Health Data Science (MSc)

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London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Start - End
3 Oct
Application Deadline
7 Aug
Study Options
Full Time
GBP 11750 - 11750
Fee International
GBP 26680 - 26680

The programme

This programme, supported by Health Data Research UK (HDR UK), aims to train a new generation of world-leading health data scientists, to work in both the public and private sector. Teaching will focus on building strong quantitative, computational and practical data management skills, while providing opportunities to develop key professional skills required to be a successful health data scientist.

Health Data Science is an emerging discipline, combining mathematics, statistics, epidemiology and informatics. This programme will equip graduates with the tools and skills to manage and analyse very large diverse datasets across healthcare systems.

The programme will enable you to:

  • apply statistical and machine learning approaches to analyse health-related data
  • acquire the tools and skills to manage very large diverse datasets across healthcare systems
  • develop the professional skills – including teamwork, project management, and presentation skills – to work as a successful data scientist in the public or private sector
  • understand the varied roles of a health data scientist within the wider health and health research environment
  • learn about the key sources of health data, and the context in which these data are collected, implications of the context on issues such as data quality, accessibility, bias and the appropriateness of use to address specific questions
  • study the key issues related to ethics, security and information governance.

Support and partnerships

This programme is supported by Health Data Research UK – the national institute for health data science.

The programme will be delivered with the support of a number of partners, drawn from across the health data science landscape, including international healthcare consultancies (IQVIA, BHE), pharmaceutical companies (GSK), multinational technology companies (Microsoft Research), health-tech SMEs (Biosensors Beyond Borders), governmental agencies (Public Health England), and national clinical audit providers (Royal College of Surgeons – Clinical Effectiveness Unit, Intensive Care National Audit & Research Centre).

These partners will help ensure that our programme fits the needs of prospective employers, both within academia and in industry. They will help us offer students on this programme hands-on experience with data arising from the whole health spectrum, from the molecular to the population.

Why this course?

Do you want to better understand the causes of disease and identify new ways to prevent, treat and cure disease?

The increasing amounts of electronically captured and stored health related data provide enormous opportunities to achieve these goals. Making optimal use of these data requires people with wide-ranging expertise in areas including statistics, programming, informatics and epidemiology.

Health Data Science at LSHTM

LSHTM is a world leader in the use of health data for research, with expertise in the creation, linkage and analysis of a wide range of data sources, encompassing data on environmental and social factors as well as ‘omic data, both human and pathogen. In addition, LSHTM has global reach and a large international network of partnerships enabling data science collaborations worldwide.

Our electronic health records (EHR) work encompasses pharmacoepidemiology, phenotyping, vaccine effectiveness/safety, health policy assessment, and infectious disease surveillance. We have expertise in using national audits for quality improvement, and developing NHS performance indicators. Our work is underpinned by an internationally recognised group of biostatistical methodologists.

Is this the right programme for me?

Medical Statistics, Epidemiology, and Health Data Science are closely related disciplines. We offer Master's degrees in each of these disciplines. Here are some of the differences in emphasis between the them:

MSc Health Data Science

  • explores a range of machine learning techniques
  • has a greater focus on computational data skills, including programming and tools for data management
  • has a greater focus on professional skills training (e.g. teamwork, project management, presentation skills)

MSc Medical Statistics

  • has a greater focus on the theoretical underpinnings of the statistical methods studied
  • explores study design, for both clinical trials and observational studies
  • includes a more in-depth exploration of certain statistical methods (e.g. models for hierarchical data)

MSc Epidemiology

  • has a greater focus on developing the research question
  • includes an in-depth exploration of study design, protocol development and conducting appropriate statistical analyses
  • emphasises the ability to critically appraise studies and interpret results
  • offers the opportunity to learn about concepts and techniques specific to the study of infectious diseases

What are my career prospects as a health data scientist?

The demand for well-trained health data scientists is high and likely to increase over time. We anticipate our graduates may pursue careers in:

  • National health services
  • The pharmaceutical industry
  • Contract research organisations
  • Governmental institutions (such as the Health Protection Agency and the World Health Organization)
  • Non-governmental organisations
  • Health-tech SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises)
  • Academia


  • LSHTM is a specialist public health institution, renowned all over the world for its research excellence and prestigious postgraduate study programmes
  • We consistently rank highly in various global university league tables: #1 in the UK #3 in the world for Public Health (ShanghaiRanking 2020). #4 in the world for Infectious Diseases (US News Best Global Universities Subject Ranking 2021).
  • We have a strong academic and media presence worldwide
  • The international character of LSHTM contributes significantly to the quality and range of its teaching and training: our students come from over 155 countries, with over 60% from outside the UK
  • Our global graduate network of over 30,000 actively engaged alumni and international research collaborations create fantastic networking opportunities for students

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