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Course content

Social inequalities in health relating to poverty and absolute and relative deprivation are major themes in research and policy debates in both developed and developing countries. This unique MSc is designed to respond to the need for trained researchers, health professionals and policymakers in the field of social epidemiology.

About this degree

Students gain knowledge of the various approaches to social epidemiology, and develop relevant skills in study design and data analysis, exploring the link between social environment and health, alongside a broad perspective on the social determinants of health and an ability to advocate research and policy measures in the field.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of seven compulsory modules (105 credits), one optional module (15 credits) and a research project (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma, seven core modules (105 credits), one optional module (15 credits), full-time nine months, part-time two years or flexible-time up to 5 years is offered.

Core modules

  • Social Epidemiology: Dimensions of Inequality
  • Basic Statistics for Medical Sciences
  • Epidemiology
  • The Social Determinants of Global Health
  • Regression
  • Research Methods for Social Epidemiology
  • Health Inequalities over the Lifecourse

Optional modules

Students choose either Advanced Statistical Modelling or any relevant subject module within UCL 

Dissertation/report

All MSc students undertake an independent research project relevant to the broad area of social influences on health, which culminates in a dissertation of a maximum of 15,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through lectures, seminars, problem-solving exercises, discussions, and supervised practical work. Students are encouraged to develop research and presentation skills, and are instructed in the preparation of scientific papers. Assessment is through coursework, essays, presentations, data analysis and grant proposal exercises, and the dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Health and Society: Social Epidemiology MSc

Careers

The next generation of social epidemiologists, public health policy-makers and PhD students/researchers will find this innovative 12-month programme beneficial.

First destinations for graduates of the programme include governmental departments, the NHS, universities and research institutions. Some graduates continue their training as PhD students.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • PhD in Genomic Medicine and Statistics, University of Oxford
  • Analyst, CIHI (Canadian Institute for Health Information)
  • Lecturer, Hanoi School of Public Health
  • Research Associate, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
  • Epidemiology Consultant, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL is one of the world's pioneering universities with a reputation for high-quality research. Located in the heart of London it is a stimulating and exciting environment in which to study.

Epidemiology and Public Health is a friendly, thriving multidisciplinary department. Staff, specialising in epidemiology, medicine, biology, dentistry, economics, psychology, public health, statistics and sociology, aim to develop a better understanding of health and prevention of ill health through vigorous research at a global, national and local level.

This knowledge is applied via teaching, contributions to national and international health policy and contributions to the wider public understanding of health.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care

81% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.


Visit the Health and Society: Social Epidemiology (MSc/PGDip) page on the University College London website for more details!

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