MSc Public Health (pre-course info)

Welcome week

• MSc Public Health welcome week timetable 2019 (pdf)
• Welcome week timetable (all programmes) (pdf)
• Welcome week marketplace guide (pdf)

• International Students’ Induction & Reception: taking place on Monday, 4-6.30pm, and featuring talks on Tier 4 Visa terms and conditions, and healthcare and banking in the UK. This event is strongly recommended for Tier 4 Visa students, and may be of interest to other international students.

• Student Welcome Party: celebrate your first week at LSHTM with your new friends, live music and light refreshments on Friday, 5-8pm in the lower ground floor.

• Accommodation helpdesk: if you are still looking for accommodation, visit the helpdesk in our Keppel Street building, where former students are on hand to guide you in your search. Open daily 12-5pm Monday 23 to Friday 27 September.

• Bank letters: bank letters will be available 11am-4pm on Wednesday and 10am-4pm Thursday & Friday in the Library. From Monday 30 September they will be available from the Student Hub. You will need to provide the name and address of the bank where you intend to open your account. Visit our banking pages for details of banks with branches near LSHTM.

• Council tax letters: council tax exemption certificates can be obtained from the Student Hub from Wednesday 25 September onwards.

Welcome week will introduce you to studying at LSHTM. We will provide more details about the MSc Public Health and various learning and study skill sessions. You will also be assigned to one of the five MSc Public Health tutor groups, and you will be allocated a personal tutor. To facilitate the tutor allocation process, please complete the online student profile at your earliest convenience but before you arrive in September.

There is some free time during welcome week during which you can deal with practical matters such as banking, accommodation, etc. By the end of the welcome week we hope you will be settled at LSHTM and in London, especially if you have come a long way to join us.

We strongly recommend that new half-time students make arrangements to attend the whole of welcome week, although we recognise this might not always be possible. The week will include a meeting for half-time students which will give you an opportunity to look at your choices, hear the experiences of other students and the half-time student adviser.

Personal tutor

Your personal tutor is a member of academic staff who can guide you in your studies and is your first point of contact for information and support. As noted above, to facilitate the tutor allocation process, we ask that you please complete the online student profile at your earliest convenience but before you arrive in September.

Overview of the MSc

MSc Public Health Handbook 2019-20 (pdf)

Term 1 consists of ten teaching weeks plus one week in the middle of the term when there is no formal teaching (reading week). Reading week is a time for private study, and will also include a number of workshops you can sign up for. During term time there will be other sessions such as tutor group meetings and study skills that you will need to attend. There will also be the module fair, which will help you decide which modules to take in Terms 2 & 3.

Term 2 consists of a further ten weeks of teaching plus a reading week in the middle of the term.

Term 3 commences after the Easter break, and comprises five weeks of teaching (which takes place during the second half of the week), revision time, exams and the summer project.

Term 1 and choosing a stream

Term 1 timetable 2018-19 (pdf)

Within MSc Public Health you can follow one of six streams: Environment & Health; Health Economics; Health Promotion; Health Services Management; Health Services Research; Public Health (General). The MSc programme is organised on a modular basis and all students take 11 modules overall. Each stream has a menu of compulsory and elective modules.

Full-time and split-study students are required to take six modules in Term 1; half-time students usually take three modules in their first year and three in their second year. Four of these modules, the ‘common core’, are compulsory for all students: Basic Statistics for Public Health & Policy, Basic Epidemiology, Introduction to Health Economics, and Principles of Social Research.

During welcome week you will need to choose the fifth and sixth modules that you wish to take in Term 1.  You can choose from:

- Environment, Health & Sustainable Development (compulsory for Environment & Health stream)
- Foundations for Health Promotion (compulsory for Health Promotion stream)
- Health Services (compulsory for Health Services Research stream)
- Issues in Public Health (compulsory for the Public Health General stream)
- Health Policy, Process and Power (students on the Health Services Management stream must take either Health Policy Process and Power or Health Services)

You need to consider carefully which modules you choose, as these choices will determine which streams are open to you. For example, if you take Issues in Public Health and Health Policy, Process and Power, as your elective fifth and sixth modules then you can follow the Public Health, Health Services Management or Health Economics streams., If you take Issues in Public Health and Health Services you will have the option of taking any one of four streams: Public Health; Health Services Management, Health Economics or Health Services Research. In addition, some modules in Term 1 need to be taken before selecting more advanced modules in Terms 2 and 3.

