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MSc Public Health for Development


(Previously known as MSc Public Health in Developing Countries) This course equips students with the skills needed to appreciate and analyse the state of public health in low- and middle-income countries and to design and evaluate actions to address public health concerns. Students accepted on this course have substantial experience of planning or implementing public health programmes, of public health teaching or research in low- or middle-income countries.

Students develop public health research skills including strong level statistics and epidemiology, and build on these to tailor a course to suit their professional needs relevant to low- and middle-income countries. In the summer, students undertake a supervised research project which focuses on a Public Health question in a low- or middle-income country.

This course is aimed at those who have at least two years' experience of working in Public Health or related teaching or research, in a low-or middle-income country and wish to hone their critical professional skills. We make the most of this bank of professional experience by building in peer-to-peer learning through a student seminar series.

Duration: one year full time; part-time or split study over two years. Modes of study explained.

APHEA logoThis 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).


Watch Course Directors and students talk about the course.

I have enjoyed sharing ideas, making friends, learning best practices and networking with students from all over the world.
Israel Balogun, Nigeria


By the end of the programme, students will able to:

  • apply research skills in core public health disciplines to examine a range of public health questions in low- and middle-income countries
  • evaluate and apply specialist knowledge of areas relevant to public health in low- and middle-income countries
  • make critical use of research skills to evaluate, interpret and present evidence in public health
  • identify and assess public health problems in developing countries and evaluate actions designed to improve public health
  • design and evaluate public health strategies to improve health in low- and middle-income countries


Term 1

Students take the following compulsory modules, which are assessed formatively during the term and form the basis of one of the final exam papers in the summer:

  • Extended Epidemiology
  • Health Policy, Process & Power
  • Introduction to Health Economics
  • Principles of Social Research
  • Statistics for Epidemiology and Population Health

Terms 2 and 3

Students take five modules in terms 2 and 3, working with personal tutors to identify a pathway through the course which best serves their career. They may choose to develop research skills in statistics and epidemiology; qualitative methods; health policy; or health economics. They may also choose to develop a specialist public health focus such as: vector control; maternal and newborn health; sexual and reproductive health; or water, sanitation and health.

Most students take the unifying module Applying Public Health Principles in Developing Countries in Term 3. This module builds on the learning from Terms 1 and 2 so students apply public health disciplines to review evidence, produce policy recommendations, develop strategic public health programme plans and conduct strategic reviews.

Details of recommended modules for MSc Public Health for Development students


All students take two examinations in the summer, one to assess understanding of the material covered in Term 1 and the other to assess their overall understanding of Public Health for Development.

Project Report

During the summer months (July - August), students draw on all their academic skills by undertaking a project on a subject of importance to public health in a low- or middle-income country, for submission by early September. The project can take the form of a literature review, analysis of a data set, a policy report or a study protocol. The project is an independent piece of work, but students have contact with their supervisors who guide them in this work.

Entry requirements

A student must normally satisfy the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine general entrance requirements and the additional programme specific entrance requirements as follows:

The normal minimum entrance qualification for registration at the School on a Master's programme is at least one of the following:

  • a second-class honours degree of a UK university, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, in a subject appropriate to that of the course of study to be followed
  • a registrable qualification appropriate to the course of study to be followed, in medicine, dentistry or veterinary studies

Applications with an appropriate technical qualification, or equivalent qualification and experience from overseas, are also welcomed.

Additionally for the MSc Public Health for Development, successful candidates are expected to have lived in a developing country and worked in activities related to public health for a minimum of two years.

Any prospective student who does not meet the above minimum entry requirement, but who has relevant professional experience, may still be eligible for admission. Qualifications and experience will be assessed from the application.

Admissions FAQs

Intercalating Students

You will need the equivalent of a bachelor's degree to undertake an MSc. This will usually require you to have a BSc degree or have completed the first three years of your medical degree. More information on intercalating an MSc at the School.

Fees and funding

Fees 2016/2017
Home Full-time £8,700
  Part-time / Split-study £4,350
Overseas Full-time £20,450
  Part-time / Split-study £10,225

Scholarships and funding opportunities

How to apply

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.

Applicants wishing to be considered for School scholarships should apply as early as possible. Deadlines for scholarship applications appear on the Master's funding page. 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 page. All applicants should be able to start the course on the first day of the academic year.

Students interested in part-time or split-study should contact the Course Directors, via the Registry, to discuss course requirements and likely timetables, and should read the Master's degree information.

Admission status


Course Directors

  • Jeroen Ensink
  • Krystyna Makowiecka
  • Sandra Mounier-Jack
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