MSc Demography & Health


This MSc provides rigorous training in demography and population studies. The curriculum comprises demographic methods and theory, epidemiology, statistics and data analysis.

Overview - Demography & Health

Many of our societies continue to face a diverse set of demographic challenges and opportunities, including rapid population ageing, extremely low as well as very high fertility, and sizable population migration. These and other demographic trends have important repercussions in all possible domains of life; from voting behavior to living arrangements, labour markets and economic growth, tax revenues and pension systems, carbon emissions, and the demand for education, health and social services. Demography, in other words, may well be the single most defining factor of the world that we live in.

The MSc Demography & Health equips students with the theories and skills to understand and quantify macro-level population dynamics and their downstream implications for health and health policies. Students are further trained in the analysis of micro-level processes that govern population change, including fertility and reproductive behaviour, the exposure to health risks, and population mobility. Analysis tools and techniques are applied to high-income settings where high-quality data are usually abundant to resource constrained settings that are covered by partial or deficient information systems.

The teaching programme gives students ample opportunity to select from a wide range of modules in statistics, epidemiology public health, and the social sciences, and thus tailor their curriculum to either focus on the technical aspects of data analytics and demographic estimation, or, take a more interdisciplinary approach to the study of population and health.

The MSc Demography & Health is recognised by the Medical Research Council (MRC), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Population Investigation Committee (PIC) and a number of scholarships from these bodies are available each year.

Duration: one year full-time; half-time or split-study over two years. Ways to study explained.

    Hear Mollie's thoughts on the MSc Demography & Health


    Mollie tells us about her experience of studying the MSc Demography & Health at LSHTM, the skills she has learned and her plans for the future.

    Rebecca Musgrove
    Rebecca Musgrove, UK

    "I never thought I would do a PhD before I came to LSHTM. Coming here made me think “Oh, I can do that!”" - Read more

    Why this course?

    Demography plays an important role in understanding population dynamics - how populations change in response to the interplay between fertility, mortality and migration - and its impact on the health and healthcare needs of a population.

    Why Demography & Health at LSHTM?

    This programme will help students acquire technical expertise in demography and an understanding of the interlinkages between population studies and health, including fertility, sexual behaviour, ageing, health inequalities and life expectancy.

    Why study the MSc Demography & Health at LSHTM?

    • Learn demography within the wider context of public health in a world-leading specialised institution
    • Tailor your degree to meet your needs thanks to the modular structure of the programme  
    • Gain practical skills through student-led seminars, data analysis tasks or mini-research projects
    • Specialise and apply your learning with the MSc research project
    • Learn to formulate research questions and use bio statistical data and analysis to address them
    • Assess population studies and apply your research findings to policy, backed by sound knowledge
    • Learn to present results of bio statistical analyses through written and oral presentations
    • Understand population trends in low-, middle- and high-income countries
    • Choose to focus on the technical aspects of data analytics and estimation, or, take a more interdisciplinary approach to the study of population and health 

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    What are my career prospects as a health demographer?

    What are my career prospects as a health demographer?

    The course teaches research skills which are highly valued in the job market generally and are welcomed in a wide variety of research fields. The teaching draws on several related disciplines within LSHTM and because of the modular approach can be tailored to suit different needs.

    Graduates from this programme leave with a set of key skills and experience in theories and methods of population sciences, biostatistics, epidemiology, research methods and data analysis which enable them to embark on a diverse range of careers in:

    • public health
    • academic research
    • NGOs
    • reproductive health programmes
    • health services
    • government statistical offices
    • policy and planning

    Find out more about careers opportunities.

    Request a prospectus

    Why choose LSHTM?

    Why choose LSHTM?

    • LSHTM is a specialist public health institution, renowned all over the world for its research excellence and prestigious postgraduate study programmes

    • We consistently rank highly in various global university league tables: #1 in Europe for research impact in sciences (2018 CWT Leiden Ranking) and #3 in the world for Public Health (ShanghaiRanking 2018). Read more about our rankings.

    • We have a strong academic and media presence worldwide

    • The international character of LSHTM contributes significantly to the quality and range of its teaching and training: our students come from over 155 countries, with over 60% from outside the UK

    • Our global graduate network of over 20,000 actively engaged alumni and international research collaborations create fantastic networking opportunities for students

    Read about our research

    Why study demography & health?


    Nalin shares his experience of studying the MSc Demography and Health.

    Amy Clutterbuck, MSc Demography & Health student
    Amy Clutterbuck, MSc Demography & Health

    “I have been impressed and inspired every single day I’ve been at the School. I will be eternally grateful to the dedicated staff who make the teaching engaging, the plethora of talks at the cutting edge of health research, and my peers for being a supportive and wonderful part of my time in London."

    Objectives - Demography & Health

    By the end of this programme students should be able to:

    • demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of scientific, evidence-based approaches to the study of population issues
    • assess and apply these approaches to inform development, health and population programmes
    • formulate research questions and use demographic and health data, and appropriate methods of analysis, to address them
    • identify causes and consequences of population change and relate these to underlying population dynamics
    • demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of demographic behaviour in social, economic and policy contexts
    • assess and apply findings of population studies to health and social policy
    • demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of major population trends, including historical trends, in developed and developing countries.
    Structure - Demography & Health

    The below structure outlines the proposed modules for this programme. Module specifications provide full details about the aims and objectives of each module, what you will study and how the module is assessed.

