MSc Health Policy, Planning & Financing

Overview - Health Policy

Academic year 2020/21

Term 1: Teaching at LSHTM will be delivered wholly online.

As a School, we have a strong track record in delivering education at distance. Learning outcomes will be delivered through a combination of live lectures and seminars, scheduled to take students in different time zones into account, and will continue to provide access to the same resources and expertise as on campus.

Terms 2 and 3: Teaching at LSHTM will be delivered on campus and online.

This will mean that if you are unable or concerned about coming to London, you can continue and complete your degree at a distance. Alternatively, if you are able and willing to be in London from Term 2, you will be able to receive some teaching on campus. Courses requiring specialist facilities for practical or laboratory work are likely to be prioritised for access to the campus.

For more information about the academic year 2020-21, please check our COVID-19 advice for applicants and offer holders FAQs.

LSE has also published its plan for the 2020-21 year. It states that LSE’s campus and halls of residence will be open from September with a range of enhanced safety measures in place to protect and support students. For further information, please also see the LSE Department of Health Policy website.

The programme

This programme aims to develop critical analysis of issues within health policy, planning and financing and to enable students to devise appropriate health policy responses. Students come from a wide range of backgrounds. This is a joint programme provided by LSHTM and the London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE). The course provides training relevant to countries at all levels of development, although participants are able to specialise.

Graduates enter careers in global health and national health policy and planning, research, advisory or advocacy roles in governments and international agencies. Find out more about our graduate careers and destinations.

Duration: one year year full-time or half-time over two years. Ways to study explained.

Health Policy, Planning & Financing


Watch programme directors and students talk about the programme.

Jorge Garcia Ramirez
Jorge García Ramirez, Colombia

“My experience has been a cornerstone to achieve my dream...” - Read more

Objectives - Health Policy

By the end of this programme students should be able to:

  • comprehend and demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of key principles of a diverse range of international and national health policies, including current and emerging trends
  • comprehend and demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of key principles of one or more disciplines relevant to the study of health policy, planning and financing (epidemiology, health economics, and other social sciences)
  • comprehend and demonstrate specialist knowledge, critical understanding and skills in other areas selected from a range of options on the programme relevant to the study of health policy
  • apply their conceptual and theoretical knowledge and skills using a multidisciplinary approach to formulate, design, implement, evaluate and appraise health policies and plans
  • show competence, both written and verbal, in assessing and communicating empirical evidence and in consolidating and critically appraising debates relevant to issues of health policy
  • demonstrate competence in key research and presentation skills, including the ability to plan and carry out a literature search, to critically review published literature, and to evaluate research findings
Structure - Health Policy Planning Financing

The below structure outlines the proposed modules for this programme. Module specifications provide full details about the aims and objectives of each module, what you will study and how the module is assessed.

Term 1

All students must take one compulsory module from each institution:

  • Financing Health Care (LSE)
  • Health Services or Health Policy, Process and Power (LSHTM)

Students must also take one additional semi-compulsory module from each institution from the following:


  • Basic Epidemiology
  • Issues in Public Health
  • Health Policy, Process and Power
  • Health Services


  • Health Economics
  • Introduction to Health Policy and Politics
  • Health Systems and Policies in Developing Countries (not available in 2020-21)
  • Pharmaceutical Economics and Policy (Note: this is a Term 2 option, so if students select this as their semi-compulsory choice, they can take a different LSE option from an approved list in Term 1)

Terms 2 & 3


Students take two additional modules at LSHTM including (but not restricted to) the following subject to availability:

  • Evaluation of Public Health Interventions
  • Health Care Evaluation
  • Conflict and Health
  • Organisational Management
  • Economic Evaluation
  • Globalisation and Health
  • Economic Analysis for Health Policy
  • Analytical Models for Decision Making
  • Reviewing the Literature
  • Sociological Approaches to Health
  • Health Systems
  • Design & Analysis of Epidemiological Studies
  • Epidemiology and Control of Communicable Diseases


Students take two additional modules at LSE including (but not restricted to) the following subject to availability:

  • Measuring Health System Performance (not available in 2020-21)
  • Global Health Policy: Institutions, Actors and Politics
  • Social Determinants of Health (not available in 2020-21)
  • Evidence Review and Synthesis for Decision Making
  • Economic Analysis for Health Policy in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (not available in 2020-21)
  • Health Care Economic Evaluation
  • Advanced Health Economics
  • Statistical Methods in Health Care Economic Evaluation
  • Randomised evaluations of health programmes: from design to implementation
  • Behavioural Incentive Design in Health and Health Care
  • Any of the semi-compulsory LSE options listed above not already taken.

In all cases, each student's full set of module choices must be approved by the Programme Directors at LSE and LSHTM in order to confirm that students' choices fit with their stated career aims and form a coherent set of modules for the MSc. Students must also meet the entrance requirements for each particular module. Guidance will be provided in the course handbook, to outline the key differences between recommended modules and provide comments where relevant on optional modules - to help both students and tutors differentiate between and make module choices most appropriately.

Research project

As the last major component of the programme, students undertake a research project on a relevant topic – assessed through a written dissertation. The project should be an independent piece of work, appropriately guided and supported by a supervisor and other relevant staff. Substantive work, including any travel or fieldwork, should start after the exams in the summer.

Please note: due to the unpredictable nature of the pandemic, we are not currently in a position to guarantee that overseas or field based projects will be possible or that London based laboratories will be accessible. Whilst we are hopeful that the situation will change before next summer, should it be the case that you are unable to travel overseas or access labs, you will be able to complete an alternative desk-based project allowing you to obtain your qualification within the original timeframe. Alternatively, you will be able to defer your project to the following year. 

