MSc Epidemiology

Key information

Duration: 1 year full-time
Start date: October 2018
Campus: St Mary's
About the course
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Overview

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.

School of Public Health Scholarship

If you're a Home or EU student, you'll be considered for a School of Public Health Scholarship worth £10,600 – enough to cover your tuition fees.

All Home/EU applicants made an offer before the end of July 2018 are automatically considered.

Find out more

Careers

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.

Structure

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

Structure

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 leader: Dr Nim Pathy.

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 leader: Professor Tim Hallett.

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 leaders: Dr Victoria Cornelius and Hilary Watt.

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 Marta Blangiardo and Dr Nathan Greene.

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 Marta Blangiardo.

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 Xavier Didelot.

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.

Outbreaks

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.

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.

Advanced Topics in Biostatistics

The module will introduce some of the issues faced while analysing complex datasets in advanced epidemiology. From these illustrations, methodological developments to address the resulting technical/computational challenges will be described, assessed and compared. Each of these established methods will be associated with a practical session during which students will implement the methods in R. Module leader: Dr Marc Chadeau-Hyam.

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

  • 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

  • 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.

For advice on the requirements for the qualifications listed here please contact the Department (details at the bottom of this page).

Admissions

Minimum academic requirement

Our minimum requirement is at least a 2.1 UK Honour's degree in mathematics, 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 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

All applications for postgraduate taught degrees are made online via Apply.Imperial.

You can submit one application form per year of entry, and usually choose up to two courses.

How to apply

Making an application

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.

Although courses will remain open until they are filled, applicants for this course are strongly encouraged to apply by 1 July 2018. Early applications allow us to communicate important information around key dates with applicants directly.

If you need a visa to study in the UK, we advise that you apply by 1 July 2018 to ensure that your visa is processed and approved prior to the start of the course.

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.

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)

2018 entry
£10,600

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 2019 will apply to fees for the academic year 2019–2020.

Tuition fees (Overseas and Islands students)

2018 entry
£32,500

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 2019 will apply to fees for the academic year 2019–2020.

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 of up to £10,280 from the UK government. The loan is not means-tested, and you can choose whether to put it towards your tuition fees or living costs.

Scholarships

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.

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.

Contact us

Microbiome

Got a question?

Jo Tite
Postgraduate Education Administrator
T: +44 (0)20 7594 3455
E: j.tite@imperial.ac.uk

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

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