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MSc Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Key facts

Start date September 2018

Duration/mode 12 months full time, 24 months part time

UK/EU fees £9,250 (total)

International fees £21,500 (total)

Entry requirements A bachelor degree with a 2:2 (hons) in a relevant subject.

Language requirements

IELTS 7.0 overall, with no less than 6.0 in writing and 6.5 in all other components.


The science of epidemiology underpins public health policy, dental science and health services research, and employs a large number of researchers around the world.

Biostatistics is the science of collecting, analysing, presenting and drawing inferences from data for research in medicine and health. Understanding of context is vitally important as methods developed in one area of statistics can be misleading when unthinkingly applied elsewhere.

The MSc in Epidemiology and Biostatistics has been developed to meet the growing need for the research community to possess excellence in biostatistical analysis, especially for the analysis of observational data.
You’ll learn a wide range of contemporary statistical methods and, most importantly, when and where they should be applied.

Graduates of this course have a wide range of career options, and are in demand in universities, government, national health services, non-government organisations and industry.

More information

You'll be part of a world-renowned School and will be taught by internationally recognised scholars.

You can also study this programme part time over 24 months.

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Course content

You’ll study modules totalling 180 credits. If you study this programme part time you will study fewer modules in each year.

You’ll take common core (compulsory) modules, including our innovative Professional Spine module, designed to give you the skills and experience to work effectively in research, public health or health services research. It includes, for example, ethics, academic writing for publication, consultancy, management and leadership skills.

Specialist themes

You focus on one of these specialist themes, selecting up to three modules within it:
Statistical Epidemiology – you specialise in the advanced statistical methods that play a crucial part in modern epidemiological research. This includes latent variable methods (allowing models to vary across different subgroups of the patient population and multilevel techniques) taking into account the complex hierarchy of patients treated by clinical teams within hospitals.

Non-communicable Disease Epidemiology – you specialise in the epidemiology of diseases such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, cancer and congenital anomalies that are a leading cause of death worldwide. As well as understanding the biology, causes and trends of these diseases, you will also explore exposures (such as diet, chemicals, radiation, toxicology and lifestyle factors) including measurement, validation and study design.

Research project

The programme culminates in your research project, supervised by leading researchers in their field. In collaboration with the teaching team, you’ll choose, design, conduct and write your research project, tailored to your chosen specialism. You, can design a project yourself or can choose from a range designed by the supervisors.
The final outcome will be to write up a paper, suitable for journal publication. We’ll encourage you to submit the article, using our experience and reputation to help you.

Previous MSc projects have included:

  • Does insulin pump therapy improve glycaemic control for patients with Type 1 diabetes? (Non-communicable Disease Epidemiology)
  • Is the incidence of childhood Type 1 diabetes associated with deprivation? (Non-communicable Disease Epidemiology)
  • Investigating the effect of ‘heaping’ on odds-ratios within case-control studies (Statistical Epidemiology)
  • Age-Period-Cohort Analysis for Trends in Body Mass Index in Ireland (Statistical Epidemiology)

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

For more information on typical modules, read Epidemiology and Biostatistics MSc Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Epidemiology and Biostatistics MSc Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

We blend face-to-face teaching with technology to enhance your learning experience. Self-directed online learning lets you study at a pace that suits you, whilst face-to-face support allows you to explore individual areas of difficulty and extend your understanding.

You’re likely to experience:

  • small-group teaching with an expert in the field, including some modules with the opportunity to mix with students from other disciplines
  • teaching in computer clusters to help you rapidly gain the skills required with statistical packages
  • online workbooks with relevant links for further research
  • online audio-visual presentations (vodcasts)
  • online help files and sample data sets with worked examples, which support all the statistical packages
  • experiential learning as part of the research team for your research project
  • continuous formative and summative assessment, and feedback.


We understand the importance of assessment and feedback in your learning. We provide assessment in as many modules as possible so that you can gauge your understanding of the key concepts.

You’ll get feedback in a variety of ways: through informal discussion with tutors, written feedback from formative assessments, marks obtained in both formative and summative assessments and peer-review from presenting projects and data.

Each module contains a summative assessment component (a more formal evaluation). Some of these will be done via continuous in-course assessment, and some as end-of-module assessment.

Our assessment and feedback will use a number of methods:

  • Online assessment using QuestionMark, which allows a flexible set of responses, marks the assessment immediately and provides both results and more structured feedback.
  • Short answer questions to test understanding of more complex methods and scenarios.
  • Project reports that allow deeper exploration of a topic.
  • Other methods to fit the skills and knowledge under test, eg presentation of data.
  • For the overall research project, regular meetings with your supervisor to monitor your progress and give feedback.

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Applying, fees and funding

Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:2 (hons) in a relevant subject (eg biology, ecology, biochemistry, statistics, mathematics, computing, psychology, economics or biomedical science) or equivalent qualification. We will also consider working experience (two years or more) of research in a quantitative subject area.

This course is also available as an intercalated programme to students who have completed three years of a UK medical degree (or international equivalent) and are normally ranked in the top 50% of their year of study. Read more at Intercalation.

English language requirements

IELTS 7.0 overall, with no less than 6.0 in writing and 6.5 in all other components.. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for the programme may be able to study an English for Academic Purposes pre-sessional course with a progression route to the degree programme. For information and entry requirements, read Pre-sessional programmes.


How to apply

Apply (Full time)
Apply (Part time)

This link takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.
If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

Link to admissions policy document


UK/EU fees: £9,250 (total)
International fees: £21,500 (total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Part-time fees are normally calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course. For example, if you study half the course credits in a year, you will pay half the full-time course fees for that year.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

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Career opportunities

There is demand for students and academic staff with excellent statistical skills, an enquiring attitude, and a broader understanding of the research environment. Our graduates are attractive to employers in academic research, health and social care and industry.

There is no UK undergraduate degree in Epidemiology. A master's degree is the most efficient way to reach a standard required by potential and current employers.

The MSc in Epidemiology and Biostatistics is ideal for:

  • new and recent graduates who want to pursue a career in epidemiology and health sciences
  • existing health researchers, working in epidemiological research institutes, who want to enhance and extend their knowledge and understanding of constantly developing cutting-edge statistical techniques and their application, and so progress more rapidly in their chosen field.

Graduates from the masters programme hold an attractive qualification in a competitive field. Prospective employers value their technical expertise and research understanding and the professional skills gained, including writing a grant application and a paper of submission quality.

Watch the video below to hear from previoius Programme Leader Dr Paul Baxter and to hear what previous MSc students enjoyed about the course and what they’ve done since graduation.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

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