Field Epidemiology Training Programme (FETP)

An overview of the programme including selection criteria and application process for staff who are, or will be, working in applied field epidemiology.

The 2 year programme is aimed at medical, nursing, scientific, or veterinary staff who are, or whose future career may be, in a post involving field investigation and epidemiology and who want to further enhance their specialist skills. The programme provides training and experience to develop the competencies agreed for field epidemiologists in the European Union (EU).

National Treasure status

The Faculty of Public Health has awarded the Field Epidemiology Training Programme (FETP) a ‘National Treasure’ status. The training placement may offer trainees the opportunity to acquire specific additional or contextual experience which may not be available in some programmes.

What to expect from the FETP

Training is provided on the job, but at least 10% of time is dedicated to formal training courses based in the UK or Europe. Fellows will be based in one of the FETP training sites within England or Northern Ireland for the 2 year fellowship. The locations include national centres, field epidemiology and health protection teams. The courses are taught in a sequential order throughout the 2 years. Fellows are expected to complete the training consecutively.

Fellows will also have the opportunity to join PHE’s rapid support team or reserve cadre.

Areas of work covered by the programme

As a workplace-based learning programme, it enables individuals to learn what they need to do in their jobs. The FETP is about learning through service, underpinned by theoretical understanding of concepts taught during didactic training modules. The 5 areas are:

  • investigation of an acute outbreak or incident
  • applied epidemiological study
  • surveillance
  • communication
  • teaching and training

Field Epidemiology Training Programme prospectus (PDF, 2.37MB, 20 pages)

European partnership and competencies

The training programme provides training and experience which have been agreed by The European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) as the competencies for field epidemiologists in the EU.

The programme covers:

  • public health
    • public health science
    • public health policy
  • applied epidemiology
    • risk assessment
    • public health surveillance
    • outbreak investigation
    • epidemiological studies
    • infectious diseases
    • laboratory issues
    • public health guidance
  • biostatistics
    • probability
    • inferential statistics
    • sampling
  • applied informatics
    • internet
    • statistical and other data analysis
  • communication
    • editing and presentations
    • risk communication
    • written communication
    • oral communication
    • use of new technologies
  • management
    • planning and use of resources
    • team building and negotiation
  • capacity development
    • mentorship
    • training
  • ethics
    • protection of individuals
    • confidentiality
    • conflicts of interests

How to apply

Criteria for entry

The call for applications for the FETP fellowship takes place annually (usually in March) on Health Jobs UK.

Applicants must have:

  • a masters degree in epidemiology or public health (or equivalent)
  • experience of working within public health, health protection or applied epidemiology
  • be able to demonstrate how the FETP will be of benefit to their future career

Specific eligibility criteria for Specialty Registrars

Registrars currently on a Public Health Training Programme must discuss the application with their Training Programme Director (TPD) to gain approval for taking time out of training for the FETP. They will also need to agree with their TPD, if applicable, an application for prospective approval of a proportion of the out of programme time to count towards training and their Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT). Full details of the training programme together with essential selection criteria will be advertised on Health Jobs UK.

Contact us

If you have a question about the fellowship contact the FETP programme office on

Published 26 January 2015
Last updated 23 March 2020 + show all updates
  1. Added new version of training programme prospectus. Removed essential entry criteria document as it contained outdated information.

  2. Updated 'Field epidemiology training prospectus'.

  3. Added new version of Field Epidemiology Training Programme prospectus

  4. First published.