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Professional Doctorate in Public Health (Health Services Management stream) (MSc)

About This Professional Doctorate

Course Description

This stream draws on a wide range of disciplines that enable students to develop knowledge, understanding and capability in various scientific methods and fields of study relevant to health services management. It is aimed at those who plan a career in management from high-, middle- and low-income countries.

Graduates from this stream go on to a range of management positions in ministries of health around the world, the UK National Health Service, non-governmental organisations and management consultancies.

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

This 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).

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

An additional requirement for the MSc Public Health (all streams) is some evidence of ability in mathematics, post-16 year education. Preference will also be given to applicants with relevant work experience.

Any student who does not meet the minimum entry requirement above but who has relevant professional experience may still be eligible for admission. Qualifications and experience will be assessed from the application.


By the end of this stream students should be able to demonstrate ability to apply knowledge of the core disciplines of public health, consisting of statistics; epidemiology; health economics; and social research, to real global health problems. In addition, students will be able to:

- analyse the principles, structure and functions of health systems, including their financial, organisational and policy-making processes and systems

- critically assess and apply a range of key management concepts and functions in a range of health care settings

- appreciate the role and contribution of economic theory, organisational theory and approaches to management in the field of health care

- show competence in critically evaluating and communicating research evidence

- apply knowledge of effective team-working and communication skills to solve problems and achieve specific goals


Term 1:

Students complete the Public Health common core, consisting of four compulsory modules:

Basic Statistics for Public Health & Policy

Basic Epidemiology

Introduction for Health Economics

Principles of Social Research

In addition, students intending to follow this stream must take Health Services. The remaining module can be selected from:

Environment, Health & Sustainable Development

Health Policy, Process & Power

Health Promotion Theory

Issues in Public Health

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:

Health Care Evaluation*

Economic Evaluation*

Sociological Approaches to Health

Study Design: Writing a Study Proposal

- Slot 2:

Health Systems*

Qualitative Methodologies*

Conflict and Health

History & Health

- Slot 3:

Organisational Management (compulsory)

- Slot 4:

Analytical Models for Decision Making*

Evaluation of Public Health Interventions*

Globalisation & Health*

Ethics, Public Health & Human Rights; Reviewing the Literature

- Slot 5:

Integrating Module: Health Services Management (compulsory)

By arrangement, students may be able to substitute specified Distance Learning modules for up to two modules in certain timetable slots. Any such substitutions will need to be discussed with the Course Directors. Full details are contained in the MSc Course Handbook.

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

Project Report:

Students prepare a project report during the summer months (July - August), for submission by early September.

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 - https://www.lshtm.ac.uk/study/masters/public-health-management#how-to-apply

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

(Student Profile)

Major Ewan Cameron

140.gif I joined the UK Army’s Royal Army Medical Corps as a Medical Support Officer in 1994. My role has been the planning, delivery and recovery of complete health systems in demanding environments which I have done in Bosnia, Iraq, The Ivory Coast and Afghanistan over the years. I applied to the LSHTM to underpin my practical experience with world leading academic rigour. In short the school delivers this rigour and goes beyond. The course, the people you meet and the school’s environment are invigorating and truly awe inspiring. The strength of the school is its students and the experience they bring. Before I started I was rather concerned at how a military man may be received at the school; I should not have been worried. The school actively promotes and encourages open discussion on the theories taught, where examples of experienced based application provide real intellectual handles for students to hang the academia on. The modular approach also allows students the flexibility to shape their degree for future activities. I chose modules that focused on developing health systems in Low Income Countries. These new found academic based skills I will now be able to apply when I return to Afghanistan in 2009 – 2010 to assist in the development of the Afghan health system and the Afghan’s mission to meet the Millennium Development Goals by 2020.

(Student Profile)

Sohyun Kim

The reason I chose the School was because of my research interests. I wanted to learn about managing health systems, especially in the context of national systems. As the UK has a national health system which is similar to my country, Korea, I expected studying here would suit me. It was truly a wise choice! In addition, I received a lot of advice from my seniors to study at the School to develop myself in the field of public health. They stressed that the School has a competitive curriculum, excellent professors and good opportunities to meet great colleagues.

As a student who did not study public health before entering the School, every lecture was interesting. The compulsory modules were very helpful as the base for then taking optional modules to deal with my interests at a further level. To be honest, all my time in class was my happiest moment at the School: gaining deeper knowledge, learning from lecturers’ experiences, sharing ideas with friends during seminars. Socialising at the School was also memorable; in preparing for final exams, we usually discussed subjects for over five hours, and the time helped to establish a stronger bond among friends.

I believe studying at the School will contribute to my future, growing myself as well as my capacity.

(Student Profile)

Katsura Danno

4407.jpg I have long wanted to work in low- and middle-income countries ever since I have learnt that many people are still suffering from tuberculosis. Learning health service management stream, MSc Public Health course has opened the gate for me.

I was born in Japan when we had a remarkable economic growth in 1970s. Our generation experienced neither poverty nor malnutrition, needless to say tuberculosis. However, my grandparents have often told me that they were very poor back to 1930s when tuberculosis was endemic as current developing countries. In 2000s I started working as a clinician and a public health physician on tuberculosis. I realised that not only elderly people got reactivated and developed tuberculosis but also hard-to-reach people with complicated socioeconomic factors were at high risk of tuberculosis, for example homeless people living in big cities. This was one of the issues which developed countries currently have. How can I interpret this transition to other countries?

Learning at this School provides me the opportunities learning the diversity of health systems from low-, middle- to high-income countries. I also share my experience with the students from all over the world. Many of them have been working on tuberculosis. I may have the answer for my question in the end of the course, and may be applying the theory to the work in low- and middle-income countries.

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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; 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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