Global Health Policy by Distance Learning

(Certificate, Diploma and MSc)

Overview - Global Health Policy by Distance Learning

Humanity is faced with many health-related challenges – non-communicable diseases, new and existing pathogens, environmental degradation, political and economic instability, conflict. These increasingly transcend national boundaries. Embracing the values of health equity, universal health coverage, and the improvement of health worldwide, you can join these efforts when you study with us.

Study Global Healthy Policy by distance learning and you’ll benefit from our multidisciplinary expertise in areas including public health, epidemiology, health economics and political science. You will have an opportunity apply this knowledge to issues such as health systems, environmental health and infectious disease, with the support of academics who are active global researchers and policy influencers. With our flexible online format, you will be able to access your study materials wherever you are in the world and study at your own pace, at a time convenient to you.

Probe big topics such as the impact of economics and politics on global health and global health policy. Explore how climate change and environmental degradation affect health and challenge health policymaking. Soon you’ll develop the conceptual understanding you need to make a difference in your field.

What you will learn

  • Sharpen your knowledge of key issues, core economic and political concepts affecting global health
  • Apply your knowledge of politics and economics to real-world global health policy issues
  • Discover the global nature of the health threats and challenges posed by environmental change
  • Develop analytical skills to apply concepts to practical challenges and research issues facing global health policymaking
  • Grow your ability to analyse and critically discuss complex health policy questions

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

This self-study course is delivered online. You won’t have to pause your career and you can study from anywhere in the world, at your own pace for up to five years. You will have an opportunity to complete an independent research project on a global health policy issue of interest to you.

The programme has four social science-focused core modules to delve into – covering economics and how it shapes global health policy, the political nature of policymaking, the relationship between environmental change and global health policy, and a module that invites you to explore important public health challenges and issues that affect policymaking. You will also be able to select modules that match your interests from a range of elective modules.

Throughout, you’ll be encouraged to develop life-long learning and transferrable skills – critical and analytical thinking, complex problem solving, research leadership, persuasion and negotiation, innovation, collaboration – and much more. Alongside peers with a range of different academic and professional backgrounds, you’ll gain unique insights into global health policy.

Who is it for?

We’ve designed this course for anyone with an interest in understanding and impacting policymaking or for those who are motivated to analyse the content and implications of health policy and associated politics on their own professional field.

Doctors, hospital managers, political scientists, social science graduates, those already working for industry or local and national governments, and civil society organisations - the course appeals to a range of professionals with both clinical and non-clinical backgrounds. You’ll be keen to understand how and why policies are made and what influence you might be able to exert on the process of policymaking and the content of policies.

Having built up skills in a range of key topics, you’ll finish the course ready to progress your career or assume new positions related to global health policy in national, regional or global health organisations. Or perhaps you’ll influence health related research institutions, non-governmental organisations or private consultancies. 

Programme specification

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


CourseYou studyStudy period
Master's9 modules + a project report or 12 modules2-5 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.

Global Health Policy by Distance Learning


Global Health Policy student from Canada, Kelsey Yaremko, tells us about her programme, studies and career as a Dental Hygienist.

Julian Zedler
Julian Zedler, Germany

"LSHTM was well known to me as one of the best public health schools in the world. My knowledge is already helping me to make sound decisions in the field, especially when working with scarce resources and in complex settings."

Structure - Global Health Policy 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 and how the module is assessed.

Programme structure
  • PG Certificate: 4 compulsory core modules
  • PG Diploma: 8 modules (4 compulsory core + 4 elective modules)
  • MSc:10 modules (4 compulsory core + 5 elective modules + project) OR 12 modules (4 compulsory core + 8 elective modules) 

