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This programme equips students with skills needed to appreciate and analyse the state of public health in low- and middle-income countries and to design and evaluate actions to address public health concerns. We consider public health and the provision of health services from a multidisciplinary perspective.
Students on the MSc Public Health for Development have substantial experience of planning or implementing public health programmes, of teaching or public-health-related research and wish to hone their critical professional skills. They have been based in low- or middle-income countries for one year or more, engaged in public health efforts in a range of contexts which may include Ministries of Health or NGOs in stable states, conflict areas or humanitarian relief. We complement formal teaching with peer learning that builds on this professional experience and frames knowledge of public health within a development context. Students participate in an award-winning seminar series in which they examine their public health experience in light of material studied on the programme.
Students develop public health research skills including statistics and epidemiology, and build on these to tailor a programme to suit their professional needs. In the summer, students undertake a supervised research project which focuses on a public health question in a low- or middle-income country.
By the end of the programme, students will able to:
- demonstrate knowledge, understanding and skills in core public health disciplines including epidemiology, statistics, social science research, health economics and health policy
- demonstrate knowledge and understanding of a range of current issues and topics related to public health in low- and middle-income settings
- apply public health knowledge and skills to identify and assess public health problems in low- and middle-income countries
- formulate appropriate public health strategies to control health problems and promote health in low- and middle-income countries
- evaluate actions designed to improve public health in low- and middle-income countries
- frame knowledge of public health within a development context
Duration: one year full time; part-time or split study over two years. Ways to study explained.
Public Health for Development
Hear Programme Director Hannah Blencowe talk about the programme.
"I chose this programme to equip me with the skills to critically appraise public health efforts for disease control in Nigeria and other LMICs while cultivating a network of distinguished researchers and policy shapers at LSHTM."
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
Students take the following compulsory AB1 modules, which are assessed formatively during the term and form the basis of one of the final exam papers in the summer:
- Extended Epidemiology
- Health Policy, Process & Power
- Introduction to Health Economics
- Principles of Social Research
- 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), working with personal tutors to identify a pathway through the programme which best serves their career. Students may choose to develop research skills in statistics and epidemiology; qualitative methods; health policy; or health economics. They may also choose to develop a specialist public health focus such as vector control; maternal and newborn health; sexual and reproductive health; or water, sanitation and health.
Most students take the unifying module Applying Public Health Principles in the E slot. This module builds on the learning from Terms 1 and 2 so students apply public health disciplines to review evidence, produce policy recommendations, develop strategic public health programme plans and conduct strategic reviews.
- Designing Disease Control Programmes
- Economic Evaluation
- Health Care Evaluation
- Health Promotion Approaches and Methods
- Malaria: From Science to Policy and Practice
- Maternal & Child Nutrition
- Research Design & Analysis
- Sociological Approaches to Health
- Study Design: Writing a Study Proposal
- Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs
- Conflict and Health
- Design & Analysis of Epidemiological Studies
- Family Planning Programmes
- Health Systems
- History & Health
- Population, Poverty and Environment
- Qualitative Methodologies
- Statistical Methods in Epidemiology
- Control of Sexually Transmitted Infections
- Current Issues in Maternal & Perinatal Health
- Economic Analysis for Health Policy
- Epidemiology of Non-Communicable Diseases
- Evaluation of Public Health Interventions
- Medical Anthropology and Public Health
- Nutrition in Emergencies
- Organisational Management
- Social Epidemiology
- Spatial Epidemiology in Public Health
- Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, and Health
- Design & Evaluation of Mental Health Programmes
- Environmental Epidemiology
- Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases
- Ethics, Public Health & Human Rights
- Global Disability and Mental Health
- Globalisation & Health
- Reviewing the Literature
- Sexual Health
- Applying Public Health Principles
- Field trip
The field trips, or retreats, are an integral part of the programme, where we introduce students to peer learning.
The first is a compulsory residential two-day retreat during the orientation period. Students spend one day on a rural walk and learn about one another's public health experience. On the second day they form groups based on common themes in public health, which may be based on geography, disease-specific or skill-specific such as delivery care, logistics or health promotion. These discussions form the basis of reflections and presentations at the Student Seminar Series.
During the second retreat after the summer examinations, students reflect in a structured way on their public health learning over the year and undertake a formal evaluation of the course.
There is an additional fee for students on the programme, which covers the cost of the retreats.
All students take two examinations in the summer, one to assess understanding of the material covered in Term 1 and the other to assess their overall understanding of Public Health for Development.
- Project report
During the summer months (July - August), students draw on all their academic skills by undertaking a project on a subject of importance to public health in a low- or middle-income country, for submission by early September. The project can take the form of a literature review, analysis of a data set, a policy report or a study protocol. The project is an independent piece of work, but students have contact with their supervisors who guide them in this work.
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.
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 an LSHTM master's degree programme, an applicant must:
- hold either a first degree at Second Class Honours (2:2) 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 a Second Class Honours (2:2) degree or above.
- have relevant professional experience or training which is judged by LSHTM to be equivalent to a Second Class Honours (2:2) degree or above.
If you have not previously studied in the UK, you can check our guide to international equivalent qualifications for our master's degrees.
Additionally for the MSc Public Health for Development, successful applicants are expected to have one year’s professional experience in public health in a low- or middle-income country.
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.
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 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 students from all backgrounds feel encouraged to apply to study with us. To that end, we have introduced an innovative contextual admissions system that is designed to consider any barriers applicants may have faced and take account of the circumstances in which their grades have been achieved, rather than relying on results alone. More information on widening participation at LSHTM.
*Mobile users, scroll right to view fees
Funding available for this programme:
- 2023-24 Commonwealth Shared Scholarships (PH4D) (application deadline: 13 December 2022)
Please note: this funding is only to citizens of the following eligible Commonwealth countries: Bangladesh, Belize, Botswana, Cameroon, Dominica, Eswatini, Fiji, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Montserrat, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Saint Helena, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Togo, Tonga, Tuvalu, Uganda, Vanuatu and Zambia
Sources of funding:
Graduates from this programme work in global health, health service management, in health programmes in low-income countries, in NGOs, and in research.
Below you will find just a few of the positions and organisations that our graduates from this course have entered. Please note that this is a small, representative sample of the types of organisations and roles that graduates enter, and is not comprehensive.
- Example job titles
- Clinical Director
- Consultant Technical Adviser
- Environmental Public Health Scientist
- Epidemiology Department Sub-Director
- Freelance Consultant
- Global Health Specialist
- Health and WASH Project Co-Ordinator
- Malaria Technical Adviser
- Nutrition Adviser
- Project Manager
- Research and Evaluation Specialist
- Research Associate
- Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights Programme Manager
- TB/HIV Program Officer
- Neglected Tropical Diseases Medical Adviser
- Biological Scientist
- Women's Health Adviser
- Example organisations
- Action Against Hunger
- Heritage International
- InterHealth Worldwide
- International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
- International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF)
- London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
- Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders)
- National Institute for Medical Research
- Public Health England
- Research and Development Division, Ghana Health Service
- Save the Children
- The Latin American and Caribbean Sex Workers' Federation
- United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
- World Food Programme
- World Health Organization
- World Vision
- Marie Stopes International
Want to read more about our graduate careers and destinations? Take a look at our infographics on our Graduate Careers & Destinations page.
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 2023/24 academic year is:
- Sunday 23 July 2023 at 23:59 UK time for all students requiring a Student visa
- Thursday 31 August 2023 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.
Do you need a visa?
Please visit our Visa & Immigration pages for advice and guidance.