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LSHTM awarded funding to establish new Master’s Programmes in Health Data Science

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) is one of just six universities to be chosen to develop a new health data science master’s programme.

Funded by Health Data Research UK (HDR UK), the new programme will aim to help address the skills shortage in data science in the UK. LSHTM is the only London based institution to be awarded funding.

The UK has a rich and diverse scientific talent base, thanks to the strength of the NHS, academic institutions and innovative scientific and digital industries.  The new master’s level degree programmes in health data science forms part of HDR UK’s ambition to harness this talent and create a community of health data scientists with new skills that will dramatically change medical research and open up new, faster, smarter pathways to patient care.

Liam Smeeth, Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at LSHTM, said: “The increasing availability of computerised data offers amazing opportunities for health research. However, to make the most of these opportunities we need new sorts of scientists, individuals who can use their expertise in data to research major health challenges.

“This MSc will allow LSHTM to further develop its teaching in this vital area. It will provide students with an ideal springboard towards a career in global health research, using data to help make the world a healthier place. It is great to see HDR-UK making these investments in the next generation of health scientists.”

LSHTM was chosen to establish the programme following an open competition to UK universities and a selection process that included an independent panel of academics, health professionals and a patient representative. The other universities to have been selected are:

  • Queen’s University Belfast
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Leeds

Professor Peter Diggle, Director of Training at Health Data Research UK, said: “We are delighted to support these six universities to develop these vital programmes, which will enable life sciences or quantitative sciences graduates to be effective members of health data research teams. 

“The programmes will genuinely integrate statistics, informatics and health science and will be aimed at medical students and life sciences graduates who are keen to develop their quantitative skills, or at core maths, physics, statistics or computing graduates who want to move into the health science arena.  This brings us one step closer to building a community to lead the health data science revolution.

The funding will see the course run for three years between 2020 and 2023. More details will be announced later this year.