The MSc Health Policy will develop your understanding of, and critical engagement with, key challenges in health policy. Both state and non-state actors grapple with how best to promote the health of communities and populations, including the most effective strategies for preventing disease, ensuring efficient and high quality health care, and reducing health inequalities.
These challenges extend beyond the traditional domain of the health sector, requiring engagement with economic and social policy and a range of non-state actors including third sector organisations, commercial interests and international agencies.
The MSc in Health Policy is designed for individuals interested in a wide range of health-related roles including government and international agencies, health advocacy, health administration and health care delivery, consultancies, advisory roles, the commercial sector, and health-related research. Within the programme there is scope for you to specialise in either health systems or health inequalities, or to follow a broad policy stream.
The Health Systems stream is ideal for those seeking to work in health care policy, planning or management, in either the public or private sectors. It will expose you to different models of health care financing, purchasing and delivery, equipping them to engage with key contemporary challenges and debates including how to achieve sustainable health care financing, the role of the state in health care, the appropriate mix of public and private provision, and how best to achieve the goals of equity, efficiency and quality in health care delivery.
The Health Inequalities stream is ideal for those seeking to engage with health disparities both between and within countries, particularly those relating to inequities in social structures and power. In this stream you will explore evidence and policy responses to health inequalities across a range of axes, including class/socioeconomic position, ethnicity/race and gender, and will consider how health and its determinants are shaped by a range of influences including social and economic policy, commercial power and political conflict. This stream is particularly suited to those interested in working in policy, advocacy and research settings with a focus on health equity.
You may also elect to follow a broad policy stream within the MSc Health Policy, rather than specialising in health systems or health inequalities. This stream equips you with an understanding of how health policy fits within broader approaches to social and economic policy, and is particularly suitable for individuals wanting to work in public policy, advocacy or research.
Our students come from countries at all levels of economic development and from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds, with many using the MSc as an investment to develop their careers or move into a more policy-focused role. While the programme has a strong policy focus, it also includes an academic orientation so is good preparation for further research at PhD level.
The MSc programme is situated within the Global Public Health Unit, which is located in University’s School of Social and Political Science rather than a medical school. This reflects our programme’s reach across traditional boundaries, linking policy analysis, public health, social policy, economics, sociology, medicine and epidemiology. The MSc programme offers innovative research-led teaching that draws on academic expertise from all these disciplines, while also benefitting from close links with the Centre for Population Health Sciences in the University's medical college.
You will complete one compulsory course and a number of option courses.
Following the taught courses, you will work towards an independently researched dissertation.
This programme is designed to equip you with the knowledge and critical skills you need to play a senior role in health policy, advocacy and research.
Specific aims are to:
This programme is intended to equip you with the skills and knowledge necessary to pursue employment positions in policy, advocacy and research roles relevant to health policy. Most students use the MSc as an investment to develop their careers or move into a more policy-focused area, including jobs with health agencies or consultancies, government departments, international organisations and third sector 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 both high-income and developing countries; with agencies and donor organisations working in health care and health promotion; with international organisations and consultancy; research positions examining health systems for the European Union and other levels of regional governance; 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 and for two years after graduation.
Our Global Health & Social Justice course is a unique study pathway that combines the study of social science and anthropology with philosophy. Covering topics such as inequalities in preventable mortality, disease, disability and access to medical care across countries, it will help you to develop advanced skills in the critical analysis and possible solutions for global health inequalities.
The Global Health & Social Justice course will provide you with a demanding study pathway covering dynamic topics within global health. You will explore major issues and debates, as well as develop the capacity for critically assessing the scientific research and practices aiming to address global health inequalities. You with also cover the fundamental aspects relating to philosophical debates about social justice and health equity.
The course offers you flexibility with the choice to study either full or part-time. You will explore a range of required modules such as Designing Quantitative and Qualitative Research, Foundations in Global Health and Social Medicine, Critical Global Health and also Global Health Ethics, plus a range of further required and optional modules depending on your choice of pathways.
The MSc in Global Health & Social Justice is ideal for anyone wishing to develop a rigorous understanding of the dynamic field of global health; it is suitable for health professionals, policy makers, philanthropists, those who work in governmental and non-governmental organizations, and potential PhD students and academics.
It provides access to the major issues and debates in global health, develops capacity for critically assessing the scientific research and practices aiming to address global health inequalities. It also grounds students in the philosophical debates about social justice and health equity.
We will teach you through a combination of lectures and seminars, and you will typically have 15 hours of this per 15-credit module over a 10 week term. We also expect you to undertake 135 hours of independent study for each module. Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.
The department assesses students on a combination of essays, written examinations, oral presentations and the dissertation. The nature of assessment varies by module.
Graduates from this course have gone on to the following destintations:
This course provides you with an in-depth understanding of health determinants and outcomes that transcend national boundaries, and the policy responses required to protect and promote population health in a globalising world. It is the world’s first Masters level course on global health policy by distance learning.
The course is aimed at students and professionals from both health and non-health backgrounds who seek to understand more about the policy environment associated with issues of global health. It will be of value especially to those who may be seeking to assume positions related to issues of global health policy in national, regional or global health organisations, health-related research institutions, non-governmental organisations and private consultancies.
