Epidemiology by Distance Learning

(Certificate, Diploma and MSc)

Overview - Epidemiology by Distance Learning

Recent years have raised the profile of epidemiologists. However, pandemics are just one of the health challenges facing society. Cancer rates are also soaring. And so are other non-communicable diseases like diabetes. Study with us to investigate the causes of diseases, and to evaluate the impact of interventions for treating and preventing them.

Study Epidemiology by distance learning and you’ll benefit from our expertise in everything from infectious outbreaks to cancer survival, as well as from our industry links with organisations such as the World Health Organization and the UK Health Security Agency. While many of our academics are based here in London, our academic community spans high, middle- and low-income settings around the world.

Applying your epidemiologic skills, you’ll design and execute your own research project. Our students complete a variety of projects ranging from analysis of epidemiological data to the systematic review of literature on urgent public health problems. Students often design a research project that reflects the issues in the area they work. Examples of recent projects include a comparison of treatments for gastric cancer; physical activity and impact on wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic; and second-hand tobacco smoke exposure and risk of respiratory infection.

What you will learn

  • Explore the role of epidemiology and its contribution to other health-related disciplines
  • Learn how to choose appropriate epidemiologic designs and to develop detailed study protocols
  • Discover how to manage clinical health data, carry out appropriate statistical analysis, and rigorously assess results of studies
  • Discuss how to investigate the causes of health conditions and how to predict outbreaks
  • Understand how to review research findings in a broader policy context

The aims and learning outcomes are detailed in the programme specification.

Because the course material is available online 24/7 and is designed for part-time study, you can expand your expertise from anywhere in the world, at your own pace. Although we offer some synchronous sessions, it’s not mandatory to attend these.

You also have the freedom to decide whether you graduate with a postgraduate certificate with 60 credits, or proceed to a postgraduate diploma with 120 credits, or the full MSc qualification with 180 credits.

If you want to join us in London for some of your studies, you can apply for the blended learning option, which is a brilliant opportunity for meeting your instructors and fellow students in person.

Who is it for?

We’ve designed this course for anyone with an interest in using data and research to improve public health.

Some of our students are clinicians while others work in non-governmental organisations who want formal training to support the work they do. However, we have students join us from a whole host of backgrounds who want to explore epidemiology. Because this programme is flexible and your learning is self-directed, you can balance studying with your other commitments. Students tell us they can apply skills they learn from the course straight away. 

Programme specification

The aims and learning outcomes are detailed in the programme specification.


CourseYou studyStudy period
Master's9 modules + a compulsory project report and a qualifying examination paper2-5 years
Postgraduate Diploma8 modules2-5 years
Postgraduate Certificate4 modules1-5 years
Individual modulesStudying individual modules is an ideal option if you wish to update your professional knowledge or sample the programme.

Related courses

This programme is also available as a one-year intensive master's with our MSc Epidemiology.

Epidemiology by Distance Learning


Anum, from Pakistan and living in the Netherlands, is studying Epidemiology by Distance Learning. She tells us about her experience on the programme so far.

Leah Pilossoph
Leah Pilossoph, USA

"Having a pending master’s degree from a prestigious school such as LSHTM has helped me to land a job in quantitative clinical analytics and it continues to boost me as I climb my organisation's career ladder."

Structure - Epidemiology by Distance Learning

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, what materials are provided and how the module is assessed.

Programme structure
  • Postgraduate Certificate: 4 compulsory core modules
  • Postgraduate Diploma: 8 modules (4 compulsory core + 2 additional compulsory + 2 elective modules)*
  • Master's: 9 modules (4 compulsory core modules + 2 additional compulsory + 3 elective modules)+ a project report and qualifying examination paper

*For the PG Diploma, at least one module must be taken from selection group EPM3. The remaining module can be chosen from EPM3 or the other selection groups.

†For the MSc, at least two modules must be taken from selection group EPM3. The remaining module can be chosen from other EPM3 modules, or the other selection groups. MSc students must also take the compulsory Project Report (EPM500) and sit an additional unseen written qualifying examination paper in their final year of study (EPM400).

It is possible to register for the PG Certificate in the first instance then, on successful completion of the compulsory core modules, transfer your registration to the PG Diploma or MSc.

The majority of modules listed below are also available to study as individual modules.

