Health in Humanitarian Crises
MSc, PGDip and PGCert
Available to study anywhere in the world
This programme will provide you with the knowledge and skills to improve the health of populations, communities and particular groups which are affected by humanitarian crises.
The MSc, PGDip and PGCert are suited to recent graduates who wish to pursue an advanced degree and current in-service professionals looking to keep their expertise up-to-date in this fast-evolving field.
As a graduate of this programme, you will:
- develop your knowledge and understanding of the core disciplines in public health
- be able to understand key issues of public health in humanitarian crises
- develop independent critical and evaluative skills that can be used to apply well-founded scientific and ethical judgements
- gain a broad understanding of project design and management in humanitarian crises.
Programme structure, modules and specification
The MSc consists of 8 modules plus a project.
The PGDip consists of 8 modules.
The PGCert consists of 4 modules.
This programme has one intake date per year: October.
How you study
The programme is offered online and is fully supported by a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). You study at a time and pace that suits you (subject to certain deadlines), using the study materials provided and with support available from academic staff.
Your study materials may include subject guides, textbooks, past examination papers, and handbooks.
All of your study materials are made available in October.
When you register, we will give you access to your University of London Student Portal. You can then access your University of London email account and other key resources:
- The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) enables access to course materials, resources, and forums to discuss course material and work collaboratively with others. Tutors are available to answer queries and promote discussion during the study year through the VLE.
- The LSHTM library resources
- The Online Library provides access to over 100 million academic electronic items comprising E-books, E-journals, conference proceedings, etc. In addition, students can request items which are not held in the library via the library's Inter-Library loans service with the British Library.
- Senate House Library provides free reference access for all registered distance and flexible learning students.
Teaching staff facilitate and moderate online discussions, respond to academic enquiries, and provide personalised written feedback and advice on assignments.
We are committed to delivering an exceptional student experience for all of our students, regardless of which of our programmes you are studying and whether you are studying independently or with a Recognised Teaching Centre.
You will have access to support through:
- The Student Advice Centre – provides support for application and Student Portal queries.
- TalkCampus – a peer support service that offers a safe and confidential way to talk about whatever is on your mind at any time of day or night.
You should expect to study for 15-25 hours per week throughout the study year if you wish to complete your qualification in the minimum time allowed (one year for the Postgraduate Certificate, two years for the Postgraduate Diploma or MSc). Most students take between three and five years to complete the MSc.
This varies from module to module but will include a combination of unseen written examinations and written assignments. More details can be found on course pages.
Exams are held in June each year. You can sit exams at an approved centre anywhere in the world (mainly Ministries of Education or the British Council). Each centre charges a fee for hosting exams.
What qualifications do you need?
For entry to the programme, you will need either:
- the equivalent of a UK first or second-class honours degree in a relevant subject from an acceptable institution.
- or, an appropriate professional or technical qualification, plus three years' relevant experience.
Find equivalent qualifications where you live.
If you do not meet the above standard requirements, we can still consider your application on the basis of your qualifications and experience. In these instances, once you apply online, we will contact you with a request for two references to support your application before referring on for academic consideration.
English Language requirements
You need a high standard of English to study this programme. You will meet our language requirements if you have achieved one of the following within the past three years:
- IELTS: 7.0 overall, with 6.5 in the written test and 5.5 in listening, reading and speaking.
- TOEFL iBT: 100 overall, with 24+ in writing, 23+ in speaking, 22+ in reading and 21+ in listening.
- Pearson Test (Academic): 68 overall, with 62+ in writing and 59+ in listening, reading and speaking.
- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English: 185 overall, with 176+ in writing and 169+ in listening.
- Duolingo: must achieve an overall score of at least 130.
Alternatively, you may satisfy the language requirements if you have at least 18 months of education or work experience conducted in English.
If you do not meet these requirements but believe you can meet the standard, we may also consider your application.
We set minimum basic computer requirements because your study resources are accessed via the Student Portal and it is vital that you can access this regularly.
View the Programme specification to see the computer requirements for this programme.
Early payment fee reduction
An early payment fee reduction of 5 per cent (up to £840 for a full MSc) is available on any distance learning programme offered by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, if paid in full before 31 July for the academic year 2023/24.
For fees paid in full between 1 and 31 July, the application fee will be reimbursed where applicable. Terms and conditions apply.
The programme fees below refer to the 2023–2024 session only and are effective from 1 December 2022. These may be increased by up to 5 per cent per year.
Disclaimer: Currency conversion tool.
