Epidemiology is the study of disease and health outcomes in populations. It is about finding causes - the reasons why some people become ill, and the reasons why some populations are healthier than others - and what we can do to remove or control these causes. It is the science underpinning public health, clinical research and healthcare evaluation. The MSc in Epidemiology will enable you to engage with the complex population health challenges facing the global community in future decades, providing high-quality training in epidemiological methods that are applicable to low, middle and high income settings. The programme is suitable for students from both clinical and non-clinical backgrounds.

The MSc will introduce the principles of modern epidemiology and its role in public health and other health-related disciplines. You will learn how to design and analyse experimental and observational studies covering aetiology, interventions, diagnosis and prognosis. There will be opportunities to learn about cutting-edge methods in causal inference and molecular epidemiology.

Your dissertation, on a research topic of your choice, will take the form of a journal article and a poster presentation, opening the possibility of submission for publication.

The Department of Population Health Sciences is a large and thriving department, with numerous opportunities for PhD study and employment on research projects. We are internationally recognised for our excellence in developing epidemiological methods and applying these to a broad spectrum of population health topics. Our research ranges from discovery science in molecular and genetic epidemiology to innovative clinical trials, policy-influencing activities and robust evidence assessments. Our MSc in Epidemiology is founded on this expertise.

To learn more about the programme, discover what you'll be studying and hear from postgraduate students about life in Bristol, watch our video.

Programme structure

Teaching methods include lectures, practicals, group work, asynchronous materials, workshops and seminars. All but two units are compulsory; the dissertation is also compulsory and is undertaken during the final term and over the summer. The programme will introduce you to the statistical package Stata for data handling, manipulation and analysis.

The taught units will contribute 120 credits and the dissertation 60 credits to the overall degree.

Visit our programme catalogue for full details of the structure and unit content for our MSc in Epidemiology.

Entry requirements

An upper second-class honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject, such as medicine, veterinary science, dentistry, pharmacy, biological sciences, statistics, mathematics or psychology. Additionally, evidence of numeracy skills is required eg A-level Mathematics or Statistics at grade C or higher, or a module with a good mark (equivalent to a 2:1).

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Go to admissions statement

If English is not your first language, you will need to reach the requirements outlined in our profile level B.

Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Fees and funding

UK: full-time
£11,300 per year
UK: part-time (two years)
£5,650 per year
Overseas: full-time
£24,900 per year

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to an 8% increase in fees each year.

More about tuition fees, living costs and financial support.

Alumni discount

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a 25% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni discount.

Funding for 2023/24

International scholars from Chevening, Commonwealth, Fulbright and Marshall are welcome to apply for this MSc.

Home applicants may also like to consider an NIHR pre-doctoral fellowship. Please contact the Programme Director if you would like to apply for this scheme.

Further information on funding for prospective UK and international postgraduate students.

Career prospects

This MSc will give students the knowledge and skills needed to work as a researcher or systematic reviewer in a wide range of settings, including universities, research institutes, government agencies, charities, pharmaceutical companies, and other private and public organisations that collect and analyse health-related data. Graduates will also be well placed to apply for a PhD in a range of population health research topics.

The MSc will prepare students to move into careers which, with further work experience and training, could develop into leadership roles, such as academics (lecturers, senior lecturers and professors of epidemiology), directors of research and development in pharmaceutical companies and biotech startups, strategic directors of health charities or public health government policy advisers.