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Professional Doctorate in Public Health (Health Services Research 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.

Duration: one year full time; part-time or split-study over two years. Modes of study explained.

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

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 health problems. In addition, students will be able to:

- understand the strengths and weaknesses of different study designs

- identify, assess and synthesise evidence from research literature

- select and apply appropriate, ethical and feasible study designs to answer questions in health services and health systems research

- show competence in critically evaluating and communicating research evidence

- understand the relationship between research evidence and policy/practice


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 Promotion Theory

Health Policy, Process & Power

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*

- Slot 2:

Design & Analysis of Epidemiological Studies*

Health Systems*

History & Health*

Qualitative Methodologies*

Statistical Methods in Epidemology*

- Slot 3:

Economic Analysis for Health Policy*

Medical Anthropology and Public Health*

Organisational Management

- Slot 4:

Reviewing the Literature (compulsory)

- Slot 5:

Proposal Development (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-research#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-research#how-to-apply

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

(Student Profile)

Kathryn Duckett

141.gif While undertaking a Masters in Medical Anthropology at UCL (University College London) I became aware of work at LSHTM which was directly related to my research dissertation topic at that time. I had already been considering continuing my work in the field as a PhD and following discussion it became clear that LSHTM would be an ideal environment for me to study given their expertise in the area.

It was recommended that I should apply for ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) funding and the particular funding option available to me given my previous qualifications was a 1+3 year package. This involved completing a one year MSc course in Public Health Services Research at LSHTM, the benefit of which would be to improve my research skills followed by three years in which to complete the PhD.

Having been fortunate enough to receive this funding, and now at the end of the MSc I am looking forward to progressing on to the PhD programme and feel the MSc course exposed me to a wide range of research topics and broadened my skill base all of which will be extremely valuable in the years ahead.

(Student Profile)

Kate van Brunt

4360.jpg After university, I took a job as a Research Assistant with a pharmaceutical research consulting company, working on the development and validation of patient-reported outcome questionnaires for use in clinical trials and other health outcomes/health economics research projects. I moved to London in 2010 and into my current role in 2011, working for a pharmaceutical company in health outcomes/health economics to support market access and reimbursement for diabetes therapies.

I chose to do a part-time MSc at the School because of the School’s renowned reputation, and because it was recommended by a number of colleagues in my industry who completed their Master’s degrees and/or PhD’s at the School. The MSc Public Health programme appealed to me because it covers many of the skills/disciplines I need for my job e.g. epidemiology, health economics, statistics, study design & critical appraisal. The course is structured such that the modules, lectures, practicals, and assessments not only teach the necessary content and information, but also force you to think critically and apply the information learned to solve real public health problems. In my current role, I will continue to use many of the analytical and critical appraisal skills that I learned while on this course.

(Student Profile)

Sanil Joseph

4408.jpg I chose the School because of its global reputation as an excellent Public Health institution. The School’s international student community provides a great exposure and an opportunity for cross learning. The 1-year MSc programme is highly suitable for full time employees like me who need to take time off their job to undergo the training. My specialization is in Health Services Research and the training at the School has been really helpful in improving my competence as a researcher and developing the health services research division in my organization.

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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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