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Teaching in 2021-22

Last updated: 6 September 2021

The outbreak of COVID-19 is unprecedented and continues to disrupt the lives of people and businesses around the world.

We understand this is an uncertain time for many of our potential future students. While there still remains uncertainty about the level of disruption, LSHTM is committed to ensuring our future students have timely, useful and clear information as much as possible.

We have taken guidance from our leading COVID-19 researchers on how the future of the pandemic may unfold, used the insights from multiple surveys, and with the safety and wellbeing of our students being our top priority, we have taken the following decision:

Intensive Master's degrees

All our intensive MSc programmes will offer a mix of online and on campus teaching during the 2021/22 academic year.

This means that each programme will involve an element of module level teaching on campus and you will be required to attend part of the programme in person. Within a programme, some modules may be online-only, others may combine online and campus teaching.

The fact that there are likely to be ongoing restrictions in place means that the proportion of online teaching delivery - provided through a combination of synchronous (live and interactive) and asynchronous (recordings, independent study, individual exercises, etc.) activities - is going to be larger than what can realistically be delivered in person on campus.

This blended approach is based on our expectation that by the autumn, some in-person teaching will be possible for students. However, this will of course be dependent upon the scale of the pandemic at the time and will be updated in line with the current guidance at that point. Should restrictions tighten, the programmes requiring specialist facilities for clinical or laboratory work are likely to be prioritised for access to our London campus.

Please check the relevant programme page for further details.

Throughout the year there will be programme-level activities to support student learning and community.

*Update on Term 1 MSc teaching* 

As the new academic year approaches, we have been listening to the opinions and concerns of students and staff, carefully reviewing the latest government guidance, and taking the advice of LSHTM experts.

There is still much uncertainty about how COVID-19 will affect life in the UK in the coming months, and in particular the possibility of another wave resulting from children returning to schools in autumn, which would not allow safe large gatherings. To improve the safety of our community we want to ensure there is sufficient time for everyone to be offered two vaccinations – especially our students coming to the UK from overseas– and to give teaching staff and students certainty for how to prepare for the start of the academic year rather than risking possible last-minute disruptions to plans.

Teaching for our MSc intensive programmes will be wholly online for the first half of Term 1 (until after Reading Week, 1-5 November 2021), except for laboratory and small group clinical teaching that cannot be delivered online.

We still intend, after Reading Week (from 8 November), to commence the mix of face-to-face and online learning, unless there is a significant change that means it is not safe to deliver the intended minimum of 4 on-campus sessions per week in Term 1.

Please check our FAQs below for guidance on when to arrive in the UK/London and other information about the start of term.

Doctoral students 

As it stands, almost all staff and students are working from home. While this may change by the autumn, we envisage that home working will still be encouraged, where possible, and it is very likely that we will need to restrict the numbers in the LSHTM buildings to maintain physical distancing. 

Term 1: Final decisions about term 1 teaching are still being made. Some modules, including the doctoral transferable skills programme, are likely to be delivered entirely online. Others may be delivered through a mixture of online and face-to-face participation. The same is likely to be true for modules in terms 2 and 3. In addition, asynchronous online-only modules are available through our Distance Learning programme.

Consequently, we will remove the normal expectation of starting your doctoral programme in London for those starting in 2021. You will not need to come to London for registration or the orientation programme, this will be delivered online. We will also endeavour to introduce you virtually to your peers and to current students, and to support continued interaction among you. 

If you do come to London in September, we cannot say at this point what access you will have to LSHTM buildings. At the moment access is restricted to those with urgent laboratory work. We will be guided by government advice, but it is very unlikely that you will be able to work daily at LSHTM in the short-term. You would also need to consider the risks of travelling on public transport. We will keep you informed as the situation clarifies. 

We realise that this is not ideal, and some of you may need to change your plans or even consider postponing your start date (if your funder allows this). Everybody’s situation is different, and it is important that you discuss with your supervisors what will work for you and, if necessary, adjust your plans. This is especially important if your work involves laboratories or fieldwork. 

Additional information for DrPH students 

The DrPH team are working to provide the best possible experience for the 2021 cohort. The Term 1 modules will be taught online, including synchronous live taught sessions, panel discussions and other collaborative provision. We are mindful of the issues raised by the differing time zones students may be based in and will accommodate this as best we can in our live provision. We will also be providing other activities that can be pursued asynchronously, both individually and in small groups. Depending on the circumstances at the time we may be able to organise some face-to-face activities in London for any students able to be there, but this would be in addition to, not part of, the teaching delivered in the modules. Please be assured that we plan to offer similar activities in future years to enable everyone to participate in these at some point during their degree programme. 


