Epidemiology (MSc, PG Dip and PG Cert)


Gain a prestigious MSc in Epidemiology by distance learning

This online Master's degree offers professional training in the epidemiology of communicable and non-communicable diseases. It also provides essential statistical skills related to the health problems of both the developed and the developing world. Graduates from the course pursue careers in medical research; public health and community medicine; epidemiological field studies; disease surveillance units; drug/vaccine manufacturers; or disease control in governmental, NGO's or donor institutions. It is also of interest to those who require an understanding of epidemiology, such as medical journalists and scientific officers in government and industry.

Course summary

  You study Study period Cost (2016-2017)
MSc 9 modules plus a compulsory project report and a qualifying examination paper 2-5 years £12,360
Postgraduate Diploma 8 modules 2-5 years £9,750
Postgraduate Certificate 4 modules 1-5 years £7,200
Individual modules Studying individual modules is an ideal option if you wish to update your professional knowledge or sample the programme. The fee is £1,800 per module.

Course aims

The course aims to provide:

  • epidemiological training by distance learning for professionals in academic departments, research units, or in the health services
  • a comprehensive understanding of the basic concepts and methods in epidemiology together with advanced skills in specific applications of epidemiological research methods.


The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) is the leading postgraduate medical institution in Europe in the subjects of public health and tropical medicine.

Excellent support

The Epidemiology modules are delivered through provision of interactive learning materials supplied on CD-ROM, supported by practical workbooks and textbooks. Students are actively encouraged to participate in web-based discussion boards. Training is also provided in the use of statistical software.

Summary of key dates

MSc, Postgraduate Diploma and Postgraduate Certificate
Application deadline 31 August
Registration deadline 30 September
Course starts October
Examinations take place June
Individual modules
Application deadline 31 August
Registration deadline 31 October*
Examinations take place June
*Students who register after 1 October should be aware that they will not be able to request extensions to submission deadlines or request exam extenuating circumstances as a result of registering in October.


London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine has a partnership with the Said Foundation who offers funding opportunities to Syrian, Lebanese, Jordanian or Palestinian nationals. Find out more on our Funding your Study page.

Free online taster courses

The School offers a number of free online courses in various subjects from infectious diseases through to global blindess and nutrition. Visit the access page to join one of these taster courses.

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine holds regular Open Days and Information Days in London.

During these days, you have the opportunity to talk to staff and students, find out about the latest research and discover how the London School can help you prepare for a career in public health.

There are also information stands and displays and regular tours of the School, allowing you to learn more about the MSc courses and take part in a question and answer session with course directors.

To find out more about these London events, please sign up here.


Structure and syllabus

MSc: 9 modules plus a compulsory project report and a qualifying examination paper
Postgraduate Diploma: 8 modules (6 compulsory core modules plus 2 elective modules)
Postgraduate Certificate: 4 modules (the first 4 compulsory modules)


Plus two compulsory non-core modules (Postgraduate Diploma and MSc only)

Study design: writing a grant application
Statistical methods in epidemiology

Plus further elective modules (two for Postgraduate Diploma, three for MSc)

Postgraduate Diploma: Both modules must be chosen from EPM3; at least one of the elective modules must be chosen from either EPM301 or EPM303.

MSc: At least two modules must be taken from Selection group EPM3, one of which must be either EPM301 or EPM303. The remaining module can be chosen from other EPM3 modules, or from the selection groups listed below. Plus compulsory Project report [EPM500] and a qualifying examination paper [EPM400] (MSc only).

Epidemiology - Selection groups

Elective modules from group IDM5



  • All EPM modules successfully completed will be assigned 15 credits each; the project report will be assigned 45 credits.
  • For Postgraduate Diploma/MSc students, credit for one or two modules studied at LSHTM (blended learning study) may be allowed in place of one or two of the above elective modules, subject to module restrictions.
  • Students who have been examined in and have passed the core modules EPM101 and EPM102 are permitted to proceed to elective module studies.
  • Some software provided for use with Epidemiology modules may not be compatible with Apple Mac computers.
  • To view the module specifications for this course, please visit our website: www.londoninternational.ac.uk/health. Note that restrictions and pre-requisites may apply to some of the modules.
Study materials

How you study

You study independently, at a time and pace that suits you (subject to some course-specific deadlines) using the comprehensive study materials provided, with support available from academic staff. Once registered, you will be sent the learning materials for the module(s) you have chosen to study. (Please note that Clinical Trials module materials are mostly delivered online.) 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. We therefore allow you between 1-5 years in which to complete the Postgraduate Certificate, and between 2-5 years in which to complete the Postgraduate Diploma or the MSc.

