Demography & Health by Distance Learning

(Certificate, Diploma and MSc)


The MSc Demography and Health offers professional training in population studies, with a particular emphasis in health and social epidemiology. It will provide you with training in the theories and methods of demography and population sciences and their application to health, social welfare and economic development.

Overview - Demography & Health by Distance Learning
**Applications for the distance learning MSc Demography & Health will not be open for entry in 2019/20**

This is due to a review of the subject area that will be carried out over the next six months. Please check this website for updates, and other programmes offered by distance learning. If you have any queries, please contact us.

The programme is designed for those interested in acquiring technical expertise in demography and understanding the interlinkages between population studies and health, including fertility, sexual behaviour, ageing, health inequalities and life expectancy. 

Graduates from the course would be equipped to pursue careers in public health, academic research of a very wide nature, NGOs, reproductive health programmes, health services, government statistical offices, as well as policy and planning organisations. Find out more about our graduate careers and destinations.

Course delivery

The Demography & Health programme is delivered through provision of interactive learning materials supplied online through the School’s online learning site (Moodle), and supported by CD-ROMs, practical workbooks and textbooks (depending on the module chosen). Students are actively encouraged to participate in web-based discussion boards. Training is also provided in the use of Stata statistical software.

Course You study Study period
Master's Either 12 modules or 9 modules plus a project report 2-5 years
Postgraduate Diploma 8 modules 2-5 years
Postgraduate Certificate 4 modules 1-5 years
Key dates  
Application deadline for PG Cert, PG Dip and MSc 31 August
Registration deadline for PG Cert, PG Dip and MSc 30 September
Start of the course October
Examinations (take place the following year after registration) June
Assessment - Epidemiology by Distance Learning

Assessment varies from module to module but will include a combination of unseen written examinations and written assignments. Details are given in the module specifications.

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. We have examination centres in over 180 countries worldwide (for details please visit the assessment and examinations section).

Examinations are arranged mainly through Ministries of Education or the British Council. Students taking 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.

Credit awarded

Credits will be awarded to all modules (15 credits each) and (MSc only) the project (45 credits) successfully completed. To successfully pass an award, the following credits must be gained:

  • Postgraduate Certificate – 60 credits 
  • Postgraduate Diploma – 120 credits 
  • Master's – 180 credits


Structure - Demography & Health by Distance Learning

MSc: 9 modules plus a project report or 12 modules
Postgraduate Diploma: 8 modules (6 compulsory core modules plus 2 elective modules)
Postgraduate Certificate: 4 modules (the first 4 compulsory modules)

Our Demography & Health diagrams show suggested schedules for completing the programmes within different time frames.

Module selection

Four compulsory core modules

  • Introduction to demographic analysis
  • Population studies
  • Fundamentals of epidemiology
  • Statistics with computing

Plus two compulsory DEM2 modules (Postgraduate Diploma and MSc only)

  • Demographic data: sources, collection and evaluation
  • Demographic analysis: further methods and models

MSc: You must select at least two further DEM modules from the DEM2 selection group. The remaining modules can be chosen from the selection groups listed below. Please note, the DEM2 and elective modules are not available to study until the 2017/18 academic year.

Demography and Health - Selection groups

Elective modules from group DEM

  • Contemporary demographic trends and issues
  • Demographic analysis: applications and extensions
  • Analysis of survey and population data

Elective modules from group EPM

  • Practical epidemiology
  • Writing and reviewing epidemiological papers
  • Study design: writing a grant application
  • Epidemiology of communicable diseases
  • Global epidemiology of non-communicable diseases

Elective modules from group GHM

  • The economics of global health policy
  • The politics of global health policy
  • Environmental change and global health policy


  • All modules successfully completed will be assigned 15 credits each; the project report will be assigned 45 credits.
  • For Postgraduate Diploma/MSc students, credit for one or two modules studied at the School may be allowed in place of one or two of the above elective modules, subject to module restrictions.
  • Students who have been examined in and have passed the core modules DEM101 and DEM102 and at least one of EPM101 or EPM102 are permitted to proceed to elective module studies.
How you study
How you study - Demography & Health by Distance Learning

Study materials

After registration, study materials are sent to students in September. Access to online study materials is given from 1 October. Study materials may include online materials, 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 London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine’s online library resources from 1 October. We also provide all students with a student registration card.

Flexible study

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 a couple of the EPM modules 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.


  • 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

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.

Entry requirements
Entry requirements - Demography & Health by Distance Learning

Academic Requirements

  • An undergraduate degree (e.g. bachelor) which is considered at least comparable to a UK second class honours degree, from an institution acceptable to the University, provided that the degree is in a subject appropriate to that of the course of study to be followed (suitable undergraduate degrees would include any social science, quantitative or public health topic.  For example, geography, sociology, economics, political sciences, statistics, anthropology, maths, human sciences, biological sciences or similar subject);


  • 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.

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

Applicants must have evidence of numeracy skills, at least equivalent to a UK GCSE grade A or B in maths or statistics; or a good grade in a maths or statistics module of an undergraduate degree (which should include arithmetic and basic algebra, including the manipulation of logarithms and exponents).

Language Requirements

It is essential that you have an adequate command of the English Language to carry out your studies. The following may be considered as acceptable evidence of English language proficiency:

  • substantial education (minimum of eighteen months) conducted and assessed in English, or
  • substantial work experience (minimum of eighteen months) conducted in English.

If you do not meet one of the above requirements then you will be required to have passed one of the following within the past three years:

  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English when a minimum overall score of 185 is achieved, with at least 176 in Writing and 169 in Listening. If taken prior to January 2015 then you must achieve a minimum overall score of grade B.
  • (IELTS) International English Language Testing System when an overall score of at least 7.0 is achieved with a minimum of 6.5 in the Written sub-test and a minimum of 5.5 in Listening, Reading and Speaking.
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) overall score of 68 or above, with a minimum of 62 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.

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

Computer Requirements

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:

  • a web browser (the latest version of Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer). This must accept cookies and have JavaScript enabled
  • screen resolution of 1024 x 768 or greater
  • sufficient bandwidth to download documents should be 50 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
How to apply - Demography & Health by Distance Learning

**Applications for the distance learning MSc Demography & Health will not be open for entry in 2019/20**
This is due to a review of the subject area that will be carried out over the next six months. Please check this website for updates, and other programmes offered by distance learning. If you have any queries, please contact us.

The School's distance learning programmes 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.

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. Alternatively, please contact:

Student Advice Centre, University of London, Stewart House, 32 Russell Square, London, 
WC1B 5DN, United Kingdom

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