We appreciate this is an unsettling time for all our applicants. Be assured that we will do all we can to ensure that you gain a rich and engaging learning experience with LSHTM and achieve your degree as you have planned. Education is central to our mission to improve health worldwide, and these challenging times have reinforced our commitment to train the next generation of global health experts and leaders.

As this is an ever-evolving situation, we will keep you updated on our plans as they unfold. In the meantime, please make sure to check the below FAQs.

General FAQs

When does my programme start?

All Master’s programmes will commence online the week commencing 20 September (Welcome Week). Term 1 teaching will begin the week commencing 27 September.

MSc Health Policy, Planning & Financing students are also expected to attend welcome events at LSE in the week commencing 13 September. All queries regarding this should be sent to healthpolicy@lse.ac.uk.

When do I need to arrive in the UK/London?

Even though the first half of Term 1 will be provided wholly online, except for laboratory and small group clinical teaching that cannot be delivered online, we expect all students to plan to arrive in London by Sunday 19 September, taking the following into consideration:

  • Students must plan their arrival allowing sufficient time for quarantine/self-isolation.
     
  • Students who have not yet received COVID-19 vaccinations should allow sufficient time to receive two doses to be fully protected before face-to-face teaching resumes. See our COVID-19 vaccination FAQs for further information.
     
  • All live online teaching will take place in the 9am-5.30pm UK time, so there is an expectation that students are in the UK time zone from the start of their programme.
     
  • The ‘traffic light’ system of rules for entering England can change at short notice, so students travelling from green or amber list countries may wish to travel earlier to avoid any potential for those countries to move to the red list.

Please check our Arriving in the UK page for further information.

If you are not able to arrive in London by 19 September, please contact admissions@lshtm.ac.uk as soon as possible.

I'm already fully vaccinated, when should I travel to the London?

Irrespective of vaccination status, all students are expected to arrive in London by Sunday 19 September. This helps us plan and manage the reopening of the campus in the safest way possible whilst ensuring that students are receiving equitable teaching with respect to time zones.

If you are not able to arrive in London by 19 September, please contact admissions@lshtm.ac.uk as soon as possible.

Do I need to enrol in person?

Students will complete enrolment online and are no longer required to attend campus to complete enrolment. Further information about online enrolment will be sent in early September.

Will Welcome Week take place online?

All School-wide and key programme-level Welcome Week activities will take place online. Welcome Week timetables will be published in early September.

Which programmes contain laboratory and small group clinical teaching during Term 1?

The programmes with core laboratory and/or small group clinical components during Term 1 are MSc Immunology of Infectious Diseases, MSc Medical Entomology for Disease Control, MSc Medical Microbiology, MSc Medical Parasitology and MSc Tropical Medicine & International Health.

I am studying a lab-based programme, when will I be required on campus?

All lab-based students will be contacted to advise when required to attend campus. Security passes will be issued upon arrival.

What will happen to our field trip fee if cancelled?

In the event of cancellation we will fully refund any fees paid for fields trips.

What is 'mixed mode'?

Each programme will involve an element of module level teaching on campus and students will be required to attend part of the programme in person. Within a programme, some modules may be online-only, others may combine online and campus teaching.

How will the modules be split between online learning and campus learning?

This will depend on the programme. Within a programme, some modules may be online-only, others may combine online and campus teaching.

How much time will I spend on campus?

Our MSc intensive programmes will be wholly online for the first half of Term 1 (until after Reading Week, 1-5 November 2021), except for laboratory and small group clinical teaching that cannot be delivered online. Lab-based MSc Programmes, will have the usual lab-based teaching sessions to take place on campus.

We still intend, after Reading Week (from 8 November), to commence the mix of face-to-face and online learning, unless there is a significant change that means it is not safe to deliver the intended minimum of 4 on-campus sessions per week in Term 1.

Students on joint programmes should look for information from their other joint institution for details of their teaching delivery in the next academic session.

When will I know which modules I'm completing?

The majority of Term 1 teaching consists of compulsory (core) modules and module selection for Term 2 and 3 will take place online on Friday 12 November, 2pm UK time - please see the specific programme page for further details on what your core modules are.

Can I switch from mixed mode to distance learning?

Applications for our intensive MSc programmes are administered separately to our distance learning programmes. All intensive MSc applicants should apply online using our online Applicant Portal, while our distance learning programmes are administered by the University of London – please see the Applying for a distance learning programme page for further details. It is not possible to switch between the two.

Will the quality of teaching be the same for online teaching and campus teaching?