The study year for most modules runs from the beginning of October through to the June exams, while two 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 June 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

You receive your study materials after you register. Study materials may include Subject guides, Readers, Textbooks, CD-ROMs/additional computer software (e.g. Stata), Past examination papers and Examiners’ reports, and Handbooks. You also have access to the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine’s online library resources. We also provide all students with a student registration card.



The fees below refer to the 2016-2017 academic year only and are effective from 1 March 2016. Fees are subject to annual review. 

Registration fee£ 1,155
Fee per core module£ 1,515
Fee per compulsory non-core module£ 650
Fee per elective module£ 650
Fee for final project (MSc only)£ 1,935
Total MSc£ 12,360
Total Postgraduate Diploma£ 9,750
Total Postgraduate Certificate £ 7,200
Total per Individual module (taken on a stand-alone basis)£ 1,800
ConvertGBP x 1

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.


The University reserves the right to amend previously announced fees, if necessary. 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.



Assessment varies from module to module but will include a combination of unseen written papers and written assignments. Details are given in the module specifications.

Examinations take place once a year in June (please note: it is not possible to hold examinations at other times of year). 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.

They 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. Please note that if you fail an examination at the first entry you will be allowed one further attempt.


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 the degree is in a health-related discipline, statistics or another appropriate subject. Work experience in a health science / health care setting is desirable but not essential; or
  • An appropriate health related professional or technical qualification which is considered by the University as at least equivalent to a second class honours degree together with at least three years’ relevant work experience. All applications in this category are considered on an individual basis.

Please note we accept qualifications from around the world. For further guidance please see our LSHTM Qualifications for Entrance.

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.

Language Requirements

You will meet the English language requirement if you have passed, within the past three years:
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English when a minimum overall score of B or 190 is achieved, 
  • (IELTS) International English Language Testing System when an overall score of at least 7.0 is achieved with a minimum of 7.0 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 68 in Writing and a minimum of 59 in Listening, Reading and Speaking, or
  • (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.

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
  • screen resolution of 1024 x 768 or greater
  • sufficient bandwidth to download documents of at least 2 MB

and the following applications installed:

  • a word processor that reads Microsoft Word format (.doc)
  • Adobe, or other pdf reader.

Some of the CD-ROMs and software provided for use with Epidemiology modules may not be fully compatible with Apple Mac computers.

* Full mobile access is not available for all programmes.

Academic leaders

LSHTM - Epidemiology

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 course 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

Anne Tholen, Course Director

Anne graduated in Mathematics at Exeter University and qualified as a nurse at St Thomas’ Hospital, London. She subsequently joined St Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical College, where she managed the first UK antenatal serum screening service for Down’s syndrome, also organising international training courses for health professionals in this field. In 1998, she obtained an MSc in Epidemiology at Erasmus University, Rotterdam (The Netherlands). She joined LSHTM in 1999. Her research interests include psychosocial aspects of antenatal screening, ultrasound screening for congenital abnormalities and maternal epilepsy.

Patrick Nguipdop Djomo, Deputy Course Director

Patrick is a qualified physician with a keen interest in infectious diseases, who read the MSc in Epidemiology at the LSHTM. He previously worked on methodological aspects of correlates of vaccine-induced protection, and vector-borne parasitic infections, including onchocerciasis and loiasis. He is currently based at the LSHTM and involved in research projects investigating BCG vaccines effectiveness, as well as how levels of BCG-derived protection against tuberculosis vary in time after vaccination, using various observational study designs. Other interests include individual-level determinants of tuberculosis in low-incidence countries.

Sara Thomas, Course Content Director

Sara trained originally as a doctor and then as an epidemiologist. She joined the LSHTM in 1996 and has worked on a range of research topics related to infections and to immuno epidemiology. 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.


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Student blog

Read blog posts from LSHTM distance learning students.

Contact an alumni ambassador:

April Hexemer
Alumni ambassador: April Hexemer
April Hexemer studied for an MSc Epidemiology as an international student from 2009 until 2014. During her studies,...

Why study epidemiology?

Ben Goldacre, Wellcome Research Fellow at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, explains what epidemiology is, why it's so important, and how you can try a taster session from LSHTM. You can access the taster session on LSHTM website under free sessions.

Alumni Inspiration: Leonard Valenzuela, MSc Epidemiology, USA

MSc Epidemiology graduate Leonard Valenzuela talks about his experience studying by distance learning for a University of London degree, academically directed by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). He was interviewed at LSHTM when he visited London for his graduation ceremony.