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118.786 Applied Veterinary Epidemiology (15 credit)

Course coordinator : 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 MVS Course for postgraduate students led by a recognised international expert in the field.

The course is supported by the latest research, reviews and case material to challenge students 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 coordinator

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

  • Online discussion facilitated
  • Social forum


  • Online test
  • Two written assignments


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


See Massey’s fee calculator for this information. 

contact WORKSHOP (contact course)

There will be a 3 day on-campus workshop held at Massey University in Palmerston North, New Zealand. This will build on the knowledge you’ve gained on the course through small group teaching, practical sessions and discussions of experiences in your own practice. 

The contact workshop is an opportunity for face-to-face time with your class and lecturer. Together you can build on the knowledge you’ve gained on the course through small group teaching, practical sessions and discussions of experiences in your own practice. 

For the best contact workshop experience we recommend that you attend in person. While attendance is highly-recommended it is not compulsory in order to pass the course. If you can’t make it in person you will be able to join some (non-practical) sessions live via the internet (we endeavour to record these sessions for review, but are unable to guarantee the quality of the recording).


Enrolments open dates to be advised
Course start dates to be advised
Exam period dates to be advised
Course end dates to be advised

*Please note: You can still apply for enrolment after the due dates above. Places cannot be assured after these due dates; but late applications will be considered as long as remaining places are available.