are now closed. Applicants will be notified of the outcome by June 2022.

For more info please see your course page e.g. link

Fulbright scholarship

Other Sources of Financial Information for Postgraduate Taught Courses

Other sources of financial information for postgraduate taught courses:

  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.

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.

Further Information

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 2024.

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.

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