Changes to the course

Changes to the programme

LSHTM will seek to deliver this programme in accordance with the description set out on this programme page. However, there may be situations in which it is desirable or necessary for LSHTM to make changes in course provision, either before or after registration. For further information, please see our page on changes to courses.

Entry requirements
Entry requirements - Health Policy

A student must normally satisfy the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine general entrance requirements and the additional programme specific entrance requirements as follows:

The normal minimum entrance qualification for registration at the School on a Master's programme is at least one of the following:

  • a second-class honours degree of a UK university, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, in a subject appropriate to that of the course of study to be followed
  • a registrable qualification appropriate to the course of study to be followed, in medicine, dentistry or veterinary studies

Applications with an appropriate technical qualification, or equivalent qualification and experience from overseas, are also welcomed.

Additionally for the MSc Health Policy, Planning & Financing, applicants should ideally have prior work experience in areas relating to health, policy, planning and financing. Preference will be given to such candidates given the competitive nature of this course. A minimum of one year’s experience in health policy or public health related work is recommended.

Any prospective student who does not meet the above minimum entry requirement, but who has relevant professional experience, may still be eligible for admission. Please contact the course directors if you are not sure whether this is the right course for you.

Admissions FAQs

English Language Requirements

If English is not your first language, you will need to meet these requirements: Band B

Please see our English Language Requirements FAQs for information

Intercalating Students

You will need the equivalent of a bachelor's degree to undertake an MSc. This will usually require you to have a BSc degree or have completed the first three years of your medical degree. More information on intercalating an MSc at the School.

Fees & funding
Fees 2020/21 - Health Policy
Fees 2020/21    
Home Full-time £13,125
  Part-time £6,563
Overseas Full-time £24,264
  Part-time £12,132
Funding general

Please note that EU nationals will continue to benefit from home fee status and can access financial support for the 2020-21 academic year. Find out more.

Other sources of funding:

Careers - MSc Health Policy, Planning & Financing

Graduates from this joint programme provided by the School and the London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) enter a diverse range of positions in global health and national health policy and planning, research, advisory or advocacy roles in governments and international agencies.

Below you will find just a few of the positions and organisations that our graduates from this course have entered:

Example job titles:

Advocacy officer for a medical NGO
Field Coordinator
Health Economist
Health Policy Consultant
Health Research and Policy Officer
Medical Officer
Pharmaceutical Adviser
Planning and Evaluation Economist
Policy and Public Affairs manager
Research Fellow
Research Officer
Specialist Registrar (Infectious and Respiratory Diseases)
Teaching Fellow in Global Health
Civil Servant
Programme Manager

Example organisations:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
European Commission
LSE (The London School of Economics and Political Science)
McKinsey & Company
Medecins Sans Frontieres
Ministère de la Santé Française (French Ministry of Health)
Ministry of Health
Ministry of Labour and Social Policy
Mott MacDonald
Overseas Development Institute
Royal College of Physicians
Save the Children
United Nations
World Health Organisation
Civil Service
GSK (GlaxoSmithKline)
HealthTech Women UK


Graduate Careers & Destinations

Want to read more about our graduate careers and destinations? Take a look at our infographics on our Graduate Careers & Destinations page.

Dana Bayani
Dana, Philippines


"I am a health policy researcher working to strengthen health systems in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. This programme’s unique structure provides a broad perspective on health policies, as well as academic resources from two premiere institutions. I am confident that with this MSc, I now have the toolkit that will allow me to contribute to health system reforms in my home country."

Hear from Lizna, MSc Health Policy, Planning & Financing student


Lizna shares her experience of studying the MSc Health Policy, Planning & Financing at LSHTM.

How to apply
How to apply - applications

Applications should be made online and will only be considered once you have provided all required information and supporting documentation.

Please also read LSHTM's Admissions policies prior to submitting your application.

You can apply for up to two master's. Make sure to list them by order of preference as consideration will be given to your top choice first.

How to apply - deadlines and fees

Application deadlines

All applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible to ensure availability of a place and a timely decision on their application. This is particularly important for applicants with sponsorship deadlines.

We strongly advise that you apply early as popular programmes will close earlier than the stated deadline if they become full.

The final closing date for all taught Master’s applications for entry in the 2020/21 academic year is:

  • Monday 31 August, 23:59 (BST).

Applicants will require to meet the conditions of their offer and provide all necessary documents by Monday 7 September, 23:59 (BST).

Application fee

A standard application fee of £50 applies to all face-to-face Master’s degree programmes and is payable upon application submission. 

Tuition fee deposit

Applicants are required to respond to their Offer of Admissions and pay the £500 deposit within 28 days of receipt, or their place will be released and the offer automatically declined. The deposit is deductible from tuition fees upon full registration with LSHTM.

How to apply - visa

Do you need a visa?

EEA Nationals

If you have EU nationality or you are from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, you do not need immigration permission to come to the UK. You can enter, study and work in the UK without restriction. If you have dual nationality, and you choose to come to the UK using your EEA or Swiss passport, you do not need immigration permission.

For useful guidance on EEA nationals in the UK, go to the UKCISA website.

Students from outside the EEA

All non-EEA nationals who want to study in the UK must hold immigration permission that allows you to study in the UK.

If you are coming to the School to study on a full time degree programme and you have no other immigration permission for the UK, you will need to apply for a Tier 4 Student visa. You can only apply for Tier 4 when your offer at the School is unconditional.

If you already hold a Tier 4 visa for a different institution, you will probably have to apply for a Tier 4 visa for the School before you can start studying with us.

Still unsure on whether you need a visa?