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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 mathematical modellers with cutting edge multi-disciplinary skills to support global health decision making processes at sub-national, national and international levels.

The course will aim to develop your:

  • repertoire of skills in mathematical and economic modelling including, for example, scientific programming, global health financing, genetics and evolution, spatial analysis and model fitting, 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
  • Research Skills and Professional practice
  • 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
  • Malaria Modelling for Strategy Design
  • Introduction to Genetics and Evolution for Infectious Diseases Modellers
  • Individual based models in C++
  • Translational Science and Policy Analysis

Placement Project and Dissertation

During your third term, you will embark on a funded placement (of up to eight weeks) that will involve participation in a global health project in (or related to) are source limited setting. Students will be allocated a placement project based on their preference and in close consultation with the course academic team to ensure it aligns with their desired career trajectory. These placements, which can be carried out in national and international locations, 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.


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

You will be required to sit three summative assessments in the form of a written report/essay. These will be structured like a scientific paper and must address a series of questions/issues raised in the respective exam question(s). 

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, plus supplementary files.

Graduate destinations

Modelling skills, such as those provided by this course create multi-sector applicability including academia, government and commercial. Graduate Mathematical Modeller/Postdoctoral Researcher/Analyst are 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, 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.

Entry requirements for entry in 2024-25

Proven and potential academic excellence

The requirements described below are specific to this course and apply only in the year of entry that is shown. You can use our interactive tool to help you evaluate whether your application is likely to be competitive.

Please be aware that any studentships that are linked to this course may have different or additional requirements and you should read any studentship information carefully before applying. 

Degree-level qualifications

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

  • 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.


You will need to register three referees who can give an informed view of your academic ability and suitability for the course. The How to apply section of this page provides details of the types of reference that are required in support of your application for this course and how these will be assessed.

Supporting documents

You will be required to supply supporting documents with your application. The How to apply section of this page provides details of the supporting documents that are required as part of your application for this course 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 or Microsoft Teams.

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.

How your application is assessed

Your application will be assessed purely on your proven and potential academic excellence and other entry requirements described under that heading.

References and supporting documents submitted as part of your application, and your performance at interview (if interviews are held) will be considered as part of the assessment process. Whether or not you have secured funding will not be taken into consideration when your application is assessed.

An overview of the shortlisting and selection process is provided below. Our 'After you apply' pages provide more information about how applications are assessed

Shortlisting and selection

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 selection procedure 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.

Initiatives to improve access to graduate study

This course is taking part in a continuing pilot programme to improve the selection procedure for graduate applications, in order to ensure that all candidates are evaluated fairly.

For this course, socio-economic data (where it has been provided in the application form) will be used to contextualise applications at the different stages of the selection process. Further information about how we use your socio-economic data can be found in our page about initiatives to improve access to graduate study.

Processing your data for shortlisting and selection

Information about processing special category data for the purposes of positive action and 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.

Other factors governing whether places can be offered

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

  • the ability of the University to provide the appropriate supervision for your studies, as outlined under the 'Supervision' heading in the About section of this page;
  • the ability of the University to provide appropriate support for your studies (eg through the provision of facilities, resources, teaching and/or research opportunities); and
  • minimum and maximum limits to the numbers of students who may be admitted to the University's taught and research programmes.

Offer conditions for successful applications

If you receive an offer of a place at Oxford, your offer will outline any conditions that you need to satisfy and any actions you need to take, together with any associated deadlines. These may include academic conditions, such as achieving a specific final grade in your current degree course. These conditions will usually depend on your individual academic circumstances and may vary between applicants. Our 'After you apply' pages provide more information about offers and conditions

In addition to any academic conditions which are set, you will also 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, started in Michaelmas 2021. It is embedded within the prestigious Nuffield Department of Medicine (NDM). NDM is one of the largest and most highly regarded departments of medicine in Europe.

You can read more about NDM research here.

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 on this MSc 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. This MSc course will enhance the connection between state-of-the-art technical research and frontline clinical and laboratory science in the Global Health arena.

