MSc Public Health for Eye Care

Overview - Public Health for Eye Care

Eye health has far-reaching implications for individuals and society. Yet many people face sight impairment and blindness due to inadequate access to affordable, high-quality eye care.

More than 90% of vision loss is treatable or preventable. Our MSc in Public Health for Eye Care focuses on the generation of evidence around eye health care, and the implementation of strategies based on that evidence – helping you develop better interventions and deliver better care.

Over one year (full time) or two years (split study), you’ll develop the specialist skills you need to move on from considering just the needs of the patient in front of you, to the needs of the entire population. With our mission to improve eye health services, particularly for people in low- and middle-income countries, you’ll be inspired and prepared to make global changes in the field.

What you will learn

  • Understand how general public health principles, health economics and statistics apply to the promotion of eye health for all ages
  • Discover and unpack the basic epidemiology of major blinding diseases and understand how to critically appraise interventions
  • Learn about prevention of blindness due to ocular infections and non-communicable diseases
  • Find out how to effectively design a comprehensive eye health programme for a community
  • Grow the professional skills you’ll depend on in your career, such as management, research and critical evaluation

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

Your training will enable you to join the global effort to eliminate avoidable blindness. You’ll be prepared to both inform and lead eye health care practice at a local, national and international level through research, training and service delivery.

Who is it for?

This course is ideal if you’re already involved in clinical ophthalmology or optometry, in research or in eye health planning in low- and middle-income countries. But is also relevant for those from a high-income setting as many of the same principles are relevant and applicable.

Most students on this course, and particularly those seeking scholarship support, benefit from having at least three years’ experience in clinical eye care. However, we have had many successful students who have joined the course as junior doctors or intercalating medical students with an interest in international health and a desire to pursue a career in ophthalmology.

Whether you are an experienced ophthalmologist or optometrist, researcher, programme manager or a clinician in training aspiring to such roles, this course will embed you in the academics of public health and eye health promotion.

You could progress on to a PhD in blindness prevention, pursuing public health research to help answer the industry’s burning questions. Or working in university teaching hospitals, contributing to research programmes, or strategising in ministries of health for blindness prevention in your country. This course gives you the opportunity to make a real difference.

International Centre for Eye Health

Find out about the International Centre for Eye Health (ICEH).


One year full-time or split-study over two years. Ways to study explained.

Intercalating study

Find out about intercalating this programme.

Public Health for Eye Care


Watch Programme Director John Buchan talk about the programme.

Pirakalai Manikavasagar
Pirakalai Manikavasagar, UK

"After many hours of looking, I came across this course by LSHTM - the only UK institution providing an eye-related research course which had the added benefit of being globally applicable."

Structure - Public Health for Eye Care

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:

  • Basic Epidemiology
  • Basic Statistics for Public Health & Policy
  • Epidemiological Methods Applied to Eye Diseases
  • Foundations of Global Eye Health and Eye Care Programmes
  • Introduction to Health Economics
  • Skills for Field Research in Eye Care
Terms 2 and 3

Students take a total of five study modules, one from each timetable slot (C1, C2, D1, D2). The list below shows recommended or compulsory modules. There are other optional modules which may be taken only after consultation with the Programme Director.

C1 slot

  • Childhood Eye Disease and Ocular Infections (compulsory)

C2 slot

  • Non-Communicable Eye Disease (compulsory)

D1 slot

  • Implementing Eye Care: Skills and Resources (compulsory)

D2 slot

  • Ethics, Public Health and Human Rights
  • Global Disability & Mental Health
  • Reviewing the Literature

E module

  • Applying Public Health Principles
  • Proposal Development
Project report

During the summer months (July - August), students complete a research project on an appropriate topic. Students undertaking projects overseas will require additional funding of about £1,500 to cover costs involved.

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 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.

Entry requirements
Entry requirements - MSc intensive general

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.

Entry requirements - Public Health for Eye Care

The MSc Public Health for Eye Care is open to applicants who are pursuing, or planning to pursue, a career in eye health service delivery or research (usually either as an ophthalmologist or an optometrist but may also include health care researchers, eye health programme managers or ophthalmic nurses with public health or programme delivery responsibilities).

However, for those wishing to also apply for scholarship funding, given the competitive nature of the current scholarship funding environment, we expect successful applicants for scholarships will have at least three years’ experience after graduating, and be in roles where they either;

  • are planning and delivering community eye health interventions,
  • in research work regarding blindness prevention (usually evidenced by involvement in published research), or
  • in planning and programme management roles with organisations (either governmental or NGO) delivering eye care.  

Due to the high standard of applicants for scholarships, it is likely that those with less experience or who are not in a position to utilise the learning from the MSc in their current position may not be able to find scholarship support.

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 requirements - Band C

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you will need to meet these requirements: Band C

It is possible to apply without English language test results however the results of a test may be listed as a condition of an offer of admission. Please see our English language requirements for more information.

Intercalating students

Intercalating students

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

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.

Fees & funding
Fees - Master's Programmes
Fees 2024/25  

*Mobile users, scroll right to view fees

Funding - PHEC

Funding available for this programme:

  • 2024-25 Commonwealth Shared Scholarships (PHEC) (application deadline: 14 December 2023)

    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
Careers - MSc Public Health for Eye Care

Graduates from this programme are expected and encouraged to enter into careers with ministries of health, universities and NGOs involved in developing health services to prevent blindness and improve vision.
Below you will find just a few of the positions and organisations that our graduates from this course have entered:

Example job titles:

Paediatric Ophthalmologist
Community Ophthalmologist
Director Blindness Prevention Program
Medical Director
Eye Specialist

Example organisations:

The Lancet
United States Department of Health & Human Services
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
World Health Organisation
Business Without Borders
University of Science and Technology
Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching & Referral Hospital
Civil Hospital

Graduate Careers & Destinations

Want to read more about our graduate careers and destinations? Take a look at our infographics on our Graduate Careers & Destinations page.

How to apply
How to apply - applications

This programme is delivered on campus.

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.

How to apply - deadlines and fees

Application deadlines

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.

Application fee

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.

How to apply - visa

Do you need a visa?

Please visit our Visa & Immigration pages for advice and guidance.