These courses provide students with the knowledge and skills to contribute to the improved health of populations and particular groups within them through the promotion of health and prevention of diseases; the development and evaluation of care practices; and the investigation and control of environmental threats to health. Students are instructed in the development, use and critical evaluation of conceptual models, evidence, methods of analysis, and practical interventions.
The courses enable students to deepen their understanding of public health issues and to increase their potential career development in health-related fields in high-, middle- and low-income settings. Students come from diverse backgrounds; many are health professionals working at a service or policy level, while others wish to obtain public health skills that they can apply to their work in development, community services, government, research or teaching.
|Course||You study||Study period|
|Master's||Either 14 modules or 11 modules plus a project report||2-5 years|
|Postgraduate Diploma||10 modules||2-5 years|
|Postgraduate Certificate||6 modules||1-5 years|
|Individual modules||Studying individual modules is an ideal option if you wish to update your professional knowledge or sample the programme.|
|Application deadline for PG Cert, PG Dip and MSc||31 August|
|Application deadline for individual modules||31 August|
|Registration deadline for PG Cert, PG Dip and MSc||30 September|
|Registration deadline for individual modules||31 October|
|Start of the course||October|
|Examinations (take place the following year after registration)||June|
This course is accredited by the Agency for Accreditation of Public Health Education in the European Region (APHEA) which is the accreditation body of the Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region (ASPHER).
Dr Dina Khan who works for the World Health Organization, studied the School's MSc Public Health by distance learning.
Students will develop:
- the knowledge and skills to contribute to the health of populations, communities and disadvantaged groups
- the ability to apply the core disciplines of public health (statistics, epidemiology, health economics and social research) to real world health problems
- a deeper understanding of public health issues and an academic qualification that will enhance your career development in health-related fields
Students can choose a more general course or specialise in one of the following areas:
- Environment & Health
- Health Promotion
- Health Services Management
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).
PHM2 modules and elective modules from the other distance learning courses - EPM2, IDM2, IDM3 and IDM5 modules - are assessed partly by the two-hour unseen written examination (70%) and partly by an assessed assignment (30%), submitted electronically to the School by a set deadline.
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. Details of available examination centres.
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.
- Postgraduate Certificate (6 modules): 4 compulsory core modules + 2 further PHM1 modules + 4 elective modules (at least two must be taken from the PHM2 group)
- Postgraduate Diploma (10 modules): 4 compulsory core modules + 2 further PHM1 modules + 4 elective modules t least 2 modules must be taken from the selection group PHM2.
- MSc (14 modules OR 11 modules and a project report): 4 compulsory core modules + 1 stream-specific PHM1 module + 1 further PHM1 module + 1 stream-specific PHM2 module + EITHER 7 elective modules OR 4 elective modules and a project report). Note: at least 4 of the elective modules must be taken from the selection group PHM2 (including the stream-specific compulsory module).
The Postgraduate Certificate comprises the four core modules which are also common to the Diploma and MSc courses:
- PHM101 Basic Epidemiology
- PHM102 Basic Statistics for Public Health and Policy
- PHM103 Introduction to Health Economics
- PHM104 Principles of Social Research
All students take two additional PHM1 modules, selected from:
To complete the Postgraduate Diploma, four elective modules (in addition to the four core modules and two further modules) must be studied. At least two of these (three are recommended) must be taken from the PHM2 list below.
Master's Degree (MSc)
Students registered for the General stream must select eight modules from the list below OR complete five from the list (of which at least four must be PHM2 modules) and a final year project.
Students registered for a specialised stream (Health Promotion, Environment and Health or Health Services Management) must select seven modules from the list below in addition to the stream-specific compulsory PHM2 module OR complete four from the list (of which at least three must be PHM2 modules), the stream-specific compulsory PHM2 module, and a final year project.
Note that restrictions and pre-requisites may apply to some of the modules below. Not all modules will be available every year.
- PHM201 Analytical Models for Decision Making
- PHM202 Communicable Disease Control
- PHM203 Economic Analysis for Management & Policy
- PHM204 Economic Evaluation
- PHM205 Environmental Epidemiology
- PHM206 Environmental Health Policy
- PHM207 Health Care Evaluation
- PHM209 Globalisation & Health
- PHM210 Managing Health Services
- PHM211 Medical Anthropology in Public Health
- PHM212 Organisational Management
- PHM213 Principles and Practice of Health Promotion
- PHM214 Conflict and Health
- PHM215 History and Health
- PHM216 Sexual Health
- PHM219 Evaluation of Public Health Interventions
- PHM305 Project Report
- EPM202 Statistical Methods in Epidemiology
- IDM201 Bacterial Infections
- IDM202 Nutrition and Infection
- IDM203 Parasitology
- IDM205 Healthcare-associated Infection
- IDM213 Immunology of Infection and Vaccines
- IDM301 Epidemiology and Control of Infectious Diseases in Developing Countries
- IDM501 HIV/AIDS
- IDM502 Tuberculosis
- IDM503 Malaria
All MSc students have the option to apply to undertake a project report specific to their chosen stream, which is equivalent to three module credits.
