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Professional Doctorate in Demography & Health (MSc)

About This Professional Doctorate

Course Description

This is Europe's only graduate programme in demography with an emphasis on health and social epidemiology, and is designed for those interested in acquiring a technical understanding of the structure and dynamics of population change, its causes and consequences. The curriculum includes advanced training in the theories and methods of the population sciences, statistics, epidemiology, and research methods.

The course teaches research skills which are highly valued in the job market generally and are welcomed in a wide variety of research fields. The teaching draws on several related disciplines within the School and the modular approach can be adapted (within reason) to suit different needs.

The course is recognised by both the MRC and ESRC as providing high quality research training and a small number of scholarships from these bodies (including 1+3 scholarships) are available to UK or EU residents. These are advertised each year with the School scholarships information.

Graduates have careers in public health, academic research of a very wide nature, NGOs, reproductive health programmes, health services, government statistical offices, policy and planning. The Selwyn-Clarke Prize is awarded for the best project of the year.

- Full programme specification (pdf) (https://www.lshtm.ac.uk/files/dh_progspec.pdf)

- Intercalating this course (https://www.lshtm.ac.uk/study/courses/ways-study/intercalating-study-masters-degree)

Visit the website https://www.lshtm.ac.uk/study/masters/demography-health


By the end of this course students should be able to:

- demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of scientific, evidence-based approaches to the study of population issues

- critically assess and apply these approaches to inform development, health and population programmes

- formulate research questions and use demographic and health data, and appropriate methods of analysis, to address them

- identify causes and consequences of population change and relate these to underlying population dynamics

- demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of demographic behaviour in social, economic and policy contexts

- critically assess and apply findings of population studies to health and social policy

- demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of major population trends, including historical trends, in developed and developing countries


Term 1:

Students take the following compulsory modules:

- Demographic Methods

- Basic Epidemiology

- Population Studies

- Principles of Social Research

- Statistics for Epidemiology and Population Health

Terms 2 and 3:

Students take a total of five study modules, one module from each timetable slot (Slot 1, Slot 2 etc.). Students are expected to take modules related to demography for at least two of their other four choices.

*Recommended modules

- Slot 1:

Research Design & Analysis*

Designing Disease Control Programmes in Developing Countries

Health Care Evaluation

Sociological Approaches to Health

- Slot 2:

Family Planning Programmes*

Population, Poverty and Environment*

Conflict and Health

Design and Analysis of Epidemiological Studies

Statistical Methods in Epidemiology

- Slot 3:

Social Epidemiology*

Current Issues in Safe Motherhood & Perinatal Health

Epidemiology of Non-Communicable Diseases

Medical Anthropology and Public Health

Modelling & the Dynamics of Infectious Diseases

Spatial Epidemiology in Public Health

- Slot 4:

Population Dynamics & Projections (compulsory)

- Slot 5:


Analysing Survey & Population Data*

Advanced Statistical Methods in Epidemiology

Proposal Development

Further details for the course modules - https://www.lshtm.ac.uk/study/masters/demography-health#structure

Project Report:

During the summer months (July - August), students complete a research project to enable them to acquire personal experience of the process of contributing to knowledge in any of the fields covered by the course, for submission by early September. Acceptable types of project are: data analysis; a project proposal; an original literature or policy review.

Students normally remain in London for the preparation of their project report. Exceptionally, and only if appropriate, part of the project period may be spent away from the School, whether in the UK or abroad. Arrangements for this must be discussed and agreed with the Course Director.

Find out how to apply here - http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/study/masters/msdh.html#sixth

Visit the Demography & Health (MSc) page on the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Sara Yeatman

"After doing my undergraduate degree in International Relations and working for various NGOs in Ecuador and Washington DC, I decided that my real interest lay in the population field. I was and still am particularly intrigued by demographic changes in the developing world and their consequences. I learned about the LSHTM from professionals working in the population field who recommended it for both the reputation of its programs and the quality of its research.

The diversity of the students at the LSHTM is an unquantifiable asset to the education. Collaborating with and engaging in debates with clinicians, sociologists, economists and historians from literally every corner of the world adds a breadth to the education that I doubt could be matched elsewhere.

Right from the start, the program at the LSHTM excited and inspired me to pursue a career in academia. Next year, I will begin my PhD at the University of Texas at Austin specialising in Latin American demography. My education at the LSHTM has not only given me a strong demographic and public health foundation but has also fuelled my passion for demography and enabled me with the tools to do independent demographic research."

(Student Profile)

Lawrence Sacco

Before coming to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine I graduated in biomedical science and obtained some work experience in biomedical laboratory research. I became interested in the social sciences, epidemiology and the study of populations, as they are fundamental to understanding health and its wider societal implications. I chose the MSc Demography & Health program as it combined all my interests and had a thorough quantitative component, which is essential for working with social statistics and data analysis.

