M.Sc. Public Health in Developing Countries

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Application deadline: No official deadline for application - Registration in September - students are to allow 6-8 weeks for processing.
Tuition fee:
  • € 9,600 / Year (EEA)
  • € 22,680 / Year (Non-EEA)
Start date: September  2014
Duration full-time: 12 months
  • English
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Part-time, Full-time
More information: Go to university website

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This course aims to equip students with skills needed to appreciate and analyse public health problems in developing countries, and to design and evaluate actions to improve public health. The course considers issues of global health, health protection and health care provision from the perspective of a range of disciplines.

All PHDC students have substantial experience of planning or implementing public health programmes, of teaching or research in developing countries. We build on this experience throughout the year and emphasise the importance of peer-to-peer learning through student-led seminars and study groups.

Graduates from this course work in global health, health service management, in health programmes in developing countries, in international and national NGOs, and in research. In addition to MSc Public Health in Developing Countries, other MSc courses at LSHTM may be relevant and applicants should review the relevant pages of this website: 1) MSc Public Health - for those with an interest in public health in mainly high and middle income countries; 2) MSc Control of Infectious Diseases - for those with a particular interest in infectious disease control; and 3) MSc Epidemiology - for those with a special interest in epidemiology.

Course Prize

The Okeke Prize & William Simpson Prize is awarded to the best student on the course. This prize combines a gift from Dr E D Okeke, a former student from Nigeria in 1964, with money raised in 1937 to the memory of Sir William Ritchie Simpson, visiting lecturer in hygiene 1898-1923 and director of tropical hygiene at the Ross Institute from 1924 until his death in 1931.


By the end of the course students should be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of theory and practice in the core public health disciplines - epidemiology, statistics, social sciences, health policy and health economics;
  • demonstrate specialised knowledge and skills in other areas relevant to public health from a wide range of options (e.g., primary health care, medical anthropology, epidemiology and control of malaria, and population studies);
  • apply these skills to identify and assess public health problems in developing countries and evaluate actions designed to improve public health;
  • formulate public health strategies and approaches to public health problems appropriate to a given culture and environment;
  • apply appropriate research skills for evaluation and use of research findings.

Residential Field Trip

During the orientation period at the start of Term 1 students and staff go on a retreat outside London. Students develop a sense of group coherence, learn about each other's professional background and experience, and spend some social time together.

There is a second retreat after the June examinations. Students, course directors and personal tutors relax, look back over the year and complete a course evaluation.

Course Duration

Full-time for one year, or part-time or split study over two years. Part-time students are expected to attend the School at least two days each week and should discuss this with the Course Director if offered a place.

Alternatively, students taking the course by split study over two years attend full-time for part of Year 1, and then undertake the remainder of their course in Year 2. The split can occur anytime between the Christmas break and the end of the formal teaching in May, by prior arrangement with the Course Director. Paper 1 may be taken at the end of Year 1 or at the end of Year 2. Paper 2 must be taken at the end of Year 2. Interested applicants should indicate their choice on the application form.

* Split study fees are calculated pro rata for the periods of attendance only. For example, students who've chosen a Term 1 split date will be charged approximately 12 weeks fees (at the Year 1 fee rate) for their first year of study, and approximately 38 weeks fees (at the Year 2 full-time fee rate) for their second year of studies.


There are three components of the assessment for the MSc: examinations, module assessments and a summer project.

1. Examinations (60 credits)

In term 1 students take five compulsory modules. Students' understanding of the material is assessed in the summer examinations in Paper 1. The term 1 modules are also assessed formatively during the course of the term and feedback is given to students so they can learn from their work. The marks for formative assessment do not contribute to the students final mark for the MSc.

All students on MSc PHDC also sit Paper 2 which brings together material from all the taught modules and examines students' overall understanding of Public Health in Developing Countries.

2. Module Assessment (75 credits)

In terms 2 and 3 students take five modules. The assessment of each module is designed by the module organiser and varies between modules. It may be writing a research proposal, investigating a disease outbreak, an MCQ, designing an academic poster and analysing a dataset.

3. Summer Projects (45 credits)

Each student is required to complete a summer project of up to 10,000 words. The project can take the form of a literature review, analysis of a dataset, 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 and can review each chapter of the project once only.


Applicants must normally satisfy LSHTM’s general entrance requirements and additional programme specific entrance requirements to be considered for admission. Applications must be submitted in accordance with the procedures and deadlines given in the web-based or printed prospectus.

The normal minimum entrance qualification for registration is at least a second-class Honours degree of a UK university, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, or a registerable qualification in medicine, dentistry or veterinary studies appropriate to the programme.

Applications with an appropriate technical qualification, or equivalent qualification and experience from overseas, are also welcomed.

Additionally for the MSc Public Health in Developing Countries successful candidates are expected to have lived in a developing country and worked in activities related to public health for a minimum of two years.

Any prospective student who does not meet the above minimum entry requirement, but who has relevant professional experience, may still be eligible for admission. Qualifications and experience will be assessed from the application.


To find out the latest funding opportunities for this course, please visit http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/study/funding/index.html



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).

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