The great baby bust, ageing communities, migration and climate change – the headlines are dominated by pressing issues facing populations globally. These population trends impact everything from voting behaviour to carbon emissions, labour markets to sexual health, and from family and relationships to economic growth and equality.
Join our MSc Demography and Health to study population dynamics and their interaction with global health. Over one year (full time) or two years (part time or split study), you’ll learn to analyse processes that govern population change, including reproductive behaviour, exposure to health risks, economic growth, and climate change.
Our degree is recognised by the Medical Research Council (MRC), and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) for students planning PhD research, and the Population Investigation Committee (PIC). Scholarships from these bodies and others are available each year.
What you will learn
- Learn demographic methods and theory, including population projections; dynamics of fertility, mortality and migration; data science and analytics; life-course research and survival analysis
- Learn to present results of analyses through written and oral presentations
- Take a critical, interdisciplinary approach to the study of population change and its interactions with wider social, political and environmental change
- Discover how we can use evidence-based approaches to develop and evaluate population programmes
- Formulate critical, policy-relevant, research questions and use demographic and health data to address them
- Develop practical skills through student-led seminars, data analysis tasks and mini-research projects
The aims and learning outcomes are detailed in the programme specification.
Understand how to analyse and exploit rich new data sources to unravel contemporary population dynamics and their interactions with social, economic and environmental change. You will also learn how to conduct demographic research in situations where data are lacking. Our Population Studies Group has a rich history of pioneering demographic methods where data are scarce or unreliable in a wide variety of settings.
You’ll be taught by demographers, social scientists, and reproductive health specialists and you will be welcomed into a dynamic research group who are committed to demography training. Hear about their specialist research on everything from improving mortality data collection in pandemics, to evolutionary and anthropological demography, to the relationship between violence and fertility, as well as from a range of external speakers working in the population field.
With a wide choice of modules, you’ll be able to shape your study to suit your interests. Perhaps you’ll find a passion for population projections under different scenarios. Or maybe you’ll be interested in critically appraising population policies or studying how population interacts with climate change. Your research project will give you a chance to examine an area in more depth. Past students have explored topics such as the demographic impact of climate change in the Gambia, spatial analysis of infant mortality in Victorian London, sexual and reproductive health in Tanzania, and interactions between ageing and employment in the UK.
Who is it for?
Social and political scientists, mathematicians, geographers – this course is perfect for anyone interested in population and its relation to health and wider social and environmental change. You might be a professional working in government or for an NGO where demographic skills are in high demand. Or you might have just finished your undergraduate degree and want to pursue an MSc which will equip you to contribute solutions to some of today’s most pressing global challenges.
Our students have a huge variety of career ambitions. Some move into policy and practice, implementing population analytics and critical thinking for Governments, international organisations and NGOs. Others launch their careers in academia, contributing to deeper understandings of population change. Whatever you want to do next, you’ll graduate with a range of analytical and critical skills that are in high demand on the world stage, and with an MSc which has a global reputation in this field. You’ll find our graduates working in rewarding roles at UN organisations, government statistics offices, NGOs, think tanks and WHO. And the current head of the Population Council is an LSHTM Demography and Health alumnus too.
One year full-time; part-time or split-study over two years. Ways to study explained.
Find out about intercalating this programme.
Demography & Health
Watch Assistant Professor Rachel Scott talk about the programme.
"I am interested in mixed-method approaches to exploring local perceptions and barriers to effective health promotion. This programme offers the flexibility to gain skills in both qualitative and quantitative methods."
Demography plays an important role in understanding population dynamics - how populations change in response to the interplay between fertility, mortality and migration - and its impact on the health and healthcare needs of a population.
This programme will help students acquire technical expertise in demography and an understanding of the interlinkages between population studies and health, including fertility, sexual behaviour, ageing, health inequalities and life expectancy.
Why study the MSc Demography & Health at LSHTM?
