This is Europe’s only graduate course in reproductive health research and is designed for those interested in acquiring the research skills necessary to conduct policy-relevant research into sexual and reproductive health. It provides a non-clinical foundation in family planning, obstetric health, AIDS and sexually-transmitted infections.
This Master's course is recognized by the ESRC as providing high quality research training and a small number of ESRC scholarships (including 1+3 scholarships) are available to UK or EU residents. These are advertised each year with the School scholarships information.
The curriculum has a focus on middle- and low-income settings but also provides excellent training in the principles and methods of research for high-income countries.
Graduates go into public health and reproductive health programmes, evaluation of family planning programmes, research for governmental and non-governmental agencies and university teaching.
Prize and awards
A prize is awarded each year to the student who has submitted the best project of the year for examination.
By the end of this course students should be able to:
- demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of evidence-based approaches to research of reproductive and sexual health issues
- critically assess and apply these research approaches to inform development, health and social welfare programmes
- demonstrate a good understanding of the socio-cultural, political and ethical issues surrounding reproductive and sexual health
- identify and address appropriate research questions in reproductive and sexual health, using methods from a range of public health disciplines
- carry out research activities to identify effective components of reproductive and sexual health services within programmes
Term 1: Students take the following compulsory modules:
Basic Epidemiology Foundations in Reproductive Health Principles of Social Research Statistics for Epidemiology and Population Health
Further optional modules include:
Extended Epidemiology Health Policy, Process & Power Introduction to Health Economics Population Studies
Terms 2 and 3: Students take a total of five study modules, one from each timetable slot (Slot 1, Slot 2 etc.). One module (in Slot 4) is compulsory.
- Slot 1: Research Design & Analysis* Designing Disease Control Programmes in Developing Countries Health Care Evaluation Health Promotion Approaches and Methods Maternal & Child Nutrition Sociological Approaches to Health
- Slot 2: Family Planning Programmes* Population, Poverty and Environment* Conflict and Health Design & Analysis of Epidemiological Studies Qualitative Methodologies Statistical Methods in Epidemiology
- Slot 3:
Control of Sexually Transmitted Infections* Current Issues in Safe Motherhood & Perinatal Health* Social Epidemiology* Medical Anthropology and Public Health
- Slot 4: Sexual Health
- Slot 5:
AIDS* Analysing Survey & Population Data* Advanced Statistical Methods in Epidemiology Applying Public Health Principles in Developing Countries Proposal Development
A restricted number of modules may be taken by self-study, using electronic access teaching material.
Project Report: During the summer months (July-August), students complete a research project. Acceptable types of project are: data analysis; a project proposal; an original literature or policy review.
Students normally remain in London for the preparation of their project report. Exceptionally, and only if appropriate, part of the project period may be spent away from the School, whether in the UK or abroad. Arrangements for this must be discussed and agreed with the Course Director.
Intercalating this course
Undergraduate medical students can take a year out either to pursue related studies or work. The School welcomes applications from medical students wishing to intercalate after their third year of study from any recognised university in the world.
Why intercalate with us?: Reputation: The School has an outstanding international reputation in public health & tropical medicine and is at the forefront of global health research. It is highly rated in a number of world rankings including:
- World’s leading research-focused graduate school (Times Higher Education World Rankings, 2013) - Third in the world for social science and public health (US News Best Global Universities Ranking, 2014) - Second in UK for research impact (Research Exercise Framework 2014) - Top in Europe for impact (Leiden Ranking, 2015)
Highly recognised qualification: possessing a Master's from the School will give you a focused understanding of health and disease, broaden your career prospects and allow you to be immersed in research in a field of your choice.
Valuable skills: you will undertake an independent research project (summer project) in your chosen topic, equipping you with research skills that will distinguish you in a clinical environment. While your medical qualification will give you a breadth of knowledge; undertaking an intercalated degree will allow you to explore your main area of interest in greater depth.
Alumni network: the School has a strong international and diverse alumni community, with more than 20,000 alumni in over 180 countries.
MSc vs. BSc: undertaking an MSc is an excellent opportunity to develop in-depth specialist knowledge in your chosen topic and enhance your skills in scientific research. Postgraduate qualifications are increasingly sought after by clinicians and possessing a Masters qualification can assist you in your future career progression.