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MSc in Modelling for Global Health

About the course

The MSc in Modelling for Global Health is a full-time one-year programme which will train a new generation of modellers with cutting edge multi-disciplinary skills to support developing global health systems at sub-national, national and international levels.

The course will aim to develop your:

  • repertoire of skills in mathematical and economic modelling, scientific programming, global health financing and related cutting-edge bioinformatics and analytics
  • breadth of knowledge of current challenges and issues in global health
  • range of techniques and tools for communication with key stakeholders from policy, implementation, commercial and research sectors.

Course Structure

Core Modules

The first term will consist of topics on research methods, an overview of major global health challenges and foundations of mathematics required. Modules include:

  • Mathematics for modellers
  • Introduction to R for modellers
  • Medical Statistics
  • Foundations in Global Health
  • Introduction to health economics
  • Mathematical modelling of infectious diseases
  • Model communication.

Optional Modules

During the second term, in addition to some continued core content, you will select three optional modules for further study, including:

  • Spatial analysis of public health data
  • Global health financing
  • Pharmacokinetic-Pharmacodynamic Modelling
  • Model fitting and uncertainty.

Placement Project and Dissertation

During your third term you will embark on an eight-week funded placement that will involve participation in a global health project in (or related to) a resource limited setting. The placement will be linked to your final dissertation. These placements will call upon the skills and topics you will have covered during the first two terms of the course. It is intended you will:

  • apply knowledge and skills you have gained in first two terms to a global health research project
  • experience the challenges and opportunities for conducting real research
  • work as a productive member of a team
  • appropriately contextualise your research (ie learn about the context within which the research is conducted).

The research project placement will then form the basis of your dissertation (in the form of a draft publication appropriate for submission to a peer-reviewed journal) to be submitted eight weeks after your return from placement. The learning outcomes of this are as follows:

  • Critically analyse relevant literature
  • Pose appropriate research questions
  • Demonstrate sound use of methodology to address questions posed
  • Appropriately interpret findings
  • Outline ethical issues involved in the research
  • Produce a draft publication appropriate for submission to a peer-reviewed journal reporting the placement research findings.


A series of workshops will be held across the academic year, designed to build skills in academic writing and critical appraisal, and foster competencies to support the successful completion of summative assessment outputs (eg scientific reports, policy pieces, journal articles). These sessions to be designed with the technical and numerical nature of the writing tasks in mind.

In addition, there is an opportunity to shadow bespoke elements designed for the MSc in International Health and Tropical Medicine (IHTM) which might also be applicable to the MSc Modelling for Global Health. Relevant sessions currently being delivered to IHTM students cover topics such as: paragraph writing, essay writing, dissertation writing and ‘reading into writing’. It is anticipated that a similar embedded approach would be beneficial in preparing MSc Modelling for Global Health students to complete elective module summative assessments and final dissertation projects.


The allocation of graduate supervision for this course is the responsibility of the Nuffield Department of Medicine 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 Medicine.

You will be assigned an academic advisor who will support you through the duration of the course. You should try and meet with your academic advisor at least twice each term.

You will also have a placement advisor in Hilary term, related to your chosen placement, who you will meet with for an hour each week.


You will be assessed in the following ways:

For all optional modules

An open-ended question will be set for each, specific to the subject and skill(s) to be tested. You will electronically submit a computer program, piece of mathematical analysis, or app (each of which is the equivalent of 1,000 words), accompanied by a written report of 1,500 to 2,000 words (excluding bibliography, references, tables and figures), in R Markdown format.

Based on your completed placement project and subject to agreement by your supervisor

An electronically submitted dissertation, in the form of a draft journal paper, of 3,500 to 4,000 words (excluding references, tables, figures, bibliography and appendices), plus supplementary files (equivalent of 2,000 words), in R Markdown format.

Graduate destinations

Modelling skills, such as those provided from this course create multi-sector applicability including academia, government and commercial. Graduate Statistician/Mathematical Modeller/Postdoctoral Researcher/Analyst are all examples of early career roles as well as Research Engineer/Scientist and Research Fellow.

