Module code: MMVM003

Module Overview

In this module, students will assimilate and build upon concepts of epidemiology, surveillance, veterinary public health and molecular epidemiology. The topics are inter-related as they are concerned with how these influence wider society, which veterinary professionals need to consider in order to tackle One Health issues. The topics studied here provide the foundation for the study of population medicine and research.

Module provider

School of Veterinary Medicine

Module Leader

PRADA Joaquin (Vet Med)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: C522

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

 Indicative content includes:


  • An introduction to epidemiology

  • Describing health & disease

  • Measures of disease frequency

  • Epidemiological concepts of causation

  • Measures of association

  • Epidemiological study design

  • Hypothesis testing and statistical tests

  • Interpretation of diagnostic tests

Molecular Epidemiology

  • Introduction to molecular epidemiology

  • How does it help decision making

  • Sources and pathways of infection


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Critical Evaluation of Scientific Paper (Oral Presentation) 40
Coursework Epidemiological Study Design (1500 words Essay) 60

Alternative Assessment

Alternative Assessment: Alternative assessment for oral presentation will be the critical evaluation of a published molecular epidemiology study (max 1000 words) with accompanying slides.

Assessment Strategy

Assessment strategy:

Coursework comprising:

i) a critical evaluation of a published molecular epidemiology study to be presented on the final afternoon of the module (oral presentation, 40%)  and

ii) a written outline of a proposed study design with accompanying explanations regarding the choice of study design and techniques used to be submitted in week as timetabled, 1500 words (60%).


Students will receive verbal feedback during each lecture – this is achieved by the Lecturers asking questions and assessing student responses and input into discussions. The lecturer will then highlight areas of confusion or provide clarity where necessary. Individual one-to-one discussions are also possible with this small group of students. 

Module aims

  • To provide an introduction to veterinary epidemiology
  • To provide a basic overview  of the terminology and applications of epidemiological studies
  • To provide an understanding of the importance of designing molecular typing studies in accordance with epidemiological principles.
  • To provide a basic overview of the application of molecular epidemiology in infectious disease investigations and research studies.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Demonstrate an adequate understanding of epidemiological terminology K
002 Demonstrate an adequate understanding about disease causation K
003 Critically assess the advantages and disadvantages of the different epidemiological studies K
004 Critically assess the suitability of study designs and the strength of association between a risk and an outcome K
005 Discuss how to design and carry out a disease outbreak investigation K
006 Demonstrate an adequate working knowledge of the epidemiological principles that should be considered when designing a molecular epidemiological study. K
007 Critically assess the suitability of different molecular subtyping techniques for different study designs and their abilities to support different scales of epidemiological research questions. K
008 Critically assess the epidemiological suitability of a set of typing data to answer specific research questions. K
009 Explain how elucidating patterns in pathogen strain variation across time, space and host populations can help to inform disease control programmes. K
010 Discuss how the information gained from a molecular epidemiological study of infectious disease may be enhanced by the addition of ecology and population biology tools. K
011 Evaluate the validity of epidemiological study approaches to certain hypotheses C
012 Evaluate the suitability and quality of diagnostic tests C
013 Evaluate the epidemiological validity of a molecular typing study. C
014 Evaluate the approach to designing a molecular epidemiological study in relation to the choices of typing methods, analytical techniques and research objective. C
015 Use knowledge from other disciplines/ previous modules to solve complex research questions T
016 Investigate and analyse problems T
017 Participate in group discussions and on group assignments T
018 Critically asses scientific literature T
019 Work independently demonstrating initiative, self-organisation and time management T
020 Communicate effectively orally and in written work. T
021 Collaborate with other disciplines to solve complex research questions T
022 Integrate numerical and non-numerical information. T

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 100

Lecture Hours: 41

Practical/Performance Hours: 9

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

  • Stimulate students to take an epidemiological approach to animal health and disease.

  • Enhance critical thinking and ability to evaluate evidence

  • Introduce concepts from animal health surveillance to encourage multi-disciplinary thinking

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Lectures, seminars & small group discussions, on line librbary modules

  • Practicals involving computer-based exercises handling data and performing statistical calculations

  • Group presentations

There are a total of 41 hours of lecture, seminars and small group discussions, 13 hours of practicals or online modules, and 6 hours of self study

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Reading list for EPIDEMIOLOGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/mmvm003

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Veterinary Microbiology MSc 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2019/0 academic year.