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Public Health for Development (MSc)

Course Description

(Previously known as MSc Public Health in Developing Countries) This course equips students with skills needed to appreciate and analyse the state of public health in low- and middle-income countries and to design and evaluate actions to address public health concerns. We consider public health and the provision of health services from a multidisciplinary perspective.

Students on the MSc Public Health for Development have substantial experience planning or implementing public health programmes, of teaching or public-health-related research, based in a low- or middle-income country and wish to hone their critical professional skills. We complement formal teaching with peer learning that builds on this professional experience and frames knowledge of public health within a development context.

Students develop public health research skills including statistics and epidemiology, and build on these to tailor a course to suit their professional needs. In the summer, students undertake a supervised research project which focuses on a Public Health question in a low- or middle-income country.

- Programme specification (pdf) (http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/edu/qualityassurance/phdc_progspec.pdf)

This course is accredited by the Agency for Accreditation of Public Health Education in the European Region (APHEA) which is the accreditation body of the Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region (ASPHER).

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


By the end of the programme, students will able to:

- articulate a critical understanding of a range of topics related to public health in low- and middle-income settings;

- apply public health research skills to examine critically a range of public health questions;

- evaluate actions designed to improve public health;

- formulate evidence-based and appropriate strategies to control health problems and promote health;

- frame their knowledge of public health within a development context.


Term 1:
Students take the following compulsory modules, which are assessed formatively during the term and form the basis of one of the final exam papers in the summer:

- Extended Epidemiology
- Health Policy, Process & Power
- Introduction to Health Economics
- Principles of Social Research
- Statistics for Epidemiology and Population Health

Terms 2 and 3:
Students take five modules in terms 2 and 3, working with personal tutors to identify a pathway through the course which best serves their career. They may choose to develop research skills in statistics and epidemiology; qualitative methods; health policy; or health economics. They may also choose to develop a specialist public health focus such as: vector control; maternal and newborn health; sexual and reproductive health; or water, sanitation and health.

Most students take the unifying module Applying Public Health Principles in Developing Countries in Term 3. This module builds on the learning from Terms 1 and 2 so students apply public health disciplines to review evidence, produce policy recommendations, develop strategic public health programme plans and conduct strategic reviews.

Details of recommended modules for MSc Public Health for Development students (http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/study/currentstudents/studentinformation/msc_module_handbook/section2_coursedescriptions/tphd.html)

Field Trip:
There is a compulsory residential field trip at a cost of £200.

All students take two examinations in the summer, one to assess understanding of the material covered in Term 1 and the other to assess their overall understanding of Public Health for Development.

Project Report:
During the summer months (July - August), students draw on all their academic skills by undertaking a project on a subject of importance to public health in a low- or middle-income country, for submission by early September. The project can take the form of a literature review, analysis of a data set, a policy report or a study protocol. The project is an independent piece of work, but students have contact with their supervisors who guide them in this work.

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

Visit the Public Health for Development (MSc) page on the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Israel Balogun

I am a physically challenged medical doctor from Nigeria and the first Chevening scholar with a disability from my country. I was attracted to the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine because of the impact of its work globally, the International Centre for Evidence in Disability (ICED) and the recommendation from Professor Sally Hartley, an Emeritus Professor of the School.

One of the most exciting things about the School is the level of intellectual exposure and support that I received from leading experts in the various fields of public health. I remember the honour of being taught and listening to the likes of Professor Oona Campbell, Brian Greenwood, Allen Foster and our Director, Professor Peter Piot; it was an amazing feat for me.

I also enjoyed the opportunity of meeting students from all over the world; sharing ideas; making friends; learning best practices and solving problems at various forums; and networking together. This level of exposure is what I craved when I came to the School.
What I have learnt during the disability and health module is of tremendous value to me. I thought I knew something about disability until I was taken through the rudiments of research and teachings at the ICED led by Professor Allen Foster and Dr Hannah Kuper. For me, I am fulfilled in my quest for knowledge, my research skills, attitude towards work, team spirit and intellectual engagement have been further developed towards understanding global issues in the field of disability and rehabilitation. I hope to pursue a PhD programme in the nearest future with emphasis on universal access of health services for persons with disabilities in Sub-Saharan Africa.

(Student Profile)

Annette Imohe

4373.jpg I am a medical doctor from Nigeria with some experience working in implementing HIV projects in my country. My decision to study at the School was based on the reputation of the School as a world-class leader the field of public health. Choosing Public Health in Developing Countries was an easy choice for me as I live and work in a developing country so the choice of a course specifically tailored to meet my interests was great. My time at the school has been amazing with new things to learn every step of the way. I particularly loved the opportunity of peer-to-peer learning afforded by the school as the students have such a diverse wealth of experience. The support from the staff was also very helpful as at every point in time there is always someone to guide you on the right track. The degree has helped me identify how I can fill the gaps in public health programs in my country with the hope of improving health.

(Student Profile)

Dawn Taylor

4374.jpeg After a decade of working as a water and sanitation engineer in the field, with Medécins Sans Frontières, the prospect of studying at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine was both exciting and daunting. But from the very start, the warm and welcoming environment put me at ease. The inspiration and encouragement from staff and my fellow MSc Public Health in Developing Countries students has resulted in one of my most enjoyable and rewarding learning experiences. The expertise at the School is within easy reach not only in taught modules but also through the eminent speakers at the array of extra-curricular lectures and events. This year has certainly broadened my global health horizons and I look forward to exploring new ones – as a researcher!

(Student Profile)

Tamuno-Wari Numbere

4375.jpg Having worked as a medical doctor in a primary health care setting for a few years, I realised that I needed essential skills to tackle various public health issues. The School has given me the opportunity to learn and acquire these skills in a multicultural and friendly environment, gain from the wealth of experiences of my colleagues and develop an in-depth understanding of the fundamentals of public health with the help of my tutors. I can confidently say that I have had the experience of a lifetime!


Entry Requirements

The normal minimum entrance qualification for registration at the School on a Master's programme is at least one of the following: a second-class honours degree of a UK university, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, in a subject appropriate to that of the course of study to be followed; OR a registrable qualification appropriate to the course of study to be followed, in medicine, dentistry or veterinary studies. Applications with an appropriate technical qualification, or equivalent qualification and experience from overseas, are also welcomed.

Last Updated

17 February 2017

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