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MSc in Sexually Transmitted Infections & HIV

NEWS: Find out more about our new MSc Studentship opportunity, click here

Led by experts at the UCL Centre for Sexual Health and HIV Research, the UCL program offers:

  • A unique opportunity to study infections that make a major contribution to global mortality and morbidity
  • A small and intimate Masters, offering close proximity to some of the world’s leading sexual health and HIV researchers to the student
  • The opportunity to choose from a wide range of modules to meet your needs and interest, with everything from epidemiology and global health, to microbiology, and clinical training
  • Benefits from UCL’s position as a global leader in biomedical research within the new Faculty of Population Health

What will I learn?

The MSc aims to provide advanced knowledge and skills in all aspects of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) research, management and control within the context of improving sexual health. This includes epidemiology and public health, basic microbiology, virology and immunology, health economics and planning, research methods, and evidence-based medicine and clinical management of individual patients with STIs including HIV.

Why should I study this degree at UCL?

Studying Sexually Transmitted Infections and HIV at UCL opens exciting and challenging career possibilities. It is a unique opportunity to study infections that are major contributors to global mortality and morbidity with leading researchers and experts in the field.

You can capitalise on the strengths of UCL as a university with strong emphasis on crossing disciplines and the modular nature of the course to build a personalized learning pathway, based on a strong foundation of core principles of sexually transmitted infections (basic science, epidemiology and good clinical practice). The individualized pathways can range from a clinical or public health pathway, to one that focuses on global health, and finally to one that builds the students research knowledge and skills as a foundation for a higher research degree (PhD).

Students benefit from a varied approach to teaching, including lectures, seminars, group work, and self-directed learning as well as outside speakers from the WHO, HPA, Global Fund and other global institutions.

What other students say about the course?

Chenchit Chayachinda

"As I am both a clinician and a researcher from Thailand, this course fulfils my career’s need very well. I have been taught by experts in each aspect of STIs and HIV from basic Science to clinical applications, as well as how to conduct my own studies and design a sexual health programme in low to middle income countries. Throughout the academic year, UCL has provided me not only everything I need for the study, but also extra-curricular courses for facilitating the application of the knowledge in real life situations. All the staff members are very kind and always welcome all of my questions or requests. The friendly environment combined with such conveniently accessible facilities makes my first year at UCL such a memorable and fruitful experience". Ms Chenchit Chayachinda - MSc in STIs and HIV, UCL (2012/2013)


Ada Miltz


" This master’s course offers a holistic approach to the study of sexual health. In my experience the choice of a range of modules (from health economics to medical anthropology) was an ideal environment in which to cultivate a deeper interest in a particular field. With great emphasis on fostering a career in sexual health I have received enormous input and support following completion of this course. The culmination of these factors has put me in a position to be starting an exciting PhD project that comprises of an evaluation of an educational intervention in girls in Malawi". Miss Ada Miltz -  MSc in STIs and HIV, UCL (2012/2013)


Vanessa Quiñones

This program offered me the opportunity to acquire new knowledge about sexually transmitted infections, that I will apply on my daily clinical practice in within Mexico. The variety of modules allowed me to complement and strengthen my research skills and provided me with a wider perspective of sexual topics in low and middle income countries, which will be extremely useful for developing sexual health programmes in my home country. The academic staff were always open for comments and discussion, which created the perfect atmosphere you'd expect from a top University, as well as a high level of education. Whilst at UCL this year, the Masters course provided me with a life changing experience, which I'm pleased to say that it was more than just achieving a degree, it allowed me to grow in both a professional and personal perspective.” Miss Vanessa Quinones – UCL MSc Sexually Transmitted Infections (2012/2013)


A choice of learning pathways

UCL Sexually Transmitted Infections and HIV programme is modular and can be studied either full time or part time, leading to a post graduate diploma (PGD) or Masters of Science (MSc). Full time study will be completed in one year. Part time it can be completed over two years. For those with work commitments it can be completed flexibly over 3-5 years

Step 1 (core modules) + Step 2 (optional modules) = PGD

Step 1 (core modules) + Step 2 (optional modules) + Step 3 (dissertation) = MSc

A wide range of modules

Students on our course come from a variety of different academic and professional backgrounds, and each wants something different out of the academic experience.

