Applied Infectious Disease Epidemiology MSc

London, Bloomsbury

This programme builds on UCL's world-class research strengths in epidemiology applied to the field of infectious diseases - a field that has become centre stage due to the coronavirus pandemic. You will focus on epidemiology for infections, including learning about new technologies (omics) and their applications in tackling global public health challenges. You will be equipped for a career in epidemiological research and policy teams, with a strong emphasis on public health.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
£15,100
£7,550
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
£31,100
£15,550
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Duration
1 academic year
2 academic years
5 academic years
Programme starts
September 2024
Applications accepted
Applicants who require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 28 Jun 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Applicants who do not require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 30 Aug 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Honours in a relevant degree of a UK university, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, a professional qualification in a health related area such as medicine or nursing of an equivalent standard. Relevant research, work or volunteer experience will be viewed favourably. Students without the minimum academic standards may be considered if they have extensive relevant work or research experience.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 3

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level.

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

Equivalent qualifications

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. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

You will learn principles of basic statistics and epidemiology, transmission dynamics, and infection pathogenesis. You will also study infectious diseases in high, middle, and low-income settings, using examples in the classroom drawn from a range of conditions, including STIs, HIV, TB, influenza and other airborne viruses, and emerging, vaccine-preventable, vertically transmitted, and vector-borne diseases.

Who this course is for

This course is suitable for applicants from a wide variety of undergraduate degree backgrounds, including biology, healthcare, maths, social sciences, or any related disciplines. We also welcome students onto the course from a wide variety of professional backgrounds, including researchers and non-governmental organisation workers, medical and veterinary doctors, nurses, and development practitioners. Students come from all over the world as well as the UK. This diversity increases opportunities to learn from other students' skills and experiences. Statistical knowledge and skills are not a pre-requisite, but applicants should demonstrate in their applications their willingness to engage with quantitative content and previous experience (from study or work) that will support them in this.

What this course will give you

Infection prevention and control are major global health priorities. Researchers, public health personnel, security analysts, international health professionals, policymakers, and those working in health-related finance all need to understand infectious disease epidemiology at some level, including the impact of infectious diseases and barriers to infection control. 

Tomorrow’s infectious disease epidemiologists will need a firm grounding in core principles such as transmission dynamics and study design and analysis. However, radical developments and scientific advances, including pathogen genomics and other molecular technologies, big data opportunities, and the microbiota, have changed the way we can measure host-pathogen relationships. We also recognise increasingly the role of sociodemographic determinants in infectious diseases.

This MSc takes an interdisciplinary approach to infectious disease epidemiology, layering basic and clinical science, bioinformatics, and molecular epidemiology on top of essential statistical, epidemiological, and critical appraisal skills. This course will enable you to assess the quality of quantitative evidence in infectious diseases, public health policy and beyond, as well as to construct a research question, work with quantitative data, choose and apply methods, and interpret findings.

Examples of publications arising from infectious disease-related dissertations completed by MSc students at UCL Institute for Global Health include:

The foundation of your career

The programme will equip you to start your career as an infectious disease epidemiologist within interdisciplinary teams. You will develop a diverse set of skills needed to approach infectious disease problems, including study design, planning, conducting and interpreting statistical analyses, critical appraisal, oral presentations, teamwork, project management and planning, and writing for scientific and lay audiences. These skills are relevant for a wide range of careers within epidemiology and public health (not limited to infection) including research and evaluation, policy formulation, and programme planning and implementation.

Employability

Following the programme’s initiation in 2019, graduates have gone on to a wide variety of analyst and data science roles in research, public health, healthcare, and private sector organisations, in the UK and internationally. Many are also pursuing further study and have been successful in securing places in funded PhD programmes. We have an active and growing international alumni network.   

Networking

Students of the UCL Institute for Global Health have priority access to academic events held throughout the year. This includes UCL's prestigious Lancet Lecture series which showcases leading global health scholars working on key public health issues. Students also have access to internal events, such as meetings which bring together research being done across our three sites and lunchtime lectures featuring the research of UCL Institute for Global Health staff and doctoral candidates. From 2023, academic staff will be hosting a series of events for students in order to provide informal spaces to discuss ideas, research, and provide career advice.  

