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Learning objectives of the course

The MSc in Global Health Science and Epidemiology aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills to design, conduct and analyse research studies in population health.

At the end of the course, students should have the knowledge and skills required to:

  • Understand the global burden and major determinants of disease;
  • Describe and discuss the role and contribution of epidemiology to health;
  • Critically appraise, analyse and interpret epidemiological studies;
  • Select, devise and develop appropriate study designs for epidemiological research;
  • Conduct appropriate statistical analyses of epidemiological and health-related data.

 course structure

Michaelmas Term 

The first term will consist of core topics that form the foundation of learning. Core modules include: 

The first term has a high number of contact hours through lectures, seminars and tutorials. The term will also include the first formative assessments of the course.  

Hilary Term 

During the second term, in addition to some continued core content, students must select 4 of the following 8 options for further study: 

This term will also continue teaching of the core modules, include formative assessments, and the first summative assessments of the course. Students will also work on their project proposals for their placements. 

Trinity Term 

The third term will involve a twelve-week research placement that leads to a dissertation (in the form of a draft publication appropriate for submission to a peer-reviewed journal). This is a substantial piece of work. The purpose of the placement is to develop and deepen an appreciation and understanding of concepts and skills learnt during the course, and to apply them to a real world situation through independent study. The majority of past students have completed their placements in the UK (mostly in Oxford), however, a small number of overseas placements are available.

Examples of MSc dissertation titles:

The burden, treatment, control and consequences of hypertension in Cuba

Associations between changes in eGFR and albuminuria with risk of cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality: analyses from 90,000 English primary care patients

The association between speech-in-noise hearing impairment and incident dementia in the UK Biobank

Factors associated with place of death: analysis of decedents in the Million Women Study cohort (1996-2017)

Mortality risks associated with delayed discharge from hospital: an analysis of electronic health records

Soy isoflavone intake and vegetarianism in relation to breast cancer risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition - Oxford cohort

The association between satellite prophages and disease caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae

Trends in hospital care use in Harbin (2008-2015) using data from the China Kadoorie Biobank

Characterising the determinants of multidrug-resistant malaria in Southeast Asia: A retrospective analysis of 2,000 P. falciparum genome sequences 

Risk factors for maternal mortality in nine empowered action states in India

Temporal trends in the incidence of autism spectrum disorders in children and variation in diagnosis rates in the UK



Teaching is delivered during the first two terms (October to March) and for up to two weeks in the third term (April/May) through a range of methods, including lectures, seminars, workshops, student presentations, self-directed learning and independent study. All students are allocated to a tutor group of five to six students, and will meet with either their epidemiology or statistics tutor approximately four to five times for tutor-led activities.


In addition to the assessed modules, a number of masterclasses and skills sessions are organised throughout the course.


The taught element is followed by examinations, after which students undertake a research placement leading to a dissertation. 


The course is reviewed annually and is subject to minor changes in response to feedback and evaluation.