Accordingly students can build a personalized learning pathway based on a strong foundation of core principles of sexually transmitted infections (basic science, epidemiology and good clinical practice). The individualized pathways can range from a clinical or public health pathway, to one that focuses on global health, to one that builds the students research knowledge and skills as a foundation for a higher research degree (PhD).

Core modules are: Basic Science; Epidemiology; and Clinical STDs

Optional modules include:

  • Advanced Statistical Modelling
  • Anthropological perspectives on Global Health
  • Basic Statistics for medical sciences
  • Clinical Aspects of HIV Disease
  • Conflict, Migration and Human Rights
  • Ethnicity Migration and Health
  • Frontiers of Therapeutic Development in Infection & Immunity
  • Global Health and Development: Emerging Policy Debates
  • Global Health Promotion
  • Global Justice and Health
  • Health Management: Planning and Programme Design
  • Healthcare Quality and Evidence Based Practice
  • HIV Frontiers from Research to Clinics
  • Infectious diseases Epidemiology
  • Key Principles of Health Economics
  • Regression Modelling
  • Research Methods in Social Epidemiology
  • Research in Action: Qualitative approach
  • Research in Action: Quantitative Approach
  • Sexual Health: Designing Sexual and Reproductive Health Programs in Low and Middle Income Countries
  • The Social Determinants of Global Health
  • Urban Health

For students working towards the MSc degree, the MSc dissertation runs as a long-term module supplementing academic supervision of the student's project with regular support sessions.

The below video is an example of one of our lunchtime lectures:

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Students on all pathways through the Postgraduate Programme have access to a phenomenal range of intellectual, practical and support resources.

UCL - London's Global University

UCL - University College London - is the oldest and largest of the institutions that make up the University of London and has one of the highest ratings in the country for both teaching and research. Students benefit from all the facilities of a modern, internationally renowned university including three medical libraries, a careers service, sporting facilities, a theatre, and a lively students' union.

Students have access to the facilities and activities of the UCL Graduate School.

Facilities at Centre for Sexual Health and HIV research

The programme is based at the Mortimer Market Centre, just off Tottenham Court Road, in the heart of London and a stone throw away from the UCL main campus. The Mortimer Market Centre houses Europe’s largest clinics for sexually transmitted infections and HIV, as well as the Centre for Sexual Health and HIV research. The Centre, which is part of the Research Department of Infection and Population Health, was founded in 1979, as the Department of Sexually Transmitted Diseases, with the creation of the Duncan Guthrie Chair, the first in this specialty in the world. Since its foundation, the Centre has expanded steadily and is now staffed by a multidisciplinary team of epidemiologists, clinicians, statisticians and behavioural scientists examining a wide range of issues relating to sexual health, STIs and HIV.

 Further information regarding UCL's facilities can be found here

The programme provides valuable continuing medical education for those already working in this field and for those with less experience it provides a useful broad overview which may lead to a career in clinical medicine, public health, or research. Several graduates are now working in national sexual health and HIV programmes. First destinations of recent graduates include:

  • General Practice Academic Training Programmes
  • Genitourinary Medicine Training programmes, London
  • Funded PhD programmes in the UK and Europe
  • The civil service
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist in HIV
  • NHS Management
  • International Aid or Health Agencies

The programme is academically rigorous and we recommend that students have at least an upper second-class honours degree or a medical degree from a recognized university. Applicants with appropriate technical or professional qualifications and/or considerable work experience in the field of sexual health or HIV, nationally and internationally are also welcomed.

The programme starts in late September of each academic year. Places are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis and early application is encouraged in order to avoid disappointment. Applications can be made via UCL's Admission website which can be found here.

If you would like further information regarding the course, then please feel free to contact the course administrator, who is Ms Lydia Clinton (l.clinton@ucl.ac.uk) or +44 (0)20 3108 2084. You can also view further general Graduate information on the main UCL website here, or further course specific information here.

Page last modified on 09 jun 14 09:36