118.786 Applied Veterinary Epidemiology (15 credit)

Lecturer: Naomi Cogger BSc (Hons), PhD

This single semester course focuses on how to design and manage an epidemiologic study so as to generate evidence to inform evidence based medicine and policy. Throughout the course participants apply the concepts learnt in the 118.785 Epidemiologic Principles to ‘real’ world problems. In doing so participants will learn about the tradeoffs that must be made when balancing what is optimal with what is feasible. The course will draw heavily on examples from a range of animal species and, where appropriate, human medicine. Participants will also be encouraged to bring examples and problems from their own work. (Successful completion of 118.785 is required prior to enrolment in 118.786.)

What will you learn?

On this course you will learn:

  • to design an epidemiologic study design that provides high quality information while still being feasible.
  • develop the skills to confidently manage the practical issues of running a epidemiologic study including construction of a sampling frame, sample size calculations and design of a questionnaire.
  • how to conduct an epidemiological investigation of a disease outbreak.

How the course works

Applied veterinary epidemiology is one of the MVM courses  for postgraduate veterinarians which is taught online via distance learning and led by a recognised international expert in the field.

The course is supported by the latest research, reviews and case material to challenge veterinarians with in-depth, relevant continuing education. Course materials include a printed guide to your reading and assessment which integrates online learning activities such as discussions, quizzes, lessons, library searches, critical evaluation and exercises for self-assessment with reading materials and personal study tasks.

Your lecturer

Dr Naomi Cogger received a PhD from the University of Sydney for a thesis entitled “Epidemiology of musculoskeletal injuries in two- and three-year-old Thoroughbred racehorses”. In 2003 she joined  Massey University’s EpiCentre, and OIE Collaborating Centre in Epidemiology, and is currently employed as a Senior Lecturer in Epidemiology  and Risk Analysis. Naomi is a passionate teacher with experience teaching both face-to-face and online. Presently she is a director at the Working Dog Centre and has active collaboration with clinicians. She has also conducted work on projects funded by New Zealand’s Primary Industries, Zespri, and UK Food Standards Agency.

Course features

In-depth part-time study spread over a single semester allow 10-15 hours per week

Learning materials and facilities

  • Study guide
  • 3 day workshop: face to face or an online option for some sessions
  • Electronic library access

Learning community

  • MVM Commons community site
  • Online case discussion facilitated
  • Social forum


  • Online test
  • Two written assignments

Course requirements

  • Internet access
  • Textbook: there is no textbook required for this course

Naomi Cogger


Due to COVID-19, contact workshops may have to be virtual. Please check your Stream site once enrolled for the current information or contact mvm@massey.ac.nz for the current information before you enrol.  

The workshop is an opportunity for real-time interaction with your class and lecturer. Together you can build on the knowledge you’ve gained on the course through small group teaching and discussions. 

For the best workshop experience, we recommend that you attend in real-time. While attendance is highly-recommended it is not compulsory in order to pass the course.

MEGA 1 2021

The contact workshop for Applied Veterinary Epidemiology will run alongside those for the Endocrinology, Emergency Medicine, and Dermatology courses. This format provides a great opportunity for you to meet students and staff from other courses within the MVM programme and to combine with them for some sessions.


You will find more detailed information on the 118.786 Course Page. Enrolments open October 1st in the year prior to study.

For more information on delivery and course content please contact the MVM team.