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.
Applications for this programme are now closed, however there is still time to apply for one of our distance learning master's programmes.
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.
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
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.
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
- 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
- Global Health Policy: Institutions, Actors and Politics
- Social Determinants of Health
- Evidence Review and Synthesis for Decision Making
- Economic Analysis for Health Policy in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
Health Policy Consultant
Health Research and Policy Officer
Planning and Evaluation Economist
Policy and Public Affairs manager
Specialist Registrar (Infectious and Respiratory Diseases)
Teaching Fellow in Global Health
- Example organisations:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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
Overseas Development Institute
Royal College of Physicians
Save the Children
World Health Organisation
HealthTech Women UK
"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.
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.
The final closing date for taught Master’s applications is as follows:
- 2 August 2019 by 23:59 British Summer Time (BST) for international applicants requiring a Tier 4 Student Visa, and
- 23 August 2019 by 23:59 British Summer Time (BST) for applicants not requiring a Tier 4 Student Visa.
Do you need a visa?
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.