The final choice of stream is made in the middle of Term 1, when you elect your Terms 2 & 3 modules. Remember the modules you choose in Term 1 will restrict your choice of stream.

During orientation you will have the opportunity to meet your Programme Directors and your Personal Tutor, who will be able to help you with your module choices and the options available to you. More information will be provided during welcome week and additional information is also available on the MSc Public Health pages.

Half-time students: which days do I attend?

We recognise that half-time students may have work commitments, and you may need to inform your employer which days you will be attending the School. This will depend on the modules you elect to take over the two years of study.

Term 1

i) There are a number of options available to you. Some half-time students elect to take three ‘common core’ modules in the first year of study. For example, if you decide to take Basic Statistics, Introduction to Health Economics, and Basic Epidemiology then you would need to attend the School all day Monday and Tuesday morning.

ii) You may select a different combination of modules in Term 1, and this might necessitate coming to the School on three days per week.

iii) We recommend that you take at least two of the ‘common core’ modules in the first year of study, but the choice is yours. It is also important to remember that modules in Terms 2 and 3 often build on those in Term 1. For example, if in Year 1 you wish to take the more advanced Epidemiological Modules offered in Terms 2 and 3 you will need to have taken Basic Epidemiology in Term 1 Year 1.

Terms 2 and 3

The Timetable for Terms 2 and 3 is different in structure from Term 1. Essentially the week is divided into two time periods – 9:30 Monday to 12:30 on Wednesday (the C1 and D1 timetable slots) and 14:00 Wednesday to 17:00 on Friday (the C2 and D2 timetable slots). Teaching in Terms 3 takes place in the latter half of the week.

A typical C1 Module will have a time slot that runs from Monday morning to Wednesday lunchtime. The amount of time spent in lectures, seminars and private study will vary between modules. For example, some C1 modules may have a lecture and group work session on Monday and Tuesday morning, with Monday and Tuesday afternoons and Wednesday morning devoted to group work or private study.

Students also have the option of taking two Term 2 modules via distance learning as this might give you a little more flexibility as long as they are not compulsory for your stream (unfortunately, this option is not available to students on Tier 4 visas).

Half-time students attending half the week will usually do their exams in Year 2. All half-time students are encouraged to begin working on their summer project proposal in the first year of study.

Note: As a half-time student one of the most important things to recognise is that you are expected to commit between 15 and 20 hours per week to the MSc. This time will comprise formal lectures, seminars, group work, and private study. You are strongly advised to only take the half-time option if you can commit this much time to your studies. If you have any specific questions before the start of term, please feel free to contact us at

Split-study students

Split-study students attend the School full-time in Term 1 and can then take their ‘split’ at an appropriate point any time after that. You will return at the same point one year later to complete the MSc programme full-time. (For example, you may complete the first term, decide to take the split at Christmas and then return at the beginning of Term 2 the following academic year to complete the rest of the programme. Or you may complete Term 1 and the first half of Term 2, then return the following academic year to take the rest of Term 2, Term 3 and complete the summer project.)

If you are a split-study student and you take all your compulsory modules in Term 1, you can take exam paper 1 at the end of Year 1.

Information for returning part-time students

We look forward to seeing you in September for your second year of study. You are welcome to attend as much or little of the welcome week as you wish. New students greatly appreciate meeting second year students at the tutor group meeting during welcome week.

When you return in September, you will be registered for the same stream as in your first year and you will have the same personal tutor. During the coming academic year you will need to ensure you complete all the compulsory teaching modules. You will also need to set aside time for your summer project, especially if you did not submit your LEO form during your first year. Should you not be able to return in September as planned, please let us know as soon as possible.

If you need any assistance or information before term starts, please get in touch with your personal tutor, Programme Director, Programme Administrator or the half-time student advisor.

Reading list

You are not required to have read any particular books before the MSc begins. However, you may wish to read around subjects that you are unfamiliar with. Below is a selection of texts which may provide you with useful background reading before the programme starts.

