Pandemics. Vaccines. Cancer. Cardiovascular diseases. Epidemiology is about tackling today’s issues in public health and healthcare – understanding the determinants of health, evaluating interventions, and supporting the control and prevention of diseases. It’s a discipline that has saved millions of lives globally.
Studying our MSc in Epidemiology, you’ll be equipped with a toolbox to help you investigate both infectious and non-communicable diseases. You’ll learn how to design studies, apply statistical analysis methods, and interpret results. By the end of the course, you will be able to make valuable contributions to medical research and public health worldwide.
What you will learn
- Understand the role of epidemiology and its contribution to other health-related disciplines
- Learn how to choose appropriate designs and develop detailed protocols for epidemiological studies
- Discover how to manage clinical health data, carry out appropriate statistical analysis, and rigorously assess results of studies
- Investigate the causes of specific health conditions and predict future disease patterns
- How to interpret and understand research findings in a broader policy context
The aims and learning outcomes are detailed in the programme specification.
You’ll be taught by research-active staff with a very broad range of expertise – from infectious disease outbreaks to cancer survival. Not only will you interact with closely and learn from practising epidemiologists, you’ll also benefit from our links with industry and organisations such as the World Health Organization and UK Health Security Agency.
You will experience lectures followed by Q&A and practical sessions – giving you the opportunity to immediately put theory into practice.
To support your growth in the areas that interest you, you’ll be able to choose from a wide range of optional modules. You’ll also complete a research project on a relevant topic of your choice – which could involve analysing data, conducting a systematic review, or developing a study protocol. There are research prizes available too!
Who is it for?
Students come from a diverse range of backgrounds, both geographically and experientially. You could be a medic, a graduate of life sciences or mathematics, or from a completely different background – with relevant work experience – looking for a change in career.
The course is ideal if you have a genuine passion for studying the causes of diseases, adverse health effects or the effectiveness of health interventions. You’ll need an interest in studying alongside others with a broad range of global experiences, and a good level of mathematical competence at A Level standard or above.
You could progress onto medical research, academic medicine, public health, epidemiological field work, or drug development. Based in government, industry, universities or NGOs. The choice is yours.
One year full time; part-time or split-study over two years. Ways to study explained.
Find out about intercalating this programme.
Find out about our epidemiology distance learning programmes.
Watch Programme Director Ian Douglas talk about the programme.
"I’ve loved every minute of the programme. The timetable is extremely well organised and lectures are usually followed by a Q&A session and a practical. Interacting with students from diverse backgrounds means you learn to see things from a completely different perspective."
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
All students take the following AB1 compulsory modules:
- Clinical Trials
- Epidemiology in Practice
- Extended Epidemiology
- Epidemiology & -omics
- 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 modules. There are other optional modules which may be taken only after consultation with the Programme Directors.
- Study Design: Writing a Study Proposal (compulsory)
- Statistical Methods in Epidemiology (compulsory)
- Epidemiology of Non-Communicable Diseases
- Modelling & the Dynamics of Infectious Diseases
- Social Epidemiology
- Spatial Epidemiology in Public Health
- Environmental Epidemiology
- Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases
- Advanced Statistical Methods in Epidemiology
- Project report
During the summer months (July - August), students complete a written research project on a topic selected in consultation with their tutor, for submission by early September. This can be a data-analysis of an adequately powered study, a study protocol, a systematic review or an infectious disease modelling study. Students do not usually travel abroad to collect data.
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.
The Nand Lal Bajaj and Savitri Devi Prize is awarded to the best project each year. The prize was donated by Dr Subhash Chandra Arya, former student, in honour of his parents Dr Nand Lal Bajaj and Mrs Savitri Devi.
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 the MSc Epidemiology, an applicant must:
- hold either a first degree at Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) 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 an Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) degree or above.
- applicants with a 2:2 degree will also be considered if they have sufficient relevant professional experience or training in the field (sufficient, relevant professional experience means at least one year working in a role relevant to epidemiology; sufficient relevant training means an MSc or other postgraduate training in a field relevant to epidemiology) - we would encourage such applicants to contact the Programme Directors to discuss their suitability before applying.
Additional requirements for the MSc Epidemiology are:
- evidence of numeracy skills (e.g. A level Mathematics or Statistics or a module with strong quantitative components with a good mark in their university degree)
- it is preferable for a student to have some work experience in a health-related field
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.
Applicants with a background in veterinary science are advised to apply to the MSc Veterinary Epidemiology. Applicants looking for training in public health practice are advised to apply to the MSc Public Health.
English language requirements
If English is not your first language, you will need to meet these requirements: Band A
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.
Graduates from this programme enter medical research, academic medicine, public health and community medicine, epidemiological field studies, drug manufacture and with government or NGOs.
Below you will find just a few of the positions and organisations that our graduates from this course have entered:
- Example job titles:
Academic Clinical Fellow
Co-Investigator and Study Co-Ordinator
Consultant (Intensive Care)
HIV/STI Surveillance and Prevention Scientist
Malaria Elimination Initiative Manager
Principle Investigator and Research Scientist
Public Policy Specialist
- Example organisations:
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency
Drug Safety Research Unit
Health Protection Agency
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Johnson & Johnson
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Médecins Sans Frontières
Ministry of Health
National Environment Agency
NIMR & Joint Malaria Program
Public Health England
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
University College London (UCL)
World Health Organisation
Medical Research Council
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.