These courses provide students with the knowledge and skills to contribute to the improved health of populations and particular groups within them through the promotion of health and prevention of diseases; the development and evaluation of care practices; and the investigation and control of environmental threats to health. Students are instructed in the development, use and critical evaluation of conceptual models, evidence, methods of analysis, and practical interventions.
These programmes provide students with the knowledge and skills to address diverse public health issues in low, middle and high income settings. The varied curriculum allows students to opt for a broad range of knowledge or to concentrate on specialised areas. The programme offers four alternative streams; the general Public Health stream and three specialist streams: Environment and Health; Health Promotion and Health Services Management.
Students on this programme come from diverse backgrounds. Many are health professionals working at a service or policy level, while others wish to obtain public health skills that they can apply to their work in development, community services, government, research or teaching. Find out more about our graduate careers and destinations.
The aims and learning outcomes are detailed in the programme specification.
|Course||You study||Study period|
|Master's||Either 14 modules or 11 modules plus a project report||2-5 years|
|Postgraduate Diploma||10 modules||2-5 years|
|Postgraduate Certificate||6 modules||1-5 years|
|Individual modules||Studying individual modules is an ideal option if you wish to update your professional knowledge or sample the programme.|
|Application deadline for PG Cert, PG Dip and MSc||31 August|
|Application deadline for individual modules||31 August|
|Registration deadline for PG Cert, PG Dip and MSc||30 September|
|Registration deadline for individual modules||31 October|
|Start of the course||October|
|Examinations (take place the following year after registration)||June|
Changes to the course
The School will seek to deliver this course in accordance with the description set out in this course page. However, there may be situations in which it is desirable or necessary for the School to make changes in course provision, either before or after registration. For further information, please see our page on changes to courses.
Public Health by Distance Learning
Dr Dina Khan who works for the World Health Organization, studied the School's MSc Public Health by distance learning.
"The distance learning programme at the School fulfils my needs, as I cannot commit to full-time on-campus study."
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 (please note: it is not possible to hold examinations at other times of year). These are normally held in a student’s country of residence. We have examination centres in over 180 countries worldwide (for details please visit the assessment and examinations section).
Examinations are arranged mainly through Ministries of Education or the British Council. Students taking examinations will need to pay a fee to their local examination centre. Please note that if you fail an examination at the first entry you will be allowed one further attempt.
Credits will be awarded for all elements successfully completed: 10 credits for each PHM1 module; 15 credits for PHM elective modules; and 45 credits for the project option. To successfully pass an award, the following credits must be gained:
Postgraduate Certificate – 60 credits
Postgraduate Diploma – 120 credits
Master's – 180 credits
- Postgraduate Certificate (6 modules): 4 compulsory core modules + 2 further PHM1 modules
- Postgraduate Diploma (10 modules): 4 compulsory core modules + 2 further PHM1 modules + 4 elective modules. At least 2 modules must be taken from the selection group PHM2.
- MSc (14 modules OR 11 modules and a project report): 4 compulsory core modules + 1 stream-specific PHM1 module + 1 further PHM1 module + 1 stream-specific PHM2 module + EITHER 7 elective modules OR 4 elective modules and a project report). Note: at least 4 of the elective modules must be taken from the selection group PHM2 (including the stream-specific compulsory module).
Our Public Health diagrams show suggested schedules for completing the programmes within different time frames.
The Postgraduate Certificate comprises the four core modules which are also common to the Diploma and MSc courses:
- PHM101 Basic Epidemiology
- PHM102 Basic Statistics for Public Health and Policy
- PHM103 Introduction to Health Economics
- PHM104 Principles of Social Research
All students take two additional PHM1 modules, selected from:
- PHM105 Issues in Public Health
- PHM106 Environment, Health & Sustainable Development
- PHM107 Foundations of Health Promotion
- PHM108 Health Services
- PHM109 Health Policy, Process & Power
To complete the Postgraduate Diploma, four elective modules (in addition to the four core modules and two further modules) must be studied. At least two of these (three are recommended) must be taken from the PHM2 list below.
Master's Degree (MSc)
Students registered for the General stream must select eight modules from the list below OR complete five from the list (of which at least four must be PHM2 modules) and a final year project.
Students registered for a specialised stream (Health Promotion, Environment and Health or Health Services Management) must select seven modules from the list below in addition to the stream-specific compulsory PHM2 module OR complete four from the list (of which at least three must be PHM2 modules), the stream-specific compulsory PHM2 module, and a final year project.
Note that restrictions and pre-requisites may apply to some of the modules below. Not all modules will be available every year.
