COVID-19 Advice for Applicants and Offer Holders 2021/22

Last updated: 31 March 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.

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: Most teaching, including the doctoral transferable skills programme, will be delivered online. Online options for our taught modules will be available for terms 2 and 3, though some face-to-face participation may also be available. 

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

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. All students are expected to be in London and register in person in September.

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.

When will I know which modules I'm completing and what dates I'll need to be in London?

The majority of Term 1 teaching consists of compulsory (core) modules - please see the specific programme page for further details. It is very likely that an element of your core teaching will be delivered on campus and all students are therefore expected to arrive in London for the start of Term 1.

I'm unable to travel to London due to travel restrictions. What should I do?

All students are expected to be in London in order to complete their programme of study. If you find yourself in a position that you are unable to travel to London in September due to travel restrictions at that time, you should contact the Admissions team to decline your offer of admission.

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 online teaching?

In order to participate in the online delivery of our programmes, students are expected to have regular access to a computer (or mobile device) with a reliable internet connection. If possible, students should use a wired connection. The better your internet connection, the better your learning experience.

LSHTM recommends the following hard-wired connection device - TP-Link TL-PA4010KIT Nano Powerline Adapter Starter Kit. Should you experience any difficulty the IT support team will be able to help you set up remotely. They will also try to help with alternative solutions, but we may not be able to support all choices.

In terms of hardware required, students should 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.

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.

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.

What happens if I book travel or accommodation but then campus teaching can't go ahead?

Due to the unpredictable nature of the pandemic, and the fact that individual countries’ restrictions and rules around international travel could change at a very short notice, we strongly advise students to only book refundable tickets and accommodation.

Do I still need to look for accommodation?

As all students are 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

My offer of admission states the deadline to meet offer conditions is 31st July. Will this be extended?

This deadline still stands for applicants requiring a Student Visa. If there is any reason why you may not be able to meet this deadline, please contact the Admissions team to discuss further.

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.

I don't want to study online at all and I can’t travel to London. Can I get a refund of my deposit or application fee?

Please see our Tuition Fees Policy for full information on refunds.

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  via an approved electronic verification system, such as Digitary or Parchment;
  • a PDF transcript sent from an official institution email address directly to  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  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.

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 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

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 are available at distance as well as on campus. Further information will be made available to you upon enrolment via our Virtual Student Hub.

Will I have access to the library and campus even when I am not expected to be there for a module?

It remains our ambition to open our London campus for as much activity as possible, but we are mindful that potential ongoing restrictions may compromise that ambition. Programmes requiring specialist facilities for practical or laboratory work are likely to be prioritised for access to the campus.

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.