MSc Epidemiology

Your Autumn term and academic year 2020–21

This course will begin on schedule in the Autumn and we plan to reopen our campuses. We are looking forward to seeing you in person, if travel and visa arrangements allow. If you can’t travel to campus in time for the start of term, we want to reassure you that your academic Department has made plans which make it possible to offer  you  a  high-quality remote educational experience during the Autumn term.

Your teaching will be a combination of on-campus (in-person) and remote learning (online). We call this ‘multi-mode’ delivery. Depending on official government guidance throughout the entirety of next academic year, the ‘multi-mode’ balance may be subject to change. We hope to be able to offer you increased on-campus teaching and learning activities throughout the year.

For more information about multi-mode delivery, your learning experience and the steps we’ll be taking to keep you safe on campus if you are able to join us, please see our COVID-19 information for applicants and offer holders.

Key information

Duration: 1 year full-time
Start dateOctober 2020
Campus: St Mary's
ECTS: 90 credits
About the course
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Applications are now closed


This course offers training in the methodology, design, conduct and interpretation of epidemiological studies on chronic and infectious diseases.

Epidemiology is the study of the distribution, causes, and possible prevention and control, of diseases in populations.

The MSc in Epidemiology offers training in the methodology, design, conduct and interpretation of epidemiological studies on chronic and infectious diseases.

It is particularly suitable for students who wish to acquire skills in epidemiology and biostatistics, and to get involved with research projects.

Study programme

In the first term, all students follow a common core pathway covering epidemiological methods, biostatistics, and infectious and chronic disease epidemiology.

Term two modules aim to reflect areas of emerging research as well as providing extended tutoring in core epidemiological and statistical concepts and skills, building upon the knowledge, insight and skills gained in term one.

The third term consists of a four-month research project carried out under supervision, possibly in collaboration with other universities and research institutions.


Upon completion of this course, students usually develop an academic career by beginning a PhD, or move on to work for public health organisations, pharmaceutical companies or non-governmental agencies.


Modules shown are for the current academic year and are subject to change depending on your year of entry.

Please note that the curriculum of this programme is currently being reviewed as part of a College-wide process to introduce a standardised modular structure. As a result, the content and assessment structures of this course may change for your year of entry. We therefore recommend that you check this course page before finalising your application and after submitting it as we will aim to update this page as soon as any changes are ratified by the College.

Find out more about the limited circumstances in which we may need to make changes to or in relation to our courses, the type of changes we may make and how we will tell you about changes we have made.


Core modules

You take all of the core modules below.

Introduction to Infectious Disease Modelling

This module provides an overview of infectious disease modelling and develops skills in designing and analysing infectious disease models for public health policy. Students will be taught how to represent the characteristics of an infectious disease using a mathematical model, how to simulate that model using a computer, and how to analyse that model. Students will also learn how models have been applied in public health policy, and how models are designed to address a research question. Module leaders: Dr Thomas Churcher and Dr Patrick Walker.

Principles and Methods of Epidemiology

This module ensures students will be familiar with the core concepts of epidemiology and acquire the skills necessary to describe, analyse, interpret and appraise epidemiological studies. Further modules and projects require such knowledge, and a good grasp of these basics is thus essential for successful completion of the degree. Module leaders: Dr Amanda Cross and Dr Filippos Filippidis.

Disease Masterclass

This module aims to provide students with an overview of core health challenges and lines of epidemiological research being undertaken, across a range of infectious and non-communicable diseases. Module leaders: Professor Tim Hallett and Professor Edward W Gregg.

Introduction to Statistical Thinking and Data Analysis

The aim of this module is to give students an understanding of the importance of statistical thinking in epidemiology, randomised trials and public health, to enable them to critically evaluate the results of standard statistical analyses published in journal articles and to carry out a range of statistical analyses using R. Module leader: Dr Jeff Eaton.

Optional modules

You choose six optional modules from below.

Bayesian Statistics

The module introduces the students to the concepts of Bayesian models and inference commonly used in Biostatistics. Throughout the entire module several examples from epidemiology, social science, and clinical trials will be introduced to complement the theory. The students will also become familiar with the software package OpenBUGS, which will be used to implement the Bayesian models presented. Module leaders: Dr Nathan Green.

Spatial Analysis

This module will introduce students to the main statistical methods used in spatial epidemiology and provide them with the theoretical and practical skills to analyse and interpret geo-referenced health data. Module leader: Dr Monica Pirani.

Molecular and Genetic Epidemiology

This module provides students with a fundamental understanding of the core concepts of molecular and genetic epidemiology and the application of molecular and genetic epidemiologic findings to public health and translational medicine. The module will encompass the appropriate study design for molecular and genetic epidemiologic investigations, biomarker development and the integration of biomarkers into epidemiologic studies, and the application of new and emerging molecular technologies in epidemiologic research. Module leaders: Dr Ioanna Tzoulaki and Dr Konstantinos Tsilidis.

Genetics of Infectious Disease Pathogens

The aim of this module is to introduce students to both the theoretical concepts and the practical methodology used in the genetic epidemiology of infectious pathogens. The module content includes pathogen population genetics, phylogenetics, phylodynamics and antimicrobial resistance. Module leader: Dr Erik Volz.

