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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


MSc in Global Health Policy

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The application deadline for this programme is 13th July 2018.

"Like never before, the public prominence of health in general and global health in particular has generated an environment that is propitious for change. Health affects the most pressing global issues of our time: socioeconomic development, national and human security, and the global movement for human rights. We now understand that good health is not only a result of but also a condition for development, security, and rights."   -  Education of Health Professionals for the 21st Century: A Global Independent Commission

Welcome to the web pages for the taught Masters programme in Global Health and Public Policy, which is delivered by staff from the Global Public Health Unit. These pages provide key information about this exciting and innovative MSc programme.

Welcome message from the Programme Director

While its definition remains contested, global health entails:

  • recognition that the social determinants of health transcend national borders;
  • extending beyond international health's traditional focus on infectious diseases and maternal and child health;
  • a concern to promote health equity within and between countries;
  • the increased significance of non-state actors in health governance; and
  • a focus on the health risks and opportunities associated with globalization.

Such an ambitious agenda requires a new approach to the analysis and teaching of population health, and an interdisciplinary perspective that combines and enhances the contributions of medical and social sciences.

Situated within the Global Public Health Unit, this programme therefore offers innovative research-led teaching that draws on academic expertise from disciplines incluSudeepa Abeysingheding public health, political science, social policy, economics, medicine, epidemiology, geography and anthropology. Our location within the Graduate School of Social and Political Science gives students access to an academically challenging but friendly and supportive environment and to diverse postgraduate courses offered in one of Europe's leading centres of social science research. Close teaching and research links with the University's outstanding medical college means that our students learn alongside colleagues from Public Health Sciences, and can access its training courses.

This programme is designed to equip students for key roles in public health research, policy and advocacy by combining training in key concepts and core skills with critical analysis of key questions confronting global health:

  • How has globalization exacerbated inequalities within and between countries?
  • Can the World Health Organization fulfil its mandate to act as the directing and co-ordinating authority on international health work?
  • What new forms of global health governance are required to counter transborder health risks?
  • To what extent do trade agreements undermine the scope for effective public health policy?
  • How can the health impacts of transnational corporations be effectively regulated in a global economy?
  • How have global health partnerships like the Global Fund or GAVI and philanthropic initiatives like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation reshaped public health and health policy in developing countries?

Finding answers to such questions is critical to the future of global health policy and practice. If you are interested in contributing to this process, you can find more information about the programme via the menu on the right had side of this page. And if you would like any further details, please feel free to contact me at any time

Best wishes


Please find there 2017-2018 Programme Handbook here; note that courses and sequences are correct for 2017-18 but may be subjuct to change for incoming cohorts.

Who to contact

For queries about the programme:

Dr. Sudeepa Abeysinghe
Lecturer - Global Public Health Unit,
School of Social & Political Science
University of Edinburgh
Room 2.25, 22 George Square
Edinburgh   EH8 9LD 
Tel: +44 (0)131 651 5471

How to Apply

Further guidance on how to apply and entry requirements, etc. is available on the Graduate School website. Please feel free to contact the Programme Director with any further queries.

Fees and Scholarships

  • Full fees information, including part time fees, is available here.
  • Information on how to pay is available here.
  • Information on funding and scholarships is here.

Bologna Compatibility

Like all University of Edinburgh Masters programmes, the degree is fully Bologna compatible, and is recognised across Europe and beyond under the principles of the Bologna framework. The programme comprises 180 Edinburgh credits, which are equivalent to 90 ECTS credits.


Edinburgh4Learning offers an intuitive and easy to use funding information tool which allows students to search using a series of handy drop-down lists. Students can access the Edinburgh4Learning portal direct from the Scholarships and Student Funding Services website. Registration requires a valid university of Edinburgh e-mail address and in a matter of moments students can access numerous funding opportunities to help them during their studies.