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MSc, PGDip and PGCert

The MSc in Epidemiology will help you build the fundamental skills and competence and understanding of developments in the field of epidemiology. Develop your evaluation skills to apply scientific judgment, and obtain the conceptual and practical tools needed to initiate research.

This programme will suit anyone seeking a career in research, academic departments or health services. Or, those who require an understanding of epidemiology, such as medical journalists or scientific officers in government and industry.

Ben Goldacre from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine explains what epidemiology is and why it's so important.

By studying this programme, you will gain:

  • the fundamental skills needed to become competent in epidemiology;
  • critical and evaluative skills that can be used to apply scientific judgment;
  • the conceptual and practical tools needed to initiate research;
  • self-development skills, including selection, assimilation and communication.

Course details

For the MSc: You complete 9 modules (3 electives), a project report, and an examination paper.
For the Postgraduate Diploma: You complete 8 modules (2 electives).
For the Postgraduate Certificate: You complete 4 modules.

View modules

The programme is offered online and is fully supported by a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). You study at a time and pace that suits you (subject to certain deadlines), using the study materials provided and 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 subject guides, textbooks, CD-ROMs/additional computer software (e.g. Stata), past examination papers, 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 helpdesk 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 examinations and written assignments. More details can be found on individual 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?

You will need the equivalent of a UK first or second-class honours degree in a health-related discipline, statistics, or another appropriate subject, from an acceptable institution.

If you have an appropriate professional or technical qualification in a health-related field plus three years' relevant experience, we can consider this on an individual basis.

If you don't meet the above criteria, we can still consider your application based on your qualifications, experience and references.

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.

If you don’t meet these requirements but believe you can meet the standard, we may also 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.

Some of the digital material provided for use with epidemiology modules may not be fully compatible with Apple Macs.

The fees below apply if you begin during the 2018-2019 session. These may be increased by up to 5% per year.

Full course fee 
MSc£ 13,660
Postgraduate Diploma£ 10,820
Postgraduate Certificate£ 7,980
Pay as you go 
Registration fee£ 1,260
Core module£ 1,680
Elective module£ 710
Final project (MSc only)£ 2,130
Individual courses (Standalone) 
Total per course£ 2,000

Disclaimer: Currency conversion tool.

Additional Costs

You will also need to budget for exam 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.

The programme is relevant for anyone planning a career in epidemiological research, public health and community medicine, epidemiological field studies, disease surveillance units, drug/vaccine manufacturers, or disease control in governmental, NGOs or donor institutions.

It should also interest anyone who requires an understanding of epidemiology, such as medical journalists or scientific officers in government and industry.

"During the five years of distance learning, I have moved country three times for my work. I enjoyed studying with students of different background from all over the world through the online portal, group work and study teams."

Rinko Kinoshita, Japan

What do employers think of our graduates?

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) has an international standing, with faculty that boasts unique multidisciplinary and international experience. It was crowned University of the Year in 2016 by Times Higher Education for its extraordinary response to the Ebola crisis.

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

Anne Tholen, Course Director
A qualified nurse, Anne joined the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 1999. Her research interests include psycho-social aspects of antenatal screening, ultrasound screening for congenital abnormalities and maternal epilepsy. Previously based at St Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical College, she managed the first UK antenatal serum screening service for Down’s syndrome.

Patrick Nguipdop Djomo, Deputy Course Director
Patrick is currently involved in research projects investigating BCG vaccines effectiveness. He researches how levels of BCG-derived protection against tuberculosis vary in time after vaccination using various observational study designs. His other interests include individual-level determinants of tuberculosis in low-incidence countries.

Sara Thomas, Course Content Director
Sara's recent work has focused on the use of electronic health data for public health research, including investigation of the burden and outcomes of infections among older individuals, infections as triggers of acute cardiovascular events, and the epidemiology of autoimmune diseases. Other research interests include systematic reviews and methodological aspects of correlates of vaccine-induced protection.

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.

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.

Free taster materials

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.

Find the next open day.

Christine Blaser, MSc Epidemiology, Canada

Christine Blaser - Epidemiology Canada

"The programme offered an intellectual challenge. A balance between textbook knowledge and a thorough practice of analytical and methodical skills."