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Professional Doctorate in Control of Infectious Diseases (MSc)

About This Professional Doctorate

Course Description

This is a multidisciplinary programme that bridges the fields of epidemiology, laboratory sciences and public health. It includes a strong practical component and the opportunity to undertake a research project overseas. The course will train students in all aspects of the control of infectious diseases and prepare them for a career in a range of organisations.

This course will equip students with specialised skills that will facilitate a career in the control of infectious diseases as staff of health ministries, health departments, national or international disease control agencies, aid organisations or universities.

The majority of the research projects are performed overseas, with collaborating public health or research organisations and NGOs. Students are encouraged to take advantage of this overseas opportunity, which is crucial to the nature of the course.

- Full programme specification (pdf) (https://www.lshtm.ac.uk/files/cid_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/control-infectious-diseases


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

- investigate the transmission of endemic and epidemic infections

- select appropriate methods of control

- design, implement and evaluate co-ordinated control methods

- assess constraints of local public health delivery systems

- manage available resources in the context of the control of infectious diseases

- focus their efforts on particular geographical regions or specific diseases


Term 1:

After orientation, students take two compulsory modules: Basic Statistics and Introduction to Disease Agents & Their Control, which focus on the life cycle and characteristics of infectious disease agents according to their principal transmission routes; the principal intervention strategies used to combat infectious diseases; and examples of successes, partial successes and failures in intervention programmes against infectious diseases.

In addition, students take one of the following module combinations:

- Basic Epidemiology; Health Economics; and Health Policy, Process and Power

- Extended Epidemiology and Health Economics or Health Policy, Process and Power

An interdisciplinary approach is emphasised which takes account of the social, political and economic context in which health systems operate.

Terms 2 and 3:

Students take a total of five study modules, one from each timetable slot (Slot 1, Slot 2 etc.). The list below shows recommended modules. There are other modules which may be taken only after consultation with the Course Directors.

*Recommended modules

- Slot 1:

Designing Disease Control Programmes in Developing Countries*

Epidemiology & Control of Malaria*

Health Care Evaluation*

Childhood Eye Disease and Ocular Infections

Clinical Infectious Diseases 1: Bacterial & Viral Diseases & Community Health in Developing Countries

Clinical Virology

Economic Evaluation

Health Promotion Approaches and Methods

Maternal & Child Nutrition

Research Design & Analysis

Study Design: Writing a Study Proposal.

- Slot 2:

Clinical Bacteriology 1*

Conflict and Health*

Design & Analysis of Epidemiological Studies*

Population, Poverty and Environment*

Statistical Methods in Epidemiology*

Advanced Diagnostic Parasitology

Clinical Infectious Diseases 2: Parasitic Diseases & Clinical Medicine

Health Systems

Qualitative Methodologies

- Slot 3:

Applied Communicable Disease Control*

Control of Sexually Transmitted Infections*

Current Issues in Safe Motherhood & Perinatal Health*

Economic Analysis for Health Policy*

Medical Anthropology & Public Health*

Spatial Epidemiology in Public Health*

Tropical Environmental Health*

Vector Sampling, Identification & Incrimination*

Basic Parasitology

Clinical Infectious Diseases 3: Bacterial & Viral Diseases & Community Health in Developing Countries

Modelling & the Dynamics of Infectious Diseases

Nutrition in Emergencies

Organisational Management

Social Epidemiology

- Slot 4:

Clinical Bacteriology 2*

Epidemiology & Control of Communicable Diseases*

Analytical Models for Decision Making

Clinical Infectious Diseases 4: Parasitic Diseases & Clinical Medicine

Ethics, Public Health & Human Rights

Globalisation & Health; Sexual Health

Vector Biology & Parasite Infections

- Slot 5:


Applying Public Health Principles in Developing Countries*

Integrated Vector Management*

Advanced Statistical Methods in Epidemiology

Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Integrating Module: Health Promotion

Integrating Module: Health Services Management


Nutrition Programme Planning

Principles and Practice of Public Health

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 studying aspects of an intervention programme, for submission by early September. If appropriate, this may take the form of an optional period in a relevant overseas location. Most students on this course undertake projects overseas. Students undertaking projects overseas will require additional funding of up to £1,500 to cover costs involved.

