Epidemiology (MSc, PGDip and PGCert)


Gain a prestigious MSc in Epidemiology by online and distance learning

Epidemiology is the key discipline underlying medical research, public health practice, and health care evaluation. Its methods are used to describe the nature of health problems, investigate the aetiology of specific diseases, and evaluate the impact of interventions for treating and preventing ill health.

By the end of this programme, you will gain:

  • the fundamental skills needed to become competent in epidemiology;
  • an understanding of developments in the field;
  • 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. 

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

Why study epidemiology?

Programme details

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

  You study Study period Cost (2017-2018)
MSc 9 modules plus a compulsory project report and a qualifying examination paper 2-5 years £13,000
Postgraduate Diploma 8 modules 2-5 years £10,300
Postgraduate Certificate 4 modules 1-5 years £7,600
Individual modules Studying individual modules is ideal if you wish to update your professional knowledge or sample the programme. The fee is £1,900 per module.

How it works

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 materials available via CD-ROM or the Virtual Learning Environment.
  • Practical workbooks and textbooks (depending on module).
  • Access to web-based discussion boards.
  • Training in the use of statistical software.

Outstanding support

You will be able to discuss issues with tutors and fellow students via the dedicated online portal. You’ll also receive personalised feedback on assignments. MSc students undertaking the project will be assigned a personal supervisor.

Summary of key dates

MSc, Postgraduate Diploma and Postgraduate Certificate
Application deadline 31 August
Registration deadline 30 September
Programme starts October
Examinations take place June
Individual modules
Application deadline 31 August
Registration deadline 31 October*
Examinations take place June

*Registration deadline for module EPM301 is 30 September. Students who register after 1 October will not be able to request extensions to submission deadlines or plea mitigating circumstances for exams as a result of late registration.

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.

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.

Find out more about the School.

What our students say

Rinko Kinoshita, Japan

Riko Kinoshita, London School Alumna"I am a midwife by training and hold a Master’s degree in Public Health. I decided to take the MSc in Epidemiology to learn technical skills and knowledge in applied social epidemiology. 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 is Deputy Representative at the UNICEF Nicaragua Country Office. She holds a Master’s in Public Health, International Maternal and Child Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She also has 15 years' experience working in international neonatal and maternal health, water, hygiene and sanitation, and operational research for public health.


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 modules.

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

Epidemiology - Selection groups

Elective modules from group IDM5



  • Restrictions and pre-requisites may apply to some of the modules.
  • Some software provided for use with Epidemiology modules may not be compatible with Apple Mac computers.
  • 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.  The module materials will take you through a programme of directed self-study, and indicate how and where you can obtain supplementary study materials. 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 two modules run from the beginning of January through to assignment submission at the end of August.  The project work (MSc only) is carried out in the final year, with submission at the end of September.

The support you receive

Support is available from teaching staff allocated to each module in the following ways:

  • Facilitating discussion between students and answering student queries, using online discussion forums through the School’s online learning site Moodle
  • Providing personalised feedback from teaching staff on assignments
  • Holding real-time webinars in some modules
  • Students undertaking a project are assigned personal supervisors.

Study materials

You receive your study materials after you register.  Most of the key study materials for the Epidemiology modules are in the form of interactive computer sessions (on CD-ROM or downloadable online), while two modules use a printed Study Guide. Workbooks, readers, textbooks and /or additional computer software (e.g. Stata) may be provided, depending on the modules studied.  Materials are also provided online where possible, via the School's online learning site Moodle. Additional resources include past examination papers and Examiners’ reports, a Student Handbook and access to the School’s online library.  Details of the study materials provided for each module can be found in the module specification documents located on the Structure tab on the Epidemiology programme page. 

We also provide all students with a student registration card.

Free online Epidemiology taster material

Please take a look below for examples of our interactive learning material.

EPM101 taster session

This 10-minute taster session is taken from EPM101 Fundamentals of Epidemiology, the first core module of this Distance Learning Epidemiology programme. It will introduce you to some epidemiological ideas and invite you to answer some of the questions that faced John Snow when he investigated the 1848 London cholera epidemic.

EPM307 session on Cancer Epidemiology

This 2-3 hour session is part of our Distance Learning Epidemiology module on the Global Epidemiology of Non-Communicable Diseases. The session was jointly developed by the School and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). The session covers how data about cancer are collected and used, how secular and geographic variations in cancer burden can be interpreted, the most common risk factors associated with cancer globally, and how cancer can be prevented and controlled.

Note that this session includes video clips and may take a few minutes to open. 



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)£ 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.


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 Epidemiology 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 see 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 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

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 - 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 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

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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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,...

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.