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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


MSc in Health Policy

From 2017/18, we are offering an MSc in Health Policy in place of our two previous MSc programmes in this area (the MSc Health Systems & Public Policy, and MSc Health Inequalities & Public Policy).

The new programme is broadly similar in structure and content.

You can apply for the  MSc in Health Policy through the Degree Finder. Follow this link - the 'Apply' button is found to the right of the screen

'I've got a plan for health care reform. But we had a plan before, under a Democratic president in the '90s. We couldn't get it done because the drug and insurance companies spent $1 billion over the decade on lobbying.'
Barack Obama

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

Welcome message from the Programme Director

All health systems, whether in developed or developing countries, are under pressure to broaden access to health services while improving the quality and efficiency of the care they provide. At a time when the scope for increasing expenditure is limited, designing cost-effective health systems has become a major focus of public policy - and one that has huge political salience, as the debate accompanying health care reform in the United States makes clear.

In many countries, reform efforts centre on containing costs, with a focus on slowing the growth of health system expenditure, which is often presented as unsustainable. Powerful global actors such as the World Bank promote the creation of more competitive environments among health care providers and insurers (along with a more prominent role for the private sector) as a means of improving the performance of countries' health systems.

Running in parallel with these reforms, there are renewed efforts - now supported by a coalition of global actors, including the World Health Organisation - to improve the delivery of health care services in low and middle income countries through sustained investment and a renewed focus on creating universal coverage. This reflects a growing appetite among policy-makers across the world to improve the quality and accessibility of services.

This MSc programme prepares students for careers in health administration, health management, government departments or agencies, consultancies, advisory or advocacy roles in governments and international agencies, the commercial sector, research, or further study for a PhD. Our students come from countries at all levels of economic development.

The programme is taught by the Global Public Health Unit, which is located in the School of Social and Political Science, rather than a Medical School. As a result, our programmes are able to reach across traditional boundaries, linking policy analysis, economics, development, public health and management. We focus on equipping students with the knowledge and critical skills they need to play a senior role in addressing the health system challenges of today and tomorrow.

We believe that additional experiences beyond the classroom are an essential part of an education in health systems and public policy, and our Unit's strong ties to leading public health practitioners and policy-makers provide students with opportunities to learn from the real world of health systems. We have, for example, a strong record of helping to place people on the World Health Organisation's Internship programme.

If this sounds like the programme for you, or you are interested in finding out more, please don't hesitate to contact me on the email address below.

Who to Contact

For queries about the programme:

Dr. Sudeepa Abeysinghe
The University of Edinburgh
School of Social and Political Science
Chrystal Macmillan Building
15a George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LD
Tel: +44 (0)131 6515471

How to Apply

Apply to this Programme through the Degree Finder, following this link.

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.

Chevening Scholarships for International Students

Chevening Scholarships are the UK government’s global scholarship programme, funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and partner organisations. The programme makes awards to outstanding scholars with leadership potential from around the world to study postgraduate courses at universities in the UK. The programme provides full or part funding for full-time courses at postgraduate level, normally a one-year Master’s degree, in any subject and at any UK university. 

Defunct ambulances Uganda