These programmes provide epidemiological training for professionals in academic departments, research units, or in the health services.
Epidemiology is the key discipline underlying medical research, public health practice and health care evaluation. The understanding of its principles and practice is crucial for those involved in the design or assessment of epidemiological studies and programme evaluation. Epidemiological methods are also used to describe the size and nature of health problems, to investigate the aetiology of specific diseases, and to evaluate the impact of interventions for treating and preventing ill health.
These programmes provide epidemiology training for professionals in academic departments, research modules or in the health services. They are suitable for those aiming for a career in epidemiology research, academics in other health areas and other health professionals. The programmes are also of interest to people who require an understanding of epidemiology, such as medical journalists and scientific officers in government and industry.
The aims and learning outcomes are detailed in the programme specification.
- Video: Why study epidemiology?
Free sessions from the programme
- EPM101 taster session This 10-minute taster session is taken from EPM101 Fundamentals of Epidemiology, the first core module of this Distance Learning Epidemiology course. It will introduce you to some epidemiological ideas and invite you to answer some of the questions that faced John Snow when he investigated the 1848 London cholera epidemic.
- EPM307 session on Cancer Epidemiology This 2-3 hour session is part of our Distance Learning Epidemiology module on the Global Epidemiology of Non-Communicable Diseases. The session was jointly developed by the School and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). The session covers how data about cancer are collected and used, how secular and geographic variations in cancer burden can be interpreted, the most common risk factors associated with cancer globally, and how cancer can be prevented and controlled. Note that this session includes video clips and may take a few minutes to open.
CourseYou studyStudy period
Master's: 9 modules + a compulsory project report and a qualifying examination paper: 2-5 years
Postgraduate Diploma: 8 modules: 2-5 years
Postgraduate Certificate: 4 modules: 1-5 years
Individual modules: Studying individual modules is an ideal option if you wish to update your professional knowledge or sample the programme.
Application deadline for the PG Cert, PG Dip and MSc: 31 August
Application deadline for individual modules: 31 August
Registration deadline for PG Cert, PG Dip and MSc (including module EPM301 and the project): 30 September
Registration deadline for individual modules: 31 October
Start of the course: October
Examinations (take place the following year after registration): June
Epidemiology by Distance Learning
MSc Epidemiology graduate Leonard Valenzuela talks about his experience studying by distance learning with the School.
Youtube link Watch the video on Youtube Image Citation Christine Blaser, Canada Quote
"Since graduation I've had three successful job interviews during which the excellence of the School was emphasized."
- Postgraduate Certificate: 4 compulsory core modules
- Postgraduate Diploma: 8 modules (4 compulsory modules + 4 elective modules)
- MSc: 9 modules (4 compulsory modules + 5 elective modules) + compulsory project report and a qualifying examination paper
For the Diploma: Both modules must be chosen from EPM3; at least one of the elective modules must be chosen from either EPM301 or EPM307.
For the MSc: At least two modules must be taken from selection group EPM3, one of which must be either EPM301 or EPM307. The remaining module can be chosen from other EPM3 modules, or from the selection groups listed below. Plus compulsory Project report [EPM500] and a qualifying examination paper [EPM400] (MSc only).
Our Epidemiology diagrams show suggested schedules for completing the programmes within different time frames.
- Click here for module specifications
The Certificate comprises the 4 core modules which are also common to the Diploma and MSc courses:
- EPM101 Fundamentals of epidemiology
- EPM102 Statistics with computing
- EPM103 Practical epidemiology
- EPM105 Writing and reviewing epidemiological papers
After successfully completing the core modules, those registered for the Postgraduate Diploma and MSc must successfully pass a required number of elective modules to complete the award.
To complete the Postgraduate Diploma, 4 elective modules (in addition to the 4 core modules) must be studied. At least 2 of these must be the two compulsory EPM2 modules listed below:
- EPM201 Study Design: Writing a Grant Application
- EPM202 Statistical Methods in Epidemiology
and then two modules from the EPM3 list given below (one of these must be either Epidemiology of Communicable Diseases or Epidemiology of Non-communicable Diseases).
Master's Degree (MSc)
Those registered for the MSc must additionally select another one module from those listed below (EPM3, CTM2, IDM2, IDM3, IDM5 or PHM2). They are also required to complete a project report and sit an additional unseen written examination in their final year of study.
Note that restrictions and pre-requisites may apply to some of the modules below. Not all modules will be available every year. Those marked 'recommended' have been classified as of high epidemiological content / relevance.
