Infectious Diseases (MSc, PGDip and PGCert)


Gain a prestigious MSc in Infectious Diseases by online and flexible learning

This programme provides a broad understanding of infectious diseases through its core modules in biology, biostatistics, epidemiology, and the control of infectious diseases. You then choose from a range of electives, ranging from parasitology to the study of individual diseases.

By taking this programme, you will gain:

  • a comprehensive understanding of the role of biology of infective agents and hosts on the outcome of infection.
  • an understanding of how to use of this knowledge, in combination with epidemiological and public health approaches, to develop strategies for the control and treatment of infection.

The programme is particularly relevant to in-service health professionals wanting to broaden their knowledge in infectious diseases or to update their expertise in a fast-evolving field.

It is equally suited to recent graduates or established professionals who wish to bring their knowledge up-to-date, or to those wishing to change careers.

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.

Programme 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
Individual modules 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

  • Readings and exercises, available via the Virtual Learning Environment
  • CD-ROMs (for some modules)
  • Access to discussion boards

Excellent support

You will receive tutorial support and the ability to hold discussions with tutors and fellow students via the online portal.

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

*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.

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

Dr Elizabeth Wala, MSc Infectious Diseases (Kenya)

Dr Elizabeth Wala, London School Alumna"The flexibility of the distance-learning programme helped me balance my career and my family. 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 Expanded Programme of Immunisation. These catapulted the country to being amongst the first in the region to introduce life-saving vaccines for the children of Kenya."

Elizabeth Wala is CEO of the Kenya Medical Association. She has vast experience in the fields of health care policies, health system management, pharmaceutical medicine, and clinical research. Liz has developed networks with local teaching, research, and state institutions, as well as international partners, including IntraHealth, the World Bank, and the World Health Organisation (WHO).


Structure and syllabus

MSc: either 12 modules (4 compulsory core and 8 elective) or 9 modules (4 compulsory and five elective) and a project report
PG Dip: 8 modules (4 compulsory core and 4 elective modules)
PG Cert: 4 modules (4 compulsory core modules)

Core modules

Plus 4 elective modules (Postgraduate Diploma only)

At least three must be taken from selection groups IDM2, IDM3, IDM5 or IDM6. The fourth
module can be chosen from the selection groups listed below, or from blended learning [pdf] study modules. A maximum of two in-house modules can be chosen in total.

Plus elective modules (MSc only)

EITHER eight elective modules, at least six of which must be taken from selection groups IDM2, IDM3, IDM5 or IDM6. The remaining modules can be selected from IDM2, IDM3, IDM5, IDM6 or PHM2 or from ‘blended learning’ study modules. A maximum of two in-house modules can be chosen in total.

OR five elective modules, at least three of which must be chosen from the IDM2, IDM3, IDM5 or IDM6 selection groups plus a Project report IDM600. The remaining modules can be selected from IDM2, IDM3, IDM5, IDM6 or PHM2.

Selection groups

Elective modules from group IDM5


Elective modules from group IDM6

Research design, management and analysis


  • Restrictions and prerequisites may apply to some of the modules.
  • For PG Dip and 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. An additional fee will be payable.
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, the learning materials will be made available to you from the beginning of October 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 runs from the beginning of October through to the June exams, during which time tutorial support is available. Students carrying out projects are assigned personal supervisors to support their project work throughout the year.

The support you receive

  • The support you receive’ with the following: 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. A student network directory is provided to help facilitate this.

Study materials

Study materials are made available to you after you register. Study materials may include study guides, Readers, textbooks, CD-ROMs/additional computer software, 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 Infectious Diseases programme page. 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 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 elective module£ 675
Fee for final project£ 2,025
Total Postgraduate Certificate£ 7,600
Total Postgraduate Diploma£ 10,300
Total MSc£ 13,000
Total fee per individual module (taken on a stand-alone basis)£ 1,900
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.


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.

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 Infectious Diseases 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

You will satisfy the academic entrance requirement if you hold either:

  • 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, in one of the following scientific subjects: biology, medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary science or pharmacy; or
  • a scientific degree in a subject not listed above which in the opinion of the University included suitable preliminary training and is considered at least comparable to a UK second class honours degree, from an institution acceptable to the University.

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

If you do not satisfy the above requirements you may still be admitted at our discretion on the basis of your 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 (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
  • Some of the CD-ROMS and software provided for use with Epidemiology modules may not be compatible with Apple Mac computers.

* 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 - Faculty of Infectious & Tropical Diseases (ITD)

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 Infectious & Tropical Diseases (ITD) which encompasses all of the laboratory-based research in the School as well as that on the clinical and epidemiological aspects of infectious and tropical diseases. The range of disciplines represented in the Faculty is very broad and interdisciplinary research is a feature of much of its activity. The spectrum of diseases studied is wide and there are major research groups focused on malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases, vaccine development and evaluation, and vector biology and disease control.

Academic leaders

Patricia Gorak-Stolinska, Course Director

BSc, MPhil, PhD

Patricia is a lecturer in the Immunology Department at LSHTM. After reading Parasitology at Kings College London and studying for an MPhil in Parasite Immunology at Imperial College, she joined the School in 1994 to work on costimulatory molecules and marginal zone macrophages in a model for Leishmania donvani. After this she moved to the Dept. of Immunology Kings College London to work on human CD4 and CD8 T cell subsets. In 2002 after completing her PhD thesis on T cell Apoptosis at Guy’s Kings and St. Thomas’ School of Medicine, she returned to LSHTM to work on immunity to mycobacteria particularly the immune response to BCG vaccination in which she has a continuing research interest. Her teaching interests are in parasitology and immunology.

Anita Skinner, Deputy Course Director

BSc, PhD

Anita is a Research Fellow in the Department of Pathogen Molecular Biology, in the Faculty of Infectious Diseases at LSHTM. After completing a degree in Biochemistry at Imperial College. Anita moved to LSHTM in 1991 for the first year of her PhD investigating the Molecular Determinants of Virulence in Leishmania. The research group relocated to Cambridge where these studies were completed. Anita moved to the National Institute for Medical Research to do postdoctoral research into drug resistance of influenza virus, and then onto working with mycobacteria at St Georges Hospital and The Eastman Dental institute. Anita returned to LSHTM in 2014, as Deputy Course Director for the distance learning Infectious Diseases programme. Her teaching interests include the biology of infection.

Jackie Cliff, Course Content Director

BA, MSc, PhD

Jackie is a lecturer in the Department of Immunology and Infection, within the Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases at LSHTM. Jackie first came to LSHTM as a student in 1993 to study the MSc in Infectious Diseases, and then went to the National Institute for Medical Research, where she conducted her PhD looking at the role of cytokine production by B cells. She returned to LSHTM in 1999, and has been investigating immune responses to tuberculosis since then. Primarily, her research is directed at identifying host biomarkers which can be used to determine when a TB patient has been successfully cured – such markers will be useful in clinical trials of new drugs and eventually in clinical management of TB cases. Jackie enjoys teaching immunology and infection, especially tuberculosis, and she is the Programme Content Director for the distance learning Infectious Diseases programme.

For further information about the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine please refer to the LSHTM website [external link].

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Contact an alumni ambassador:

Dr. Chris Oyewole Durojaiye
Dr. Chris Oyewole Durojaiye, Alumni Ambassador
Dr. Chris Oyewole Durojaiye is currently a specialist registrar in infectious diseases at University Hospital of Wales...

Alumni Inspiration: Enas Newire, MSc Infectious Diseases, Egypt

Enas Newire talks about her experience studying by distance learning for a University of London degree, academically directed by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). She is now doing her PhD at UCL in London.