Your study year

When you study

Once your registration is confirmed, and from the beginning of October, you will be able to access all the study materials necessary to begin your programme. Our distance learning programmes are designed to be very flexible so you will be able to study at your own pace and at times that are convenient to you. Once you have access to your study materials, you can develop a study plan to fit in with your other commitments. There are no assignment deadlines before February. You will be notified in good time if there are any ‘real-time’ online sessions you need to attend.

How the programme is taught

Our distance learning programmes are predominantly computer-based with students using interactive methods within the teaching and learning materials. You will be encouraged to complete assignments which help you monitor your progress throughout your studies. Your assignments will be marked by staff at LSHTM and you will receive written feedback on your work. The different programmes also run group discussions through Moodle, and occasionally through a web-based conferencing system called Collaborate.

How the programme is assessed

A combination of coursework and examinations are used to assess the programme, and some MSc programmes may also involve completing a project report. Modules are graded on a scale of 0-5. For most programmes, the deadline for submitting formative assignments will be in mid-February and for assessed assignments the deadline will be late March. Examinations take place in June, with the deadline for registering for examinations usually in early February.


Examinations take place once a year in June and are normally held in your country of residence. There are approved examination centres in over 180 countries worldwide and you can find details of your nearest centre on the University of London website. You will need to pay an additional fee to your local centre in addition to the examination entry fee. The deadline for registering for examinations is usually in early February.

Project report

Some MSc programmes have a project report option which runs during the final year of study, particularly between June and August. Final project reports must be submitted by the end of September.

Blended learning

After successful completion of a minimum number of core modules, PG Diploma and MSc students may be eligible for the blended learning option, which allows for the study of up to two modules at LSHTM in London in place of distance learning modules. Information about which modules are available and how to apply will be sent to all eligible students. Please note that blended learning modules are subject to an additional tuition fee.

How much time to allow for study

Individuals differ as to how quickly they wish to complete their programme, and in the expertise they already have, so it is difficult to be precise about how many hours you require for your study. There is a minimum registration period of one year for the PG Certificate and two years for the PG Diploma/MSc, and a maximum time of five years for all programmes.

For most students a reasonable expectation would be to study for approximately 15 hours per week to complete the MSc in three years. Some students complete the MSc in two years but this timescale can be quite challenging and it is worth noting that the structure of the programme is such that the workload in the second year would be higher than in the first.

The following diagrams show suggested schedules for completing the programmes within different time frames:

Deferring your study

If you are struggling to find time to study a particular module, you can simply re-register for it the following September to resume your study. There is no fee for doing this, and you will automatically receive any updated study materials.

Connecting with other students

There are discussion forums within Moodle where you will be able to connect with students taking the same programme or modules as you. After you have received your offer, LSHTM’s Study Team will also invite you to join an online community where you can get to know your fellow students from around the world, share advice and form study groups.