By the end of this course, you will be expected to:
- have established a solid foundation in various theories and practices concerned with global health policy
- understand the emerging institutional structures and governance mechanisms to address global health issues
- gain a good appreciation of relevant health policy research methods, such as comparative analysis and cross country learning
- be able to apply these analytical and methodological skills to address the multifaceted challenges posed by global health issues.
The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) is Britain's national school of public health and a leading postgraduate institution in Europe for public health, global health and tropical medicine. LSHTM won the Gates Award for Global Health in 2009, and received $1 million in prize money. The winners are chosen by a jury of international health leaders from more than 100 nominations from around the world, and the award is administered by the Global Health Council. LSHTM is both the first academic institution to win the award and the first British winner.
The course is delivered predominantly through provision of interactive CD-ROM materials with supplementary online texts and exercises. Tutorial support is available via the online Virtual Learning Environment through which your fellow students may also be contacted. You also have access to the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine’s online library resources.
If you have any questions, please contact our Student Advice Centre.
Public health is the science and art of promoting and protecting health and wellbeing, preventing ill-health and prolonging life through the organised efforts of society.
This is a fully online, distance-learning course using digital learning technology to allow learners to study from anywhere in the world and better fit study around personal and professional commitments. Flexibility in the course start dates (September, January or May) and module choices in Year 2 helps provide students with a more bespoke learning experience designed to match learning needs, interests and aspirations.
This course is designed for students who want to explore the current and emerging key issues in the field while reflecting on their own practice, experiences and interests. We are keen for students to collaborate with us in better understanding how public health works across research, policy and practice at the local, national and global level.
Public heath practitioner roles differ greatly in the work they focus on and in their specific job titles. Some examples of the types of roles include: Health Policy Advisor; Public Health Advisor; Substance Misuse Worker; Heath Improvement Practitioner; Public Health Nutritionist; Teenage Pregnancy Coordinator; Smoking Cessation Advisor; Advanced Health Improvement Practitioner; Environmental Scientist; Health/Education Advisor; Support Workers and many more.
You will receive the relevant theoretical and practical skills that are needed for careers as researchers, policymakers and/or practitioners across the public, private and voluntary/community/not-for-profit sectors.
You will be provided with expert knowledge and different perspectives from across research, policy and practice, focusing on contemporary public health issues relevant locally, nationally and internationally. The course will be taught by research-active staff alongside input and additional materials from policy and practice partners. Co-creation of content is also a key feature we explore with the course, allowing us to shape the curriculum with our students to build on their experiences, expertise and interests.
Through the course, students will be supported to:
• Explore and understand public health theory and techniques appropriate to their own area of practice or interest.
• Gain first-hand insight into approaches used by researchers, practitioners and policy-makers.
• Develop as skilled and knowledgeable multidisciplinary public health practitioners and researchers.
• Develop practical and transferable skills such as report writing, team working, literature searching, research methods and critical appraisal.
• Develop as critical and independent thinkers.
The MPH offers you the opportunity to graduate with a named award recognised globally for public health knowledge and expertise.
The flexibility of this course allows you to manage your studies around your professional and personal life. Further flexibility is provided by the diverse variety of optional modules available throughout the entirety of the course. To ensure that you are equipped with the necessary knowledge and capabilities to conduct a successful research project and complete your Masters, there are taught elements within the research project module designed to develop your understanding and practical abilities.
The MPH Course Director is Dr Tony Robertson. Teaching on the course will be provided by colleagues across the Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport, particularly from the Centre for Population Health and Public Health Research (led by Prof Andrew Watterson and Prof Sally Haw) and the Institute for Social Marketing (led by Prof Linda Bauld). Module Coordinators include Dr Dawn Cameron, Dr Nicola Cunningham, Claire Eades, Dr Josie Evans, Dr Niamh Fitzgerald, Dr Richard Purves, Dr Tony Robertson and Ashleigh Ward.
You will gain a Masters degree from a multi-award winning faculty, led by a group of world-leading academics.
Year 1 core modules
What is Public Health?
Epidemiology & Its Numbers
What is Public Health Research?
Year 2 core module
Policy in the Real World
Year 2 option modules
Society & Health
Health Behaviours & Behaviour Change
Qualitative Research and Analysis
Quantitative Research and Analysis
Research Ethics and Governance
Year 3 module
In the most recent Research Excellence Framework, the Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport was ranked 1st for health research in Scotland and 12th in the UK, showcasing our commitment to produce world-leading research that improves health and reduces health inequalities.
Stirling is one of only two UK universities ranked in the top 50 by the QS World University Rankings, for universities under the age of 50. This recognises universities that have established a strong position in international ranking tables in an impressively short period of time.
The University of Stirling was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2013 for its public health research.
It is possible to achieve:
· Postgraduate Certificate in Public Health (60 credits – 3 modules)
· Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health (120 credits – 6 modules)
· Master of Public Health (120 credits plus a research project of 60 credits)
All modules are at level 11 within the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). 180 credits points are awarded for the course of study. All core and optional modules are worth 20 credits, with the research project worth 60 credits.
A minimum of a second class Honours degree (2:1 preferred) or equivalent in a relevant subject. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant relevant work/life experience, are also encouraged to apply.
This course is 100% online and only available part time over three years. There are three possible start dates: September, January or May (although a September start date is recommended).
Tony Robertson, Course Director Telephone: UK +44 (0) 1786 466360
Email: [email protected]
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