- Learn demography within the wider context of public health in a world-leading specialised institution
- Tailor your degree to meet your needs thanks to the modular structure of the programme
- Gain practical skills through student-led seminars, data analysis tasks or mini-research projects
- Specialise and apply your learning with the MSc research project
- Learn to formulate research questions and use bio statistical data and analysis to address them
- Assess population studies and apply your research findings to policy, backed by sound knowledge
- Learn to present results of bio statistical analyses through written and oral presentations
- Understand population trends in low-, middle- and high-income countries
- Choose to focus on the technical aspects of data analytics and estimation, or, take a more interdisciplinary approach to the study of population and health
What are my career prospects as a health demographer?
The course teaches research skills which are highly valued in the job market generally and are welcomed in a wide variety of research fields. The teaching draws on several related disciplines within LSHTM and because of the modular approach can be tailored to suit different needs.
Graduates from this programme leave with a set of key skills and experience in theories and methods of population sciences, biostatistics, epidemiology, research methods and data analysis which enable them to embark on a diverse range of careers in:
- public health
- academic research
- reproductive health programmes
- health services
- government statistical offices
- policy and planning
Why choose LSHTM?
LSHTM is a specialist public health institution, renowned all over the world for its research excellence and prestigious postgraduate study programmes
We consistently rank highly in various global university league tables, including: #1 for the key measure of impact, providing the highest quality contribution to the economy or society (Times Higher Education REF2021 Impact Scores) and #3 in the world for Public Health (ShanghaiRanking 2022). Read more about our rankings
We have a strong academic and media presence worldwide
The international character of LSHTM contributes significantly to the quality and range of its teaching and training: our students come from over 155 countries, with over 60% from outside the UK
- Our global graduate network of over 30,000 actively engaged alumni and international research collaborations create fantastic networking opportunities for students
Why study demography & health?
Nalin shares his experience of studying the MSc Demography and Health.
The below structure outlines the proposed modules for this programme. Programme and module specifications provide full details about the aims and objectives of each module, what you will study and how the module is assessed.
- Structure of the year
Term 1 (September - December) consists of ten teaching weeks for AB1 slot modules, plus one Reading Week* in the middle of the term. Followed by the Winter break.
Term 2 (January - March) consists of a further ten weeks of teaching for C and D slot modules, plus a Reading Week in the middle of the term. C modules are taught in five half-week blocks before Reading Week. D modules are taught in five half-week blocks after Reading Week. Followed by the Spring break.
Term 3 (April - September) consists of five weeks of teaching for E slot modules, taught in half-week blocks, and the project report.
*Reading Week is a week during term where no formal teaching takes place. It is a time for private study, preparing for assessments or attending study/computer skills workshops. There are two Reading Weeks at LSHTM: one in November and the other in February.
- Term 1
Students take the following compulsory AB1 modules:
- Basic Epidemiology or Extended Epidemiology
- Demographic Methods
- Population Studies
- Principles of Social Research
- Statistics for Epidemiology & Population Health
- Terms 2 and 3
Students take a total of five study modules, one from each timetable slot (C1, C2, D1, D2, E). The list below shows recommended or compulsory modules. Students are expected to take modules related to demography for at least two of their other four choices. There are other optional modules which may be taken only after consultation with the Programme Directors.
- Research Design & Analysis
- Family Planning Programmes
- Population, Poverty and Environment
- Evaluation of Public Health Interventions
- Social Epidemiology
- Population Dynamics & Projections (compulsory)
- Analysing Survey & Population Data
- Project report
During the summer months (July - August), students complete a research project for submission by early September. Acceptable types of project are: data analysis; a project proposal; an original literature or policy review.
Please note: Should it be the case that you are unable to travel overseas or access laboratories in order to complete your project, you will be able to complete an alternative desk-based project allowing you to obtain your qualification within the original time frame. Alternatively, you will be able to defer your project to the following year.
Changes to the programme
LSHTM will seek to deliver this programme in accordance with the description set out on this programme page. However, there may be situations in which it is desirable or necessary for LSHTM to make changes in course provision, either before or after registration. For further information, please see our page on changes to courses.
In order to be admitted to an LSHTM master's degree programme, an applicant must:
- hold either a first degree at Second Class Honours (2:2) standard in a relevant discipline, or a degree in medicine recognised by the UK General Medical Council (GMC) for the purposes of practising medicine in the UK, or another degree of equivalent standard awarded by an overseas institution recognised by UK ENIC or the GMC.
