Public Health (MSc, PG Dip and PG Cert)


Study for a prestigious MSc in Public Health by distance learning

This online Masters degree in Public Health provides you with the knowledge and skills to address diverse public health issues in low, middle and high income settings. The diverse curriculum allows you to opt for a broad range of knowledge or to concentrate on specialised areas. The four streams on offer include a general Public Health stream and three specialist streams:

  • Environment and Health
  • Health Promotion
  • Health Services Management

Applicants to these courses come from diverse backgrounds. Many are health professionals working at a service or policy level, while others wish to obtain public health skills that they can apply to their work in development, community services, government, research or teaching.

Course aims

By the end of this course, you will gain:

  • the knowledge and skills to contribute to the health of populations, communities and disadvantaged groups.
  • the ability to apply the core disciplines of public health (statistics, epidemiology, health
    economics and social research) to real world health problems.
  • a deeper understanding of public health issues and an academic qualification that will enhance your career development in health-related fields.

Course summary

  You study Study period Cost (2016-2017)
MSc EITHER 14 modules OR 11 modules plus a project report 2-5 years £12,360
Postgraduate Diploma 10 modules 2-5 years £9,750
Postgraduate Certificate 6 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 per individual module (core PHM1 modules) is £1,200 but for elective modules it is £1,800.


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.

The MSc Public Health course is accredited by the Agency for Accreditation of Public Health Education in the European Region (APHEA) which is the accreditation body of the Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region (ASPHER).

Excellent support

Comprehensive study materials include textbooks, paper-based readings and exercises, and CD-ROMs (for some modules). There is email tutorial support and group discussions through web-based and email conferencing facilities.

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. Available are funding opportunities to Syrian, Lebanese, Jordanian or Palestinian nationals. More details are 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.

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 LSHTM can help you prepare for a career in public health.

There are also information stands, displays and regular tours of LSHTM, allowing you to learn more about the MSc programmes. You can take part in a question and answer session with course directors so sign up to be informed about future London events.


Structure and syllabus

The PG Cert consists of 4 compulsory core modules (PHM101, PHM102, PHM103, PHM104) plus 2 further PHM1 modules.

The PG Dip consists of 4 compulsory core modules, 2 further PHM1 modules, plus 4 elective modules (at least 2 must be taken from selection group PH2, the remainder chosen from the selection groups listed below).

The MSc consists of 4 compulsory core modules, 1 stream-specific PHM1 module, 1 further PHM1 module, 1 stream-specific PHM2 module, plus EITHER 7 elective modules OR 4 elective modules and a project report (at least 3 of the elective modules must be taken from selection group PHM2, the remainder chosen from the list below).

Key to streams
There are four streams to the MSc:
· E&H - Environment & Health
· HP - Health Promotion
· HSM - Health Services Management
· Gen - General stream

To gain an MSc with a particular stream, you must complete the relevant compulsory modules for that stream. These are marked C in the table below. Modules marked R are recommended for that stream. A module marked O is optional.

Please see the Public Health Programme Specification and Regulations for further information on the modules available for study under each stream

Core modules - PHM1
Elective modules - PHM2

  • E&H
  • HP
  • HSM
  • Gen

  • O
  • O
  • O
  • O
Project module
Selection groups

Elective modules from group EPM2

Statistical methods in epidemiology

Elective modules from group IDM5



  • All PHM1 modules successfully completed will be assigned 10 credits each; all PHM2 modules will be assigned 15 credits each; the project report will be assigned 45 credits.
  • At the discretion of the examiners, students who have been examined in and have passed three PHM1 modules may be permitted to proceed to elective module studies.
  • For Postgraduate Diploma/MSc students, credit for up to two modules studied at LSHTM (blended learning) may be allowed in place of one or two of the above elective modules, subject to module restrictions. An additional fee will be payable.
  • To view the module specifications for this course, please visit our website: Note that restrictions and prerequisites 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. 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 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 summer.

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.



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

Initial registration fee£ 1,155
Fee per core module£ 1,000
Fee per elective module£ 650
Fee for final project£ 1,935
Postgraduate Certificate£ 7,200
Postgraduate Diploma£ 9,750
MSc£ 12,360
Individual modules (taken on a stand-alone basis)
Fee per core module£ 1,200
Fee per elective module£ 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.



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

You will meet the academic entrance requirement if you have both: 
  • a minimum of one year's relevant work experience; and
  • a second class honours degree or the equivalent, in a subject appropriate to the course, from a university or other institution acceptable to the University of London.

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

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 - 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 course has been designed by staff within the Faculty of Public Health and Policy.  This Faculty, which has a staff of about 150, carries out research in environmental factors and health, health policy, health promotion, and health services. The disciplines represented include medicine, epidemiology, nursing, pharmacy, statistics, operational research, history, economics, sociology, psychology and anthropology. In addition to the main activities in research and teaching, staff in the Faculty provide advice, consultancy and information on a wide range of public health and health care policy issues.

Academic leaders

Ros Plowman, Course Director


Rosalind Plowman originally trained as a nurse following which she worked in a variety of clinical settings. She then studied for a BA in Human Sciences at Oxford University and an MSc in Health Planning and Financing at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the London School of Economics. On completion of her MSc she was appointed project co-ordinator of a study which assessed the economic burden of hospital acquired infections and this became the basis of her PhD thesis which focused on the economic burden of infections occurring in surgical patients. Rosalind’s research interests include the economics of infection and the costs and benefits of selected infection control activities. Rosalind became involved with the LSHTM distance-learning programme in November 2001 and is currently the Course Director for the Public Health distance learning course.

Marcus Keogh-Brown, Deputy Course Director

Marcus Keogh-Brown is a Lecturer in Economic modelling in the Health Economics and Systems Analysis (HESA) group of the Department of Global Health and Development at LSHTM. Marcus studied Mathematics and Statistics at Queen Mary, University of London, and Computer Studies at the University of Essex, and has a PhD from Queen Mary, University of London. His current research interests involve the use and development of macroeconomic models in a health context. Current and previous health and macroeconomic applications include infectious and communicable diseases such as SARS, influenza, antibiotic resistance and malaria and also non-communicable disease modelling and its implications for agriculture, food, the environment and trade. He is also the Deputy Course Director for LSHTM’s DL MSc in Public Health, Deputy Module Organiser and Tutor for LSHTM’s DL MSc in Global Health Policy, and the Course Organiser for LSHTM’s Basic Maths Support Sessions.

Apply online

Profile on: Dr Aqila Noori
"I hope this programme can continue forever and equip students living in remote areas of the world with quality postgraduate education".

Read blog posts from LSHTM distance learning students.

Contact an alumni ambassador:

Nastassia Rambarran
A Guyanese General Practitioner residing in Barbados, who completed the MSc. in Public Health in 2013. Has a passion...

Alumni Inspiration: Celia Pett, MSc Public Health, UK

British alumna Celia Pett discusses the challenges and benefits of going back to study in her mid 50s. Celia, a midwife, studied the MSc Public Health, with academic direction from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

MSc Public Health overview

Nick Black, Professor of Health Services Research at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, gives a course overview.