- GHM201 Health Systems
- PHM201 Analytical Models for Decision Making
- PHM203 Economic Analysis for Management & Policy
- PHM204 Economic Evaluation
- PHM205 Environmental Epidemiology
- PHM206 Environmental Health Policy
- PHM207 Health Care Evaluation
- PHM209 Globalisation & Health
- PHM210 Managing Health Services
- PHM211 Medical Anthropology in Public Health
- PHM212 Organisational Management
- PHM213 Principles and Practice of Health Promotion
- PHM214 Conflict and Health
- PHM215 History and Health
- PHM216 Sexual Health
- PHM218 Applied Communicable Disease Control
- PHM219 Evaluation of Public Health Interventions
- PHM305 Project Report
- EPM202 Statistical Methods in Epidemiology
- IDM201 Bacterial Infections
- IDM202 Nutrition and Infection
- IDM203 Parasitology
- IDM205 Healthcare-associated Infection
- IDM213 Immunology of Infection and Vaccines
- IDM215 Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
- IDM301 Epidemiology and Control of Infectious Diseases in Developing Countries
- IDM501 HIV/AIDS
- IDM502 Tuberculosis
- IDM503 Malaria
All MSc students have the option to apply to undertake a project report specific to their chosen stream, which is equivalent to three module credits.
You receive access to your study materials after you register. Details of the study materials provided for each module can be found in the module specification documents located on the Structure tab on the Public Health programme page. You also have access to the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine’s online library resources. We also provide all students with a student registration card.
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 carried out in their final year.
- a web-based learning environment (including web conferencing, allowing you to engage in academic discussions with tutors and fellow students)
- personalised feedback from teaching staff and advice on assignments
- tutors are allocated to each module and are available to answer queries and promote discussion during the study year, through the online Virtual Learning Environment
- communicate with other distance learning students, either individually or through learning support groups
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 the School 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 the School, are subject to change - full details will be sent to all distance learning students in July each year.
The fees below refer to the 2019-20 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 course registration fee and all module fees|
|Or: pay the initial course 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||£1,280|
|Fee per core module||£1,140|
|Fee per elective module||£720|
|Fee for final project||£2,170|
|Individual modules (taken on a stand-alone basis with no registration fee)|
|Fee per core module||£1,420|
|Fee per elective module||£2,080|
When to pay
Fees may be paid in one of two ways:
Either, pay the total fee on registration by making a single payment. This covers the registration fee and all module fees;
Or, if you prefer to spread out your payments, pay the registration fee plus the fee for each module you want to take in the first year, and then in subsequent years pay the fee for each new module you take.
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
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.
All applicants are required to have:
- a minimum of one year's relevant work experience; and
- a first or second class honours degree or the equivalent, in a subject appropriate to the course, from a university or other institution acceptable to the University of London.
Qualifications from around the world are accepted; for further guidance please see the School's qualifications for entrance. Students who do not satisfy the entrance requirements may still be admitted at the discretion of the School on the basis of their academic qualifications, work experience and references.
English Language Requirements
It is essential that you have an adequate command of the English Language to carry out your studies. The following may be considered as acceptable evidence of English language proficiency:
- substantial education (minimum of eighteen months) conducted and assessed in English, or
- substantial work experience (minimum of eighteen months) conducted in English.
If you do not meet one of the above requirements then you will be required to have passed one of the following within the past three years:
- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English when a minimum overall score of 185 is achieved, with at least 176 in Writing and 169 in Listening. If taken prior to January 2015 then you must achieve a minimum overall score of grade B.
- (IELTS) International English Language Testing System when an overall score of at least 7.0 is achieved with a minimum of 6.5 in the Written sub-test and a minimum of 5.5 in Listening, Reading and Speaking.
- Pearson Test of English (Academic) overall score of 68 or above, with a minimum of 62 in Writing and a minimum of 59 in Listening, Reading and Speaking.
- (TOEFL) iBT Test of English as a Foreign Language overall score of 100 or above with at least 24 in Writing, 23 in Speaking, 22 in Reading and 21 in Listening.
Where an applicant does not meet the required English language level but believes they can demonstrate the required level for admission the University may, at its discretion, consider the application.
You must have regular access to a computer (or mobile device*) with an internet connection to use the University of London International Programmes 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:
- 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
The School's distance learning programmes are run in collaboration with the University of London International Programmes. For the distance learning courses applications must be made online to the University of London.
If you have any enquiries, please submit your questions online to the University of London. Alternatively, please contact:
Student Advice Centre, University of London, Stewart House, 32 Russell Square, London,
WC1B 5DN, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 7862 8360/8361/8362