Compulsory core modules (PG Certificate, PG Diploma and MSc)
  • EPM101 Fundamentals of Epidemiology
  • EPM102 Statistics for Epidemiology
  • EPM103 Practical Epidemiology
  • EPM105 Writing and Reviewing Epidemiological Papers
Advance/elective modules (PG Diploma and MSc)

Epidemiology advance modules (EPM2):

  • EPM201 Study Design: Writing a Grant Application (compulsory for the PG Diploma and MSc)
  • EPM202 Statistical Methods in Epidemiology (compulsory for the PG Diploma and MSc)

Epidemiology elective modules (EPM3) (all recommended):

  •  EPM301 Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases
  •  EPM302 Modelling and the Dynamics of Infectious Diseases
  •  EPM304 Advanced Statistical Methods in Epidemiology
  •  EPM307 Global Epidemiology of Non-Communicable Diseases

Module selection groups:

  • CTM202 Trial Designs (recommended)
  • CTM203 Project Management and Research Co-ordination
  • CTM204 Regulatory Affairs, Good Clinical Practice and Ethics
  • CTM208 Further Statistical Methods in Clinical Trials
  • CTM209 Cluster Randomised Trials (recommended)
  • IDM201 Bacterial Infections
  • IDM202 Nutrition & Infection
  • IDM203 Parasitology
  • IDM205 Healthcare-Associated Infection
  • IDM213 Immunology of Infection and Vaccines
  • IDM215 Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
  • IDM301 Epidemiology & Control of Infectious Diseases (recommended)
  • IDM501 HIV
  • IDM502 Tuberculosis
  • IDM503 Malaria
  • PHM201 Health Decision Science
  • PHM203 Economic Analysis for Health Policy
  • PHM204 Economic Evaluation
  • PHM205 Environmental Epidemiology (recommended)
  • PHM206 Environmental Health Policy
  • PHM207 Health Care Evaluation
  • PHM209 Globalisation and Health
  • PHM210 Managing Health Services
  • PHM211 Medical Anthropology in Public Health
  • PHM212 Organisational Management
  • PHM213 Principles & Practice of Health Promotion
  • PHM214 Conflict and Health
  • PHM215 History and Health
  • PHM216 Sexual Health
  • PHM219 Evaluation of Public Health Interventions

(Note that restrictions and pre-requisites may apply to some of the modules above. Not all elective modules will be available every year. Modules marked 'recommended' have been classified as of high epidemiological content / relevance).

Project report (MSc only)
  • EPM500 Project Report (compulsory for the MSc)

The compulsory project report will consist of either the analysis of an existing data-set, a systematic review of the literature, or a modelling project.

Methods of assessment

Assessment varies from module to module but will include a combination of unseen written examinations and written assignments. Details are given in the module specifications.

Examinations take place once a year in June.

Credit awarded

Credits will be awarded for all modules (15 credits each) and the project (MSc only, 45 credits) if successfully completed. To successfully pass an award, the following credits must be gained:

  • Postgraduate Certificate – 60 credits
  • Postgraduate Diploma – 120 credits
  • Master's – 180 credits
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 LSHTM 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 LSHTM, are subject to change - full details will be sent to all distance learning students in July each year

Changes to the course

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.

How you study
How you study - Epidemiology by Distance Learning

Study materials

Learning is via directed self-study against a detailed set of learning objectives for each module. Students have access to a range of study resources, discussion forums and online webinar discussion sessions via LSHTM’s virtual learning environment, Moodle. 

Details of the study materials for each module can be found in the module specifications. Materials and resources for EPM modules may include: 

  • Interactive Computer Assisted Learning materials which introduce, explain and apply the principles and methods covered in the module 
  • Workbooks and study guides for some modules
  • E-books and other recommended readings 
  • Real-time tutorials with module tutors on specific topics 
  • Self-assessed exercises and formative assignments
  • Past examination papers and examiners’ reports 
  • Access to Stata statistical software if it is required for the module

Students are strongly encouraged to participate in module-specific discussions on Moodle, and to make use of LSHTM’s online library resources. 

Module tutors provide feedback for all students via the online discussion forums and offer individual feedback on submitted assignments. 

Tutorial support is available for most modules from the beginning of October through to the end of May, while two modules run from the beginning of January through to assignment submission at the end of August. The project work (MSc only) is carried out in the final year, with submission at the end of September.

Flexible study

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 two modules run from the beginning of January through to assignment submission at the end of August.  The project work (MSc only) is carried out in the final year, with submission at the end of September.

Fees & funding
Fees and funding - Epidemiology by Distance Learning

The fees below refer to the 2024/25 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 programme registration fee and all module fees for the duration of the programme

Postgraduate Diploma£13,960
Postgraduate Certificate£10,310
Application feenone

Or: pay the initial programme 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£1,610
Fee per core module£2,150
Fee per advanced/ elective module£890
Fee for final project£2,740
Application feenone

Individual modules (taken on a stand-alone basis with no registration fee)

Fee per core module£2,620
Fee per advanced/ elective module£2,620
Application feenone


Early payment fee reduction

An early payment fee reduction of 5% (up to £880 for a full MSc) is available on any of our distance learning programmes if paid in full before 31 May for the academic year 2024/25.