As a School, we have a strong track record in delivering high quality education remotely, which has been strengthened further in recent months by the need to move teaching for our current students rapidly online. We have ensured that students have still been able to achieve their intended learning outcomes through a combination of live lectures and facilitated seminars, and continued to provide access to the same learning resources and expertise as on campus.

What IT equipment will I need to participate in my teaching sessions?

When studying at the School your teaching will be a mixture of online sessions completed from your home/accommodation, and face to face sessions that will take place on campus. 

In terms of hardware required, students are required to have a modern and up to date laptop or MacBook, with a built in webcam. LSHTM participates in a UK-wide laptop buying scheme for students who want to purchase hardware, enabling you to buy a good quality laptop pre-loaded with software and accompanied by a warranty and insurance at a reasonable price. For further information, visit the Student Store website. We also recommend the use of a headset for interactive sessions.

To get the most from your studies, your computer should have the latest version of either Firefox or Chrome web browser installed and a sufficient bandwidth to download documents and participate in interactive sessions – preferably at least 2Mbps.

You will be able to download Office 365 for free for the duration of your programme as part of the LSHTM licence agreement.

Please see our Laptop requirements FAQs for further details on specifications.

What digital skills do I need to have to participate in my programme of study?

We would advise new students to engage with the digital learning and teaching tools awareness resource prior to joining us in September. This simple, interactive tool has been created to help new students to study digitally. It includes short descriptions, videos, and web links to information on the most used learning technologies used at LSHTM. Students who can take some time to engage with this resource should find themselves well placed to begin using the technology early within their studies.

I'm completing a joint programme with another institution. Does the mixed mode of study apply to those too?

Specific information about joint programmes will be sent to you separately as soon as arrangements have been agreed with the partner institutions.

I will be completing my MSc as an intercalated degree as part of my medical studies. Will I receive my final results in time to submit my Foundation Programme application? 

Historically, we have always made a point of welcoming intercalating students onto our programmes, both for the value it brings the students themselves and the wider student community. We tried to accommodate UKFP deadlines wherever possible by scheduling exam boards so that they take place before the application window closes or in some cases considering awards early by Chair’s action. 

However, it has been brought to our attention that applicants are now expected to submit before the end of September – by which point you will have only just submitted your project. It is clear that little or no consideration was given to students undertaking a PG intercalated degree (and its associated standard UK timelines) when the decision to bring the deadline forward was made. 

As it stands, the sudden deadline change means that LSHTM will no longer be able to ratify results by the end of the application window.  

We have contacted the UKFP asking them to review this unfortunate change and try to find a way of accommodating late submission of documentation confirming successful completion of a PG intercalated degree. 

Can I still study part-time or by split-study?

You will still be able to take advantage of the part-time and split-study options normally offered by the programme.

Do I still need to look for accommodation?

As all students will be required to attend some elements of their programme in person, students are expected to secure accommodation in London. However, due to the unpredictable nature of the pandemic, we strongly advise students to only book refundable accommodation.

Admissions & Visas

I no longer wish to take my place this year, can I have a deposit refund or defer my admission?

If the new planned teaching delivery no longer matches your expectations, and you do not wish to take up your place anymore, please let us know by 1 September 2021 and we will withdraw your offer and refund your deposit in full. All requests should be sent to admissions@lshtm.ac.uk. Please be advised that after this date we will revert to our standard deposit refund policy contained in our Postgraduate Taught Admissions Policy. Please note that it is not possible to defer your place for another year but you are welcome to apply again next year.     

Can I defer my place to next year?

Please see our Admissions Policy for full information on deferral options.

How can I submit original evidence of my qualifications?

In light of the current circumstances we will be accepting the following alternative formats as original evidence of qualifications:

  • an electronic transcript provided by a secure third-party link shared with admissions@lshtm.ac.uk  via an approved electronic verification system, such as Digitary or Parchment;
     
  • a PDF transcript sent from an official institution email address directly to admissions@lshtm.ac.uk  by a suitable department or staff member, such as Registry or School Office;
     
  • a formal letter sent from an official institution email address directly to admissions@lshtm.ac.uk  by a suitable department or staff member (such as Registry or School Office). The letter should be on headed paper and must confirm your course, results and years of study, as well as why the institution cannot provide a transcript.

Please do not post any documents to LSHTM until further notice.

I can't sit my English Language test as the test centre is closed. Will you accept alternative tests?

If your local English test centres are closed, we can accept alternative tests as proof of English proficiency. Please see our English Language FAQs for full details of all approved assessments. We are now accepting the TOEFL Home Edition test for all students not planning to apply for a Student Visa, and IELTS Indicator test for all students.

Do I still need to apply for a CAS and Student Visa?

Yes, if you are traveling from outside the UK or Republic of Ireland you will need to apply for a Student Visa in the usual way.