Teaching and learning

The programme will be delivered through a mixture of lectures and tutorials, practical sessions, critical appraisal, interpretation of data, application of evidence to hypothetical and real scenarios, presentations by peers, peer evaluation and marking, debates, critique of policy documents, and discussion forums. In addition to the programme and module leads, this programme is delivered by UCL academics with wide-ranging and international expertise in epidemiology, medicine, public health, social science, and basic science research of infectious diseases.  

The AIDE programme encompasses a range of formative and summative assessments that involve group and individual work on tasks designed to consolidate knowledge and build skills in addressing real-life infectious disease problems. All core modules and most optional modules are assessed by coursework rather than timed exams. Examples of coursework tasks include investigating an outbreak, developing a funding proposal to tackle an infectious disease problem, critically appraising papers, and conducting and presenting statistical analyses. You will build skills in presenting your work orally and in a variety of written formats including short reports, responses to questions, data visualisations, and a dissertation.

Classes take place during business hours. Modules are delivered as blocks of study. The duration of modules ranges from one to ten weeks. This course can be taken part-time or flexibly (see ‘programme structure’).

Modules

You will be introduced to the key concepts in infection and population health in the first term. You will synthesise understanding about microbiology, immunology, and epidemiology of pathogens to inform infection control and public health interventions. You will also acquire basic statistical skills and a good understanding of infectious disease epidemiology.

In term 2-3 you will extend your understanding of molecular epidemiology and statistics and choose optional modules from a selection offered by the UCL Institute for Global Health, the UCL Department of Infection and Immunity, and elsewhere.

You will be supported to choose two optional modules fitting with your own interests and career aspirations from a selection including those aimed at developing more advanced or specialised knowledge in implementation and research methods, the basic science of infectious diseases, or quantitative skills in epidemiological data analysis.

Modules will be assessed through a variety of methods including coursework, an unseen exam, long essays, project or programme proposals, and presentations.

You will also write a research project that you will present as a dissertation in the format of a journal article and a presentation. The research proposal can include primary research, secondary data analysis, or a literature review in a field related to infectious disease epidemiology.

The programme can be taken part-time (over two years) and we have experience supporting students with this mode of study. Part-time students need to take 90 credits in Year 1 (not including the dissertation) and take 90 credits including the dissertation in year 2. Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases (GLBH0041) is a prerequisite for taking Molecular Epidemiology for Infectious Diseases (GLBH0034). Applied Statistics for Infectious Disease Epidemiology 1 (GLBH0047) is a prerequisite for Applied Statistics for Infectious Disease Epidemiology 2 (GLBH0048).

The programme can be taken flexibly (over more than two years) and we have experience supporting students with this mode of study. Modular/flexible students should discuss their plans with one of the course directors before making any module selection. Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases (GLBH0041) is a prerequisite for taking Molecular Epidemiology for Infectious Diseases (GLBH0034). Applied Statistics for Infectious Disease Epidemiology 1 (GLBH0047) is a prerequisite for Applied Statistics for Infectious Disease Epidemiology 2 (GLBH0048).

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in Applied Infectious Disease Epidemiology.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £15,100 £7,550
Tuition fees (2024/25) £31,100 £15,550

Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Additional costs

There are no additional costs for this programme.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

Funding opportunities relevant to this programme include:

  • Institute for Global Health Postgraduate Bursary
  • Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme.

Find out more on the Institute for Global Health website

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

African Graduate Scholarship

Deadline: 31 May 20214
Value: £38,000 towards fees, accommodation and living costs (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme (CSSS)

Deadline: 14 December 2023
Value: Full fees, flights, stipend, and other allowances (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

Dr Keith Travel Bursary

Value: Varies ()
Criteria Based on academic merit
Eligibility: UK, EU, Overseas

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.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Applied Infectious Disease Epidemiology at graduate level
  • why you want to study Applied Infectious Disease Epidemiology at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging 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.

In addition to the above, please ensure your personal statement addresses why you have chosen the programme with particular regard to its focus on quantitative epidemiology and statistics.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2024-2025

Got questions? Get in touch

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