Changes to this course and your supervision

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. The safety of students, staff and visitors is paramount and major changes to delivery or services may have to be made in circumstances of a pandemic (including Covid-19), epidemic or local health emergency. In addition, in certain circumstances, for example due to visa difficulties or because the health needs of students cannot be met, it may be necessary to make adjustments to course requirements for international study.

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 illness, sabbatical leave, parental leave or change in employment.

For further information please see our page on changes to courses and the provisions of the student contract regarding changes to courses.

Other courses you may wish to consider

Applicants are strongly advised to visit the Medical Sciences Graduate School website to help them identify the most suitable course and supervisors.

If you're thinking about applying for this course, you may also wish to consider the courses listed below. These courses may have been suggested due to their similarity with this course, or because they are offered by the same department or faculty.

All graduate courses offered by the Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine

Entry requirements for entry in 2022-23

Proven and potential academic excellence

Degree-level qualifications

As a minimum, applicants should hold or be predicted to achieve the equivalent of the following UK qualifications:

  • a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours.

The above qualification should be achieved in one of the following subject areas or disciplines:

  • Biological Sciences
  • Bioinformatics
  • Chemistry
  • Clinical subjects
  • Computer Science/Information Technology
  • Economics
  • Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychology
  • Physics
  • Social Sciences
  • Statistics or medical statistics.

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

If your degree is not from the UK or another country specified above, visit our International Qualifications page for guidance on the qualifications and grades that would usually be considered to meet the University’s minimum entry requirements.

GRE General Test scores

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

Other qualifications, evidence of excellence and relevant experience

  • It is vital that you possess the necessary background to cope with mathematical notation and basic skills in mathematical modelling. Applicants should have previously studied mathematics to a sufficient level, either in employment or study. It is very important that you have engaged with mathematics previously. Your mathematical background should be detailed in your personal statement.
  • Demonstrable interest in global health in a resource limited context, validated through evidence of study or work experience in situ.
  • Publications are not required.

English language proficiency

This course requires proficiency in English at the University's higher level. If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence that you meet this requirement. The minimum scores required to meet the University's higher level are detailed in the table below.

Minimum scores required to meet the University's higher level requirement
TestMinimum overall scoreMinimum score per component
IELTS Academic (Institution code: 0713) 7.57.0

TOEFL iBT, including the 'Home Edition'

(Institution code: 0490)

110Listening: 22
Reading: 24
Speaking: 25
Writing: 24
C1 Advanced*191185
C2 Proficiency191185

*Previously known as the Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English or Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)
Previously known as the Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English or Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE)

Your test must have been taken no more than two years before the start date of your course. Our Application Guide provides further information about the English language test requirement.

Declaring extenuating circumstances

If your ability to meet the entry requirements has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic (eg you were awarded an unclassified/ungraded degree) or any other exceptional personal circumstance (eg other illness or bereavement), please refer to the guidance on extenuating circumstances in the Application Guide for information about how to declare this so that your application can be considered appropriately.

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

Interviews are normally held as part of the admissions process.

The interview panel will comprise three senior academics and the interview will last no longer than 30 minutes. All shortlisted applicants will be interviewed via Zoom.

Applicants may be asked about their mathematical experience at interview to ensure they possess the necessary background to cope with mathematical notion and basic skills in mathematic modelling.


Any offer of a place is dependent on the University’s ability to provide the appropriate supervision for your chosen area of work. Please refer to the ‘About’ section of this page for more information about the provision of supervision for this course.

How your application is assessed

Your application will be assessed purely on academic merit and potential, according to the published entry requirements for the course. The After you apply section of this website provides further information about the academic assessment of your application, including the potential outcomes. Please note that any offer of a place may be subject to academic conditions, such as achieving a specific final grade in your current degree course. These conditions may vary depending upon your individual academic circumstances.

