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Demography & Health (Distance Learning) (MSc / PGDip / PGCert)

Course Description

This is a unique programme that offers professional training in population studies that emphasises health and social epidemiology. It aims to provide a broad training in the theories and methods of demography and population sciences and their application to health, social welfare and economic development.


The course is designed for those interested in acquiring technical expertise in demography and understanding the interlinkages between population studies and health, including fertility, sexual behaviour, ageing, health inequalities and life expectancy.

Graduates from the course would be equipped to pursue careers in public health, academic research of a very wide nature, NGOs, reproductive health programmes, health services, government statistical offices, as well as policy and planning organisations.

Course delivery

The Demography & Health programme is delivered through provision of interactive learning materials supplied online through the School’s online learning site (Moodle), and supported by CD-ROMs, practical workbooks and textbooks (depending on the module chosen). Students are actively encouraged to participate in web-based discussion boards. Training is also provided in the use of Stata statistical software.

- Full programme specification (pdf) (http://www.londoninternational.ac.uk/sites/default/files/progspec-dh.pdf)
- Distance Learning prospectus (pdf) (http://www.londoninternational.ac.uk/sites/default/files/prospectus/lshtm-prospectus.pdf)

Visit the website http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/study/masters/distance_demography_health.html

Language Requirements

You will meet the English language requirement if you have passed, within the past three years:

- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English when a minimum overall score of B or 190 is achieved,

- (IELTS) International English Language Testing System when an overall score of at least 7.0 is achieved with a minimum of 7.0 in the Written sub-test and a minimum of 5.5 in Listening, Reading and Speaking,

- Pearson Test of English (Academic) overall score of 68 or above, with a minimum of 68 in Writing and a minimum of 59 in Listening, Reading and Speaking, or

- (TOEFL) iBT Test of English as a Foreign Language overall score of 100 or above with at least 24 in Writing, 23 in Speaking, 22 in Reading and 21 in Listening.

Study materials

After registration, study materials are sent to students in September. Access to online study materials is given from 1 October. Study materials may include online materials, subject guides, readers, textbooks, CD-ROMs/additional computer software (e.g. Stata), past examination papers and examiners’ reports, and handbooks. You also have access to the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine’s online library resources from 1 October. We also provide all students with a student registration card.

Flexible study

We know that if you have a full-time job, family or other commitments, and wish to study at a distance, you will have many calls on your time. 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 a couple of the EPM modules modules run from the beginning of January through to assignment submission at the end of August. Tutorial support is available throughout this time. Students carrying out projects are assigned personal supervisors to support their project work which is mostly carried out between June and the end of September in their final year.


- a web-based learning environment (including web conferencing, allowing you to engage in academic discussions with tutors and fellow students)

- personalised feedback from teaching staff and advice on assignments

- tutors are allocated to each module and are available to answer queries and promote discussion during the study year, through the online Virtual Learning Environment

- communicate with other distance learning students, either individually or through learning support groups

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

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

(Student Profile)

Lawrence Sacco

Before coming to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine I graduated in biomedical science and obtained some work experience in biomedical laboratory research. I became interested in the social sciences, epidemiology and the study of populations, as they are fundamental to understanding health and its wider societal implications. I chose the MSc Demography & Health program as it combined all my interests and had a thorough quantitative component, which is essential for working with social statistics and data analysis.

What I like most about the MSc Demography & Health is the quality of teaching, which covers the theoretical components of the subject, as well as the quantitative ones. Furthermore, thanks to the wide range of research experience of the lecturers on the course, and at the School, there is always the opportunity to learn more on topics related to demography, such as epidemiology, public health, anthropology and economics.

My future plans include doing a PhD on population ageing and its implications, as I have been recently offered a studentship at King’s College.

(Student Profile)

Maija-Eliina Sequeira

4363.jpg The School is just an incredible place to be – full of inspirational people and exciting new research. As well as learning a whole new set of skills, I’ve been able to attend a huge range of seminars and lectures that have really helped me to piece all of the different information and approaches together, and understand the broader context of what I’ve been learning. The variety of students in terms of their backgrounds and past experiences is great as you’re bound to learn something interesting every time you have a chat with someone new.

(Student Profile)

Richard White

4364.jpg A career is public health is a well-kept secret. You won’t hear about it at school. No-one at a career’s fair will suggest it to you. One day you’ll just stumble upon it, and wonder why it took you so long.

The obvious choices for a garish-jumper-wearing Physics graduate had left me rather uninspired. Then one sunny day in 1996, I wandered past the doors of the oddly named London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. I was intrigued by the gold mosquitoes hovering above the entrance and went in. A lecture was in full swing, so I sat down at the back (in those days there was no security). A wild-haired academic was enthralling a hundred or so students with tales from the field… tales of the vital importance… tales of pipes-to-move-poo.

I was hooked instantly. Build pipes-to-move-poo, reduce bugs, and save lives. What could be more obvious? Simple, effective, public health.

On the way out I grabbed a copy of the School’s prospectus and signed up to the first course that would have me. Medical Demography (now Demography and Health) turned out to be an excellent course to start to convert a narrow ‘hard’ scientist into a public heath researcher. It is a truly multidisciplinary subject, spanning from anthropology to mathematical modelling.

Apart from a brief foray into financial modelling in the City of London, I’ve been at LSHTM ever since. The first buzz I felt in that lecture theatre still lives with me today.

A career in academia is undeniable hard work, but it’s also great fun and hugely rewarding. Over the years at LSHTM I’ve visited dozens of countries and worked on fascinating research projects. My research has primarily been on the mathematical and statistical modelling of the transmission and control of infectious diseases. With colleagues we have launched the Centre for Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases, the TB Modelling Group, and the TB Modelling and Analysis Consortium.

The School is a great place to work. It balances academic excellence and getting that research into policy and practice. I highly recommend LSHTM as somewhere to work or study.

But wherever you find it, I hope your ‘pipes-to-move-poo’ moment hits you soon.


Entry Requirements

An undergraduate degree (e.g. bachelor) which is considered at least comparable to a UK second class honours degree, from an institution acceptable to the University, provided that the degree is in a subject appropriate to that of the course of study to be followed (suitable undergraduate degrees would include any social science, quantitative or public health topic. For example, geography, sociology, economics, political sciences, statistics, anthropology, maths, human sciences, biological sciences or similar subject); OR a registrable qualification appropriate to the course of study to be followed, in medicine, dentistry or veterinary studies.

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