The objectives of the program
- To acquire further knowledge and skills in the area of health, as well as in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of production animal diseases with modern high-quality veterinary care, at a level that adequately serves the needs of the consumers and the agri-food industry.
- To facilitate access to the European and American specialist boards that recognize their own specialists.
- To train participants in problem solving skills, as well as increasing their theoretical and practical knowledge. Therefore, the teaching is practice oriented, using state of the art educational techniques offered by our experienced WVEPAH faculty, who are recruited from among internationally recognized specialists.
- To train participants in critical information retrieval and literature research, as well as scientific writing.
- To lay a foundation for continuous life-long professional development in the chosen discipline.
2.1. Accessible while working in practice
The programme allows the candidates to study while working. This means that the formal instruction is part-time in the form of courses taken at intervals during the program. It is expected that students gradually apply the skills they acquired in the formal part of their education to their daily work. Therefore, in addition to the course work, students are assigned specific tasks to be completed at home, for which they also obtain credits. Thus, the Master’s program in Animal Health and Poultry Production is based on accumulating a defined number of European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) credits in (1) course work, (2) production of individual written work and (3) accumulation of experience by applying what is learned to daily practice.
2.2. Modular structure
According to the rules of the University of Luxembourg, all post-graduate education is organized in modules. In order to obtain the degree, a passing grade has to be reached for each module. It is mandatory that students entering the Master’s program have successfully completed the Certificate in Animal Health: Poultry Production (CAHPP) consisting of the modules: “CAHPP coursework” and “CAHPP written work”. Thus, the complete Master’s study program includes:
- Modules I and II: residential and/or virtual course with work including passing the Certificate in Animal Health: Poultry Production (CAHPP) coursework and exam. The Master’s program requires a second residential specialized course and 25 mandatory clinical cases.
- Module III e-learning between courses.
- Module IV: written documentation of field work, case reports and case log (clinical cases). These can be compiled in the same period as the coursework is done (including material collected during the CAHPP).
- Module V: practical work and experience in the participant’s country of residence.
- Module VI: The Master‘s thesis.
2.3. Requirement to obtain the MAHPP
- Successfully completed the CAHPP
- A successful second specialized module (including 25 clinical cases)
- Active participation in e-learning
- Non-research thesis
2.4. The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS)
All work done by the students is expressed in ECTS credits. 1 ECTS credit is equivalent to 25-30 hours of student work. With the ECTS, it is generally accepted that each hour of formal course work (lectures, practicals, tutorials etc.) generate an additional 2-3 hours of work for the student, including preparation for lectures, practicals, tutorials, post-lecture reviews, additional reading and literature research and preparation for and taking of the examination. A one-week course (40 hours of instruction) generates a total of 120-160 hours of student work. With one ECTS credit equivalent to 25-30 hours of students work, a one-week course is assigned 5 ECTS credits, regardless of the subject since all courses are of the same standard. It is important to note that credits are only given for work that has been validated by some form of examination. The Master’s program comprises a total of 120 ECTS credits, of which 40 are collected in the CAHPP program (Master’s students must have completed the CAHPP program).
Coursework (Modules I-II-III 40 ECTS)
To meet the requirements of the Master’s in Animal Health and Poultry Production program, the coursework includes a minimum of 40 ECTS credits.
Residential or online WVEPAH courses (30 ECTS)
Students are required to accumulate a minimum of 30 ECTS credits through residential or online courses. The credits are achieved through active participation in class work, practicals, tutorials, self-study and written examinations. The WVEPAH offers discipline-oriented programs consisting of a comprehensive series of courses taught by top specialists. WVEPAH courses typically consist of one or two weeks of residential or online training (40 – 80 hours of instruction). Courses are part of discipline-oriented programs focusing on one particular subject. Discipline-oriented programs (e.g. Pathology, Nutrition, Epidemiology, Biosecurity, Immunology, Vaccinology, Antibio-therapy, Genetic, Animal Welfare etc.) consist of several consecutive courses, with each course covering specific topics of the subject.
Minimum course requirements
The candidates can structure their own curriculum within the limits set by the discipline’s program directors (The respective documents can be obtained from the WVEPAH office). At the latest, the curriculum has to be approved by the Master’s Program Committee prior to submitting the written work. Candidates are, however, advised to plan the coursework well in advance and to submit the course plan during the initial stages of the program.
