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Professional Doctorate in Reproductive & Sexual Health Research (MSc)

About This Professional Doctorate

Course Description

This is Europe’s only graduate course in reproductive health research and is designed for those interested in acquiring the research skills necessary to conduct policy-relevant research into sexual and reproductive health. It provides a non-clinical foundation in family planning, obstetric health, AIDS and sexually-transmitted infections.

This Master's course is recognized by the ESRC as providing high quality research training and a small number of ESRC scholarships (including 1+3 scholarships) are available to UK or EU residents. These are advertised each year with the School scholarships information.

The curriculum has a focus on middle- and low-income settings but also provides excellent training in the principles and methods of research for high-income countries.


Graduates go into public health and reproductive health programmes, evaluation of family planning programmes, research for governmental and non-governmental agencies and university teaching.

Prize and awards

A prize is awarded each year to the student who has submitted the best project of the year for examination.

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

Visit the website https://www.lshtm.ac.uk/study/masters/reproductive-sexual-health-research


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

- demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of evidence-based approaches to research of reproductive and sexual health issues

- critically assess and apply these research approaches to inform development, health and social welfare programmes

- demonstrate a good understanding of the socio-cultural, political and ethical issues surrounding reproductive and sexual health

- identify and address appropriate research questions in reproductive and sexual health, using methods from a range of public health disciplines

- carry out research activities to identify effective components of reproductive and sexual health services within programmes


Term 1:

Students take the following compulsory modules:

Basic Epidemiology

Foundations in Reproductive Health

Principles of Social Research

Statistics for Epidemiology and Population Health

Further optional modules include:

Extended Epidemiology

Health Policy, Process & Power

Introduction to Health Economics

Population Studies

Terms 2 and 3:

Students take a total of five study modules, one from each timetable slot (Slot 1, Slot 2 etc.). One module (in Slot 4) is compulsory.

*Recommended modules

- Slot 1:

Research Design & Analysis*

Designing Disease Control Programmes in Developing Countries

Health Care Evaluation

Health Promotion Approaches and Methods

Maternal & Child Nutrition

Sociological Approaches to Health

- Slot 2:

Family Planning Programmes*

Population, Poverty and Environment*

Conflict and Health

Design & Analysis of Epidemiological Studies

Qualitative Methodologies

Statistical Methods in Epidemiology

- Slot 3:

Control of Sexually Transmitted Infections*

Current Issues in Safe Motherhood & Perinatal Health*

Social Epidemiology*

Medical Anthropology and Public Health

- Slot 4:

Sexual Health

- Slot 5:


Analysing Survey & Population Data*

Advanced Statistical Methods in Epidemiology

Applying Public Health Principles in Developing Countries

Proposal Development

A restricted number of modules may be taken by self-study, using electronic access teaching material.

Further details for the course modules - https://www.lshtm.ac.uk/study/courses/masters-degrees/module-specifications

Project Report:

During the summer months (July-August), students complete a research project. 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.

Intercalating this course

Undergraduate medical students can take a year out either to pursue related studies or work. The School welcomes applications from medical students wishing to intercalate after their third year of study from any recognised university in the world.

Why intercalate with us?:

Reputation: The School has an outstanding international reputation in public health & tropical medicine and is at the forefront of global health research. It is highly rated in a number of world rankings including:

- World’s leading research-focused graduate school (Times Higher Education World Rankings, 2013)

- Third in the world for social science and public health (US News Best Global Universities Ranking, 2014)

- Second in UK for research impact (Research Exercise Framework 2014)

- Top in Europe for impact (Leiden Ranking, 2015)

Highly recognised qualification: possessing a Master's from the School will give you a focused understanding of health and disease, broaden your career prospects and allow you to be immersed in research in a field of your choice.

Valuable skills: you will undertake an independent research project (summer project) in your chosen topic, equipping you with research skills that will distinguish you in a clinical environment. While your medical qualification will give you a breadth of knowledge; undertaking an intercalated degree will allow you to explore your main area of interest in greater depth.

Alumni network: the School has a strong international and diverse alumni community, with more than 20,000 alumni in over 180 countries.

MSc vs. BSc: undertaking an MSc is an excellent opportunity to develop in-depth specialist knowledge in your chosen topic and enhance your skills in scientific research. Postgraduate qualifications are increasingly sought after by clinicians and possessing a Masters qualification can assist you in your future career progression.