    Term 1

    Students take the following compulsory modules:

    • Basic Epidemiology or Extended Epidemiology
    • Demographic Methods
    • Population Studies
    • Principles of Social Research
    • Statistics for Epidemiology and Population Health

    Terms 2 and 3

    Students take a total of five study modules, one module from each timetable slot (Slot 1, Slot 2 etc.). Students are expected to take modules related to demography for at least two of their other four choices.

    *Recommended modules

    Slot 1

    • Research Design & Analysis*
    • Designing Disease Control Programmes in Developing Countries
    • Health Care Evaluation
    • Sociological Approaches to Health

    Slot 2

    • Family Planning Programmes*
    • Population, Poverty and Environment*
    • Conflict and Health
    • Design and Analysis of Epidemiological Studies
    • Statistical Methods in Epidemiology

    Slot 3

    • Evaluation of Public Health Interventions*
    • Social Epidemiology*
    • Current Issues in Maternal & Perinatal Health
    • Epidemiology of Non-Communicable Diseases
    • Medical Anthropology and Public Health
    • Modelling & the Dynamics of Infectious Diseases
    • Spatial Epidemiology

    Slot 4

    • Population Dynamics & Projections (compulsory)

    Slot 5

    • Analysing Survey & Population Data*
    • Advanced Statistical Methods in Epidemiology
    • AIDS
    • Proposal Development

    Project Report

    During the summer months (July - August), students complete a research project for submission by early September. Acceptable types of project are: data analysis; a project proposal; an original literature or policy review.

    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 - Demography & Health

    A student must normally satisfy the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine general entrance requirements and the additional programme specific entrance requirements as follows:

    The normal minimum entrance qualification for registration at the School on a Master's programme is at least one of the following:

    • a second-class honours degree of a UK university, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, in a subject appropriate to that of the course of study to be followed
    • a registrable qualification appropriate to the course of study to be followed, in medicine, dentistry or veterinary studies

    Applications with an appropriate technical qualification, or equivalent qualification and experience from overseas, are also welcomed.

    Additional requirements for the MSc Demography & Health are:

    • evidence of numeracy skills

    Any student who does not meet the minimum entry requirement of a second-class honours degree or equivalent qualification but who has relevant professional experience may still be eligible for admission. Qualifications and experience will be assessed from the application.

    Admissions FAQs

    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 FAQs for information

    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 the School.

    Fees & funding
    Fees 2020/21 - Master's Programmes
    Fees 2020/21    
    Home Full-time £10,470
      Part-time £5,235
    Overseas Full-time £24,200
      Part-time £12,100
    Funding general

    Please note that EU nationals will continue to benefit from home fee status and can access financial support for the 2020-21 academic year. Find out more.

    Other sources of funding:

    Careers - MSc Demography & Health

    Graduates from this programme enter a diverse range of positions in public health, academic research of a very wide nature, NGOs, reproductive health programmes, health services, government statistical offices, policy and planning.

    Below you will find just a few of the positions and organisations that our graduates from this course have entered:

    Example job titles:

    Academic Researcher
    Government Research or Policy Analyst
    Research Scientist
    Project Officer
    International Technical Advisor
    Market Research Consultant
    Data Analyst
    Evaluation Officer
    Health Policy Adviser
    Scientific Officer
    Programme Officer
    Senior Data Manager

    Example organisations:

    United Nations Population Fund
    Médecins Sans Frontiers
    Institute for Health Metrics Evaluation
    Mary Stopes International
    Population Council
    Guttmacher Institute
    Kenya Medical Research institute (KEMRI)
    World Health Organisation
    Universities in many countries
    Central and Local Government
    National Statistical Offices in various countries
    Public Health England
    International Planned Parenthood Organization
    Malawi Epidemiology and Intervention Research Unit
    NHS England
    British Medical Journal
    Population Services International
    International Organization for Migration


    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.

    Hear from a MSc Demography & Health student


    Nalin describes his experience of studying the MSc Demography & Health at LSHTM.

    Ellen Flint
    Ellen Flint, UK

    "MSc Demography & Health shaped my career, it gave me absolutely fantastic skills in things that are really transferrable, within social science and beyond." - Read more

    How to apply
    How to apply - applications

    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.

    How to apply - deadlines

    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.

    The final closing date for taught Master’s applications is as follows:

    • 2 August 2019 by 23:59 British Summer Time (BST) for international applicants requiring a Tier 4 Student Visa, and
    • 23 August 2019 by 23:59 British Summer Time (BST) for applicants not requiring a Tier 4 Student Visa.
    How to apply - visa

    Do you need a visa?

    EEA Nationals

    If you have EU nationality or you are from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, you do not need immigration permission to come to the UK. You can enter, study and work in the UK without restriction. If you have dual nationality, and you choose to come to the UK using your EEA or Swiss passport, you do not need immigration permission.

    For useful guidance on EEA nationals in the UK, go to the UKCISA website.

    Students from outside the EEA

    All non-EEA nationals who want to study in the UK must hold immigration permission that allows you to study in the UK.

    If you are coming to the School to study on a full time degree programme and you have no other immigration permission for the UK, you will need to apply for a Tier 4 Student visa. You can only apply for Tier 4 when your offer at the School is unconditional.

    If you already hold a Tier 4 visa for a different institution, you will probably have to apply for a Tier 4 visa for the School before you can start studying with us.

    Still unsure on whether you need a visa?