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Demography and Health

MSc, PGDip and PGCert

This unique online master’s degree is designed and assessed by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).

It offers professional training in population studies, with a particular emphasis in health and social epidemiology. It also provides training in the theories and methods of demography and population sciences and their application to health, social welfare and economic development.

Study postgraduate courses developed by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine by distance learning.

The programme will benefit anyone looking for technical expertise in demography and an understanding of the links between population studies and health, including fertility, sexual behaviour, ageing, health inequalities and life expectancy.

Course details

  • MSc: You complete either 12 modules, or 9 modules plus a project report.
  • PGDip: You complete 8 modules.
  • PGCert: You complete 4 modules.

View modules

The programme is offered online and is fully supported by a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). You study independently, at a time and pace that suits you (subject to course-specific deadlines), using the study materials provided, with support available from academic staff.

Study materials

We will send you study materials developed by academics at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Your module materials may include online materials, subject guides, readers, textbooks, CD-ROMs/additional computer software (e.g. Stata), past examination papers and examiners’ reports, and handbooks.

All of your study materials are made available in October.

Online support

When you register, we will give you access to your Student Portal. You can then access your University of London email account and two other key resources:

  • The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) enables access to course materials, resources, and forums to discuss course material and work collaboratively with others. Tutors are available to answer queries and promote discussion during the study year through the VLE.
  • The Online Library holds thousands of journal articles which you can access free of charge. A dedicated help-desk is available if you have any difficulties in finding what you need.

Teaching staff provide written, personalised feedback and advice on assignments. You can also communicate with other distance learning students, and set up your own learning support groups.

Study on campus

If you’re a registered student on the MSc or Postgraduate Diploma, you can come to London and study up to two of your elective modules at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. We call this Blended Learning.

Each on-campus module lasts five weeks (based on a study pattern of 2.5 days per week). These normally take between January and May, and you apply directly to the School for admission.

Find out about blended learning.

Time commitment

You should expect to study for 15–25 hours per week throughout the study year if you wish to complete your qualification in the minimum time allowed (one year for the Postgraduate Certificate, two years for the Postgraduate Diploma or MSc). Most students take between three and five years to complete the MSc.


This varies from module to module but will include a combination of unseen written exams and written assignments. More details can be found on course pages.

Exams are held in June each year. You can sit exams at an approved centre anywhere in the world (mainly Ministries of Education or the British Council). Each centre charges a fee for hosting exams.

More about exams.

What qualifications do you need?

For entry to the programme, you will usually need one of the following:

  • An undergraduate degree (e.g. bachelor) that is comparable to a UK second-class honours degree from an institution acceptable to the University. Relevant subjects include any social science, quantitative or public health topic (e.g. geography, sociology, economics, political sciences, statistics, anthropology, maths, human and biological sciences, or similar).
  • A registrable qualification appropriate to the course of study to be followed, in medicine, dentistry or veterinary studies.
  • An appropriate technical qualification, or equivalent qualification and experience.

If you don’t meet the above, we can still consider your application on the basis of your qualifications, experience and references.

You also need numeracy skills, reflected by:

  • UK GCSE in Mathematics or Statistics (grade B) or equivalent.
  • A module of an undergraduate degree which includes arithmetic and basic algebra, including the manipulation of logarithms and exponents.

Find equivalent qualifications where you live.

English Language requirements

You need a high standard of English to study this programme. You will meet our language requirements if you have achieved one of the following within the past three years:

  • IELTS: 7.0 overall, with 6.5 in the written test and 5.5 in listening, reading and speaking.
  • TOEFL iBT: 100 overall, with 24+ in writing, 23+ in speaking, 22+ in reading and 21+ in listening.
  • Pearson Test (Academic): 68 overall, with 62+ in writing and 59+ in listening, reading and speaking.
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English: 185 overall, with 176+ in writing and 169+ in listening.

Alternatively, you may satisfy the language requirements if you have at least 18 months of education or work experience conducted in English.

Equally, if you don’t meet these requirements but believe you can meet the standard, we may still consider your application.

Computer requirements

We set minimum basic computer requirements because your study resources are accessed via the Student Portal and it is vital that you can access this regularly. For this degree, you will also need Adobe Flash Player to view video material and a media player (such as VLC) to play video files.

More about computer requirements.

The fees below apply if you begin during the 2017-2018 session. These may be increased by up to 5% per year.

Full course fee 
MSc£ 13,000
Postgraduate Diploma£ 10,300
Postgraduate Certificate£ 7,600
Pay as you go 
Registration fee£ 1,200
Core module£ 1,600
Compulsory non-core module£ 675
Elective module£ 675
Final project (MSc only)£ 2,025
Individual courses (Standalone) 
Total per course£ 1,900

Additional Costs

You will also need to budget for examination centre fees, which are paid directly to the venues where you sit your exams.

We accept most traditional payment methods, including debit/credit card, international money order, and Western Union.

How to pay your fees

This degree will enhance your career prospects within the health professions. If you complete the MSc successfully, you may be able to progress on to postgraduate research in the field of demography and health.

What do employers think of our graduates?

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) is Europe's leading postgraduate medical institution in public health and tropical medicine. It has an international standing, with faculty that boasts unique multidisciplinary and international experience.

The Faculty of Epidemiology & Population Health (EPH) houses the largest group of epidemiologists, statisticians and medical demographers in Europe. It also houses nutritionists, social scientists and public health practitioners, all working on the diseases of major health importance in both industrialised and developing nations.

Academic leaders

Lynda Clarke has been at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine since 1987 and is Course Director for the on-campus MSc Demography and Health and MSc Reproductive and Sexual Health Research. She also teaches on a number of modules, including Population Studies, Principles of Social Research, Research Design and Analysis.

Without the cost of moving to London, studying for your University of London degree anywhere in the world represents excellent value for money. However, there are additional sources of support depending on where you live and how you choose to study.

More on funding your study.

Can I get sponsored?

If you're employed, your employer may be willing to cover part/all of the programme fee if you can make a compelling case as to how this programme will boost your contribution to the workplace.

Our courses are ideal for employers because they get to retain you as an employee and benefit from your learning from the moment you begin.

How can I get sponsored by my employer?

Free online courses

The School offers several free online courses on a wide range of health topics. These provide a great insight into the independent learning experience.

See a full list.

Open days

The School holds regular open days in London. You can come and meet staff and students and receive a tour of the School.

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