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

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

(Student Profile)

Shreena Ramanathan

171.gif After completing Masters in Social Work I began working with Health and Development sector in the North western province (Rajasthan) of India. My initial work revolved around researching on reproductive sexual health issues and later planning and coordinating reproductive health programs as a health Programme Manager.
Upon my selection as a Ford Foundation International Fellow, I elected to do an MSc in Reproductive and Sexual Health Research from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London in the United Kingdom. The need to sharpen and acquire new skills and developing my understanding on the issues related to Reproductive and Sexual Health which are affecting disadvantageous population specifically poor women and children in our society took me to LSHTM. It’s a life time experience of learning and nurturing oneself in his / her area of interest in the School with the guidance of internationally acclaimed and diverse group of faculties. This particular course at LSHTM is enabling me to obtain a comprehensive approach in addressing the greater population and reproductive health challenges in the developing countries. I have experienced a nurturing, motivating and positive atmosphere, both from experienced academic staff and student colleagues. Above all, it is a great place to exchange ideas with people of multifaceted experiences from across the globe.
Upon completing my degree, I will return to India and join working on building a campaign and advocating for the right to better reproductive health with the broader aim of achieving greater social justice in our society.

(Student Profile)

Aliyah Yousuf

4354.jpg Having completed my first three years of medical school at King’s College London, I decided to pursue an intercalated MSc in Reproductive & Sexual Health Research. As a medical student, I had a strong interest in women’s health and wanted to gain a broader perspective of its global health context to supplement my clinical knowledge. Studying at the School has been a truly inspirational experience, with lecturers and students offering a wealth of different experiences and sharing a strong altruistic ethos. The course has been well-structured and I have been able to seek academic support easily through my personal tutor, course administrator or course director. The course has given me an in-depth understanding of the global issues and challenges surrounding reproductive and sexual health, as well as valuable skills in critical thinking, research and statistical methods. I now hope to pursue Obstetrics and Gynaecology training after completing my medical degree. I am also keen to undertake international work and research within my clinical career, which I believe this MSc has opened up many opportunities for.

(Student Profile)

Deborah Sealy

4376.jpg After graduating in Biomedical Sciences I started volunteering for Terrence Higgins Trust, in their community clinics in Barking and Dagenham. We primarily worked with the African migrant population; providing HIV testing, sexual health promotion and advice. This highlighted to me some of the social and cultural differences that can affect HIV stigma and willingness to test. I have travelled to Brasil where the wealth inequalities were highlighted to me and I saw how this can affect access to healthcare. For the past 2 years, I have worked as a healthcare assistant for Guys and St Thomas NHS Trust in the Sexual Health department. My experiences have fuelled my interest in Reproductive and Sexual health, and I wanted to learn about the global perspectives leading me to study the MSc Reproductive & Sexual Health Research.

I chose the School as it had an international reputation that specialised in public and global health. The School has a fantastic environment, and you are taught by experts in their field and are surrounded by innovative research. The students have a wealth of knowledge and come from diverse backgrounds. It is very clear that every student is passionate about their respective fields and can offer invaluable insight and a different perspective in public health issues. In terms of future career pans, whatever area you decide to go into, the School has a great support system. Fellow students are often great sources of advice and insights (they may already have experience in the career path you choose!), as well as a international alumni network. Whatever the region of the world you chose to work in, there is guaranteed to be an alumni network or a fellow student to keep in contact with.

Studying at the School was the best decision I have made and I sincerely recommend anyone interested, to apply!

(Student Profile)

Leslie Ribeiro

4377.jpg Starting at the School was the beginning of an exciting journey. It has been a pleasure to study alongside students from such diverse cultural, social and professional backgrounds, who truly bring a global perspective to public health, and to have been taught by high profile experts whose passion is absolutely contagious. The extra-curricular seminars are an amazing complement to the learning curve, offering up-to-date information on a variety of themes. The combination of all this generates an exciting learning environment and an unforgettable adventure. Personally, I would have loved to stay one more year!

(Student Profile)

Peter Nkwo

4378.jpg Having worked for many years as an obstetrician & gynaecologist treating the consequences of reproductive and sexual dysfunctions, I thought it was time to research the causes and prevention of these suffering and deaths. I soon realised that conducting researches without good research training is like sailing a ship without a compass, so I decided to go back to school. Reproductive & Sexual Health Research was my obvious choice. When I sought the opinions of my colleagues on the school to go, “The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine” was rated the best for this course. I now totally agree with that rating!

Many of the teachers here are world class experts in their areas. The learning environment and support are excellent and the learning resources are unlimited. It is not surprising that people come from all over the world to have this unique learning experience.

I consider myself privileged to be associated with this great citadel of learning and a global leader in research. I now possess the skills I need to have a fulfilling research career.

“The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine” experience is one that I would wish my children and friends. I strongly recommend it.

(Student Profile)

Blake Zwerling

4379.jpg In many ways, I feel like the School – specifically the course in Reproductive & Sexual Health Research – found me more so than the other way around. After completing my undergraduate degree at Yale, I knew I wanted to go abroad to study a public health-related field for a more international perspective. I sought out faculty for their advice and time and again the School’s name kept popping up. Researching the School online, I stumbled upon the Reproductive & Sexual Health Research course and immediately knew I had found the perfect fit. Nowhere else could I find a course that taught me practical skills in epidemiology and statistics through my specific interest – sexual and reproductive health.


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 Masters 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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