Further Methods in Infectious Disease Modelling

The module aims to provide students with the ability to interpret key evidence generated by modern infectious disease modelling methods that appears in non-specialist high impact journals. By the end of the course, students will also be able to design, execute and interpret results from streamlined versions of those same models. Although students will be given the opportunity to implement complex models using mathematical techniques and basic programming tools, they will not be expected to independently generate results from novel complex models. Module leader: Professor Steven Riley.


Building on the skills gained by students in earlier modules (including the prerequisite module Further Methods in Infectious Disease Modelling), this module aims to give a broad and “real-life” view of using epidemiological research (specifically mathematical models and statistical analysis) to address key public health questions relating to the control of outbreaks. The module includes important contemporary topics such as the broader ecological context of infectious disease emergence and transmission, as well as state-of-the-art techniques required to calibrate mathematical models and make the best use of data. Module leader: Dr Marc Baguelin.

Advanced Regression

This module will allow students to become familiar with the principles of advanced regression for high-dimensional data so that they are able to apply such techniques on real data problems (e.g. complex omics data). In particular, students will learn how to perform advanced statistical analyses, including penalised likelihood and nonparametric regression models using R. Module leader: Dr Verena Zuber.

Emerging and Neglected Tropical Diseases

This module will develop students’ knowledge across the breadth of emerging and neglected tropical diseases. Students will learn practical field tools and techniques for effective monitoring and evaluation of public health control programmes, applicable in both high and low-income settings. By the end of the module, students will be better equipped to conduct critical appraisals of public health infrastructure and surveillance. Students will also have exposure to a simulated, real-time outbreak that will require application of the skills learnt during the course. Module leaders: Dr Leigh Bowman and Dr Lisa O Danquah.

Research project

In Term 3, individual research projects are carried out under supervision.

It is possible that the projects may be carried out in collaboration with other universities and research institutions, but this is not common and not always recommended.

Projects are expected to take four months of full-time study, with one (or more) member(s) of Imperial academic staff assigned to advise and monitor students. There may also be external supervisors.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods

  • Class tutorials
  • Computer-based practical workshops
  • Final research project (dissertation)
  • Formative and summative assessment via Blackboard e.g. in-class quizzes
  • Group work sessions
  • Group workshops and revision sessions
  • Lectures
  • Mentimeter
  • Seminars and practicals
  • Small group tutorials
  • Teaching materials published via Blackboard

Assessment methods

  • Articles and case study reviews
  • Computer based tests
  • Essays
  • Individual and group presentations
  • MCQs and online quizzes
  • Mini research project
  • Reports and paper reviews
  • Written examinations

Entry requirements

We welcome students from all over the world and consider all applicants on an individual basis.


Minimum academic requirement

Our minimum requirement is a 2.1 degree in mathematics, statistics, medicine (human or veterinary) or biological sciences.

International qualifications

We also accept a wide variety of international qualifications.

The academic requirement above is for applicants who hold or who are working towards a UK qualification.

For guidance see our Country Index though please note that the standards listed here are the minimum for entry to the College, and not specifically this Department.

If you have any questions about admissions and the standard required for the qualification you hold or are currently studying then please contact the relevant admissions team.

English language requirement (all applicants)

All candidates must demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency for admission to the College.

For admission to this course, you must achieve the higher College requirement in the appropriate English language qualification. For details of the minimum grades required to achieve this requirement, please see the English language requirements for postgraduate applicants.

How to apply

How to apply

Making an application

All applicants to our Master's courses must apply online.

For full details on the online application process, please visit the admissions website.

ATAS certificate

An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students applying for this course.

Tuition fees and funding

The level of tuition fees you pay is based on your fee status, which we assess based on UK government legislation.

For more information on the funding opportunities that are available, please visit our Fees and Funding website.

Tuition fees

Tuition fees (Home and EU students)

2020 entry

£12,000 per year

Fees are charged by year of entry to the College and not year of study.

Except where otherwise indicated, the fees for students on courses lasting more than one year will increase annually by an amount linked to inflation, including for part-time students on modular programmes. The measure of inflation used will be the Retail Price Index (RPI) value in the April of the calendar year in which the academic session starts e.g. the RPI value in April 2020 will apply to fees for the academic year 2020–2021.

Tuition fees (Overseas and Islands students)

2020 entry

£35,600 per year

Fees are charged by year of entry to the College and not year of study.

Except where otherwise indicated, the fees for students on courses lasting more than one year will increase annually by an amount linked to inflation, including for part-time students on modular programmes. The measure of inflation used will be the Retail Price Index (RPI) value in the April of the calendar year in which the academic session starts e.g. the RPI value in April 2020 will apply to fees for the academic year 2020–2021.

Postgraduate Master's loan

If you are a Home or EU student who meets certain criteria, you may be able to apply for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan from the UK government.

For 2019-20 entry, the maximum amount was of £10,906. The loan is not means-tested and you can choose whether to put it towards your tuition fees or living costs.


We offer a range of scholarships for postgraduate students to support you through your studies. Find out more about our scholarships to see what you might be eligible for.

There are a number of external organisations also offer awards for Imperial students, find out more about non-Imperial scholarships.

Accommodation and living costs

Living costs, including accommodation, are not included in your tuition fees.

You can compare costs across our different accommodation options on our Accommodation website.

A rough guide to what you might expect to spend to live in reasonable comfort in London is available on our Fees and Funding website.

Further information


Got a question?


Read more about the School and our research in the School of Public Health.

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