In each section, the books listed provide a basic introduction to the subject area. If you are new to a particular subject area, e.g. economics, you may benefit from reading an introductory text from the recommended list. Although these are not necessarily books that will form the basis of teaching during the MSc, we hope you find the list a useful resource throughout the year. Most of the books are in the School library and should be available in major bookshops. Some are also available to download for Kindle and other e-readers.

You may also find the books in the Understanding Public Health Series written by LSHTM Staff helpful. You will be able to access many of these books online from the library once you arrive [e-Library OPAC] Library Catalogue at LSHTM.

1. General background reading

Beaglehole R and Bonita R (eds). 2009. Global Public Health: A New Era 2nd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Davey B, Gray A, and Seale C. 2001. Health and Disease:  A reader 3rd edition. Buckingham: Open University Press.

Green J and Labonte R. 2008. Critical Perspectives in Public Health. London; Routledge.

Fulop N, Allen P, Clarke A, Black N (eds). 2001. Studying the Organisation and Delivery of Health Services: Research Methods.  London: Routledge.

Gray J A M. 2001.Evidence-based Healthcare: How to make Health Policy and Management Decisions 2nd edition. Churchill Livingstone.

Maynard A, Chalmers I, and Maynard A (eds). 2002. Non-random Reflections on Health Services Research. On the 25th Anniversary of Archie Cochrane's Effectiveness and Efficiency. BMJ Publishing Group.

Guest C, Ricciardi W, Kawachi I, Lang I (eds). 2013. Oxford Handbook of Public Health Practice 3rd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Gillam S, Yates J, Badrinath P. 2012. Essential Public Health: Theory and Practice 2nd edition. Cambridge University Press.

Rose G. 1998. The Strategy of Preventive Medicine. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

2. Basic Epidemiology

Webb P., Bain C., and Pirozzo S. Essential Epidemiology: An Introduction for Students and Health Professionals. Cambridge University Press. [2nd or  3rd edition]

3. Basic Statistics

Petrie A, and Sabin C. 2009. Medical Statistics at a Glance 3rd edition. Wiley-Blackwell

Petrie A, and Sabin C. 2013. Medical Statistics at a Glance Workbook. Wiley-Blackwell.

Kirkwood B and Sterne J. 2003. Essentials of Medical Statistics 2nd edition. Blackwell.

4. Health Promotion

Green J, Tones K, Cross R and Woodall J. 2015. Health Promotion: Planning and Strategies 3rd edition. Sage.

Cragg L, Davies M and Macdowall W (eds). 2013. Health Promotion Theory (Understanding Public Health) 2nd Edition. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Nutland W and Cragg L (eds). 2015. Health Promotion Practice (Understanding Public Health) 2nd edition. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

5. Health Economics

Guinness, L and Wiseman, V 2011Introduction to Health Economics (Understanding Public Health) 2nd edition. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

6. Health Services

Cochrane A L. Effectiveness and efficiency. BMJ and NPHT 1972 (reprinted 1989), Cambridge University Press.

7. Health Services Management

Minzberg, H (2017) Managing the Myths of Health Care. Berrett-Koehle.

8. Health Policy, Process & Power

Buse K, Mays N and Walt G. 2012. Making Health Policy (Understanding Public Health) 2nd edition. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

9. Principles of Social Research

Durand, M. A. and Chantler T. 2014. Principles of Social Research, McGraw-Hill Education.

10. Issues in Public Health

Sim F and McKee M (eds). 2011. Issues in Public Health (Understanding Public Health) 2nd edition. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

11. Environment and Health

Yassi A, T Kjellstrom, T de Kok, TL Guidotti. 2001. Basic Environmental Health. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Frumkin H. (ed). 2005. Environmental health: from global to local. Jossey-Bass.

Further information

When you arrive at LSHTM you will be given a welcome pack that will include the programme handbook. This contains comprehensive information about LSHTM and MSc Public Health. In the meantime, if you have any specific queries, please email us at

We look forward to meeting you in September.

Jenny Gosling, Shakoor Hajat, Ford Hickson, Wendy Macdowall & Dalya Marks
Programme Directors

Page last updated September 2019