Demography and Health (MSc, PGDip and PGCert)


Gain a prestigious MSc in Demography and Health by distance learning

This unique online master’s degree offers professional training in population studies, with a particular emphasis in health and social epidemiology. It is ideal for careers in public health, NGOs, reproductive health programmes, health services, government statistical offices, and policy and planning organisations.

By taking this programme, you will gain:

  • an understanding of the links between population studies and health, including fertility, sexual behaviour, ageing, health inequalities and life expectancy;
  • broad training in the theories and methods of demography and population sciences;
  • a detailed understanding of how these apply to health, social welfare and economic development.

Programme details

This programme is designed by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Europe's leading postgraduate medical institution in public health and tropical medicine.

  You study Study period Cost (2017-2018)
MSc 12 modules or 9 modules plus a project report 2-5 years £13,000
Postgraduate Diploma 8 modules 2-5 years £10,300
Postgraduate Certificate 4 modules 1-5 years £7,600

As a registered student, you receive your study materials in September and access to the School's online learning site on 1 October. You study only the core modules in your first year.

Application fee (MSc, PGDip, PGCert)

If you apply on or after 1 June 2017, you’ll need to make an up-front payment of £100 when you submit your application. This gets deducted from your programme fees once you register. If you don’t register, it will not be refunded.

How you study

The course allows you to study independently, at a time and pace that suits you (subject to some course-specific deadlines). As an online and distance-learning student, you'll receive:

Comprehensive learning materials

  • Interactive learning materials supplied online through the School’s online learning site (Moodle).
  • CD-ROMs, practical workbooks and textbooks (depending on the module chosen).
  • Access to web-based discussion boards.

Outstanding support

You are encouraged to participate in academic discussions with tutors and fellow students via the dedicated online portal. You will also receive training in the use of Stata statistical software.

Summary of key dates

MSc, Postgraduate Diploma and Postgraduate Certificate
Application deadline 31 August
Registration deadline 10 October
Programme starts October
Examinations take place June

The School

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine was crowned 'University of the Year' by Times Higher Education in 2016 for its 'extraordinary' response to the Ebola crisis.

See more about the School.


Structure and syllabus

MSc: 9 modules plus a project report or 12 modules
Postgraduate Diploma: 8 modules (6 compulsory core modules plus 2 elective modules)
Postgraduate Certificate: 4 modules (the first 4 compulsory modules)

Demography and Health

Plus two compulsory DEM2 modules (Postgraduate Diploma and MSc only)

Demographic data: sources, collection and evaluation
Demographic analysis: further methods and models

MSc: You must select at least two further DEM modules from the DEM2 selection group. The remaining modules can be chosen from the selection groups listed below. Please note, the DEM2 and elective modules are not available to study until the 2017/18 academic year.

Demography and Health - Selection groups


  • Restrictions and pre-requisites may apply to some of the modules.
  • For Postgraduate Diploma/MSc students, credit for one or two modules studied at LSHTM (blended learning study) [pdf] may be allowed in place of one or two of the above elective modules, subject to module restrictions.
Study materials

How you study

You study independently, at a time and pace that suits you (subject to some programme-specific deadlines) using the comprehensive study materials provided, with support available from academic staff. Once registered, you will be given access to the learning materials for the module(s) you have chosen to study. The module materials will take you through a programme of directed self-study, and indicate how and where you can obtain supplementary study materials and access tutorial support to enhance your studies. Tutors are allocated to each module and are available to answer queries and promote discussion during the study year, through the online Virtual Learning Environment.

We know that if you have a full-time job, family or other commitments, and wish to study at a distance, you will have many calls on your time. Therefore, the Postgraduate Certificate can be completed in 1-5 years and the Postgraduate Diploma or the MSc in 2-5 years, providing some flexibility to plan your studies.

The study year for most modules runs from the beginning of October through to the June exams, while a couple of the EPM modules run from the beginning of January through to assignment submission at the end of August. Tutorial support is available throughout this time. Students carrying out projects are assigned personal supervisors to support their project work which is mostly carried out between January and the end of September in their final year.

The support you receive

  • a web-based Virtual Learning Environment (including web conferencing, allowing you to pose questions and engage in academic discussions with tutors and fellow students)
  • teaching staff provide written, personalised feedback and advice on assignments
  • you can communicate with other distance learning students, either individually or by setting up your own learning support groups.

