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Professional Doctorate in Epidemiology (Distance Learning) (MSc / PGDip / PGCert)

About This Professional Doctorate

Course Description

These courses provide epidemiological training for professionals in academic departments, research units, or in the health services.

Epidemiology is the key discipline underlying medical research, public health practice and health care evaluation. The understanding of its principles and practice is crucial for those involved in the design or assessment of epidemiological studies and programme evaluation. Epidemiological methods are also used to describe the size and nature of health problems, to investigate the aetiology of specific diseases, and to evaluate the impact of interventions for treating and preventing ill health.

These courses provide epidemiology training for professionals in academic departments, research modules or in the health services. They are suitable for those aiming for a career in epidemiology research, academics in other health areas and other health professionals. The courses are also of interest to people who require an understanding of epidemiology, such as medical journalists and scientific officers in government and industry.

The aims and learning outcomes of the courses are detailed in the programme specification.

- Full programme specification (pdf) (https://london.ac.uk/sites/default/files/programme-specifications/progspec-epidemiology.pdf)

- Distance Learning prospectus (pdf) (https://www.lshtm.ac.uk/study/courses/epidemiology-online)

Free sessions from our Distance Learning Epidemiology course

- EPM101 taster session This 10-minute taster session is taken from EPM101 Fundamentals of Epidemiology, the first core module of this Distance Learning Epidemiology course. It will introduce you to some epidemiological ideas and invite you to answer some of the questions that faced John Snow when he investigated the 1848 London cholera epidemic.

- EPM307 session on Cancer Epidemiology This 2-3 hour session is part of our Distance Learning Epidemiology module on the Global Epidemiology of Non-Communicable Diseases. The session was jointly developed by the School and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). The session covers how data about cancer are collected and used, how secular and geographic variations in cancer burden can be interpreted, the most common risk factors associated with cancer globally, and how cancer can be prevented and controlled. Note that this session includes video clips and may take a few minutes to open.

Visit the website https://www.lshtm.ac.uk/study/courses/epidemiology-online

Method of assessment

Assessment varies from module to module but will include a combination of unseen written examinations and written assignments. Details are given in the module specifications.

Examinations take place once a year in June (please note: it is not possible to hold examinations at other times of year). These are normally held in a student’s country of residence. We have examination centres in over 180 countries worldwide (for details please visit the assessment and examinations section).

Examinations are arranged mainly through Ministries of Education or the British Council. Students taking examinations will need to pay a fee to their local examination centre. Please note that if you fail an examination at the first entry you will be allowed one further attempt.

Credit awarded

Credits will be awarded to all modules (15 credits each) and (MSc only) the project (45 credits) successfully completed. To successfully pass an award, the following credits must be gained:

- Postgraduate Certificate – 60 credits

- Postgraduate Diploma – 120 credits

- Master's – 180 credits

Study materials

Most of the key study materials for the Epidemiology modules are in the form of interactive computer sessions (on CD-ROM or downloadable online), while two modules use a printed Study Guide. Workbooks, readers, textbooks and /or additional computer software (e.g. Stata) may be provided, depending on the modules studied. Materials are also provided online where possible, via the School's online learning site Moodle. Additional resources include past examination papers and Examiners’ reports, a Student Handbook and access to the School’s online library.

Flexible study

The course allows you to study independently, at a time and pace that suits you (subject to some course-specific deadlines) using the comprehensive study materials provided, with support available from academic staff.You have between 1-5 years in which to complete the Postgraduate Certificate, and between 2-5 years in which to complete the Postgraduate Diploma or the MSc.

The study year for most modules runs from the beginning of October through to the June exams, while two modules run from the beginning of January through to assignment submission at the end of August. The project work (MSc only) is carried out in the final year, with submission at the end of September.


Support is available from teaching staff allocated to each module in the following ways:

- Facilitating discussion between students and answering student queries, using online discussion forums through the School’s online learning site Moodle

- Providing personalised feedback from teaching staff on assignments

- Holding real-time webinars in some modules

- Students undertaking a project are assigned personal supervisors.

Blended learning: taking modules in London

After successful completion of a minimum number of core modules, Postgraduate Diploma and MSc students may also be eligible for the 'blended learning option', which allows for the study of up to two modules only (from a restricted list) at the School in London during the Spring or Summer terms in place of distance learning modules. Please note that these options, and the dates when the modules are held at the School, are subject to change - full details will be sent to all distance learning students in July each year.

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

Visit the Epidemiology (Distance Learning) (MSc / PGDip / PGCert) page on the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Christine Blaser

I was looking for a university offering a part-time epidemiology program with an excellent record of research, training and public health relevance which would allow me to integrate local academia or a research centre upon completion of the degree. I had contacted the directors of two local full-time only Master programs in epidemiology that for their opinion about the reputation of the School and recognition of their diplomas. They highly recommended the school for its solid program and very qualified professors. They underlined that they would be happy to take me on as a PhD student after my Masters’ studies at the School “because at the School the students learn to think”.

My experience of studying at School was very satisfying. The program offered the intellectual challenge I was looking for. Assignments contained the right balance between simple application of textbook knowledge and thorough practice of analytical and methodological skills, including the use of statistical software. Distance learning allows the student to develop excellent planning skills and self-discipline as well as ability to prioritize tasks and overcome obstacles, all of which can be sought-after competences in the job market. The international student body as well as the exposure to the European teaching approach procured me with invaluable insights for collaborative multinational research. Since graduation I’ve had three successful job interviews during which the excellence of the School was emphasized. I chose to work as project coordinator in a university research centre documenting and harmonizing data from many international epidemiological studies.

(Student Profile)

Johan Lerbech Vinther

4365.jpg My academic background is in social science and the studies of sociology, however working within the research field of public health and epidemiology the last four years made me pursue an MSc in Epidemiology at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

The rationale for choosing the School was primarily due to the fact that it is the leading university within Public Health and Epidemiology research. I chose the MSc Epidemiology, as it combines well with Sociology, and gives me a range of methodological tools from health science, which strengthens my multi-disciplinary profile.

Most memorable from this experience at the School is the stimulating academic and social environment. The year is quite intense, but the quality and expertise given by internal and external speakers diminish this. Another aspect is the diversity within students and staff, which is an evident challenge. However awareness and respect from every party minimizes this and converts it into a vital personal and educational experience – a strength that improves the atmosphere at Keppel St, which must be attributed to the School.

After graduating at the School, I’ll return to Denmark pursuing a career within research encapsulating my areas of passion; sociology and public health, either in the private sector within consultancy or as part of a PhD.

(Student Profile)

Shameq Sayeed

4366.jpg I graduated from Oxford University in 2009, then worked as a junior doctor for 2 years. Whilst I’d begun to develop a strong clinical foundation, I felt I lacked a broader view of population and global health and the research and policy that informs and drives changes therein.

Over 2 years as a Clinical Research Fellow with INDOX and the Cancer Epidemiology Unit in Oxford, I was fortunate to be able to do a part-time MSc in Epidemiology, which has helped provide that breadth through very accessible teaching of methodology whilst considering the wider context of epidemiology and clinical research. The School has provided a stimulating environment to learn from leading academics and interact with students from across the world.

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Entry Requirements

A first or second class honours degree or equivalent, from a university or other institution acceptable to the University of London, in health-related disciplines or in statistics or another appropriate subject. Work experience in a health sciences or health care setting is desirable but not essential. Applicants with an appropriate professional or technical qualification in a health-related field, which satisfies the University as a qualification equivalent to a second class honours degree, together with at least three years’ relevant experience, may also be considered on an individual basis.

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