Mar 15, 2010
Other Health Professions Student
I would like to ask those that have completed public health degrees from LSHTM external about some of their experiences...I've been accepted to the external MSc Public Health program, but I'm having difficulties finding some of the info I need to make a decision.

1) Their prospectus says 15-25 hrs of study per week will finish the degree in 2 years. That seems pretty minimal...have you found that to be an accurate estimate? I will be working full time (40 hrs/week) while I do this, so I'm wondering how intensive one course really is and how long I can expect the degree to take me. Can you compare one LSHTM core course to a full year (ie two semester, 8 month) Canadian/USA course, in terms of intensity and time commitment?

2) If I register for a course, am I required to take the exam in that year? Some of the info materials make it seem like I might be able to register for a course in one year, and then decide whether I want to sit the exam and possibly write it in another year?

3) Are the 6 core courses more intensive than the 7 or 9 elective courses? Would a full time student spend one year on the core courses and the second year on the electives? Or would the first year include the core courses plus a couple of electives?

Thanks so much, I know these are pretty specific questions but I'm having a hard time getting clear answers from their admin staff...
Jan 14, 2010
I just completed the MSc in epidemiology. It took me five years to complete and I worked full time the entire time. I probably could have shaved a year off if I would have planned the scheduling of my courses better.

The 15 to 25 hours per week statement seems misleading to me and is probably based on how good you are at retaining information and taking exams. Because exams are only offered in June, I did a lot more studying in the spring than I did in the fall. I probably studied an average of 10 hours per week in the fall, worked on the assessed assignments for an average of 10 hours per week in the winter, and then ramped up to about 20-40 hours per week of studying as exams approached. It really felt like cramming for a two to three month period.

To compare an external programme module to a US semester course is almost impossible. I feel a single module required much more work. They are totally different in almost every way. Feel free to PM me if you want to talk more.

If you register for a course in one year you are not required to complete it that year. There are almost two registration periods; one to register for what course materials you will receive and one to register for which exams you will write.

I'm not sure about public health, but I found the core modules in epidemiology to be harder than the advanced units, simply because they were broader and graded entirely on a single examination. I was never great at the survey courses however.

I do think I learned a lot without having too much intrusion into my life. If you are working in public health I think this is a great way to learn new skills and continue to build your professional resume at the same time. If you aren't working in your selected field I might look at a university near where you live/want to live with professional connections.
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