MSc Health Policy, Planning & Financing

Overview - Health Policy, Planning & Financing

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.

By the end of this programme students will 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

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 part-time over two years. Ways to study explained.

Health Policy, Planning & Financing


Watch programme directors and students talk about the programme.

Amir Mohsenpour
Amir Mohsenpour, Germany/Iran

“The programme is an absolute gem amidst the multitude of programmes in London. As a joint programme between LSHTM and LSE, you get to enjoy the amenities and resources of two top-tier schools at the same time."

Structure - Health Policy Planning Financing

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

Structure of the year

Term 1 (September - December) consists of ten teaching weeks plus one Reading Week* in the middle of the term. Followed by the Winter break.

Term 2 (January - March) consists of a further ten weeks of teaching plus a Reading Week in the middle of the term. Followed by the Spring break.

Term 3 (April - September) consists of five weeks of teaching for the final module, and the project report.

*Reading Week is a week during term where no formal teaching takes place. It is a time for private study, preparing for assessments or attending study/computer skills workshops. There are two Reading Weeks at LSHTM: one in November and the other in February.

Term 1

All students must take one compulsory module from each institution:

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

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

  • Basic Epidemiology (LSHTM)
  • Introduction to Health Economics (LSHTM) - may not be taken in conjunction with Health Economics (LSE)
  • Issues in Public Health (LSHTM)
  • Health Policy, Process & Power (LSHTM) - may not be taken in conjunction with Introduction to Health Policy & Politics (LSE)
  • Health Services (LSHTM)
  • Health Economics (LSE) - may not be taken in conjunction with Introduction to Health Economics (LSHTM)
  • Introduction to Health Policy & Politics - may not be taken in conjunction with Health Policy, Process & Power (LSHTM)
  • Health Systems and Policies in Developing Countries
  • 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 and 3

Students take two additional modules from each institution, including (but not restricted to) the following subject to availability:

  • Economic Evaluation (LSHTM)
  • Health Care Evaluation (LSHTM)
  • Sociological Approaches to Health (LSHTM)
  • Conflict & Health (LSHTM)
  • Design & Analysis of Epidemiological Studies (LSHTM)
  • Health Systems (LSHTM)
  • Economic Analysis for Health Policy (LSHTM)
  • Evaluation of Public Health Interventions (LSHTM)
  • Organisational Management (LSHTM)
  • Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases (LSHTM)
  • Globalisation & Health (LSHTM)
  • Health Decision Science (LSHTM)
  • Reviewing the Literature (LSHTM)
  • Advanced Health Economics (LSE)
  • Evidence Appraisal for Health Policy Analysis (LSE)
  • Evidence Review and Synthesis for Decision Making (LSE)
  • Global Health Policy: Institutions, Actors and Politics (LSE)
  • Health Care Economic Evaluation (LSE)
  • Behavioural Incentive Design in Health and Health Care (LSE)
  • Economic Analysis for Health Policy in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LSE)
  • Global Health Security (LSE)
  • Health Care Regulation (LSE)
  • Measuring Health System Performance (LSE)
  • Mental Health Policy (LSE)
  • Randomised Evaluations of Health Programmes: From Design to Implementation (LSE)
  • Statistical Methods in Health Care Economic Evaluation (LSE)
  • Social Determinants of Health (LSE)
  • 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 programme 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.

Project report

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: Should it be the case that you are unable to travel overseas or access laboratories in order to complete your project, you will be able to complete an alternative desk-based project allowing you to obtain your qualification within the original time frame. 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 - MSc intensive general

In order to be admitted to an LSHTM master's degree programme, an applicant must:

  • hold either a first degree at Second Class Honours (2:2) standard in a relevant discipline, or a degree in medicine recognised by the UK General Medical Council (GMC) for the purposes of practising medicine in the UK, or another degree of equivalent standard awarded by an overseas institution recognised by UK ENIC or the GMC.


  • hold a professional qualification appropriate to the programme of study to be followed obtained by written examinations and judged by LSHTM to be equivalent to a Second Class Honours (2:2) degree or above.


  • have relevant professional experience or training which is judged by LSHTM to be equivalent to a Second Class Honours (2:2) degree or above.

If you have not previously studied in the UK, you can check our guide to international equivalent qualifications for our master's degrees.

Entry requirements - Health Policy

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 undergraduate degree subject at Second Class Honours standard can be acceptable with a demonstrable commitment to health, policy, planning and financing.

Applicants who do not meet the minimum entry requirement, but who have relevant professional experience may still be eligible for admission. Qualifications and experience will be assessed from the application.

English requirements - Band B

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 for more information.

Intercalating students - Health Policy

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.

For MSc Health Policy, Planning & Financing, we typically still require an additional year’s work experience for such students (clinical training and work related to medical degrees does not normally satisfy this requirement).

More information on intercalating an MSc at LSHTM.

Access and widening participation

Access and widening participation

At LSHTM we are committed to ensuring that students from all backgrounds feel encouraged to apply to study with us. To that end, we have introduced an innovative contextual admissions system that is designed to consider any barriers applicants may have faced and take account of the circumstances in which their grades have been achieved, rather than relying on results alone. More information on widening participation at LSHTM.

Fees & funding
Fees - Health Policy
Fees 2023/24    
Home Full-time £14,764
  Part-time £7,382
EU/Overseas Full-time £27,288
  Part-time £13,644

*Mobile users, scroll right to view fees

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.

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 programmes. 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 dates for all taught Master’s applications for entry in the 2023/24 academic year is:

  • Sunday 23 July 2023 at 23:59 UK time for all students requiring a Student visa
  • Thursday 31 August 2023 at 23:59 UK time for all UK, Irish and non-Student visa students

Applicants will be required to meet the conditions of their offer and provide all necessary documents by the date of their Offer of Admission.

Application fee

A standard non-refundable application fee of £50 applies to all taught Master’s degree programmes and is payable upon application submission. Income generated from the application fee is shared between scholarships and student hardship fund.

Tuition fee deposit

Applicants are required to respond to their Offer of Admission 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?

Please visit our Visa & Immigration pages for advice and guidance.