Credits will be awarded for all elements successfully completed: 10 credits for each PHM1 module; 15 credits for PHM elective modules; and 45 credits for the project option. To successfully pass an award, the following credits must be gained:
Postgraduate Certificate – 60 credits
Postgraduate Diploma – 120 credits
Master's – 180 credits
How you study
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. We also provide all students with a student registration card.
We know that if you have a full-time job, family or other commitments, and wish to study at a distance, you will have many calls on your time. The course allows you to study independently, at a time and pace that suits you (subject to some course-specific deadlines) using the comprehensive study materials provided, with support available from academic staff.You have between 1-5 years in which to complete the Postgraduate Certificate, and between 2-5 years in which to complete the Postgraduate Diploma or the MSc.
The study year for most modules runs from the beginning of October through to the June exams, while two modules run from the beginning of January through to assignment submission at the end of August. Tutorial support is available throughout this time. Students carrying out projects are assigned personal supervisors to support their project work which is mostly carried out between June and the end of September in their final year.
Blended learning: taking modules in London
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 the School 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 distance learning students in July each year.
- a web-based learning environment (including web conferencing, allowing you to engage in academic discussions with tutors and fellow students)
- personalised feedback from teaching staff and advice on assignments
- tutors are allocated to each module and are available to answer queries and promote discussion during the study year, through the online Virtual Learning Environment
- communicate with other distance learning students, either individually or through learning support groups
Fees and funding
|Either: on initial registration, a single payment covering the course registration fee and all module fees|
|Or: pay the initial course registration fee, plus the fee for each module you are taking in the first year. Then, in subsequent years, you pay the fee for each new module you take.|
|Initial registration fee||£1,155|
|Fee per core module||£1,000|
|Fee per elective module||£650|
|Fee for final project||£1,935|
|Individual modules (taken on a stand-alone basis with no registration fee)|
|Fee per core module||£1,200|
|Fee per elective module||£1,800|
When to pay
Fees may be paid in one of two ways:
Either, pay the total fee on registration by making a single payment. This covers the registration fee and all module fees;
Or, if you prefer to spread out your payments, pay the registration fee plus the fee for each module you want to take in the first year, and then in subsequent years pay the fee for each new module you take.
How to pay
All fees must be paid in pounds sterling (GBP) directly to the University of London. The University of London accepts:
- Western Union - Quick Pay
- Credit/debit card (Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, Electron, JCB)
- Sterling banker's draft/cheque
- International money/postal order
Further details are given on the University of London website
In addition to the fees payable to the University of London, you should also budget for the fee charged by your local examination centre to cover its costs; this fee will vary.
All applicants are required to have:
- either a first or second class honours degree, or the equivalent, from a university or other institution acceptable to the University of London, in a subject appropriate to the course; or
- 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
Qualifications from around the world are accepted; for further guidance please see the School's qualifications for entrance. Students who do not satisfy the entrance requirements may still be admitted at the discretion of the School on the basis of their academic qualifications, work experience and references.
English Language Requirements
You will meet the English language requirement if you have passed, within the past three years:
- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English when a minimum overall score of B or 190 is achieved;
- (IELTS) International English Language Testing System when an overall score of at least 7.0 is achieved with a minimum of 7.0 in the Written sub-test and a minimum of 5.5 in Listening, Reading and Speaking; or
- Pearson Test of English (Academic) overall score of 68 or above, with a minimum of 68 in Writing and a minimum of 59 in Listening, Reading and Speaking
- (TOEFL) iBT Test of English as a Foreign Language overall score of 100 or above with at least 24 in Writing, 23 in Speaking, 22 in Reading and 21 in Listening
You must have regular access to a computer (or mobile device*) with an internet connection to use the University of London International Programmes website and the Student Portal. These are where your programme’s study resources are located. Through the Student Portal you can register as a student, enter exams and use your programme’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). The VLE provides you with electronic learning materials, access to the University of London Online Library, networking opportunities and other resources.
To get the most from your studies, your computer should have at least the following minimum specification:
- screen resolution of 1024 x 768 or greater
- sufficient bandwidth to download documents of at least 2 MB
and the following applications installed:
- word processor that reads Microsoft Word format (.doc)
- Adobe, or other pdf reader
Some of the CD-ROMs and software provided for use with Epidemiology modules may not be fully compatible with Apple Mac computers.
*Full mobile access is not available for all programmes
How to apply
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,
WC1B 5DN, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 7862 8360/8361/8362
Fax: +44 (0)20 7862 8358
- Spring Open Evening
Do you want to talk to one of our students? Find out what it's like to study with us?
- Virtual Open Day
Listen to staff and students, take virtual tours, and contact one of our student ambassadors.
From online applications to Visas, find answers all your study related questions here.
- Request a Prospectus
You can order a copy of our prospectus to be emailed or posted to you.
- Contact a Student
- Contact the Study Team
Do you need more information? You can contact the Study Team by completing our online enquiry form.