Study materials

After registration, study materials are sent to students in September. Access to online study materials is given from 1 October. Study 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. Details of the study materials provided for each module can be found in the module specification documents located on the Structure tab on the Demography and Health programme page. You also have access to the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine’s online library resources from 1 October. We also provide all students with a student registration card.



The fees below refer to the 2017-2018 academic year only and are effective from 1 March 2017. Fees are subject to annual review.

Registration fee£ 1,200
Fee per core module£ 1,600
Fee per compulsory non-core module£ 675
Fee per elective module£ 675
Fee for final project (MSc only)£ 2,025
Total MSc£ 13,000
Total Postgraduate Diploma£ 10,300
Total Postgraduate Certificate £ 7,600
Total per Individual module taken on a stand-alone basis (available from 2017-18)£ 1,900
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Disclaimer: the currency conversion tool is provided to you for convenience only and does not constitute an endorsement or approval by the University of London; the exchange rates are provided dynamically via a third-party source, consequently, the University of London International Programmes is not responsible for their accuracy.

When to pay

Fees may be paid in one of two ways:

Either, pay the total fee on registration by making a single payment. This covers the registration fee and all module fees;

Or, if you prefer to spread out your payments, pay the registration fee plus the fee for each module you want to take in the first year, and then in subsequent years pay the fee for each new module you take.

How to pay

All University fees must be paid in pounds sterling (GBP). The University accepts:

  • Western Union - Quick Pay.
  • Credit/debit card (Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, Electron, JCB).
  • Sterling banker's draft/cheque.
  • International money/postal order..

Further details are given in payment methods.

Other costs

In addition to the fees payable to the University, you should also budget for the fee charged by your local examination centre to cover its costs; this fee will vary. MSc students who are carrying out a project may also need to budget for travel expenses or consumables, depending on the type of project chosen.


If you are a UK or EU national and you have lived in England for three years, you could be eligible to apply for a Postgraduate Loan.


Fees are subject to annual revision and typically may be increased by up to 5% per annum. For a full list fees that may be applicable, please see the fee schedule.

Programme fees are normally paid for over a period of 1 to 5 years for postgraduate programmes. This can result in a small variation of total costs paid by individual students. Payment in full will result in a set cost for a programme, as stated in the published schedule of fees for the current year; other payment methods may result in a slightly different total.

Applicants who submit applications on or after 1 June 2017 will be required to pay an application fee of £100 at the point of submission, which will be deducted from the balance of fees payable upon registration. If the application does not result in registration, the application fee will not be refunded. No application fee will apply to applications submitted on or before 31 May 2017.



Assessment varies from module to module but will include a combination of unseen written examinations and written assignments. Details are given in the module specifications, found under the structure tab on the Demography and Health programme page.

Examinations take place once a year in June. These are normally held in a student’s country of residence. We have examination centres in over 180 countries worldwide (for details please visit our Assessment and examinations section).

Examinations are arranged mainly through Ministries of Education or the British Council. Students taking examinations will need to pay a fee to their local examination centre. 

Credit awarded

Credits will be awarded to all modules (15 credits each) and (MSc only) the project (45 credits) successfully completed. To successfully pass an award, the following credits must be gained:

  • Postgraduate Certificate – 60 credits

  • Postgraduate Diploma – 120 credits

  • Master's – 180 credits.


Academic Requirements

  • An undergraduate degree (e.g. bachelor) which is considered at least comparable to a UK second class honours degree, from an institution acceptable to the University, provided that the degree is in a subject appropriate to that of the course of study to be followed (suitable undergraduate degrees would include any social science, quantitative or public health topic. For example, geography, sociology, economics, political sciences, statistics, anthropology, maths, human sciences, biological sciences or similar subject); or
  • a registrable qualification appropriate to the course of study to be followed, in medicine, dentistry or veterinary studies.

Applications with an appropriate technical qualification, or equivalent qualification and experience from overseas, are also welcomed.

Applicants who do not satisfy either of the above requirements may still be admitted at the discretion of the University on the basis of their academic qualifications, work experience and references.