It is possible to register for the PG Certificate in the first instance then, on successful completion of the compulsory core modules, extend 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)
  • GHM101 The Economics of Global Health Policy
  • GHM102 The Politics of Global Health Policy
  • GHM103 Environmental Change and Global Health Policy
  • GHM104 Issues in Global Health Policy
Elective modules (PG Diploma and MSc)
  • CTM203 Project Management and Research Coordination
  • CTM204 Regulatory Affairs, Good Clinical Practice and Ethics
  • CTM205 Data Management
  • EPM101 Fundamentals of Epidemiology
  • EPM307 Global Epidemiology of Non-Communicable Diseases
  • GHM201 Health Systems
  • GHM202 Global Mental Health
  • GHM203 Research Design and Methods for the Analysis of Global Health Policy
  • GHM204 Law and Global Health Policy
  • GHM300 Project Module (MSc only)
  • IDM202 Nutrition and Infection
  • IDM213 Immunology of Infection and Vaccines
  • IDM301 Epidemiology and Control of Infectious Diseases
  • IDM501 HIV
  • IDM502 Tuberculosis
  • IDM503 Malaria
  • PHM201 Health Decision Science
  • PHM205 Environmental Epidemiology
  • PHM207 Health Care Evaluation
  • PHM211 Medical Anthropology in Public Health
  • PHM213 Principles and Practice of Health Promotion
  • PHM214 Conflict and Health
  • PHM215 History and Health
  • PHM218 Applied Communicable Disease Control

(Note that restrictions and pre-requisites may apply to some of the modules above. Not all elective modules will be available every year).

Project (MSc only)

All MSc students have the option to apply to undertake the Project module (GHM300), which is equivalent to three module credits.

Methods of assessment

Student learning will be evaluated by a range of methods, including formative assignments, assessed assignments and unseen written examinations.

Details of how learning will be assessed in each module are provided in the module specification.

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 - Global Health Policy by Distance Learning

Teaching and learning strategy

Learning is self-directed against a detailed set of learning objectives using the study materials provided. Module tutors provide asynchronous support for students by replying to students’ questions in open online discussion forums and facilitating discussion. Students are also encouraged to participate in live webinars led by module teaching teams. The live webinars are recorded and available for subsequent download.


The programme is delivered using a variety of study resources including lecture notes and a selection of essential and recommended readings and activities. 

All essential and some recommended readings are provided for each session in the Library section of each module area of LSHTM’s virtual learning environment, Moodle. Essential readings are a compulsory part of the study materials, while recommended readings are provided for further reference and research. 

Students are encouraged to communicate with tutors and fellow students via Moodle in module specific web-based discussion forums. In this way, students can ask questions, engage in discussion, peer-to-peer learning, and develop and negotiate conclusions with others, which are key components in the acquisition of knowledge, understanding and transferable skills. Students are also invited to participate in real time webinars or listen to recordings of these. 

Further information about the teaching & learning strategy and resources for each module is provided in the relevant module specification.

Flexible study

We know that if you have a full-time job, family or other commitments, and wish to study at a distance, you will have many calls on your time. 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. Tutorial support is available throughout this time. Students carrying out projects are assigned personal supervisors to support their project work which is mostly carried out between June and the end of September in their final year.

Fees & funding
Fees and funding - Global Health Policy 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 fee none

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 fee none
Assessment resit fee£260

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
Assessment resit fee£260

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 - Global Health Policy by distance learning

Academic requirements

All applicants are required to have:

For entry to the programme, you will need the equivalent of a UK first or second-class honours degree from an acceptable institution.

Relevant subjects include sciences (e.g. biology, medicine, nursing, pharmacy) or social sciences (e.g. anthropology, demography, development, economics, environmental studies, geography, human rights, international relations, law, politics, sociology).

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 - Global Health Policy by distance learning

Computer requirements

You must have regular access to a computer (or mobile device*) with an internet connection to use the University of London website and the Student Portal. These are where your programme’s study resources are located. Through the Student Portal you can register as a student, enter exams and use your programme’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). The VLE provides you with electronic learning materials, access to the University of London Online Library, networking opportunities and other resources.

To get the most from your studies, your computer should have at least the following minimum specification:

  • a web browser (the latest version of Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer). This must accept cookies and have JavaScript enabled
  • screen resolution of 1024 x 768 or greater
  • sufficient bandwidth to download documents should be 50 MB

and the following applications installed:

  • word processor that reads Microsoft Word format (.doc)
  • Adobe, or other pdf reader

Some of the CD-ROMs and software provided for use with Epidemiology modules may not be fully compatible with Apple Mac computers.

*Full mobile access is not available for all programmes

How to apply
How to apply - Global Health Policy 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.

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