Job Description:

An epidemiologist studies patterns of diseases, their causes, and their effects on populations to inform public health policies and interventions.

Job Category:
Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences

What you will do:

As an epidemiologist, you will be:

  • Tracking and monitoring patterns of diseases in populations
  • Analysing health data to identify trends, risk factors, and causes of diseases
  • Investigating and controlling disease outbreaks to prevent further spread
  • Conducting studies to understand disease causes, transmission, and prevention
  • Informing policies and interventions to improve population health
  • Communicating findings to the public and healthcare professionals
  • Working with healthcare providers, researchers, and policymakers
  • Assessing health risks in communities and developing strategies to mitigate them


You will need:

  • knowledge in epidemiology principles and disease biology
  • knowledge in public health and healthcare systems
  • knowledge in statistics and data management
  • knowledge of research methods and risk assessment
  • knowledge in health surveillance

As well as:

  • the ability to pay attention to detail
  • critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • analytical thinking skills
  • effective communication skills
  • teamwork skills
  • adaptability skills
  • the ability to interpret and present complex data
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

Certainly, here’s more information about the subjects needed to become an epidemiologist:

  1. Biology: This subject is essential as it provides a deep understanding of living organisms, genetics, disease mechanisms, and human biology. Epidemiologists often study the biological aspects of diseases, their transmission, and impact on populations.
  2. Chemistry: Chemistry provides insights into chemical reactions, molecular structures, and interactions. It’s important for understanding the composition of substances, including drugs, pathogens, and chemicals related to environmental health.
  3. Mathematics: Mathematics is crucial for data analysis, statistical interpretation, and modelling. Epidemiologists rely heavily on mathematical techniques to analyse disease patterns, risk factors, and trends in populations.
  4. Physics (optional): While not mandatory, physics can offer a foundation in scientific principles, problem-solving, and quantitative analysis that can be valuable in epidemiology.
  5. Geography (optional): Geography can provide insights into spatial patterns of diseases, environmental factors influencing health, and the distribution of populations, which can be relevant for epidemiological studies.
  6. Health and Social Sciences (if available): If your school offers subjects related to health or social sciences, such as health and social care or sociology, taking these can provide insights into public health concepts and societal factors influencing health outcomes.

Overall, a well-rounded education in these subjects equips you with the foundational knowledge and skills needed to pursue further studies and a successful career in epidemiology.

Post School


A bachelor’s degree in a relevant field like Epidemiology, Public Health, Biology, or a related discipline is typically required. However, many epidemiologists hold master’s or doctoral degrees for advanced roles and research positions.

Master’s or Doctoral Degree

Pursuing a master’s or Ph.D. in Epidemiology or a related field can provide specialised knowledge and research skills, increasing your career opportunities and advancement potential.

Specialisation (optional)

Depending on your interests, you might specialise in areas like infectious diseases, chronic diseases, environmental health, or global health.

Work Experience

Many epidemiologists gain practical experience through internships, research assistant positions, or entry-level roles in public health or research organizations.

Certifications (optional)

Obtaining certifications such as the Certified in Public Health (CPH) or Certified Epidemiologist (CE) can enhance your credibility and job prospects.

Working Hours and Environment:

Epidemiologists typically work regular office hours, with potential for longer hours during outbreaks, and they alternate between office-based analysis and research and fieldwork, collaborating with teams and occasionally traveling for investigations and conferences.

Career Path & Progression:

The typical career path of an epidemiologist involves progressing from entry-level research roles with a bachelor’s degree to mid-level positions with a master’s degree, and potentially advancing to senior roles, specialisation, and leadership positions, while also considering doctoral studies or exploring academia, consulting, or government opportunities.