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Health and Society: Social Epidemiology MSc

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.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2017

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years
Flexible: 2-5 years

Flexible time students will usually attend one module every term.

Tuition fees (2017/18)

£9,290 (FT) N/A (PT)
£23,710 (FT) N/A (PT)

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 3 October 2016
Close: 28 July 2017

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website. Fees for flexible, modular study are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session.

Optional qualifications: This degree is also available as a PG Diploma with fees set accordingly.
Location: London, Bloomsbury

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).

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Standard

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

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
  • Epidemiology
  • The Social Determinants of Global Health
  • Regression
  • 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.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Health and Society: Social Epidemiology MSc


Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

Wellcome Trust Scholarship

UK, EU, Overseas students
Based on academic merit

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


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)

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2012–2014 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

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.

Department: Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care

Student / staff numbers › 142 staff including 128 postdocs › 77 taught students › 142 research students

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care
75% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.

Application and next steps


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Who can apply?

The programme equips doctors, public health professionals, social scientists, biologists and statisticians with the skills necessary to enter academic research, to work in public health practice, and to contribute to the development of policy measures services aiming to alleviate the burden of ill health caused by poverty, inequalities and deprivation.

Application deadlines

All applicants
28 July 2017

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Social Epidemiology at graduate level
  • why you want to study Social Epidemiology at UCL
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

Contact information

Page last modified on 20 October 2016 at 12:07 by UCL Publications & Marketing Services. Please contact us for content updates.


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