Demography & Health by Distance Learning

(Certificate, Diploma and MSc)


This is a unique programme that offers professional training in population studies that emphasises health and social epidemiology. It aims to provide a broad 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

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
Changes to the course

Changes to the course

The School will seek to deliver this course in accordance with the description set out in this course page. However, there may be situations in which it is desirable or necessary for the School to make changes in course provision, either before or after registration. For further information, please see our page on changes to courses.

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.

Fees & funding
Fees and funding - Demography & Health by Distance Learning

The fees below refer to the 2018-19 academic year. Fees are subject to annual review and may be paid in one of two ways:


Either: on initial registration, a single payment covering the course registration fee and all module fees
Master's £13,660
Postgraduate Diploma £10,820
Postgraduate Certificate £7,980



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 £1,260
Fee per core module £1,680
Fee per elective module £710
Fee for final project £2,130

When to pay

Fees may be paid in one of two ways to the University of London:

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

Other costs

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. MSc students who are carrying out a project may also need to budget for travel expenses or consumables, depending on the type of project undertaken.

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.

How to apply
How to apply - Demography & Health by Distance Learning

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