Distance and e-Learning (10 ECTS)
In between courses, students must participate in distance e-learning that includes online contact with the course masters. To this aim, a private Facebook group has been created which is only accessible to WVEPAH participants and administered by the program director. It is used for case presentations, question-answer sessions and uploading information including literature. It is expected that students invest 2 hours per week, resulting in a total of 300 hours of work over three years (one year for the CAHPP + two years for the Master’s). The participation and contributions of each student are monitored. Contributions are evaluated and graded.
External course work
Up to 10 ECTS credits of course work may be accumulated from instruction taken outside of the University of Luxembourg/WVEPAH courses. Such external courses must be of a similarly high standard and examinable. All such courses with ECTS points assigned must be approved by the Veterinary Post-Graduate Program Committee, those taken outside of the ECTS system may be validated according to article 9, R.G.D. It is recommended that participants wishing to select such courses should submit a detailed outline to the Committee well before the external course start date as retrospective approval may not be given.
Written documentation of individual field work (Module IV, 30 ECTS)
Students submit their individual written work during their enrolment in the program. Participants fulfilling the course requirements retroactively can submit their written work for grading and validation no later than one year following registration. The written individual work consists of case logs, clinical case reports and the master’s thesis. In the course of their professional activity, students must produce a written record of 50 clinical cases from their own field work.
Forty-four of the fifty cases have to be documented in a condensed fashion. They must reflect the chosen discipline and are expected to be mostly produced in the second half of the program. A written summary of each case is presented in a standardized format including case identification, location and history, results of the examination, laboratory findings, differential diagnosis, final diagnosis and prognosis, therapy and outcome. All raw data relevant to each case must be filed in a digitalized format and must be accessible upon request by the examination board.
Examination: The candidate is requested to submit his/her case logs to the Master’s Program Committee. The case log is viewed by a member of the Examination Board and graded on a 0-20 scale (<10= fail, 10-11.9 = sufficient, 12-13.9 = fair, 14-15.9 = good, 16-17.9 = very good, 18-20 = excellent). The module is passed when a minimum grade of 10 is obtained. In case of an insufficient grade, the candidate is notified about the shortcomings of the case log and requested to resubmit a revised version or submit additional cases within 6 months.
Format: 6 of the 50 cases, covering a range of topics in the chosen discipline, are selected by the candidate for written, in-depth case reports. These case reports include a complete presentation of the case, illustrations where necessary, literature review on the subject with references and a discussion. The candidates must demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the topic. Generally, a case report should contain 2000 words +/- 10%, excluding references and appendices. The combined case reports should not exceed a total of 20,000 words.
Examination: The candidate is requested to submit his/her case reports in duplicate, in print or a digitized document to the Master’s Program Committee. Each case report is viewed by a member of the Examination Board and graded on a 0-20 scale (<10= fail, 10-11.9 = sufficient, 12-13.9 = fair, 14-15.9 = good, 16-17.9 = very good, 18-20 = excellent). The grades of the individual case reports are averaged to obtain one single grade. When this average grade is below 10, candidates are requested to resubmit revised versions of the failed case reports.
Practical work and experience (Module V, 20 ECTS)
It is expected that candidates will continuously and progressively apply the skills they have acquired in the Master’s program to their daily practice at home, in this way supporting and reinforcing the learning process. For this effort, the candidates will be awarded a total of 20 ECTS credits for the three years they are enrolled in the program. This part of the program is not subjected to an exam.
Master's Thesis (Module VI 30 ECTS)
The thesis can consist of either an analytical retrospective, a treatment study on a specific problem, or an experimental study relating to the chosen discipline. An in-depth literature review on a chosen subject is also acceptable. Students are required to send in a short outline of the planned thesis project, which has to be approved by the examination board. The thesis has to include an introduction with a literature review on the subject and description of the study’s objectives, a materials and methods section, a results section, a discussion and a list of references. The total thesis should generally not exceed 10,000 words. A peer-reviewed publication of original research work with the candidate as a first author and produced during their time on the Master’s program is accepted as a Master’s thesis.
Examination: The candidate is requested to submit his/her thesis (dissertation) in duplicate, in print or a digitized form, to the Master’s Program Committee. The thesis is viewed by two members of the Examination Board and graded on a 0-20 scale (<10= fail, 10-11.9 = sufficient, 12-13.9 = fair, 14-15.9 = good, 16-17.9 = very good, 18-20 = excellent). The grades of the two reviewers are averaged to obtain one single grade. When this average grade is below 10, candidates are requested to resubmit a revised version of the thesis.