Students are considered for shortlisting and selected for admission without regard to age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy and maternity, race (including colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins), religion or belief (including lack of belief), sex, sexual orientation, as well as other relevant circumstances including parental or caring responsibilities or social background. However, please note the following:

  • Socio-economic information may be taken into account in the selection of applicants and award of scholarships for courses that are part of the University’s pilot on selection procedures and for scholarships aimed at under-represented groups;
  • Country of ordinary residence may be taken into account in the awarding of certain scholarships; and
  • Protected characteristics may be taken into account during shortlisting for interview or the award of scholarships where the University has approved a positive action case under the Equality Act 2010.

Further information about processing special category data for the purposes of positive action and information about using your data to assess your eligibility for funding, can be found in our Postgraduate Applicant Privacy Policy.

Admissions panels and assessors

All recommendations to admit a student involve the judgement of at least two members of the academic staff with relevant experience and expertise, and must also be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies or Admissions Committee (or equivalent within the department).

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

After an offer is made

If you receive an offer of a place at Oxford, your offer letter will give full details of your offer and any academic conditions, such as achieving a specific final grade in your current degree course.  In addition to any academic conditions which are set, you will be required to meet the following requirements:

Financial Declaration

If you are offered a place, you will be required to complete a Financial Declaration in order to meet your financial condition of admission.

Disclosure of criminal convictions

In accordance with the University’s obligations towards students and staff, we will ask you to declare any relevant, unspent criminal convictions before you can take up a place at Oxford.


The MSc in Modelling for Global Health is a brand new MSc course, starting in Michaelmas 2021. It will be embedded within the prestigious Nuffield Department of Medicine (NDM). NDM is one of the largest and most highly regarded departments of medicine in Europe, its basic and clinical research is rated 5* in research assessment exercises.

A strong connection with the Oxford Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health, Nuffield Department of Medicine will ensure that the portfolio of training provided retains the ability to bridge tropical medicine research to policy and implementation. Tropical medicine is a major research theme at the Nuffield Department of Medicine, and quantitative methods have been identified by NDM as a key area for expansion and training. The course will enhance the connection between state-of-the-art technical research and frontline clinical and laboratory science in the Global Health arena.

This course will be closely linked with the MSc in International Health and Tropical Medicine including plans for joint activities for students from both courses. For example, there is a weekly journal club led by NDM DPhil students from the Oxford Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health to which MSc students are invited. MSc students are able to participate fully in the research community in NDM. You will have access to the department’s IT support, University library services such as the Radcliffe Science Library and the Cairns Library. To facilitate teaching of technical material, the course will have high specification video conferencing technology and high specification laptops for all students and access to cloud or cluster computing for computer intensive work.


The University expects to be able to offer around 1,000 full or partial graduate scholarships across the collegiate University in 2022-23. You will be automatically considered for the majority of Oxford scholarships, if you fulfil the eligibility criteria and submit your graduate application by the relevant December or January deadline. Most scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merit and/or potential. 

For further details about searching for funding as a graduate student visit our dedicated Funding pages, which contain information about how to apply for Oxford scholarships requiring an additional application, details of external funding, loan schemes and other funding sources.

Please ensure that you visit individual college websites for details of any college-specific funding opportunities using the links provided on our college pages or below:

Please note that not all the colleges listed above may accept students on this course. For details of those which do, please refer to the College preference section of this page.


Annual fees for entry in 2022-23

Fee status

Annual Course fees


Further details about fee status eligibility can be found on the fee status webpage.

Course 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 course fees). For courses lasting longer than one year, please be aware that fees will usually increase annually. For details, please see our guidance on changes to fees and charges.

Course fees cover your teaching as well as other academic services and facilities provided to support your studies. Unless specified in the additional information section below, course fees do not cover your accommodation, residential costs or other living costs. They also don’t cover any additional costs and charges that are outlined in the additional information below.

For more information about course fees and fee liability, please see the Fees section of this website. EU applicants should refer to our detailed fee status information and the Oxford and the EU webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s exit from the EU.

