This MSc provides rigorous training in demography and population studies. The curriculum comprises demographic methods and theory, epidemiology, statistics and data analysis.
Many of our societies continue to face a diverse set of demographic challenges and opportunities, including rapid population ageing, extremely low as well as very high fertility, and sizable population migration. These and other demographic trends have important repercussions in all possible domains of life; from voting behavior to living arrangements, labour markets and economic growth, tax revenues and pension systems, carbon emissions, and the demand for education, health and social services. Demography, in other words, may well be the single most defining factor of the world that we live in.
The MSc Demography & Health equips students with the theories and skills to understand and quantify macro-level population dynamics and their downstream implications for health and health policies. Students are further trained in the analysis of micro-level processes that govern population change, including fertility and reproductive behaviour, the exposure to health risks, and population mobility. Analysis tools and techniques are applied to high-income settings where high-quality data are usually abundant to resource constrained settings that are covered by partial or deficient information systems.
The teaching programme gives students ample opportunity to select from a wide range of modules in statistics, epidemiology public health, and the social sciences, and thus tailor their curriculum to either focus on the technical aspects of data analytics and demographic estimation, or, take a more interdisciplinary approach to the study of population and health.
The MSc Demography & Health is recognised by the Medical Research Council (MRC), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Population Investigation Committee (PIC) and a number of scholarships from these bodies are available each year.
By the end of this programme students will be able to:
- demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of scientific, evidence-based approaches to the study of population issues
- assess and apply these approaches to inform development, health and population programmes
- formulate research questions and use demographic and health data, and appropriate methods of analysis, to address them
- identify causes and consequences of population change and relate these to underlying population dynamics
- demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of demographic behaviour in social, economic and policy contexts
- assess and apply findings of population studies to health and social policy
- demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of major population trends, including historical trends, in developed and developing countries
Duration: one year full-time; part-time or split-study over two years. Ways to study explained.
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
Find out more about careers opportunities
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 students from all backgrounds feel encouraged to apply to study with us. To that end, we have introduced an innovative contextual admissions system that is designed to consider any barriers applicants may have faced and take account of the circumstances in which their grades have been achieved, rather than relying on results alone. More information on widening participation at LSHTM.
*Mobile users, scroll right to view fees
Funding available for this programme:
- 2023-24 PIC Masters Studentship Scheme in Population Studies (application deadline: 28 May 2023)
- 2023-24 Basia Zaba Memorial Scholarship (application deadline: 16 April 2023)
Sources of funding:
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
Want to read more about our graduate careers and destinations? Take a look at our infographics on our Graduate Careers & Destinations page.
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 2023/24 academic year is:
- Sunday 23 July 2023 at 23:59 UK time for all students requiring a Student visa
- Thursday 31 August 2023 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.
Do you need a visa?
Please visit our Visa & Immigration pages for advice and guidance.