MSc students can participate fully in NDM the research community. 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 all MSc students are invited. You will have access to the department’s IT support, University library services such as the Radcliffe Science Library and the Cairns Library based at the John Radcliffe Hospital. To facilitate teaching of technical material, the course has high specification video conferencing technology and high specification laptops will be provided to all incoming students and access to cloud or cluster computing for computer intensive work whilst they are students on the programme.

Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine

The Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine (NDM) is a large multi-disciplinary department that links high quality clinical and basic research. The underpinning motivation behind all research carried out by NDM is the pursuit of academic excellence and the positive impact of research on the health and wellbeing of the global community.

Much of the £130 million per annum grant income is spent on understanding the most basic principles of biology and disease pathogenesis. As well as its research and clinical commitments in Oxford, the department has Africa and Asia programmes in Thailand, Vietnam and Kenya.

The NDM has a community of around 60 graduate research students each year, the majority of whom are studying towards a Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) degree, which is the University of Oxford's equivalent of a PhD. The department also offers an MSc in International Health and Tropical Medicine, an MSc in Modelling for Global Health and an MSc in Genomic Medicine, each with an intake of around 20 students every year, plus a PGDip in Global Health Research. The Careers Service at Oxford University reports that six months after leaving Oxford, postgraduate research students at NDM are on average earning £31,000 with 83.8% in employment and a further 11% in further study (eg Graduate Entry Medicine).


The University expects to be able to offer over 1,000 full or partial graduate scholarships across the collegiate University in 2024-25. 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 2024-25

Fee status

Annual Course fees


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

Information about course fees

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.

Where can I find further information about fees?

The Fees and Funding section of this website provides further information about course fees, including information about fee status and eligibility and your length of fee liability.

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 2024-25 academic year, the range of likely living costs for full-time study is between c. £1,345 and £1,955 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. The current economic climate and high national rate of inflation make it very hard to estimate potential changes to the cost of living over the next few years. When planning your finances for any future years of study in Oxford beyond 2024-25, it is suggested that you allow for potential increases in living expenses of around 5% each year – although this rate may vary depending on the national economic situation. UK inflationary increases will be kept under review and this page updated.

College preference

Students enrolled on this course will belong to both a department/faculty and a college. Please note that ‘college’ and ‘colleges’ refers to all 43 of the University’s colleges, including those designated as societies and permanent private halls (PPHs). 

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. Before deciding, we suggest that you read our brief introduction to the college system at Oxford and our advice about expressing a college preference. For some courses, the department may have provided some additional advice below to help you decide.

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

Before you apply

Our guide to getting started provides general advice on how to prepare for and start your application. You can use our interactive tool to help you evaluate whether your application is likely to be competitive.

If it's important for you to have your application considered under a particular deadline – eg under a December or January deadline in order to be considered for Oxford scholarships – we recommend that you aim to complete and submit your application at least two weeks in advance. Check the deadlines on this page and the information about deadlines and when to apply in our Application Guide.

Application fee waivers

An application fee of £75 is payable per course application. Application fee waivers are available for the following applicants who meet the eligibility criteria:

  • applicants from low-income countries;
  • refugees and displaced persons; 
  • UK applicants from low-income backgrounds; and 
  • applicants who applied for our Graduate Access Programmes in the past two years and met the eligibility criteria.

You are encouraged to check whether you're eligible for an application fee waiver before you apply.

Do I need to contact anyone before I apply?

You do not need to make contact with the department before you apply but you are encouraged to visit the relevant departmental webpages to read any further information about your chosen course.

Completing your application

You should refer to the information below when completing the application form, paying attention to the specific requirements for the supporting documents.

For this course, the application form will include questions that collect information that would usually be included in a CV/résumé. You should not upload a separate document. If a separate CV/résumé is uploaded, it will be removed from your application.

If any document does not meet the specification, including the stipulated word count, your application may be considered incomplete and not assessed by the academic department. Expand each section to show further details.

Three overall, of which at least two must 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.

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.

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.

Start or continue your application

You can start or return to an application using the relevant link below. As you complete the form, please refer to the requirements above and consult our Application Guide for advice. You'll find the answers to most common queries in our FAQs.

Application Guide  Apply

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