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

Visit the Control of Infectious Diseases (MSc) page on the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Minnie Parmiter

174.gif I studied Biological Sciences at the University of Oxford, where I took an interest in the relative macro-drivers of arboviral disease, such as climate change, drug resistance, host population movements and socio-economics. I spent some time as an assistant in the Bluetongue lab there when the disease was spreading throughout Europe, thought to be due to vector response to climatic change. I then worked in the climate sector for a company developing emission reduction projects under Kyoto in developing countries, followed by renewable energy policy in the UK and EU, before starting at LSHTM to tie it all together.

The modules are well structured and clearly taught, with a practical focus to train you with skills to use professionally. One of the best things about the school is the exposure to the high calibre researchers teaching you, who are all very accessible and extremely willing to answer questions. I was impressed by the number of modules available from a diverse spectrum of research areas (choosing is not easy!), which allowed me to gain skills in economics and mathematical modelling, as well as dissecting insects in the lab. Many of the chosen modules are mixed with other MScs, which maximises the variety of perspectives brought into discussion, as people have such different backgrounds and knowledge bases, which I found incredibly interesting and very useful.

The core of this MSc gives a good overview of human infectious diseases, as well an overview of epidemiological concepts and a public health context. It also stands out in offering the opportunity to gain field experience on the ground for the summer project, either with a researcher from the school or one of the NGOs with close ties to LSHTM. I was lucky enough to get a project working with Malarial drug-resistance on the Thai-Cambodia border, although you can pretty much pick any infectious disease anywhere in the world and get out there. The schedule can be exhausting but the quality of the training matches the school’s reputation and it is impossible to leave without having the basis for responsible scientific research drilled into you and the tools to carry some out.

(Student Profile)

Jamie Scuffell

While studying Medicine at the University of Sheffield I became interested in infectious disease, and particularly in how much health is as much determined by the society that we live in as it is by biology and medicines. After spending time involved in some student global health organisations, I decided to take the MSc Control of Infectious Diseases at the School as an intercalated year between my fourth and fifth years of study.

It was sincerely the best academic decision I have ever made. The diversity of interests and international opportunities at the School made the course very exciting, and I spent the year with peers from diverse backgrounds – a welcome change from the latter years of medical school. I had the choice of dozens of modules covering a massive range of health-related subjects, which meant the year group had such a broad range of experiences at the School. I undertook my research project in Peru, which allowed me to put into practice the skills that I learned throughout the year, and create future opportunities in Lima. I have made friends that will last for many years from all over the world, and I cannot recommend the course more highly.

(Student Profile)

Olivia Varsaneux

4380.jpg My year at the School has been beyond my expectations due to the number of skills I have learnt, the welcoming and diverse people I have met, and opportunities that are open to me.

The course offered me the perfect balance of public health and epidemiology allowing me to enrich my background in microbiology.

As I am entering the work force I have begun to realize the power of the School’s alumni network and how its numerous members can be influential when applying for jobs and helpful for learning about new and exciting opportunities.

(Student Profile)

Deborah Nakiboneka-Ssenabulya

4381.jpg What I have achieved in my course greatly exceeded my expectations. My class had students from all over the world with different backgrounds and I found their experiences very exciting and enriching. Sharing knowledge during class discussions was like visiting many countries and meeting people without moving out of Britain. I enjoyed very much the variety of social activities organised by the students’ representatives especially the films, charity events and the recipe book. On any particular day, there was always something for everyone to join and enjoy.

(Student Profile)

Lauren de la Parte

4382.jpg I have a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences and Spanish from Vanderbilt University. I chose to attend the School because this program offers a practical and intensive approach that teaches us how to positively impact healthcare around the world.

I specifically chose the MSc Control of Infectious Diseases because this course offers classes that allow me to learn the foundations of statistics and epidemiology while also getting a picture of public health issues facing infectious disease control around the world.

I have most enjoyed the international body because I have been able to cultivate a global perspective and learn first hand about health worldwide. The global environment cultivated by the School has allowed me to learn from my colleagues just as much as I have learned in the classroom.

I’m currently pursing a summer project in Burkina Faso studying malaria infection in children after having studied the biological processes of Anopheles gambiae, a prominent malaria vector, during my undergraduate career. This degree has helped me transition from biological vector analyses to fieldwork and community-based studies, providing me with guidance and a foundation for my future.

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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; applicants with a strong academic background in ancillary subjects will also be considered; 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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