Health in Humanitarian Crises by Distance Learning

(Certificate, Diploma and MSc)

Overview - Health in Humanitarian Crises by Distance Learning

Humanitarian crises due to armed conflict, natural disasters, disease outbreaks and other causes are major contributors to ill health and vulnerability worldwide. The persisting effects of crises on health and health systems can undermine decades of social development.

This new programme provides you with the knowledge and skills to improve the health of populations, communities and particular groups within them when these populations are affected by humanitarian crises. You are encouraged to develop transferable and subject-specific skills to address multi-faceted and current health problems in their local setting, as well as internationally.

This self-study programme will suit practitioners, policy-makers or researchers who wish to deepen their understanding of humanitarian issues and increase their potential for career development in public health. It is aimed at professionals who may already be involved in delivering public health projects in humanitarian crises at community, hospital or district level, in research, in ministries of health or other health- or development-related organisations.

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

Course You study Study period
Master's 8 modules + a compulsory project report 2-5 years
Postgraduate Diploma 8 modules 2-5 years
Postgraduate Certificate 4 modules 1-5 years
Professor Francesco Checchi
Professor Francesco Checchi, Programme Director

"We are very excited to offer the new distance learning programme as a unique course for both newcomers wishing to enter this field, and experienced staff looking for opportunities to extend their skills."

Structure - Health in Humanitarian Crises 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 + 1 additional compulsory + 3 elective modules)
  • Master's: 8 modules (4 compulsory core modules + 1 additional compulsory + 3 elective modules) + a project report

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.

Compulsory core modules (PG Certificate, PG Diploma and MSc)
  • IDM101 Principles of Biostatistics and Epidemiology
  • PHM214 Conflict and Health
  • HHM101 Public Health Information in Humanitarian Crises
  • HHM102 Design and Planning of Humanitarian Health Projects
Additional/elective modules (PG Diploma and MSc)

Additional compulsory module:

  • HHM201 Management and Evaluation of Humanitarian Health Projects (compulsory for the PG Diploma and MSc)

Elective modules:

  • GHM102 The Politics of Global Health Policy
  • GHM104 Issues in Global Health Policy
  • GHM202 Global Mental Health
  • IDM104 Control of Infectious Diseases
  • IDM202 Nutrition and Infection
  • IDM215 Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
  • IDM301 Epidemiology and Control of Infectious Diseases
  • PHM204 Economic Evaluation
  • PHM211 Medical Anthropology in Public Health
  • PHM212 Organisational Management
  • 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 report (MSc only)
  • HHM300 Project Report (compulsory for the MSc)
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
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 - Health in Humanitarian Crises 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 HHM 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 - Health in Humanitarian Crises by Distance Learning

The fees below refer to the 2023/24 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

Item Fee
Master's £16,800
Postgraduate Diploma £13,300
Postgraduate Certificate £9,820
Application fee (non-refundable) for PG Cert, PG Dip and MSc £107

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.

Item Fee
Initial registration fee £1,540
Fee per core module £2,050
Fee per advanced/ elective module £850
Fee for final project £2,610
Application fee (non-refundable) for PG Cert, PG Dip and MSc £107

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

Item Fee
Fee per core module £2,500
Fee per advanced/elective module £2,500
Application fee none

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 - Health in Humanitarian Crises by Distance Learning

All applicants are required to have:

  • the equivalent of a UK first or second-class honours degree in a relevant subject from an acceptable institution


  • an appropriate professional or technical qualification, plus three years' relevant experience.

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 - Health in Humanitarian Crises by Distance Learning

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)
  • PDF reader, for example Adobe Acrobat Reader

Additional requirements:

  • A headset/microphone may be required to participate in "real time" online discussions
How to apply
How to apply - Health in Humanitarian Crises 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.

Application deadlines
MSc, PG Dip, PG Cert and individual modules Deadline
Epidemiology, Global Health Policy, Health in Humanitarian Crises, Infectious Diseases, Public Health 22 September
Clinical Trials 31 October
Registration deadlines
MSc, PG Dip and PG Cert and individual modules Deadline
Epidemiology, Global Health Policy, Health in Humanitarian Crises, Infectious Diseases, Public Health 20 October
Clinical Trials 30 November
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.

Email 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