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The MSc in Global Health Science and Epidemiology is a one year full-time course that provides intensive training in epidemiology and statistics to enable students to conduct and interpret research studies in important areas of population health.

Tips for prospective MSc students

why study in oxford?

If current trends continue, it is estimated that more than 40 million people worldwide will die prematurely (before age 70 years) in 2030, and over half of those deaths will be due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart disease, stroke and cancer. In late middle age (50-69 years), NCDs will account for 80% of all deaths. Due to population growth, about three-quarters of these deaths will occur in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Despite substantial improvements in recent decades, many of these LMICs continue to suffer a high burden of communicable diseases – including HIV AIDS and malaria, in addition to maternal and child (under 5 years) mortality.

At Oxford Population Health, we undertake research and train scientists to seek answers to some of the most important questions about the causes, prevention and treatment of disease. We conduct studies that involve large numbers of people from many countries around the world, including observational epidemiological studies and randomised controlled trials. We have pioneered research into pregnancy, childbirth and the health of mothers and babies. We also have longstanding expertise in health services research – into the working of services provided by health professionals and healthcare systems including studies of healthcare needs, provision, use, costs and outcomes.

The MSc curriculum focuses on capacity building in healthcare research. We have dedicated modules to illustrate how epidemiological research can be applied in the fields of NCDs, communicable diseases, and maternal and child health. Students complete a research placement that leads to a dissertation. Many of these research placements involve analysis of large scale epidemiological studies, such as the UK Biobank, the Million Women Study, the China Kadoorie Biobank, and the Mexico City Prospective Study. It is anticipated that graduates of this course will continue to pursue doctoral studies in population health.

Who is the course FOR?

We welcome students who would like to develop knowledge and skills to understand the global burden and major determinants of disease through the application of epidemiology and quantitative research methods. We receive students from over 40 countries with a wide range of backgrounds.

The Medical Sciences Division at the University of Oxford offers three full time taught degree courses on global/international health. Here are some of the differences in emphasis between them:

MSc Global Health Science and Epidemiology

  • has a greater focus on the application of epidemiology in population health to generate reliable evidence on the burden and determinants of the major causes of premature death
  • provides training to conduct appropriate statistical analysis in large-scale epidemiological research.

MSc Modelling for Global Health

  • has a greater focus on mathematical modelling, scientific programming and global health financing
  • offers a range of techniques and tools for communication with key stakeholders from policy, implementation, commercial and research sectors.

MSc International Health and Tropical Medicine

  • has a greater focus on examining major challenges to the health of populations in resource-limited contexts
  • provides training in analysis of global health problems, including quantitative and qualitative research methods, health policy, systems research and public health.