Additional information

There are no compulsory elements of this course that entail additional costs beyond fees and living costs. As part of the course requirements, you will need to choose a research placement project for your dissertation, which, depending on your choice of topic and the research required to complete it, may require travel and research expenses – these will be covered by the department and students will not incur additional expenses. The amount will be agreed with each placement host in advance (as appropriate for the location) and will include reasonable costs to cover visas, travel to and from the placement host site, accommodation for the duration of the on-site portion of the placement period, and reasonable research-related costs.

Living costs

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

For the 2022-23 academic year, the range of likely living costs for full-time study is between c. £1,215 and £1,755 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. When planning your finances for any future years of study in Oxford beyond 2022-23, you should allow for an estimated increase in living expenses of 3% each year.

College preference

All graduate students at Oxford belong to a department or faculty and a college or hall (except those taking non-matriculated courses). If you apply for a place on this course you will have the option to express a preference for one of the colleges listed below, or you can ask us to find a college for you. The Colleges section of this website provides information about the college system at Oxford, as well as factors you may wish to consider when deciding whether to express a college preference. Please note that ‘college’ and ‘colleges’ refers to all 45 of the University’s colleges, including those designated as Permanent Private Halls (PPHs). 

For some courses, the department or faculty may have provided some additional advice below to help you to decide. Whatever you decide, it won’t affect how the academic department assesses your application and whether they decide to make you an offer. If your department makes you an offer of a place, you’re guaranteed a place at one of our colleges. 

The following colleges accept students on the MSc in Modelling for Global Health:

How to apply

It is not necessary to contact a potential supervisor or other academic 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.

Full instructions and link to standard CV creation form

A CV/résumé is compulsory for all applications. You will need to upload a standardised CV to the graduate application form as part of your application. This standardised CV should be generated using the online form that requests certain information that you will likely have included on your CV. Once you have completed the form, you will have 15 minutes to download your CV as a PDF document. 

This PDF document will be in the same format for all applicants and you should not modify the document before you upload it, or submit your CV in a different format. 

Full instructions and a link to the standard CV creation form are provided on the Medical Sciences Division website. The instructions page contains links to example clinical and non-clinical CVs, with details of what to include and suggested answer formats.

If you require help or advice while generating your CV using the online form, please contact the Medical Sciences Graduate School for assistance (graduate.school@medsci.ox.ac.uk).

Personal statement:
A maximum of 500 words

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

In your statement you should describe why you are applying to this course, how your past studies and work are relevant to the course, what specific aspects of the course interest you and how this MSc will be important for your future career.

You should also demonstrate clear interest in the field of global health in a resource-limited context, either through study or professional experience.

You should include a description of mathematics encountered thus far (personal study, high school, degree) which has inspired/prepared you to study a modelling degree.

If possible, please ensure that the word count is clearly displayed on the document.

Your statement will be assessed for:

  • your reasons for applying
  • your ability to present a coherent case in proficient English
  • your commitment to the subject, beyond the requirements of the degree course
  • your preliminary knowledge of the subject area and research techniques
  • your capacity for sustained and intense work
  • reasoning ability
  • your ability to absorb new ideas, often presented abstractly, at a rapid pace.

References/letters of recommendation:
Three overall, of which at least two should usually be 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 usually be academic, though professional references are also acceptable.

Your references will be assessed for:

  • your intellectual ability
  • your academic achievement
  • your motivation and interest in the course and the subject area
  • your ability to work effectively both in a group and independently.

Start or continue an application

Step 1: Read our guide to getting started, which explains how to prepare for and start an application.

Step 2: Check that you meet the Entry requirements and read the How to apply information on this page.

Step 3: Check the deadlines on this page and the deadline information in our Application Guide. Plan your time to submit your application well in advance - we recommend two or three weeks earlier.

Step 4: Check if you're eligible for an application fee waiver. Application fee waivers are available for:

Step 5: Start your application using the relevant link below. As you complete the form, consult our Application Guide for advice at each stage. You'll find the answers to most common queries in our FAQs.

Application GuideApply

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