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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 two years 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.
Duration: one year full time; half-time or split study over two years. Ways to study explained.
"I have enjoyed sharing ideas, making friends, learning best practices and networking with students from all over the world."
By the end of the programme, students will able to:
- articulate a critical understanding of a range of topics related to public health in low- and middle-income settings;
- apply public health research skills to examine critically a range of public health questions;
- evaluate actions designed to improve public health;
- formulate evidence-based and appropriate strategies to control health problems and promote health;
- frame their knowledge of public health within a development context.
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.
Students take the following compulsory 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 and Population Health
Terms 2 and 3
Students take five modules in terms 2 and 3, working with personal tutors to identify a pathway through the course which best serves their career. They 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 Developing Countries in Term 3. 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.
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 a £200 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.
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.
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.
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.
Additionally for the MSc Public Health for Development, successful candidates are expected to have lived in a developing country and worked in activities related to public health for a minimum of two years.
Any prospective student who does not meet the above minimum entry requirement, but who has 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 FAQs for 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 the School.
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 Organisation
- World Vision
- Marie Stopes International
Data Source: Destinations of Leavers in Higher Education’ survey 2011/12 – 2016/17
"On this programme, you get to spend a lot of time interacting with people who have spent a lot of time working in the field. You’d be amazed at the kind of experience that you get in a room of 35-40 people from different parts of the world. When I speak to my friends, I tell them "you have to choose this MSc!""
Hear from MSc Public Health for Development students
Students talk about the MSc Public Health for Development. The programme provides the skills needed to analyse the state of public health in low- and middle-income countries and to design and evaluate actions to address public health concerns.
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.
Do you need a visa?
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.