Academics discussing epidemiology

Duration: 1 year full-time
Start date: October 2016
LocationSt Mary's

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

About the course


Epidemiology is the study of the distribution of diseases in populations and their underlying causes, and its application to disease prevention and control.

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.

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

Term 2 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 1.

The third term consists of a research project.

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.

Term 1

Term 1 aims to provide you with a strong understanding of the core concepts and methods of epidemiology and statistics and skills required to successfully complete Term 2 and 3.

All MSc in Epidemiology students follow a core pathway of teaching that draws directly on the research within the Departments of EBS and IDE at St Mary’s Campus. There is a common core of epidemiology and statistics shared with students taking the Master of Public Health.

Running in parallel to the 10-day ‘Introduction to Statistical Thinking and Data Analysis, ‘Principles and Methods of Epidemiology’ and ‘Infectious Disease Modelling’ modules are two additional 5-day epidemiology modules dedicated to the specific core topic areas of ‘Infectious Disease Epidemiology’ and ‘Chronic Disease Epidemiology'.

Statistics, epidemiology and modelling modules consist of lectures, practicals in which you will be asked to do calculations by hand; critically interpret data; critique research findings, designs or papers; computer practical sessions using STATA, Excel or Berkeley Madonna software; discussion groups; independent learning activities and self-study.  Formative assessments, which give you insight in your progress, are part of several modules.

Modules include:
  • Introduction to Statistical Thinking and Data Analysis
  • Principles and Methods of Epidemiology
  • Infectious Disease Epidemiology
  • Infectious Disease Modelling
  • Chronic Disease Epidemiology

Term 2

Term 2 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 1.

There is a mixture of compulsory and optional modules. All students will continue their training in statistics by studying the compulsory modules ‘Advanced Regression (with R)’ and ‘Introduction to Bayesian Analysis’.

You also study ‘Exposure Assessment’, which focuses on the assessment of environmental exposures and sources of environmental pollution. ‘Molecular epidemiology’ will provide you with a fundamental understanding of the core concepts of molecular epidemiology and the application of molecular epidemiologic findings to public health and translational medicine, which is an emerging field. This module also focuses on biomarkers.

As in Term 1, practicals and independent study complement the lectures, which can all take different forms. Formative assessments are part of several modules.

Compulsory modules include:
  • Advanced regression
  • Exposure Assessment
  • Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology
  • Introduction to Bayesian Analysis
  • Investigation of Outbreaks
Optional modules include:
  • Social Epidemiology
  • Genetics and Evolution of Infectious Pathogens
  • Spatial Epidemiology
  • Epidemiology and Control of Vector-borne and Helminth Infections
  • Advanced topics of Biostatistics

Term 3

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

Entry requirements

Minimum academic requirement

2.1 Honours degree in mathematics or statistics, medicine (human and veterinary) or biological sciences.

International qualifications

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

We also accept a wide variety of international qualifications. For guidance see our Country Index though please note that the standards listed here are the minimum for entry to the College.

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 requirements

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.

Fees and funding

Home and EU students

2016 entry:


Islands and overseas students

2016 entry:


Government funding

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

If you are a Home or EU student who meets certain criteria, you can apply for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan of up to £10,000 from the UK government for programmes beginning in October 2016. The loan is not means-tested, and you can choose whether to put it towards your tuition fees or living costs. 

Funding from Imperial


We offer a range of scholarships for postgraduate students to support you through your studies. Try our scholarships search tool to see what you might be eligible for.

For more information on the Postgraduate Master's Loan scheme and other funding opportunities that are available, please visit our Fees and Funding website.

How to apply

All applicants must apply online.

You can usually apply for up to two courses, although your second choice will only be considered if your first-choice application is unsuccessful.

Most courses don't have a formal closing date, but popular courses close when they are full, so you should apply early to avoid disappointment. There may also be funding deadlines that apply to you.

You will need to upload documents with your applications, which may include transcripts and degree certificates.

Offer holders will need to pay a deposit to secure your place. This will be deducted from the balance of your tuition fees.

For full details on the online application process, or to start your application, please visit the How to Apply section of our website.

ATAS Certificate

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