MSc in Global Health Science | University of Oxford
Old Road Campus
The Richard Doll building, housing many of the University's research laboratories, offices and support spaces for the Medical Sciences Division
(Image Credit: Rob Judges / Oxford University Images)

MSc in Global Health Science

About the course

The MSc in Global Health Science provides training in epidemiology and statistics to address the important questions to prevent premature death and disability. This is a one year full-time course.

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; and
  • conduct appropriate statistical analyses of epidemiological and health-related data.

Teaching is delivered during the whole of the first two terms and for up to two weeks in the third term. The curriculum comprises of thirteen compulsory modules of varying length and intensity across three terms:

  • Introduction to Global Health Science
  • Principles of Epidemiology
  • Principles of Statistics
  • Non-communicable Diseases
  • Communicable Diseases 
  • Maternal and Child Health
  • Health Economics
  • Clinical Trials and Meta-analysis
  • Nutritional Epidemiology
  • Implementation Strategies 
  • Genetic Epidemiology 
  • Record Linkage and Bioinformatics 
  • International Research Ethics

In addition a series of weekly 'master-classes' is scheduled in which internationally-recognised senior scientists in population health from Oxford, and elsewhere, will give seminars on selected topics. These sessions will be outside of the structure of the core modules, and are intended to provide the students with stimulating materials to integrate population health thinking and perspectives.

Regular skills training sessions including presentation and academic writing skills and journal clubs will be provided to supplement the core curriculum.

Pattern of teaching, learning and supervision

The teaching is delivered through a range of methods, including lectures, seminars, workshops, student presentations, self-directed learning and study.

During the first two terms there are a series of formative assessments designed to enable teaching staff to monitor student progress. These marks  do not contribute to the final marks. All students are provided with detailed feedback that will enable them to improve their learning by helping them identify their strengths and weaknesses.

There are five summative assessments in total. At the end of the Easter break a data set analysis and report, and an extended essay are submitted. At the beginning of the third term, there are two examinations involving two written papers comprising multi-component questions. Following the written examinations students will undertake a research placement, leading to a dissertation. 

Graduate destinations

A large proportion of MSc Global Health Science graduates progress to DPhil studies.

Related courses

Changes to the course

The University will seek to deliver this course in accordance with the description set out in this course page. However, there may be situations in which it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, either before or after registration. For further information, please see our page on changes to courses.

Entry requirements for entry in 2017-18

Within equal opportunities principles and legislation, applications will be assessed in the light of an applicant’s ability to meet the following entry requirements:

1. Academic ability

Proven and potential academic excellence

Applicants are normally expected to be predicted or have achieved a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours (or equivalent international qualifications), as a minimum, in medicine, quantitative degrees (eg statistics) and health-related degrees.

For applicants with a degree from the USA, the minimum GPA sought is 3.5 out of 4.0.

However, entrance is very competitive and most successful applicants have a GPA of 3.7, a first-class degree or the equivalent.

If you hold non-UK qualifications and wish to check how your qualifications match these requirements, you can contact the National Recognition Information Centre for the United Kingdom (UK NARIC).

No Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or GMAT scores are sought.

Other appropriate indicators will include:

Supporting documents

You will be required to supply supporting documents with your application, including references and an official transcript. See 'How to apply' for instructions on the documents you will need and how these will be assessed.

Performance at interview(s)

Interviews are normally held as part of the admissions process.  

Interviews are planned for the week commencing 30 January 2017 and may be conducted via video link if appropriate.

Interviews will normally last around 15 to 20 minutes and will be conducted by an admissions panel of senior academics.

Publications

Publications are not essential, but will be viewed favourably.

Other qualifications, evidence of excellence and relevant experience

Preference will be given to applicants with professional or research experience in a health-related field.

Preference will also be given to those who have previously studied mathematics or statistics as a module in their undergraduate degree or at A-level, or equivalent.

2. English language requirement

Applicants whose first language is not English are usually required to provide evidence of proficiency in English at the higher level required by the University.

3. Availability of supervision, teaching, facilities and places

The following factors will govern whether candidates can be offered places:

  • The ability of the Nuffield Department of Population Health to provide the appropriate supervision, research opportunities, teaching and facilities for your chosen area of work
  • Minimum and maximum limits to the numbers of students who may be admitted to Oxford's research and taught programmes.

The provision of supervision, where required, is subject to the following points:

  • The allocation of graduate supervision is the responsibility of the Nuffield Department of Population Health and it is not always possible to accommodate the preferences of incoming graduate students to work with a particular member of staff
  • Under exceptional circumstances a supervisor may be found outside the Nuffield Department of Population Health.