*The indicative totals include the application fee, all module and continuation fees payable to the University of London for the duration of your study, as well as online tutor support. This fee does not include applications for Recognition of Prior Learning, local exam centre fees and fees payable to University of London Recognised Teaching Centres.
You will also need to budget for exam centre fees, which are paid directly to the venues where you sit your exams.
Please note: all student fees shown are net of any local VAT, Goods and Services Tax (GST) or any other sales tax payable by the student in their country of residence. Where the University is required to add VAT, GST or any other sales tax at the local statutory rate, this will be added to the fees shown during the payment process. For students resident in the UK, our fees are exempt from VAT.
Further information on Sales Tax
Your payment provider may apply additional transaction fees (if in doubt, please check with them before making a payment).
Further information about fee payment options can be found in the “How to pay your fees” link above.
Early payment fee reduction
An early payment fee reduction of 5% (up to £840 for a full MSc) is available on any distance learning programme offered by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, if paid in full before 30th June for the academic year 2023/24.
For fees paid in full between 1 and 31July, the application fee will be reimbursed where applicable. Terms and conditions apply.
This programme will suit practitioners, policy-makers or researchers who wish to deepen their understanding of humanitarian issues and increase their potential for career development in public health.
Successful students will have have enhanced career prospects within the health professions. If you complete the MSc, it may enable you to progress for further study in the health field.
"The programme is a unique course for both newcomers wishing to enter this field, and experienced staff looking for opportunities to extend their skills."
Professor Francesco Checchi
In some countries, qualifications earned by distance and flexible learning may not be recognised by certain authorities or regulators for the purposes of public sector employment or further study. We advise you to explore the local recognition status before you register, even if you plan to receive support from a local teaching institution.
The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) has an international presence, and is renowned for its research, postgraduate studies and continuing education in public and global health. It was crowned University of the Year in 2016 by Times Higher Education for its extraordinary response to the Ebola crisis.
LSHTM perform strongly in various global university league tables. In the Shanghai Ranking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2022 LSHTM was placed 3rd in public health (1st in the UK). In the 2022 CWTS Leiden Ranking LSHTM is ranked the UK’s top university for the proportion of academic research with women listed as authors. Our global partnerships are also recognised, with LSHTM placed first position in the UK and 10th in the world for the proportion of our research which includes international collaboration.
Professor Francesco Checchi, Programme Director, is an epidemiologist whose main expertise is quantitative public health measurement and disease control in crisis settings.
Francesco has diverse experience in research, policy formulation and operational programme delivery in difficult and insecure settings. He has done work on malaria, human African trypanosomiasis, tuberculosis, cholera, Ebola, acute malnutrition, vaccines, and COVID-19.
Francesco’s key area of research falls around improving public health information availability and use in ongoing crises worldwide. Since 2020 his recent research has been around COVID-19 with a focus on low-income countries and humanitarian responses.
Dr Bhargavi Rao, Co-Programme Director, is a public health clinician with a PhD in infectious disease epidemiology. Her previous work experience focused on leading the Emerging and Infectious Diseases portfolio, dividing his time between COVID-19, malaria and other infectious diseases outbreaks.
Bhargavi is now developing a programme of research on malaria and infectious disease control in public health crises and complex emergencies, with a particular interest in community-level interventions, as well as investigating early-warning systems and resilience.
Dr Neha Singh, Co-Programme Director, conducts interdisciplinary health policy and systems research, aiming to improve the design, prioritisation, affordability and availability of essential health services for vulnerable populations in humanitarian crises and under-resourced settings.
Neha spends her time between academic research and technical support to humanitarian health actors, including UN agencies and NGOs, at local, national and global levels. Her research includes a range of studies focused on health policy and systems research to improve women's, children's and adolescent health in under-resourced and humanitarian crises settings.
Funding your study
Without the cost of moving to London, studying for your University of London degree anywhere in the world represents excellent value for money. However, there are additional sources of support depending on where you live and how you choose to study.
Can I get sponsored?
If you are employed, your employer may be willing to cover part/all of the programme fee if you can make a compelling case as to how this programme will boost your contribution to the workplace.
Our courses are ideal for employers because they get to retain you as an employee and benefit from your learning from the moment you begin.
Free online courses
Free online courses
The School offers several free online courses on a wide range of health topics. These provide a great insight into the independent learning experience.
See a full list (LSHTM website)
The School holds regular open days in London. You can come and meet staff and students and receive a tour of the School.
Find the next open day (LSTHM website)