Will I still need to collect my Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) by a certain date?

The current UKVI COVID-19 concessions allow the BRP to be collected outside the specified (10 days) time. If you think you may not be able to collect your BRP within the given time, you must email our Student Visa & Immigration Team at visa-enquiries@lshtm.ac.uk for advice.

Fees & Funding

Full-time in-person teaching is a mandatory condition for my scholarship. What can I do to retain my funding?

Please speak to your funder to find out whether any contingency plans have been made for the coming academic year, providing them with the LSHTM's position as outlined above. Ultimately, funding should be used only within the Terms & Conditions and guidance provided by the funder.

Will LSHTM scholarships still include a cost of living stipend?

This will depend on the specific scholarship offered. Many awards are being provided as they were advertised. Specific details of scholarship awards funded and offered by LSHTM will be confirmed to the successful applicant(s) by email.

Can I still use my student loan?

You will be able to use your Postgraduate Loan as normal to help with programme and living costs.

Can I still have my US or Canadian student loan?

Please contact fees@lshtm.ac.uk for queries regarding US or Canadian student loans.

Can I pay in instalments?

Irrespective of how teaching is delivered, the tuition fee balance is payable in full two weeks prior to the start of the programme of study, or by the due date shown on the tuition fees invoice. From September 2021, the only exception to this rule are MSc students in receipt of the UK postgraduate loan through the Student Loans Company, who will be able to pay their fees in line with the loan instalments. In order to be permitted to do so, you will need to forward evidence of the approved loan to fees@lshtm.ac.uk.

Programme Structure

Will all modules still be available?

Programme specifications have been updated outlining clearly where certain modules may have been temporarily suspended as a result of current circumstances. All core teaching will be delivered, ensuring that intended learning outcomes are met.

Do I need to attend live online sessions at specified times?

Most modules will have some live online sessions. These will be recorded where feasible so they can be viewed later, but you are expected to attend in order to maximise the benefit of interactive learning (similar to attending a face-to-face class). Certain sessions may include activities in which participation is compulsory, for example group work leading to an assessment task. You must be available, with reliable internet access, for these study periods.

The intensive programme is designed for students who have reliable internet access and can dedicate themselves to their studies either full-time for one year or part-time for two years. If this does not describe your situation, you may wish to consider instead our distance learning programmes. In these programmes you have more flexibility to choose when to study and can complete an MSc in 2-5 years.

Will Year 2 of my part-time programme in 2022/23 be delivered the same way?

Due to the unpredictable nature of the ongoing pandemic, we are not in a position to confirm how our teaching model will look during the 2022/23 session.

Will exams take place online?

Arrangements are yet to be confirmed, but as certain social distancing rules are likely to still be in place, the likelihood is that examinations will be made available remotely.

What's the difference between an invigilated exam and an exam taken remotely?

In an invigilated exam, the questions may include parts which test simple recall as well as parts testing higher order thinking. ​In an exam taken remotely, the questions do not test a student's capacity to recall facts. They test higher order thinking skills: interpretation, critical thinking and application of knowledge.

Will my transcript show if my course was delivered partly online?

No - the transcript is a record of academic achievement and does not record the method of achievement.

Will I be able to complete an overseas MSc summer project?

Due to the unpredictable nature of the pandemic, we are not in a position to guarantee that overseas or field based projects will be possible. Should you find yourself in a position where you are unable to travel overseas, 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. 

Will I be able to complete a lab-based MSc summer project?

Due to the unpredictable nature of the pandemic, we are not in a position to guarantee that London based laboratories will be accessible.

What kind of networking opportunities will there be for students?

We will provide extensive opportunities to meet leading academics, researchers, alumni and other students online and - where circumstances permit - on campus. This is a vital and unique element of the LSHTM intensive student experience.

Will student support services such as careers still be available?

Yes, all of these services will be available virtually for the first half of Term 1. Further information on how to access these services will be made available to you upon enrolment via our Virtual Student Hub.

Will the library or other study space be available during the first half of Term 1?

We understand that some of our students will need some private study space due to challenges studying from home. There will be study space available in the Library at our main London campus for students to book from 20 September 2021. 

Please note that access to study space will not include access to print books or other physical material. However access to electronic books, journals, databases and online material from the Library will be made available to our students, and Library, Archive & Open Research Services staff will be available to answer your queries remotely. 

Will I need to buy books if they can't be borrowed from the library?

We have an extensive range of digital library resources which will be made available to you as a student of LSHTM. In light of the current circumstances Library staff are in the process of purchasing e-copies of all essential readings where they are available electronically, and encouraging teaching staff to consider the accessibility of texts when revising reading lists.