MSc Public Health
With this master's programme, developed by the academics at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), you can acquire new knowledge and skills and learn to apply them to address diverse public health issues in low, middle and high income settings.
Broaden your knowledge or specialise
Study a general public health degree or specialise in one of four streams: Environment & Health, Health Economics, Health Promotion or Health Services Management.
Boost your career prospects
Gain the essential skills you need to make a real difference to the health of individuals and communities. Launch or advance your career in public health, or lay a foundation for future research.
Learn from leading experts
The curriculum and study materials have been developed by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), an institution at the forefront of global health for over 120 years – from pioneering work on vaccines to making the first link between smoking and lung cancer.
A mark of excellence
Earn a degree that is valued across the globe and will help you pursue sought-after careers in health-related fields. The University of London has been a trusted provider of distance and flexible learning for over 160 years and is a reputable name to attach to your qualification.
Fit your studies around your life
Study independently around your commitments from anywhere in the world. Enhance your professional experience with a prestigious qualification no matter where you are based and without putting your career on hold while you study.
The programme is available to be studied as a full master’s degree, a Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) or a Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert).
You complete either 14 modules, or 11 modules plus a project report for the MSc:
- Five compulsory modules.
- One further PHM1 module.
- Either eight further modules (at least four from PHM2)
- Or five further modules (at least one from PHM2) plus a project report.
A specialist stream:
- Five compulsory modules.
- One further PHM1 module.
- One compulsory PHM2 module
- Either seven further modules (at least three from PHM2).
- Or four further modules (at least three from PHM2) plus a project report.
You complete 10 modules for the PGDip:
- Four compulsory modules.
- Two further PHM1 modules.
- Four elective modules (at least two from PHM2)
You complete six modules for the PGCert:
- Four compulsory modules
- Two further PHM1 modules.
Individual modules: Study our modules individually to update your knowledge or to sample the programme.
The Programme Specification and Programme Regulations contain information and rules regarding what courses you can choose and the order in which they must be studied.
To gain an MSc with a particular stream, you must complete the relevant compulsory modules for that stream - See the Specialist subject streams below.
Compulsory core modules
Additional PHM1 core modules
Elective modules from group EPM2
Elective modules from group GHM2
Elective modules from group IDM2
Elective modules from group IDM3
Project Report (Msc only)
To gain an MSc with a particular stream, you must complete the relevant compulsory modules for that stream.
These are marked C in the table below. Modules marked R are recommended for that stream. A module marked O is optional.
Available streams: EH: Environment & Health, HP: Health Promotion, HSM: Health Services, Management, Gen: General, HE: Health Economics streams.
|Compulsory core modules||EH||HP||HSM||Gen||HE|
|Basic statistics for public health and policy||C||C||C||C||C|
|Introduction to health economics||C||C||C||C||C|
|Principles of social research||C||C||C||C||C|
|Additional PHM1 core modules||E&H||HP||HSM||Gen||HE|
|Issues in public health||R||O||O||C||R|
|Environment, health and sustainable development||C||O||O||O||R|
|Foundations for health promotion (formerly Health promotion theory)||O||C||O||O||R|
|Health policy, process and power||O||R||R||R||R|
|Analytical models for decision making||O||O||R||O||O|
|Applied communicable disease control||R||R||O||R||O|
|Conflict and Health||O||R||O||R||O|
|Economic analysis for health policy||O||O||R||O||C|
|Evaluation of Public Health Interventions||O||R||R||R||O|
|Environmental health policy||C||R||O||R||O|
|Health care evaluation||O||R||R||R||O|
|History and health||R||R||O||R||O|
|Globalisation and health||R||R||O||R||O|
|Managing health services||O||O||R||O||O|
|Medical anthropology in public health||R||R||O||O||O|
|Principles and practice of health promotion||R||C||O||R||O|
The degree is offered online and students are fully supported through 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 are primarily provided online via the VLE. Each module is supported by a package of materials which may include a guide to studying the module, a reading list detailing essential and additional reading with links to papers; on-line books; an e-book; screencasts/lecture recordings and additional computer software (e.g. Stata).
