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Infectious Diseases

MSc, PGDip and PGCert

Develop your understanding of infectious diseases with this wide-ranging MSc programme. You’ll study core modules in biology, biostatistics, epidemiology, and the control of infectious diseases. Your options range from parasitology to the study of individual diseases.

It is designed, delivered and assessed by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).

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

The programme will be particularly useful if you’re a current in-service health professional looking to expand your knowledge in infectious diseases or keep your expertise up-to-date in this fast-evolving field.

Course details

For the MSc: You complete 12 modules or 9 modules plus a project report:

  • compulsory modules.

Plus either:

  • electives (at least 6 from the Infectious Diseases group). The remainder may include Public Health or blended learning.
  • Or electives (at least 3 from the Infectious Diseases group) plus a project report.

For the Postgraduate Diploma: You complete 8 modules.

  • 4 compulsory modules.
  • 4 elective modules (at least 3 from the Infectious Diseases group).

For the Postgraduate Certificate: You complete 4 modules.

  • 4 compulsory modules

Individual courses: Study our modules individually to update your knowledge or sample the programme.

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, 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 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 need the equivalent of a UK first or second-class honours degree in a relevant subject (e.g. biology, medicine, nursing, dentistry, or pharmacy) from an acceptable institution.

We may consider degrees of the same standard in other scientific subjects if we believe they will offer suitable training for the programme. We will also consider applicants with an appropriate technical qualification and work experience.

Find equivalent qualifications where you live.

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

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 Flash Player to view video material, a media player (such as VLC) to play video files, and a CD/DVD drive.

More about computer requirements.

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 
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£ 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 to pay your fees.

Successful students should have enhanced career prospects within the health professions. If you complete the MSc, it may enable you to progress for further study in infectious diseases.

"My proudest moment has been applying my technical knowledge to my work. I was instrumental in the introduction of new vaccine antigens (pneumonia and rota virus) for my country’s immunisation programme. The country was among the first in the region to introduce life-saving vaccines for children."

Dr Elizabeth Wala, Kenya

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 Infectious & Tropical Diseases encompasses the School’s laboratory-based research and its work on the clinical and epidemiological aspects of infectious and tropical diseases. The spectrum of diseases studied is wide and there are major research groups focused on malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, vaccine development and evaluation, and vector biology and disease control.

Academic leaders

Dr Patricia Gorak-Stolinska is Lecturer in the Immunology Department and Programme Director of the MSc Infectious Diseases. Her teaching interests are in parasitology and immunology. Patricia first joined the School in 1994 to work on Leishmaniasis, before returning after a short spell at Kings College London, in 2002, to work on immunity to BCG vaccine.

Dr Anita Skinner is Research Fellow in the Department of Pathogen Molecular Biology and Deputy Director of the MSc Infectious Diseases programme. Anita undertook postdoctoral research on drug resistance of the influenza virus at the National Institute for Medical Research before returning to the School in 2014. Her teaching interests include the biology of infection.

Dr Jackie Cliff is Lecturer in the Department of Immunology and Infection and Course Content Director of the Infectious Diseases programme. A former graduate of the course, Jackie investigates immune responses to tuberculosis. Her research is directed at identifying the host bio-markers that can determine when a TB patient has been successfully cured. Jackie teaches immunology and infection, particularly tuberculosis.

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.

Commonwealth Scholarships

Fee-waiver scholarships worth £13,660 are available for the MSc Infectious Diseases.

To apply, you must meet a set of criteria. These include permanent residency in a qualifying Commonwealth country and holding an offer to study this degree. The deadline for scholarship applications is 20 June 2018.

More details and how to apply.

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.

Find the next open day.

Animesh Sinha, MSc Infectious Diseases, India

Animesh Sinha - MSc Infectious Diseases India

"Choosing the School was a no-brainer as very few other schools hold the same status when it comes to translating knowledge to action."