UK Field Epidemiology Training Programme (UKFETP)

An overview of the programme including selection criteria and application process.

The UKFETP is a full-time 2-year fellowship programme and 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 UK and across Europe.

What to expect from the UKFETP

Training is provided mainly through on-the-job service provision and learning activities, 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 UKFETP training sites within England, Northern Ireland or Wales for the full-time 2-year fellowship.

The locations include national centres, Field Epidemiology, health protection teams and Radiation, Chemicals and Environmental Hazards (RCE). The courses are taught in a sequential order throughout. Fellows are expected to complete the training consecutively.

Areas of work covered by the programme

As a workplace-based learning programme, the UKFETP enables individuals to learn what they need to do in their jobs.

The programme is about learning through service, underpinned by theoretical understanding of concepts taught during didactic training modules.

In keeping with the core domains which define a Field Epidemiology Programme, the work activities focus on the following core competency areas:

  • outbreak investigation
  • surveillance
  • applied operational research
  • scientific communication
  • teaching and training

The UK Field Epidemiology Training Programme Prospectus 2023 is now available to download.

Core competencies

The training programme provides training and experience to address the specific learning outcomes which underpin achievement of the desired competencies for a mid-career epidemiologist as agreed by the UK and Europe.

The programme covers the following learning objectives:

Cross-cutting competencies

Knowledge, skill and ability required across the programme activities:

  • biostatistics and data management
  • general epidemiological concepts

Topic specific competencies

Skills, knowledge and ability associated with epidemiological concepts and methods in key areas, such as:

  • complex emergency situations
  • vaccinology
  • environmental epidemiology
  • health care associated epidemiology
  • microbiology for epidemiologists

Basic knowledge and abilities in each of the areas are covered by the following modules:

  • introductory course
  • outbreak investigation
  • operational research
  • teaching and training
  • laboratory methods for epidemiologists
  • multivariable analysis
  • time series analysis
  • epidemiology in healthcare settings
  • environmental epidemiology
  • epidemiology in emergency situations
  • vaccinology
  • project review
  • qualitative methods
  • scientific writing

Specialty Registrar training placement

The UKFETP placement may offer registrars currently on a public health training programme the opportunity to acquire specific additional technical skills and contextual experience to enhance field epidemiology skills beyond that usually available in public health training programmes. Public Health Registrars who would like to apply should do so through the open call for applications and are subject to the same selection criteria.

However in addition, Registrars currently on a public health training programme should evidence completion of exams required as part of specialist training, for example Parts A and B of the Faculty of Public Health examination.

Registrars must discuss the application with their Training Programme Director (TPD) to gain approval for taking time out of training for the UKFETP. 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).

How to apply

Criteria for entry

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

Applicants must have:

  • a completed Master’s degree or PhD in a scientific discipline with a significant health (human or animal), public health epidemiology or data analysis component or a minimum of 4 years supervised experience in Public Health, Epidemiology or Health Protection at the time of application
  • demonstrable experience of working within public health, health protection or epidemiology for at least 18 months by the date of application. Time spent in education including PhD studies does not qualify
  • be able to demonstrate how the UKFETP will be of benefit to their future development. Full details of the training programme together with essential selection criteria will be advertised on Health Jobs UK and NHS jobs

Contact us

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

Published 26 January 2015
Last updated 30 January 2023 + show all updates
  1. Added 2023 prospectus.

  2. Updated with current programme information.

  3. Added UK Field Epidemiology Training Programme Prospectus 2022.

  4. Added Field Epidemiology Training Programme prospectus 2021. References to ECDC removed.

  5. Added new version of training programme prospectus. Removed essential entry criteria document as it contained outdated information.

  6. Updated 'Field epidemiology training prospectus'.

  7. Added new version of Field Epidemiology Training Programme prospectus

  8. First published.