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Masters Epidemiology MSc

This course equips students with the knowledge and skills to enable them to make valuable contributions to epidemiological research and public health.

This course is now closed for applications.  
Applications for 2016-17 will open in November 2015.

Check available funding

Course Overview

This course aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills to make valuable contributions to both epidemiological research and public health. Epidemiological methods underpin clinical medical research, public health practice and health care evaluation to investigate the causes of disease, and to evaluate interventions to prevent or control disease. Epidemiology is a key discipline for understanding and improving global health. This course covers both communicable and non-communicable disease epidemiology. As a key subject for public health and quantitative research this course has a substantive statistical component.

Graduates enter careers in medical research, public health and community medicine, epidemiological field studies, drug manufacturers, government or NGOs.

The Nand Lal Bajaj and Savitri Devi Prize is awarded to the best project each year. The prize was donated by Dr Subhash Chandra Arya, former student, in honour of his parents Dr Nand Lal Bajaj and Mrs Savitri Devi.

Course Duration

Full-time for one year or part-time over two years. Students taking the course over two years can choose to attend part-time throughout both years (this involves attending the School at least two days each week during term-time) or by split study.

Students taking the course by split study over two years attend full-time for part of Year 1, and then undertake the remainder of the course in Year 2.

The split can occur anytime between the Christmas break and the end of the formal teaching in May (if returning to work, a break in the middle of term 2, in mid February, may be more appropriate), by prior arrangement with the Course Director. Paper 1 may be taken at the end of Year 1 or at the end of Year 2. Paper 2 must be taken at the end of Year 2. Interested applicants should indicate their choice on the application form.

* The tuition fees for part-time and split-study students are for each year of study. Please note that fees are subject to an increase each year. Students attend the field trip in their first year and pay the relevant field trip fee. They are not expected to attend the field trip in the second year and as a result do not pay the field trip fee in the second year.

Insights from course alumni

To read a BMJ Careers article by clinicians who completed the MSc Epidemiology please click here.

" It was an intense but carefully guided process, and a most rewarding year. Quique Bassat from Spain studied the MSc in Epidemiology. - Full profile


By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • demonstrate advanced knowledge and awareness of the role of epidemiology and its contribution to other health-related disciplines
  • choose appropriate designs and develop detailed protocols for epidemiological studies
  • enter and manage computerised epidemiological data and carry out appropriate statistical analyses
  • assess the results of epidemiological studies (their own or other investigators'), including critical appraisal of the study question, study design, methods and conduct, statistical analyses and interpretation

Programme specifications: A comprehensive summary of the key elements of the degree, including educational aims and intended learning outcomes, plus details on programme structure, assessment requirements, student support and more.

Term 1

All students take the compulsory modules and usually take optional modules.

Compulsory modules are: Clinical Trials; Epidemiology in Practice; Extended Epidemiology; Statistics for Epidemiology and Population Health . Optional modules include: Demographic Methods; Molecular Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases. 

Terms 2 and 3

Students take a total of five modules, one from each timetable slot (Slot 1, Slot 2 etc.). Compulsory modules are shown in italics.

*Recommended modules

Slot 1: Study Design: Writing a Proposal

Slot 2: Statistical Methods in Epidemiology

Slot 3: Epidemiology of Non-Communicable Diseases*; Medical Anthropology and Public Health*; Social Epidemiology*; Spatial Epidemiology in Public Health*; Applied Communicable Disease Control; Control of Sexually Transmitted Infections; Current Issues in Safe Motherhood & Perinatal Health; Medical Anthropology and Public Health; Nutrition in Emergencies; Tropical Environmental Health

Slot 4: Environmental Epidemiology*; Epidemiology & Control of Communicable Diseases*; Genetic Epidemiology*; Design and Evaluation of Mental Health Programmes; Ethics, Public Health & Human Rights; Globalisation & Health; Nutrition Related Chronic Disease

Slot 5: Advanced Statistical Methods in Epidemiology*; AIDS; Applying Public Health Principles in Developing Countries; Integrated Vector Management; Principles and Practice of Public Health

Further details for the course modules

Residential Field Trip

This course has a compulsory two-day residential retreat outside London. This is held on the Wednesday and Thursday of the first week in Term 1. This is included in the £180 field trip fee.

Day field trip to Oxford

A one-day field trip to Oxford usually takes place in November during reading week. Students are encouraged to attend but it is not a compulsory part of the course.

Project Report

Students complete a written research project on a topic selected in consultation with their tutor.

Entrance Requirements

Applicants must normally satisfy LSHTM’s general entrance requirements and additional programme specific entrance requirements to be considered for admission. Applications must be submitted in accordance with the procedures and deadlines given online.

The normal minimum entrance qualification for registration is at least a second-class Honours degree of a UK university, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, or a registerable qualification in medicine, dentistry or veterinary studies appropriate to the programme. Applications with an appropriate technical qualification, or equivalent qualification and experience from overseas, are also welcomed.

Additional usual requirements for the MSc Epidemiology are:

  • a student should also show evidence of numeracy skills (e.g. A level Mathematics or Statistics or a module with a good mark in their university degree)
  • an upper second-class honours degree of a UK university (or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard) is usually required
  • it is preferable for a student to have some work experience in a health-related field

Any prospective student who does not meet the above minimum entry requirement, but who has relevant professional experience, may still be eligible for admission. Please contact the course directors if you are not sure whether this is the right course for you.

Applicants with a background in veterinary science are advised to apply for the School's sister course, MSc Veterinary Epidemiology. Applicants looking for training in public health practice are advised to apply to the MSc Public Health.

Application for London-based Study

Applications should be made online. Paper application forms are available upon request and will normally incur an administration fee of £50. You must send a copy of the personal details and photograph page of your passport with all paper applications. Your application will not be considered until you have provided the above documents.

Masters Courses

Applicants wishing to be considered for School scholarships should apply as early as possible. Deadlines for scholarship applications appear on the Masters Funding webpage. Course applications will be considered until all places on the course have been filled. Notification of when a course is closed will appear on the relevant course webpage.All applicants should be able to start the course on the first day of the academic year.

All Masters courses are offered on a part-time basis over two years. Students interested in part-time study should contact the appropriate Course Organiser, via the Registry, to discuss course requirements and likely timetables, and should read the Masters degree information.

There are two ways of undertaking part-time study:

1) attending part-time throughout the two years: Students need to be available for up to four or five half days every week for 27 weeks per year. Evidence may be required to prove that applicants are able to commit this minimum period of time to their study

2) attending full-time for modules in the first two terms in Year 1 (September-March), and undertaking third term modules, exams and project in Year 2 (April - September). Such an option may be attractive to applicants who are unable to be released from employment for a continuous twelve-month period. This option is called split study.

All courses last one year for full-time study or two years for part-time study.

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