Surrey University Stag


Module code: MMVM003

Module Overview

In this module, students will assimilate and build upon concepts of epidemiology, surveillance, public health and basics of molecular tools for epidemiology. The topics are inter-related, as a global view is needed to tackle challenges in the wider society, with a particular emphasis on 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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 114

Lecture Hours: 27

Practical/Performance Hours: 9

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

To have fulfilled entry requirements for the MSc Programme

Module content

Indicative content includes:


  • An introduction to epidemiology

  • Epidemiological concepts of causation

  • Measures of disease frequency

  • Basic Epidemiological methods: study design

  • Hypothesis testing, sources of bias and statistical tests

  • Statistical and mathematical modeling of infectious disease transmission

  • Surveillance and control methods (emphasis on One Health)

  • Health economics

Molecular Epidemiology

  • Introduction to molecular epidemiology

  • Molecular typing methods

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Oral exam or presentation Critical Evaluation of published molecular epidemiology study (Oral Presentation) 40
Coursework Written outline of an 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 :

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

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

Formative feedback:

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 epidemiology and develop a critical appreciation on the nature of the spread of infectious diseases
  • To provide a basic overview of the terminology and applications of epidemiological studies, limitations and sources of bias
  • To provide an overview on the surveillance and control methods available and the public health implications of their implementation
  • To provide a basic understanding of statistical and mathematical modelling methods that are used, with a particular emphasis on the control of disease spread
  • 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, potential sources of bias and hypothesis testing KCT
004 Discuss and evaluate how to design and carry out a disease outbreak investigation KC
005 Explain and implement statistical and mathematical methods for surveillance and control of infectious diseases and key concepts in their parametrisation KCT
006 Demonstrate an adequate working knowledge of the epidemiological principles that should be considered when designing a molecular epidemiological study K
007 Critically asses scientific literature PT
008 Demonstrate effective communication orally and in written work PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

  • Stimulate students to take an epidemiological approach to 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

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

  • Group presentations

There are a total of 36 hours of direct teaching delivery via lectures of lectures, seminars and small group discussions (27 hours indicative), practicals (6 hours indicative), directed self-study (3 hours indicative) and 114 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
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: MMVM003

Other information


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 2023/4 academic year.