Where possible your academic supervisor will not change for the duration of your course. However, it may be necessary to assign a new academic supervisor during the course of study or before registration for reasons which might include sabbatical leave, maternity leave or change in employment.

4. Disability, health conditions and specific learning difficulties

Students are selected for admission without regard to gender, marital or civil partnership status, disability, race, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, age or social background.

Decisions on admission are based solely on the individual academic merits of each candidate and the application of the entry requirements appropriate to the course.

Further information on how these matters are supported during the admissions process is available in our guidance for applicants with disabilities.

5. Assessors

All recommendations to admit a student involve the judgment of at least two members of academic staff with relevant experience and expertise, and additionally must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies or Admissions Committee (or equivalent departmental persons or bodies).

Admissions panels or committees will always include at least one member of academic staff who has undertaken appropriate training.

6. Other information

Whether you have yet secured funding is not taken into consideration in the decision to make an initial offer of a place, but please note that the initial offer of a place will not be confirmed until you have completed a Financial Declaration.

Resources

You will have access to the department's IT support services and the University’s library services, such as the Radcliffe Science Library, Cairns Library and the Knowledge Centre based in the Old Road Campus Research Building. A tour of the Knowledge Centre will be given at the departmental induction.

You will also have access to the weekly seminar held on the Old Road Campus and will be made aware of any other seminars taking place across the Medical Sciences Division. You will be welcome to attend the Medical Sciences Skills Training programmes if you wish.

Funding

There are over 1,000 full graduate scholarships available across the University, and these cover your course and college fees and provide a grant for living costs. If you apply by the relevant January deadline and fulfil the eligibility criteria you will be automatically considered. Over two thirds of Oxford scholarships require nothing more than the standard course application. Use the Fees, funding and scholarship search to find out which scholarships you are eligible for and if they require an additional application, full details of which are provided.

Full funding opportunities are available for all Medical Sciences Graduate School programmes, whatever your nationality. The Medical Sciences Graduate School website provides further details of these, as well as information about external funding opportunities.

Costs

Annual fees for entry in 2017-18

Fee status

Tuition fee

College fee

Total annual fees

Home/EU
(including Islands)
£6,745£3,021£9,766
Overseas£27,160£3,021£30,181

The fees shown above are the annual tuition and college fees for this course for entry in the stated academic year; for courses lasting longer than one year, please be aware that fees will usually increase annually. For details, please see our guidance on likely increases to fees and charges.

Tuition and college fees are payable each year for the duration of your fee liability (your fee liability is the length of time for which you are required to pay tuition and college fees).

For more information about tuition fees, college fees and fee liability, please see the Fees section of this website. EU applicants should refer to our dedicated webpage for details on the impact of the result of the UK referendum on its membership of the European Union.

Additional information

There are no compulsory elements of this course that entail additional costs beyond fees and living costs.  However, as part of your course requirements, you may need to choose a dissertation, a project or a thesis topic. Please note that, depending on your choice of topic and the research required to complete it, you may incur additional expenses, such as travel expenses, research expenses, and field trips. You will need to meet these additional costs, although you may be able to apply for small grants from your department and/or college to help you cover some of these expenses.

Living costs

In addition to your tuition and college fees, you will need to ensure that you have adequate funds to support your living costs for the duration of your course.

For the 2017-18 academic year, the range of likely living costs is between £1,002 and £1,471 for each month spent in Oxford. Full information, including a breakdown of likely living costs in Oxford for items such as food, accommodation and study costs, is available on our Living costs page.

How to apply

You are not expected to make contact with an academic member of staff before you apply.

The set of documents you should send with your application to this course comprises the following:

Official transcript(s)

Your transcripts should give detailed information of the individual grades received in your university-level qualifications to date. You should only upload official documents issued by your institution and any transcript not in English should be accompanied by a certified translation.

More information about the transcript requirement is available in the Application Guide.

CV/résumé

A CV/résumé is compulsory for all applications. Most applicants choose to submit a document of one to two pages highlighting their academic achievements and any relevant professional experience.

Statement of purpose/personal statement:
Up to two pages

Your statement should be written in English and explain your motivation for applying for the course, your relevant professional and research experience and education, your future career plans and the specific areas that interest you and/or you intend to specialise in. 

This will be assessed for your reasons for applying. Preference will be given to applicants who aspire to do a DPhil or other doctoral degree in population health research.

References/letters of recommendation:
Three overall, generally academic

Whilst you must register three referees, the department may start the assessment of your application if two of the three references are submitted by the course deadline and your application is otherwise complete. Please note that you may still be required to ensure your third referee supplies a reference for consideration.

References should generally be academic though one professional reference is acceptable.

Your references will support intellectual ability, academic achievement, motivation, ability to work in a group.