You will be considered for the fee reduction if you receive an offer for the following programmes: Master’s, PG Diploma, PG Certificate or individual module in Clinical Trials, Epidemiology, Infectious Diseases, Public Health, Global Health Policy and Health in Humanitarian Crises. Please see the Eligibility and Terms & Conditions (this link will direct you to the University of London website)

First Generation Scholarships

LSHTM is offering two scholarships to support students in the completion of an MSc degree by distance learning. These initiatives are designed to enable excellent students from groups who have been historically underrepresented in Higher Education at the postgraduate level to study, feel a sense of belonging and succeed at LSHTM. Find out more and apply by 6 April 2024.

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 - Epidemiology by distance learning

Academic requirements

All applicants are required to have:

A first or second class honours degree or equivalent, from a university or other institution acceptable to the University of London, in health-related disciplines or in statistics or another appropriate subject. Work experience in a health sciences or health care setting is desirable but not essential.

Applicants with an appropriate professional or technical qualification in a health-related field, which satisfies the University as a qualification equivalent to a second class honours degree, together with at least three years’ relevant experience, may also be considered on an individual basis.

Qualifications from around the world are accepted; for further guidance please see University of London's qualifications for entrance. Students who do not satisfy the entrance requirements may still be admitted at the discretion of LSHTM on the basis of their academic qualifications, work experience and references.

    English language requirements - distance learning

    English language requirements

    You need a high standard of English to study this programme. You will meet our language requirements if you have achieved one of the following within the past three years:

    • IELTS7.0 overall, with 6.5 in the written test and 5.5 in listening, reading and speaking.
    • TOEFL iBT100 overall, with 24+ in writing, 23+ in speaking, 22+ in reading and 21+ in listening.
    • Pearson Test (Academic)68 overall, with 62+ in writing and 59+ in listening, reading and speaking.
    • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English185 overall, with 176+ in writing and 169+ in listening.
    • Duolingo: must achieve an overall score of at least 130.

    Alternatively, you may satisfy the language requirements if you have at least 18 months of education or work experience conducted in English.

    If you do not meet these requirements but believe you can meet the standard, the University of London may also consider your application.

    Computer requirements - Epidemiology by distance learning

    Computer requirements

    The computer should have at least the following minimum specification:  

    • a web browser with Cookies and JavaScript enabled (latest version of Firefox or Chrome is recommended)
    • a good internet connection
    • screen resolution of 1024 x 768 or greater
    • sufficient bandwidth to download documents/files of at least 50 MB

    And the following applications installed: 

    • Word processing software, for example Microsoft Word (.doc and .docx)
    • Spreadsheet processing software, for example Microsoft Excel
    • PDF reader, for example Adobe Acrobat Reader
    How to apply
    How to apply - Epidemiology by Distance Learning

    Our distance learning programmes are run in collaboration with the University of London, a federation of 18 independent member institutions and universities, of which the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is one.

    Please choose which qualification you would like to apply for. The link will take you directly to the University of London application portal.

    • MSc Epidemiology
      Gain the MSc Epidemiology by completing 9 modules, a project report, and an examination paper.
    • PGDip Epidemiology
      Earn a Postgraduate Diploma in Epidemiology with 8 modules.
    • PGCert Epidemiology
      Complete the Postgraduate Certificate with just 4 modules.
    • Individual modules
      Top up your knowledge with individual courses from the Epidemiology programme.
    Application process/deadlines - DL programmes
    Application process

    1. Submit your application to University of London. Please read the Guidance Notes for Applications (pdf) before you complete your application.

    2. Submit your documentary evidence. This can be done online when submitting your application or at a later stage. You will be required to submit personal identification, educational certificates, transcripts, English language proficiency evidence, references and CV (see Guidance Notes for Applications (pdf) for further details).

    3. University of London will notify you of whether or not you have been accepted. This usually happens within five working days. You will be sent a student reference number by email in case you need to contact University of London about your application.

    4. If you are made an offer, you will receive an email with instructions for completing your online registration (usually from May/June). You will have until the registration deadline to accept your offer and pay your initial fees.

    5. Begin your studies. You will be given access to LSHTM's online learning site (Moodle) at the beginning of October. If you have registered for a module which provides hard copy study materials, these will be sent to your correspondence address. Clinical Trials modules are delivered solely online via Moodle.

    Important: you are welcome to submit your application even if you are yet to sit an exam or you are awaiting results. University of London can begin to process your application without all the evidence, although a final decision will be made once all the necessary documentation has been received. If you are unsure as to whether or not you meet our entry requirements, University of London might be able to advise you on this before you submit your online application.

    Key dates
    MSc, PG Dip, PG Cert and individual modulesDeadline
    Application deadline20 September 2024
    Registration deadline (new students)4 October 2024
    Programme starts1 October 2024
    Who to contact

    If you have any questions before submitting your application, you can contact:

    Academic queries (LSHTM)

    Email for queries about programme content, modules or assessments.

    Contact the Study team for general enquiries.

    Admissions queries (University of London)

    Send a message to University of London for queries about how to apply, documentary evidence or entry requirements, or call +44 (0)20 7862 8360