The majority 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). Here you can access the majority (in most cases all) your study materials and forums to discuss module materials.
- The LSHTM library resources
- The Online Library. As a student at the University of London, you will have access to a range of resources, databases, and journals via the Online Library. You will be able to contact a team of professional and qualified librarians for any help you require.
- The LSHTM library resources
Senate House Library
If you’re based in the United Kingdom, or are visiting London, make sure to visit Senate House Library. Students studying with the University of London can join the library free of charge. Membership includes a 10-book borrowing allowance, access to all reading rooms and study areas, and on-site access to Senate House Library digital resources.
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.
LSHTM also offers students a range of support and guidance. Further details can be found in the Programme Specification.
PHM1 modules equate to 100 study hours, PHM2 modules equate to 150 study hours and the project report equates to approximately 450 study hours. Students are encouraged to study at a steady pace throughout the academic year. Completing your award (in the minimum amount of time (one year for the Postgraduate Certificate, or two years for the Postgraduate Diploma or MSc) will require an average of 15-25 hours of study per week. However, most students take study at a slightly slower pace and 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 within the Module Specification documents.
If assessment for a module includes an exam, this will take place in June. 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.
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.
The Faculty of Public Health and Policy has around 150 staff, carrying out research in environmental factors, health policy, health promotion, and health services. In addition to the main activities in research and teaching, faculty members provide advice, consultancy and information on a wide range of public health and health care policy issues.
Dr Ros Plowman is Programme Director of the online MSc Public Health. Her research interests include the economics of infection and the costs and benefits of selected infection control activities.
Dr Marcus Keogh-Brown is Deputy Course Director of the online MSc Public Health. His current research interests involve the use and development of macroeconomic models in a health context.
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.
The School holds regular open days in London. You can come and meet staff and students and receive a tour of the School.
|Programme starts||October 2023|
What qualifications do you need?
For entry to the programme, you will need:
- a minimum of one year's relevant work experience; and
- a first- or second-class honours degree or the equivalent, in a subject appropriate to the course, from a university or other institution acceptable to the University of London.
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.
Fees, funding and payment
The fees below relate to new students registering for the 2023-2024 session. On average, fees are subject to a five per cent year-on-year increase.
Students who registered earlier can view their fees on the Course Fees page.
|Application fee (non-refundable)||£107|
|The application fee (non-refundable) is payable when you make your application for an MSc, PGDip or PGCert. If your application is successful, you will receive an offer inviting you to register. The application fee is separate to other fees listed. There is no application fee for our Individual modules taken on a standalone basis.|
|Full programme fee 2023-2024|
|Pay as you go|
|Final Project (MSc only)||£2610|
|Individual modules (Standalone)|
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.
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.
Your payment provider may apply additional transaction fees (if in doubt, please check with them before making a payment).
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.
The degree will be relevant for those wishing to increase their potential for career development in public health. Many of our graduates work in research, in ministries of health or other health or development related organisations.
"The MSc in Public Health got me into the habit of approaching any problem from a wider angle. I now always look for all possible influence factors. Public health requires critical thinking to identify the core problems and creativity across all disciplines to solve them. And that is useful everywhere."
Dr Sven Jungmann, Germany
In most countries, University of London online learning awards are recognised as equivalent to face-to-face awards which were studied at UK Level 7. However, we advise you to explore local recognition status before you register, as there are some countries where certain authorities or regulators may not recognise them for the purposes of public sector employment or further study.
You’ll have access to a wide range of careers and employability support through the University of London Careers Service, including live webinars and online drop-in sessions.
Tailored support for careers in the refugee and humanitarian fields is available through regular programme events, webinars and careers resources.
“The distance learning degree allows for staggering tuition payments per module, offering flexibility within the allotted time for course completion.”