Undergraduate prospectus

  • Start date: September 2018

Population Health BSc

The Population Health BSc will give you a grounding in the different social science disciplines used to study population health, preparing you for research and professional practice in the health sector and beyond.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2018
UCAS code
Full-time: 3 years
Application deadline
15 January 2018
London, Bloomsbury
Applications per place
3 (2016 entry)*
Total intake
25 (2018 entry)*
* Figures relate to Population Health subject area

Entry requirements

A levels

No specific subjects.
English Language at grade C or 5, plus Mathematics or Statistics at grade C or 5. For UK-based students, a grade C or 5 or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-reqs

IB Diploma

A score of 16-17 points in three higher level subjects, with no score lower than 5.

UK applicants qualifications

For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:

Equivalent qualification

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF) or BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (RQF - teaching from 2016) with Distinction, Distinction, Distinction.

Pass in Access to HE Diploma, with between 28 credits awarded with Merit in the Level 3 units, and a minimum of 18 credits awarded with Distinction in the Level 3 units, the remainder of the Level 3 units awarded with Merit.

D3,D3,M1 - D3,M1,M1 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects

AAB-ABB at Advanced Highers (or either A,A at Advanced Higher and B,B,B at Higher or A,B at Advanced Higher and B,B,B at Higher)

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A-Levels at grades AAB-ABB.

International applications

In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are intensive one-year foundation courses for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.

Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.

For more information see: www.ucl.ac.uk/upc.

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. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

The English language level for this programme is: Good (Advanced for GCSE/IGCSE)

A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Degree benefits

  • World-leading researchers will teach you the social, economic and demographic distribution of health and disease, and train you to analyse data to address health inequalities.

  • You will develop quantitative data-analysis skills. These are in high demand by employers, especially in the health sector.

  • You will also learn the theory, history and policy of population health, creating a unique multidisciplinary educational experience.

  • You will benefit from small-group, problem-based teaching, including hands-on computer practical classes.

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014

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.

  • 81% 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.


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Degree structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 1.0 credit is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

Compulsory modules in years one and two provide breadth and depth in understanding how public health and disease are measured and analysed, incorporating research methods, social theory, demographics, health behaviours and a module on the life course. You will receive quantitative data-analysis training in all years, bringing data and theory together in an applied hands-on learning environment.

From year two there will be the opportunity to specialise by taking optional modules to suit your interests (e.g. in health psychology and health economics).

In year three you will complete a dissertation.


An indicative guide to the structure of this programme, year by year.

Core or compulsory module(s)

Epidemiological Transition
Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods
Measuring Population Health
Principles of Social Science Research
Research Methods in Population Health
Social Determinants of Health

Optional modules

All first-year modules are compulsory

Core or compulsory module(s)

Acute and Chronic Infectious Diseases
Data Analysis 
Health Demography
The Life Course
Frontiers of Knowledge in Population Health

Optional modules

You will select at least one of the following two optional modules:

Health and Behaviour
Social Theory

In addition, students will be able to choose a module from other UCL departments.

Core or compulsory module(s)

Advanced Topics in Data Analysis
Causal Analysis: Observational Data
Population Health dissertation

Optional modules

You will select 2.0 credits of optional modules from the following:

Population Ageing
Genomics, Health and Society
Health Economics
Health Psychology
Child and Adolescent Public Health 
Study Abroad

In addition, students will be able to choose from a wide range of modules in other UCL departments.

Your learning

Teaching will be delivered through lectures, problem-based seminars, practical computer laboratory classes, group working and through UCL's virtual learning environment. Students will be able to access materials online, where they will also be able to interact with programme tutors and fellow students.


Assessment takes place via various methods including examinations, practical exercises, essays, individual and group presentations and a dissertation in the final year of study. The weight given to each method will vary to ensure manageable workloads throughout the programme. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken.

Further Information

Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: Population Health BSc.


Population health graduates will be empowered with the knowledge and skills to anticipate and address the social, economic and healthcare needs of the future: from the local to the global.

Our graduates will be well placed to progress to careers in public health, policy, private consultancy and the voluntary sector, as well as to undertake postgraduate study.


The first cohort of students admitted to the Population Health BSc are due to graduate in 2018. Therefore, information about career destinations for students on this programme is not yet available.

Data taken from the 'Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education' survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013-2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers and UCL Innovation and Enterprise can help you find employment or learn about entrepreneurship.

Student view

Studying Population Health has allowed me to have a deeper understanding of the factors that affect health beyond the medical realm. In particular, I have enjoyed learning about the control of infectious disease via modern mortality regimes. Sangeeta Das - Population Health BSc (First Year)

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2018/19 academic year. The UK/EU fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2018/19 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

UK/EU students
£9,250 (2018/19)
Overseas students
£24,040 (2018/19)

Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website.


Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.

Departmental scholarships

The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.

Application and next steps

Your application

The programme will require students to demonstrate critical reasoning and independent decision-making to address complicated problems in population health. You should be interested in exploring pertinent issues including health inequalities, ageing populations and expanding health economies. You will be required to show how you can work effectively when working independently and as part of a group to meet challenging deadlines for course assessment.

How to apply

Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.

Application deadline: 15 January 2018


We realise that applicants may write their UCAS personal statement about an interest in subject(s) in other departments or institutions. For that reason, we welcome you to write a statement outlining your interest in population health, in addition to the main UCAS personal statement. This can be sent to bscpopulationhealth@ucl.ac.uk and should include your UCAS application number.

If you fulfil our entry criteria and are resident in the UK, you will be invited to a taster day. Here you can meet staff, ask questions and discuss the programme. If you are resident outside the UK you will be invited to a Skype discussion.

For further information on UCL's selection process see: Selection of students.

Page last modified on 17 November 2017 at 16:41 by UCL Student Recruitment Marketing.