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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.
Duration: one year full-time; half-time or split-study over two years. Ways to study explained.
- Programme specification (pdf)
Hear Mollie's thoughts on the MSc Demography & Health
Mollie tells us about her experience of studying the MSc Demography & Health at LSHTM, the skills she has learned and her plans for the future.
The MSc has been great in helping me build my career. On the back of it, I managed to secure a job with the UK Civil Service as an analyst. It gave me confidence applying for jobs and has equipped me with robust analytical capabilities which are very sought after in the job market – demographic analysis is a niche skill to have under your belt.
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: #1 in Europe for research impact in sciences (2018 CWT Leiden Ranking) and #3 in the world for Public Health (ShanghaiRanking 2018). 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 20,000 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.
“I have been impressed and inspired every single day I’ve been at the School. I will be eternally grateful to the dedicated staff who make the teaching engaging, the plethora of talks at the cutting edge of health research, and my peers for being a supportive and wonderful part of my time in London."
By the end of this programme students should 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.
The below structure outlines the proposed modules for this programme. Module specifications provide full details about the aims and objectives of each module, what you will study and how the module is assessed.
Students take the following compulsory modules:
- Basic Epidemiology or Extended Epidemiology
- Demographic Methods
- Population Studies
- Principles of Social Research
- Statistics for Epidemiology and Population Health
Terms 2 and 3
Students take a total of five study modules, one module from each timetable slot (Slot 1, Slot 2 etc.). Students are expected to take modules related to demography for at least two of their other four choices.
- Research Design & Analysis*
- Designing Disease Control Programmes in Developing Countries
- Health Care Evaluation
- Sociological Approaches to Health
- Family Planning Programmes*
- Population, Poverty and Environment*
- Conflict and Health
- Design and Analysis of Epidemiological Studies
- Statistical Methods in Epidemiology
- Evaluation of Public Health Interventions*
- Social Epidemiology*
- Current Issues in Maternal & Perinatal Health
- Epidemiology of Non-Communicable Diseases
- Medical Anthropology and Public Health
- Modelling & the Dynamics of Infectious Diseases
- Spatial Epidemiology
- Population Dynamics & Projections (compulsory)
- Analysing Survey & Population Data*
- Advanced Statistical Methods in Epidemiology
- HIV (Previously AIDS)
- Proposal Development
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.
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.
A student must normally satisfy the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine general entrance requirements and the additional programme specific entrance requirements as follows:
The normal minimum entrance qualification for registration at the School on a Master's programme is at least one of the following:
- a second-class honours degree of a UK university, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, in a subject appropriate to that of the course of study to be followed
- 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.
Additional requirements for the MSc Demography & Health are:
- evidence of numeracy skills
Any student who does not meet the minimum entry requirement of a second-class honours degree or equivalent qualification but who has 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 FAQs for 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 the School.
MSc Demography & Health Scholarships 2020
- Basia Zaba Memorial Scholarship (partial scholarship - all applicants)
- Diana Walford Scholarship (full scholarship – LMIC)
- GSK Scholarships for Future Health Leaders (full scholarship – SSA)
- LSHTM Fund Scholarship (full scholarship – LMIC)
- WT International Master’s Fellowships (full scholarship – LMIC)
- PIC Masters Studentship Scheme in Population Studies (full scholarship – UK citizens): usually announced in the spring
ESRC-funded PhD scholarships are available at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, to start in autumn 2020. The Demography pathway welcomes any topic in the fields of demography or reproductive and sexual health. Full ESRC awards (tuition fees + stipend) are available to UK residents; other EU nationals may receive awards which cover tuition fees only. However, all nationalities, including international students, are eligible for full awards (tuition + stipend) if they use Advanced Quantitative Methods (AQM). In the first instance, please contact a potential supervisor, including a CV and a description of research interests. The websites of the Population Studies Group and the Centre for Maternal, Adolescent, Reproductive and Child Health (MARCH) have lists of staff who could potentially supervise projects.
Full application details available on the UBEL Doctoral Training Partnership website.
The closing date for preliminary applications is 6 January 2020.
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.
"MSc Demography & Health shaped my career, it gave me absolutely fantastic skills in things that are really transferrable, within social science and beyond." - Read more
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. 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 date for taught Master’s applications is as follows:
- 17 July 2020 by 23:59 (BST) for international applicants requiring a Tier 4 Student Visa, and
- 31 August 2020 by 23:59 (BST) for applicants not requiring a Tier 4 Student Visa.
A standard application fee of £50 applies to all face-to-face Master’s degree programmes and is payable upon application submission.
Tuition fee deposit
Applicants are required to respond to their Offer of Admissions 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?
If you have EU nationality or you are from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, you do not need immigration permission to come to the UK. You can enter, study and work in the UK without restriction. If you have dual nationality, and you choose to come to the UK using your EEA or Swiss passport, you do not need immigration permission.
For useful guidance on EEA nationals in the UK, go to the UKCISA website.
Students from outside the EEA
All non-EEA nationals who want to study in the UK must hold immigration permission that allows you to study in the UK.
If you are coming to the School to study on a full time degree programme and you have no other immigration permission for the UK, you will need to apply for a Tier 4 Student visa. You can only apply for Tier 4 when your offer at the School is unconditional.
If you already hold a Tier 4 visa for a different institution, you will probably have to apply for a Tier 4 visa for the School before you can start studying with us.