Health Policy & Systems

Online course


This short course will be delivered online and builds on the world-class teaching, research and policy work on health systems at LSHTM. It aims to provide an interactive introduction to the field of health policy and systems research. The course will equip participants with knowledge and skills to examine the functioning of a health system, its core building blocks, and to assess its ability to achieve important goals including sustainability, access, quality and equity.

Participants will gain experience in applying conceptualisations and analytical approaches stemming from public health, policy analysis, economics and anthropology to undertake health systems analysis and design sustainable policy and programmes. The themes will be applicable to low-, middle- and high-income countries.

The course will be taught and facilitated by a range of highly experienced LSHTM faculty members: Dina Balabanova, Sandra Mounier-Jack, Neil Spicer, Martin McKee and it may also involve speakers from the UK government, NGO and UN agencies.

Course objectives

The course will cover the core building blocks of health care systems and their modes of operation; the implications of different approaches to system design for access, quality, and broader outcomes; and highlighting issues of equity, human rights, and gender for health system design and analysis.

By the end of the course, participants should be able to: 

  • define the concept of a ‘health system’, and its core elements, processes and functions;
  • conduct multifaceted health systems analysis drawing on a range of key approaches and models, and using diverse methods, including taking a health system approach to current challenges in different contexts;
  • examine how programmes and policies can improve health, access to services and equity, and be aware of potential unintended consequences;
  • design monitoring and evaluation frameworks to assess the performance of health programmes (within a health systems context) 
  • conduct policy evaluation to capture the roles and influences of different national and global actors. 

We will draw on case studies of current interest such as migration, trade, Sustainable Development Goals, performance-based financing, governance and anti-corruption in health systems. Participants can also identify case studies relevant to their work (e.g. disease, topic or country specific). We will apply health systems concepts and approaches to assessing these case studies.

The course will draw on cutting edge research and policy engagement by LSHTM faculty members and partners. 

Teaching methods

A mix of lectures, small group work, interactive exercises, and self-guided learning using distance learning activities.

Who is this course for?

It is expected that the module will be of interest to participants working in national health systems, for example in strategic planning, policy design and implementation, at national, regional, and district level, in international organisations, NGOs, and academic institutions, among others.

Course fee

The fee for the online course is £1,200.00.