EPM3 (all recommended):
- EPM301 Epidemiology of Communicable Diseases
- EPM302 Modelling and the Dynamics of Infectious Diseases
- EPM304 Advanced Statistical Methods in Epidemiology
- EPM306 Human Genetic Epidemiology (only available to those re-registering to complete or resit the module in 2016/17)
- EPM307 Global Epidemiology of Non-Communicable Diseases
- CTM202 Trial Designs (recommended)
- CTM203 Project Management and Research Co-ordination
- CTM204 Regulatory affairs, Good Clinical Practice and Ethics
- CTM208 Further Statistics for Clinical Trials
- CTM209 Cluster Randomised Trials (recommended)
- IDM201 Bacterial Infections
- IDM202 Nutrition & Infection
- IDM203 Parasitology
- IDM205 Healthcare-Associated Infection
- IDM213 Immunology of Infection and Vaccines
- IDM215 Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
- IDM301 Epidemiology & Control of Infectious Diseases in Developing Countries (recommended)
- IDM501 HIV/AIDS
- IDM502 Tuberculosis
- IDM503 Malaria
- PHM201 Analytical Models for Decision Making
- PHM203 Economic Analysis for Management & Policy
- PHM204 Economic Evaluation
- PHM205 Environmental Epidemiology (recommended)
- PHM206 Environmental Health Policy
- PHM207 Health Care Evaluation
- PHM209 Globalisation and Health
- PHM211 Medical Anthropology in Public Health
- PHM213 Principles & Practice of Health Promotion
- PHM214 Conflict and Health
- PHM215 History and Health
- PHM216 Sexual Health
- EPM500 Project Specification
The compulsory project report (MSc only) will consist of either the analysis of an existing data-set or a critical literature review.
How you study
Most of the key study materials for the Epidemiology modules are in the form of interactive computer sessions (on CD-ROM or downloadable online), while two modules use a printed Study Guide. Workbooks, readers, textbooks and /or additional computer software (e.g. Stata) may be provided, depending on the modules studied. Materials are also provided online where possible, via the School's online learning site Moodle. Additional resources include past examination papers and Examiners' reports, a Student Handbook and access to the School's online library.
Please take a look below for examples of our interactive learning material.
EPM101 taster session
This 10-minute taster session is taken from EPM101 Fundamentals of Epidemiology, the first core module of this Distance Learning Epidemiology course. It will introduce you to some epidemiological ideas and invite you to answer some of the questions that faced John Snow when he investigated the 1848 London cholera epidemic.
EPM307 session on Cancer Epidemiology
This 2-3 hour session is part of our Distance Learning Epidemiology module on the Global Epidemiology of Non-Communicable Diseases. The session was jointly developed by the School and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). The session covers how data about cancer are collected and used, how secular and geographic variations in cancer burden can be interpreted, the most common risk factors associated with cancer globally, and how cancer can be prevented and controlled.
Note that this session includes video clips and may take a few minutes to open.
The course allows you to study independently, at a time and pace that suits you (subject to some course-specific deadlines) using the comprehensive study materials provided, with support available from academic staff.You have between 1-5 years in which to complete the Postgraduate Certificate, and between 2-5 years in which to complete the Postgraduate Diploma or the MSc.
The study year for most modules runs from the beginning of October through to the June exams, while two modules run from the beginning of January through to assignment submission at the end of August. The project work (MSc only) is carried out in the final year, with submission at the end of September.
Support is available from teaching staff allocated to each module in the following ways:
- Facilitating discussion between students and answering student queries, using online discussion forums through the School's online learning site Moodle
- Providing personalised feedback from teaching staff on assignments
- Holding real-time webinars in some modules
- Students undertaking a project are assigned personal supervisors.
Blended learning: taking modules in London
After successful completion of a minimum number of core modules, Postgraduate Diploma and MSc students may also be eligible for the blended learning option, which allows for the study of up to two modules only (from a restricted list) at the School in London during the Spring or Summer terms in place of distance learning modules. Please note that these options, and the dates when the modules are held at the School, are subject to change - full details will be sent to all distance learning students in July each year.
How to apply
The School's distance learning programmes are run in collaboration with the University of London International Programmes. For the distance learning courses applications must be made online to the University of London International Programmes.
Need help with completing your application online? Please check the "How to Apply" section of the University of London website.
If you have any enquiries, please submit your questions online to the University of London International Programmes. Alternatively, please contact:
Student Advice Centre, University of London, Stewart House, 32 Russell Square, London,
WC1B 5DN, UK.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7862 8360/8361/8362
Method of assessment
Assessment varies from module to module but will include a combination of unseen written examinations and written assignments. Details are given in the module specifications.
Examinations take place once a year in June (please note: it is not possible to hold examinations at other times of year). These are normally held in a student's country of residence. We have examination centres in over 180 countries worldwide (for details please visit the assessment and examinations section).
Examinations are arranged mainly through Ministries of Education or the British Council. Students taking examinations will need to pay a fee to their local examination centre. Please note that if you fail an examination at the first entry you will be allowed one further attempt.
Credits will be awarded to all modules (15 credits each) and (MSc only) the project (45 credits) successfully completed. To successfully pass an award, the following credits must be gained:
- Postgraduate Certificate - 60 credits
- Postgraduate Diploma - 120 credits
- Master's - 180 credits