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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


Careers and Internships

The MSc programmes offered by the Global Public Health Unit offer an inter-disciplinary approach to the study of public health, inequalities and public policy that is designed to assist students both in securing attractive employment opportunities and in proceeding to further studies (see also our graduates' profiles).


In developing these programmes our intention has been to equip students with the skills and knowledge necessary to pursue employment positions in policy, research and advocacy roles relevant to public health. The majority of our students come to Edinburgh with the aim of improving their chances of securing interesting jobs with NGOs, health agencies, government departments or international organisations. By combining an advanced degree from a world-leading university with expertise in an innovative field relevant to multiple policy agendas, students who successfully complete our programmes are well placed to secure interesting positions within an often very competitive area.

Our graduates in recent years have moved on to a range of exciting employment and research positions. These include positions with health departments and other government ministries in the UK and internationally (in both high-income and developing countries); with development agencies and donor organisations; with leading international health NGOs and smaller civil society organisations; research positions examining health systems for the European Union; and employment in commercial sector organisations including pharmaceutical and other health-related companies.

All students have access to the Edinburgh University Careers Service during the programme. The service provides both general and specific guidance on career options, runs career fairs, talks and training sessions, offers assistance with a CV, applications forms and interview preparation, and helps in exploring further study options. Appointments can be arranged on the day or in advance online. You can access the service by dropping in to the third floor of the Main Library on George Square, calling 0131 650 4670, or having a look at their website (


Securing an internship can offer invaluable experience, insights and networking opportunities and can be an important step in building a career in global health. Our graduates have a strong track record in obtaining such positions, with a number of students winning prestigious positions within the World Health Organisation, leading NGOs, the European Commission and government ministries after they graduate.

It may also be possible to undertake an internship or other such placement during the dissertation stage of your programme, and we have structured our dissertation requirements in ways that facilitate projects of interest to potential host organisations as well as meeting the academic demands of your programme.

Postgraduate Research

Each year a significant proportion of our students move on to doctoral studies and other research positions in leading universities in the UK and internationally. While students who are clearly committed to developing such a research career might also consider our MSc by Research, for many students the substantive content and opportunity for disciplinary conversion offered by our taught programmes offers a more attractive and appropriate pathway towards postgraduate research.

Our academic staff are committed to assisting students in their efforts to secure both admission to doctoral programmes and funding for further research, either with us or elsewhere. We also work closely with a number of our graduates each year to support them in developing research publications based on their MSc dissertations.

Medical School & Continuing Professional Development

A number of our students, particularly from social science backgrounds, use the MSc programmes here to prepare for and assist in applications to Medical School. Such graduates have a very impressive track record in securing admission to leading schools in the United States, Canada, Australia and the UK.

Our programmes are also recognised for training purposes by the UK Faculty of Public Health, and a number of practising doctors undertake part-time study with us alongside their clinical work.