Social Epidemiology MSc

London, Bloomsbury

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.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2022/23)
Programme fees on a modular (flexible) basis.
Overseas tuition fees (2022/23)
Programme fees on a modular (flexible) basis.
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2022
Applications accepted
All applicants: 18 Oct 2021 – 30 Jun 2022

Applications closed


Application closes at 17:00 GMT.

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 overseas equivalent), 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.

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 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.

Who this course is for

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.

This course is for you, if you are:

  • passionate about making a positive change in the world
  • enthusiastic to understand and debate health inequalities
  • interested to develop skills in health data analysis and interpretation
  • excited to join a diverse student cohort

What this course will give you

UCL is among the world's top ten universities (QS World University Rankings 2022) 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)
  • 5th in the world for public health (Shanghai Ranking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2021)
  • 8th in the world: among the top universities in the world (QS World University Rankings 2022)
  • 10th in the world for life and medical sciences (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021)

UCL can bring the full power of a multi-faculty university to bear on discussions of population health, involving academics from the wide range of disciplines necessary to tackle some of the most difficult issues in public health.

The foundation of your career

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


The next generation of social epidemiologists, public health policy-makers and PhD students/researchers will find this an innovative 12-month programme.

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.

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.



You will take a total of 120 credits in taught modules (seven compulsory and one optional module). You will also complete a dissertation project (60 credits). Work on the dissertation begins in term 2 and is completed and submitted in early September.


You will take a total of 120 credits in taught modules (seven compulsory and one optional module) over two years. A dissertation project (60 credits) is to be completed in the second year with submission in early September.


You will take a total of 120 credits in taught modules (seven compulsory and one optional module) over two to five years. A dissertation project (60 credits) is to be completed in the fifth year with submission in early September. Flexible students can take as many or a few modules as they would like in any given year.

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.

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


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Dental Public Health MSc

Listen to our virtual graduate open event to learn more about our Dental Public Health MSc programme, meet our programme leads and hear the answers to the questions you may have about studying at the UCL Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: MSc Population Health Sciences

Listen to our virtual graduate open event to learn more about our MSc Population Health Sciences programme, meet our programme leads and hear the answers to the questions you may have about studying at the UCL Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2022/23) £10,800 £5,400
Tuition fees (2022/23) £29,400 £14,700

Programme fees 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:

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

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 2022 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. 

We are offering a one-year Jackson studentship for full-time UK students. The award will commence in September 2022 and will consist of £6,000 towards tuition fees and living expenses. The recipient will be expected to secure remaining costs from elsewhere. This is a means tested scholarship, based on financial need.

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

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

Jackson Widening Participation scholarship

Now closed for 2022/23
Value: £6,000 (1yr)
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: UK

MPH IMPACT Scholarship

Value: £16,500 towards tuition fees ()
Criteria Based on financial need
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 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.

Due to high number of applications we received in recent years, we may need to close to applications before the formal application deadline of 31st March 2022. We strongly encourage applicants to apply early.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes in any application cycle.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.