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Health and Society: Social Epidemiology - MSc/PGDip

Course Description

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 policy makers in the field of Social Epidemiology.

Degree information

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
-The Social Determinants of Global Health
-Research Methods for Social Epidemiology
-Health Inequalities over the Lifecourse

Optional modules - students choose either one of the two following options:
-Ethnicity, Migration and Health
-Advanced Statistical Modelling
-Or any relevant subject module within UCL

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.


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. Many graduates continue their training as PhD students.

Top career destinations for this degree:
-Public Health Officer, Centre for Disease Control and Prevention
-PhD Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge
-Epidemiology Consultant, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
-Research Associate, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
-Analyst, CIHI (Canadian Institute for Health Information)

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.

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

Student Profiles

Entry Requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard is required. Applicants must be confident using computers and show evidence of numeracy (e.g. O level/GCSE Mathematics or Statistics or a module with a good mark in their degree).

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