What I like most about the MSc Demography & Health is the quality of teaching, which covers the theoretical components of the subject, as well as the quantitative ones. Furthermore, thanks to the wide range of research experience of the lecturers on the course, and at the School, there is always the opportunity to learn more on topics related to demography, such as epidemiology, public health, anthropology and economics.

My future plans include doing a PhD on population ageing and its implications, as I have been recently offered a studentship at King’s College.

(Student Profile)

Maija-Eliina Sequeira

4363.jpg The School is just an incredible place to be – full of inspirational people and exciting new research. As well as learning a whole new set of skills, I’ve been able to attend a huge range of seminars and lectures that have really helped me to piece all of the different information and approaches together, and understand the broader context of what I’ve been learning. The variety of students in terms of their backgrounds and past experiences is great as you’re bound to learn something interesting every time you have a chat with someone new.

(Student Profile)

Richard White

4364.jpg A career is public health is a well-kept secret. You won’t hear about it at school. No-one at a career’s fair will suggest it to you. One day you’ll just stumble upon it, and wonder why it took you so long.

The obvious choices for a garish-jumper-wearing Physics graduate had left me rather uninspired. Then one sunny day in 1996, I wandered past the doors of the oddly named London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. I was intrigued by the gold mosquitoes hovering above the entrance and went in. A lecture was in full swing, so I sat down at the back (in those days there was no security). A wild-haired academic was enthralling a hundred or so students with tales from the field… tales of the vital importance… tales of pipes-to-move-poo.

I was hooked instantly. Build pipes-to-move-poo, reduce bugs, and save lives. What could be more obvious? Simple, effective, public health.

On the way out I grabbed a copy of the School’s prospectus and signed up to the first course that would have me. Medical Demography (now Demography and Health) turned out to be an excellent course to start to convert a narrow ‘hard’ scientist into a public heath researcher. It is a truly multidisciplinary subject, spanning from anthropology to mathematical modelling.

Apart from a brief foray into financial modelling in the City of London, I’ve been at LSHTM ever since. The first buzz I felt in that lecture theatre still lives with me today.

A career in academia is undeniable hard work, but it’s also great fun and hugely rewarding. Over the years at LSHTM I’ve visited dozens of countries and worked on fascinating research projects. My research has primarily been on the mathematical and statistical modelling of the transmission and control of infectious diseases. With colleagues we have launched the Centre for Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases, the TB Modelling Group, and the TB Modelling and Analysis Consortium.

The School is a great place to work. It balances academic excellence and getting that research into policy and practice. I highly recommend LSHTM as somewhere to work or study.

But wherever you find it, I hope your ‘pipes-to-move-poo’ moment hits you soon.


ESRC PIC Masters Studentship Scheme in Population Studies - No. of awards TBC

ESRC PIC funded studentships are open for application to UK/EU students studying either the MSc Demography & Health course or MSc Reproductive and Sexual Health Research course starting in September 2016. Funding includes full tuition fees at the Home/EU rate and a tax free living allowance. The full value of each award is GBP 15,000.00.Award Information:
The full value of this studentship will be GBP 15,000.00. The School will deduct tuition fees (at the agreed RCUK rate) from the value of the award. The remainder of the award will be paid out as a stipend to the student directly in 12 monthly instalments. Students should submit their application by the scholarship deadline of Monday 30 May 2016. Further information on the application process can be found under the 'How to Apply' heading below. The School will shortlist and nominate applicants to the PIC board for consideration. Further details about the ESRC PIC Masters Studentship Scheme in Population Studies can be found here. (Please note that the information on this web page is aimed at institutions involved - not students - but will give you some good background information and advice on the selection process.)

Value of Scholarship(s)



Scholarships will only be awarded to students who are assessed as having a UK/EU fee status and who meet the standard ESRC residency requirements. All candidates should have settled status in the UK and have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least three years. Candidates must have qualifications equal to a good honours degree at first or upper second class level, from a UK academic institution.

Application Procedure

Applicants must submit:
- a complete School application for MSc Demography & Health or MSc Reproductive & Sexual Health Research via the School online application portal, and

- an ESRC PIC application form and TWO references to [email protected] by Monday 30 May 2016.

(Preferably, references should be from people able to comment on your academic ability and potential. It is strongly recommended that your previous Undergraduate tutor(s) supply a reference, if possible. Alternatively, prospective tutors may comment on prospective student’s ability, as may previous employers.)

Applicants should contact Lynda Clarke ([email protected]) to discuss their application before the deadline.

The closing date for applications is Monday 30 May 2016.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

The normal minimum entrance qualification for registration at the School on a Master's programme is at least one of the following: a second-class honours degree of a UK university, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, in a subject appropriate to that of the course of study to be followed; 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.

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