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Masters Epidemiology (Distance Learning)

Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma and Masters by Distance Learning.

Epidemiology (Distance Learning) - Programme Specification
Epidemiology (Distance Learning) - Frequently Asked Questions

Who should apply?

These courses provide epidemiological training by distance learning for professionals in academic departments, research units, or in the health services. Epidemiology is a key discipline for understanding and improving global health.

MSc Epidemiology is suitable for those pursuing careers in medical research; public health and community medicine; epidemiological field studies; disease surveillance units; drug/vaccine manufacturers; or disease control in governmental, NGO's or donor institutions. It is also of interest to those who require an understanding of epidemiology, such as medical journalists and scientific officers in government and industry.

Course objectives

  • a comprehensive understanding of the basic concepts and methods in epidemiology together with advanced skills in specific applications of epidemiological research methods
  • essential statistical skills related to the health problems of both the developed and the developing world


Alumni Inspiration: MSc Epidemiology

  • a web-based virtual learning environment (including web conferencing, allowing students to discuss with tutors and fellow students)
  • personalised feedback from teaching staff and advice on assignments
  • communicate with other distance learning students, either individually or through learning support groups
  • access to resources within the School library

Video inspiration: Dr Smeeth looks at non-communicable diseases in low-income settings.
Epidemiology of non-communicable diseases is an elective module offered as part of this degree. 

Course summary

There are four core modules common to the Certificate, Diploma and MSc courses. Postgraduate Diploma and MSc students additionally choose from a number of elective modules which will allow them to expand and deepen their conceptual and practical skills. The main disciplinary perspectives will come from clinical trials, statistics and epidemiology, but others will contribute in both the core and optional modules.

  Number of modules Course Duration Cost (2015/16)

9 modules + compulsory project report and a qualifying examination paper

2-5 years £11,770
Postgraduate Diploma 8 modules 2-5 years £9,300
Postgraduate Certificate 4 modules 1-5 years £6,850
Individual modules Studying individual modules is an ideal option if you wish to update your professional knowledge or sample the programme. The fee is £1,710 per module.

The School also offers London-based short courses in Epidemiology:

Course Structure

  • Postgraduate Certificate: 4 compulsory core modules
  • Postgraduate Diploma: 8 modules (4 compulsory modules + 4 elective modules)
  • MSc: 9 modules (4 compulsory modules + 5 elective modules) + compulsory project report and a qualifying examination paper

For the Diploma: Both modules must be chosen from EPM3; at least one of the elective modules must be chosen from either EPM301 or EPM307.

For the MSc: At least two modules must be taken from selection group EPM3, one of which must be either EPM301 or EPM307. The remaining module can be chosen from other EPM3 modules, or from the selection groups listed below. Plus compulsory Project report [EPM500] and a qualifying examination paper [EPM400] (MSc only).

The Postgraduate Certificate:

The Certificate comprises the 4 core modules which are also common to the Diploma and MSc courses:  

After successfully completing the core modules, those registered for the Postgraduate Diploma and MSc must successfully pass a required number of elective modules to complete the award.

The Postgraduate Diploma:

To complete the Postgraduate Diploma, 4 elective modules (in addition to the 4 core modules) must be studied. At least 2 of these must be the two compulsory EPM2 modules listed below:

and then two modules from the EPM3 list given below (one of these must be either Epidemiology of Communicable Diseases or Epidemiology of Non-communicable Diseases).

The Masters Degree (MSc):

Those registered for the MSc must additionally select another one module from those listed below (EPM3, CTM2, IDM2, IDM3, IDM5 or PHM2). They are also required to complete a project report and sit an additional unseen written examination in their final year of study.

Note that restrictions and pre-requisites may apply to some of the modules below. Not all modules will be available every year.  Those marked ‘recommended’ have been classified as of high epidemiological content / relevance.  

EPM3 (all recommended):






Project Report

The compulsory project report (MSc only) will consist of either the analysis of an existing data-set or a critical literature review.

Combining distance learning studies with studies at the School: 'blended learning' study

After successful completion of a minimum number of core modules, Postgraduate Diploma and MSc students may also be eligible for the 'blended learning option', which allows for the study of up to two modules only (from a restricted list) at LSHTM in London during the Spring or Summer terms in place of distance learning modules. Please note that these options, and the dates when the modules are held at the School, are subject to change - full details will be sent to all DL students in July each year. The fee for attending LSHTM in-house modules is payable directly to LSHTM, not to the University of London International Programmes, and is in addition to the distance learning course fees.

