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Public Health

MSc, PGDip and PGCert

This master’s degree equips you to address diverse public health issues in both high and low income environments. You’ll emerge with the ability to apply the core disciplines of public health to real-world health problems.

These programmes are designed, delivered and assessed by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).

This MSc equips you with the ability to apply the core disciplines of public health to real-world health problems.

You can opt for a broad range of knowledge by taking a general pathway (Gen), or specialise in one of three streams:

  • Environment and Health (EH)
  • Health Promotion (HP)
  • Health Services Management (HSM)

Course details

For the MSc: You complete either 14 modules, or 11 modules plus a project report.

The general stream:

  • compulsory modules.
  • 1 PHM1 module.
  • Either 8 further modules (at least 4 from PHM2)
  • Or 5 further modules (at least 1 from PHM2) plus a project report.

A specialist stream:

  • 6 compulsory modules.
  • 1 further PHM1 module.
  • Either 7 further modules (at least 3 from PHM2).
  • Or 4 further modules (at least 3 from PHM2) plus a project report.

For the Postgraduate Diploma: You complete 10 modules.

  • compulsory modules.
  • 2 further PHM1 modules.
  • 4 elective modules (at least 2 from PHM2)

For the Postgraduate Certificate: You complete 6 modules.

  • 4 compulsory modules
  • 2 further PHM1 modules.

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

View modules from selection groups

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

Online resources for modules you have registered to study will be available via the Virtual Learning Environment from the beginning of October. Depending on the module, study materials may include subject guides, textbooks, CD-ROMs / additional computer software, past examination papers, and handbooks. Any physical materials you need will be sent to you at your chosen delivery address in September.

(See module pages for more details.)

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 usually need:

  • An undergraduate degree equivalent to a UK first or second-class honours degree in health-related disciplines or another appropriate subject from an acceptable institution.
  • At least one year's relevant work experience.

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

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 
Postgraduate Diploma£10,300
Postgraduate Certificate£7,600
Pay as you go 
Registration fee£1,200
Core module£1,065
Elective module£675
Final project (MSc only)£2,025
Individual courses (standalone) 
Core module£1,300
Elective module£1,900

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 will be relevant for those wishing to increase their potential for career development in public health at a community, hospital or district level, in research, in ministries of health or other health or development related organisations.

"The MSc in Public Health got me into the habit of approaching any problem from a wider angle. I now always look for all possible influence factors. Public health requires critical thinking to identify the core problems and creativity across all disciplines to solve them. And that is useful everywhere."

Dr Sven Jungmann, Germany

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.

The Faculty of Public Health and Policy has around 150 staff, carrying out research in environmental factors, health policy, health promotion, and health services. In addition to the main activities in research and teaching, faculty members provide advice, consultancy and information on a wide range of public health and health care policy issues.

Academic leaders

Dr Ros Plowman is Course Director of the MSc Public Health by distance learning. She trained as a nurse before working in a variety of clinical settings. Her PhD thesis focused on the economic burden of infections occurring in surgical patients. Ros’s research interests include the economics of infection and the costs and benefits of selected infection control activities.

Dr Marcus Keogh-Brown is Lecturer in Economic Modelling in the Department of Global Health and Development and Deputy Course Director of the MSc Public Health. His current research interests involve the use and development of macroeconomic models in a health context. He is also Deputy Module Organiser and Tutor for the MSc in Global Health Policy by distance learning, and organiser for the School’s basic maths support sessions.

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.

Find the next open day.

Britnae Purdy MSc Public Health, USA

Britnae Purdy - MSc Public Health

"The wide selection of modules means that I can really customize my degree program to suit my needs, ultimately making me more adept at my future career."