- hold a professional qualification appropriate to the programme of study to be followed obtained by written examinations and judged by LSHTM to be equivalent to a Second Class Honours (2:2) degree or above.
- have relevant professional experience or training which is judged by LSHTM to be equivalent to a Second Class Honours (2:2) degree or above.
If you have not previously studied in the UK, you can check our guide to international equivalent qualifications for our master's degrees.
Additional requirements for the MSc Demography & Health are:
- evidence of numeracy skills
Relevant subjects for the MSc Demography & Health include social sciences (e.g. anthropology, demography, development, economics, geography, international relations, politics, sociology) and sciences (e.g. mathematics, statistics, biology, medicine, nursing, midwifery). Other qualifications will be considered subject to evidence of sufficient quantitative exposure (please make this evidence clear within the application).
Applicants who do not meet the minimum entry requirement, but who have relevant professional experience may still be eligible for admission. Qualifications and experience will be assessed from the application.
English language requirements
If English is not your first language, you will need to meet these requirements: Band B
Please see our English language requirements for more information.
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 LSHTM.
Access and widening participation
At LSHTM we are committed to ensuring that excellent students feel encouraged to apply for a course of study with us. We have introduced an innovative contextual admissions system that is designed to support those students who have faced the greatest barriers to their learning. More information on widening participation at LSHTM.
*Mobile users, scroll right to view fees
Early application fee reduction for UK MSc Students 2024-25
Apply early and lock-in lower fees. If you are a student from the UK (and have a home fee status), you will be eligible to receive a 5% reduction in your tuition fee if you submit your application by Friday 5 April 2024 and subsequently register onto one of our in-person MSc programmes (some exclusions apply, see detailed terms and conditions).
You must be applying for full-time study on a programme starting in September 2024; be funding your fees yourself; and be a new applicant.
If you meet the above criteria and submit your application by the deadline, you will automatically receive the tuition fee discount.
Funding available for this programme:
Graduates from this programme enter a diverse range of positions in public health, academic research of a very wide nature, NGOs, reproductive health programmes, health services, government statistical offices, policy and planning.
Below you will find just a few of the positions and organisations that our graduates from this course have entered:
- Example job titles:
Government Research or Policy Analyst
International Technical Advisor
Market Research Consultant
Health Policy Adviser
Senior Data Manager
- Example organisations:
United Nations Population Fund
Médecins Sans Frontiers
Institute for Health Metrics Evaluation
Mary Stopes International
Kenya Medical Research institute (KEMRI)
World Health Organisation
Universities in many countries
Central and Local Government
National Statistical Offices in various countries
Public Health England
International Planned Parenthood Organization
Malawi Epidemiology and Intervention Research Unit
British Medical Journal
Population Services International
International Organization for Migration
Hear from a MSc Demography & Health student
Nalin describes his experience of studying the MSc Demography & Health at LSHTM.
Applications should be made online and will only be considered once you have provided all required information and supporting documentation.
Please also read LSHTM's Admissions policies prior to submitting your application.
You can apply for up to two master's programmes. Make sure to list them by order of preference as consideration will be given to your top choice first.
All applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible to ensure availability of a place and a timely decision on their application. This is particularly important for applicants with sponsorship deadlines.
We strongly advise that you apply early as popular programmes will close earlier than the stated deadline if they become full.
The final closing dates for all taught Master’s applications for entry in the 2024/25 academic year is:
- Sunday 21 July 2024 at 23:59 UK time for all students requiring a Student visa
- Sunday 1 September 2024 at 23:59 UK time for all UK, Irish and non-Student visa students
Applicants will be required to meet the conditions of their offer and provide all necessary documents by the date of their Offer of Admission.
A standard non-refundable application fee of £50 applies to all taught Master’s degree programmes and is payable upon application submission. Income generated from the application fee is shared between scholarships and student hardship fund.
Tuition fee deposit
Applicants are required to respond to their Offer of Admission and pay the £500 deposit within 28 days of receipt, or their place will be released and the offer automatically declined. The deposit is deductible from tuition fees upon full registration with LSHTM.