Method of assessment

All distance learning modules are assessed by means of a two-hour unseen written examination (with 15 minutes planning/reading time at the start of the examination).

Modules EPM105 and EPM201 are assessed solely by assessed assignment. Module EPM202 and modules from groups EPM3, IDM2, IDM3, IDM5 and PHM2 are assessed partly by the unseen written examination (70%) and partly by assessed assignment (30%); CTM2 modules are assessed by unseen written examination (80%) and by assessed assignment (20%). Assessed assignments and the compulsory project report must be submitted electronically by set deadlines.

Examinations take place once a year in June (please note: it is not possible to hold examinations at other times of year). These are normally held in a student’s country of residence: please click here to view details of the examination centres available. They are arranged mainly through Ministries of Education or the British Council. Students taking distance learning examinations will need to pay a fee to their local examination centre. Please note that if you fail an examination at the first entry you will be allowed one further attempt, if you have failed the module overall.

Credits awarded

Credits will be awarded to all modules (15 credits each) and (MSc only) the integrating module (30 credits) successfully completed. To successfully pass an award the following credits must be gained:

Postgraduate Certificate – 60 credits
Postgraduate Diploma – 120 credits
MSc – 180 credits

How you study

You study independently, at a time and pace that suits you (subject to some course-specific deadlines), using the comprehensive study materials provided, with learning support from our academic staff. The academic year runs from the beginning of October through to the June exams, during which time tutorial support is available. Students carrying out projects are assigned personal supervisors to support their project work throughout the summer. Deadlines for submission of coursework vary per course but are usually in March, May, August and September.

Study materials

You receive your study materials after you register. Study materials may include Subject guides, Readers, Textbooks, CD-ROMs/additional computer software (e.g. Stata), Past examination papers and Examiners’ reports, and Handbooks. You also have access to the school’s online library resources.

Academic Requirements

One of the following:

  • A first or second-class honours degree, or the equivalent, from a university of other institution acceptable to the University of London, in a subject appropriate to the course.
  • An appropriate professional or technical qualification, together with at least three years' relevant experience, which satisfies the University as a qualification equivalent to a second class honours degree. All applications in this category will be considered on an individual basis.


Students who do not satisfy the above requirements may still be admitted at the discretion of the School on the basis of their academic qualifications, work experience and references.

Language Requirements

For awards at FHEQ level 7, students must provide satisfactory evidence showing that they have passed within the previous three years a test of proficiency in English at the following minimum level:

  • TOEFL score of 600 (or 250 in the computerised test) and a minimum of 5 in the TWE, or
  • A British Council (IELTS) overall score of 7 or over with a minimum of 7 in the written sub-test, or
  • TOEFL iBT with a minimum overall score of 100 including a minimum score of 24 in the test of written English taken within the last 3 years.

Where an applicant does not meet the prescribed English language proficiency requirements but believes they can demonstrate the requisite proficiency for admission the University may, at its discretion, consider the application.

Computer Requirements

Online access and general computer requirements:

As one of our students, you need to have regular access to a computer and the internet. This may be for accessing the Student Portal, downloading course materials from the Virtual Learning Environment, and accessing resources from the Online Library. You will also need to have access to appropriate software, for example, a PDF reader and suitable hardware capacity on your computer e.g. for document storage. Additional requirements include that you have JavaScript and cookies enabled to access particular online systems such as the Student Portal.

Supported Browsers include:

  • Internet Explorer 7+
  • Firefox 5+
  • Chrome 13+ (recommended)

Screen resolution (recommended)
1024 x 768 or greater

Application for Study by Distance Learning

The School's distance learning courses are run in collaboration with the University of London 
International Programmes. For the distance learning courses applications must be made online 
to the University of London International Programmes

Need help with completing your application online? Please check the "How to Apply" section 
of the University of London website.

If you have any enquiries, please submit your questions online to the University of London 
International Programmes. Alternatively, please contact:

The Information Centre, University of London, Stewart House, 32 Russell Square, London, 

Tel: +44 (0)20 7862 8360/8361/8362
Fax: +44 (0)20 7862 8358

Summary of key dates

 Application deadline

10 August

 Registration deadline

30 September

 Start of the course


 Examinations (take place the following year after  registration)



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