Applied economic modelling for the veterinary sciences

''Become familiar with basic issues and tools involved in economic decision making.''

Most veterinarians have either none or very little teaching in the economic background of diseases and the use of economics to support veterinary decisions. This lack of knowledge is in contrast to the increasing importance of economics in farming. Due to a globalizing world, an increased importance of trade of animals and animal products, and the large attention for zoonoses, costs of diseases become more and more important. Animal diseases are an important cost factor in many farm systems. Moreover, there is a large variation in the level of costs caused by a non-optimal animal health status, which opens the possibility of improvement.

Animal Health Economics play an important role in the often risky decisions that need to be made about disease control. Many economic tools have been developed and are being applied to support decisions in the field of animal health.

After studying this course you should be able to contribute in an informed manner to economic decision making discussions and evaluate the economic decisions of others. 

Entry requirements: 

You require some understanding of economics (at least in broad terms) from your previous education or professional experience. Terminology such as fixed and variable costs, supply and demand, depreciation and interest should be familiar.

You can gain the knowledge required for this course by following the course Economic Principles and Concepts in the Veterinary Sciences 

Basic economic and microeconomic information is also available via and other internet sources, such as the following:

You will need to be able to do some basic calculations with the MS Excel functions.

Start date(s): 
New date to be announced
Time investment: 
6 weeks / 14h per week
Department of Farm Animal Health
Faculty of Medicine
Partner organisation: 
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
€ 775

Learning goals

After studying this unit you will be able to:

  • analyse economic problems using basic methods such as partial budgeting, cost-benefit analysis and decision analysis
  • describe the critical steps in system analysis and choose appropriate modelling types and techniques
  • describe the use of more advanced methodologies such as linear programming, and Markov chain and Monte Carlo simulation
  • describe the uses of social cost-benefit analysis and multi criteria analysis
  • discuss the importance of Animal Health Economics in decision making, implementation and evaluation of animal health programs, and policy development and implementation processes.


Please contact our Educational Office:
​088 75 69710