Inequalities in health relating to poverty, deprivation or other social characteristics 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 policymakers in the field of social epidemiology.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2021/22)
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 Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.
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
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. International Preparation Courses
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
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:
About this degree
You will gain knowledge of the various approaches to social epidemiology, and develop relevant skills in study design and statistical 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.
Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MSc in Social Epidemiology. Upon successful completion of 120 credits, you will be awarded a PG Dip in Social Epidemiology.
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 is subject to change.
- Social Epidemiology: Dimensions of Inequality
- Basic Statistics for Medical Sciences
- The Social Determinants of Global Health
- Regression modelling
- Research Methods for Social Epidemiology
- Health Inequalities over the Lifecourse
Students choose either Advanced Statistical Modelling or any relevant subject module within UCL (subject to approval by module leads).
- Further information about these modules is available on the department website.
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.
There is no fieldwork element to the programme
There is no placement offered as part of the programme
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.
For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.
We are offering a one-year Michael Marmot studentship for full-time students undertaking the MSc in Social Epidemiology programme. The award will commence in September 2020 and the studentship will consist of £2,500 towards tuition fees. The recipient will be expected to secure the remaining part of their tuition fees and to cover their living costs. To be eligible the student will need to have received an unconditional offer for this programme.
Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.
- Deadline extended: 5pm, 17 June 2021
- £6,000 (1yr)
- Based on financial need
- Deadline: 31 August 2021
- £2,500 (home students); £5,000 (overseas students) (1 yr)
- UK, Overseas
- Based on academic merit
- Deadline: 30 July 2021
- £2,500 (1 yr)
- Based on academic merit
- Deadline: 20 August 2021
- £2,500 (1 yr)
- UK, Overseas
- 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, non-governmental organisations, charities, insurance companies, health data companies, universities, research institutions. Some graduates continue their training as PhD students.
Students have the opportunity to develop in-depth knowledge of theories, concepts and evidence pertaining to social epidemiology, life course epidemiology and social determinants of health.
In addition, students will develop transferable skills in:-
- academic writing
- critical appraisal of evidence
- statistical analysis of large quantitative datasets
- grant proposal writing
Why study this degree at UCL?
UCL is among the world's top ten universities (QS World University Rankings 2018), with a reputation for high-quality research. Located in the heart of London, it is a stimulating and exciting environment in which to study.
- 1st in the UK: top-rated university in the UK for research strength (REF 2014)
- 7th in the world for public health (Shanghai Ranking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2020)
- 8th in the world for life and medical sciences (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019)
- 10th in the world: among the top universities in the world (QS World University Rankings 2021)
UCL Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care is a friendly, thriving multidisciplinary community. 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 robust and 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. The knowledge and skills gained by studying this degree are highly applicable and sought-after in many geographical settings and across a multitude of disciplines.
Department: Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care
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.
This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.
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: ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.
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.
- All applicants
- 31 May 2021
Due to high number of applications we received in recent years, we may need to close to applications before the formal application deadline of 30 July 2021. We strongly encourage applicants to apply early.
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.
UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.