Applicants must have evidence of numeracy skills, at least equivalent to a UK GCSE pass grade A-B* in maths or statistics; or a good grade in a maths or statistics module of an undergraduate degree (which should include arithmetic and basic algebra, including the manipulation of logarithms and exponents). UK GCSE equivalents, including grade requirements can be found at Entrance Qualifications.

*Please note that there has been a small change to the maths or statistics entry requirement; this was previously advertised as UK GCSE grade A-C.

Language Requirements

It is essential that you have an adequate command of the English Language to carry out your studies.

The following may be considered as acceptable evidence of English language proficiency:

  • substantial education (minimum of eighteen months) conducted and assessed in English or
  • substantial work experience (minimum of eighteen months) conducted in English.

If you do not meet one of the above requirements then you will be required to have passed one of the following within the past three years:

  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English when a minimum overall score of 185 is achieved, with at least 176 in Writing and 169 in Listening. If taken prior to January 2015 then you must achieve a minimum overall score of grade B.
  • (IELTS) International English Language Testing System when an overall score of at least 7.0 is achieved with a minimum of 6.5 in the Written sub-test and a minimum of 5.5 in Listening, Reading and Speaking.
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) overall score of 68 or above, with a minimum of 62 in Writing and a minimum of 59 in Listening, Reading and Speaking.
  • (TOEFL) iBT Test of English as a Foreign Language overall score of 100 or above with at least 24 in Writing, 23 in Speaking, 22 in Reading and 21 in Listening.

Where an applicant does not meet the required English language level but believes they can demonstrate the required level for admission the University may, at its discretion, consider the application.

Computer Requirements

You must have regular access to a computer (or mobile device*) with an internet connection to use the University of London International Programmes website and the Student Portal. These are where your programme’s study resources are located. Through the Student Portal you can register as a student, enter exams and use your programme’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). The VLE provides you with electronic learning materials, access to the University of London Online Library, networking opportunities, and other resources.

To get the most from your studies, your computer should have at least the following minimum specification:

  • a web browser (the latest version of Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer). This must accept cookies and have JavaScript enabled
  • a CD-ROM drive for EPM module materials (all materials are also downloadable)
  • screen resolution of 1024 x 768 or greater
  • sufficient bandwidth to download documents of at least 2-5 MB, and the following applications installed:
  • a word processor that reads Microsoft Word and Excel software
  • Adobe, or other pdf reader
  • Parallel software, with Windows installed, if using a non-Windows based PC such as a Mac (for EPM103 and EPM302 only).

* Certain essential functionality may not be supported on all mobile devices.

Additional requirements:

  • Students will need to use a calculator.
  • A headset/microphone will be required to participate in ‘real-time’ online discussions.
Academic leaders

LSHTM - Demography and Health

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) is the University of London's major resource for postgraduate teaching and research in public health and tropical medicine, as well as the leading postgraduate medical institution in these subjects in Europe. It has an international standing with a staff that has unique multidisciplinary and international experience.

This programme has been designed by staff within the Faculty of Epidemiology & Population Health (EPH) which houses the largest group of epidemiologists, statisticians and medical demographers in Europe, together with nutritionists, social scientists and public health practitioners, working on the diseases of major health importance in both the industrialised and the less developed countries.

Academic leaders

Lynda Clarke

Lynda Clarke has a BSc in Social Anthropology and MSc in Medical Demography and has been at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) since 1987. She previously worked at the Office of National Statistics (ONS) on national social surveys; at City University on the ONS Longitudinal Survey; at the Thomas Coram Research Unit, Institute of Education undertaking research on physically disabled teenagers; and was responsible for research at a national pregnancy advisory charity. She was also Director of Research at the Family Policy Studies Centre from 1995 until 2000.

Lynda was the Head of the Department of Population Studies from 2007 until 2011 and Taught Course Director for the Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health at LSHTM from 2000 until 2006, responsible for the MSc teaching programmes. She is currently Course Director for the on-campus programmes MSc Demography and Health, and MSc Reproductive and Sexual Health Research, and teaches on a number of modules for these MScs; including Population Studies, Principles of Social Research, Research Design and Analysis. She has also taught on the distance learning MSc Epidemiology course on Research Planning, Scientific Reporting and Refereeing.

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