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.
This innovative distance learning Public Health MSc, PG Dip, PG Cert allows you to benefit from the world-renowned teaching of King’s College London wherever you are. The course is taught by some of the world’s leading public health academics at the Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine, one of the largest and most successful centres for research & education in the UK which has helped shape clinical guidelines and government policy. It has unparalleled expertise and is home to thriving pure, translational and clinical research courses in health and social care, global health and mental health.
The course is taught 100% online, meaning you can advance your education without taking a break from work or other commitments. There are six entry points across the year, allowing you maximum flexibility. King’s College London also offer a campus based Public Health MPH if the online route is not for you.
“The course offers a wide range of topics in the public health field, making it suitable to people from a variety of backgrounds. Despite focussing on a range of topics, it is amazing how much in-depth knowledge you can gain from each module, knowledge that is essential in my day to day work.” Ann, Master of Public Health student
Studying the distance learning Public Health course at King’s is suitable for:
The Public Health MSc, PG Dip, PG Cert provides a comprehensive and integrated education in public health through a multidisciplinary study approach which is both academic and vocational. It draws upon the wealth of research, education and clinical expertise in the Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine and is delivered by the Department of Primary Care & Public Health Sciences which has forged strong international links, particularly with US and European research and teaching partners.
The course aims to enable you to develop a critical understanding of public health providing the foundations for pursuing a career in public health, or for enhancing existing practice and facilitating career advancement, particularly through contributing to the emerging evidence base for public health interventions.
Students study a suite of modules which provide a comprehensive understanding of public health. However, you may wish to specialise in either Mental Health or Global Health. These specialist pathways are available at MSc and PG Dip level where students first study a specific module and then apply the knowledge gained in the dissertation and research related modules.
This modular course is delivered entirely online allowing students to manage their study time alongside other life commitments. Students will be taught and assessed using a variety of innovative methods designed for distance learning by instructional designers and learning technologists. Teaching will be delivered through video lectures, webinars, discussion boards and other interactive methods. Assessment will be made through coursework essays and reports, critical appraisals of published work, self-directed learning activities and other methods tailored for online learning.
Opportunity to specialise in Global or Mental Health
The MSc in Public Health provides a generic and comprehensive study pathway. However, students may wish to specialise within a specific context of public health, global health or mental health.
The Global Health pathway aims to provide students with a critical understanding of the issues and dynamics informing Global Health and the provision of Public Health. This will be provided by King’s Centre for Global Health and Health Partnerships whose multi-professional group of clinicians, academics and policy experts have strong links with health programmes in Somaliland, Sierra Leone and Zambia.
The Mental Health pathway aims to provide students with a critical understanding of mental health and the role of Public Health in preventing mental illness and promoting mental well-being. This module is taught by the world-renowned Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience Europe’s largest centre for postgraduate education in its field.
Students will be assessed using a variety of traditional methods including coursework essay and reports as well as innovative online methods including discussion boards and interactive questions.
This course will be suitable for students wanting to move into or progress their careers in Public Health. Students who have already studied MSc in Public Health at King’s have found the following roles:
Health Informatics Specialist. Healthcare Administrator. Epidemiologist. Research Analyst. Public Health Project Manager. Health and Safety Engineers. Air Pollution Analyst. Disaster Management Specialist. Environmental Inspector. Assistant Public Health Professor. Bioterrorism Researcher. Chief Medical Officer. Clinical Infectious Disease Specialist. Chronic Disease Management Coordinator. Childbirth Health Educator. Health Commissioner. Health Administrator. Health Facilities Surveyor. Health Unit Coordinator. Medical Writer. Outreach Educator. Occupational Health Worker.
Public Health is about preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the efforts of society. Whether you are already a working professional in this area, or new to the subject, this Master of Public Health (MPH) is the ideal programme for those wishing to address today’s problems in public health.
Our MPH programme provides students with an understanding of how different scientific disciplines can be used to investigate and then develop the best professional practice in epidemiology, public health and the social science of health.
After successful completion of year one, you can choose to follow a general Public Health programme or a programme specialising in the important global health area of Noncommunicable Diseases.
This programme is taught by lecturers based at the University of Edinburgh's Usher Institute, which is part of the Edinburgh Medical School. The Usher Institute is an interdisciplinary research and teaching hub which draws together researchers, clinicians and practitioners from public health, primary care and biomedical and social sciences. The Centre for Population Health Sciences, within the Usher Institute, is also a WHO Collaborating Centre for Population Health Research and Training.
This programme is affiliated with the University's Global Health Academy, an interdisciplinary network which aims to improve global health through collaborative, interdisciplinary research, education and resource development:
Our online learning platform is fully interactive, award-winning and enables you to communicate with our highly qualified teaching staff from the comfort of your own home or workplace.
Our online students not only have access to the University of Edinburgh’s excellent resources, but also become part of a supportive online community, bringing together students and tutors from around the world.
You can study to Masters, Diploma, or Certificate level. All students follow the same compulsory Year One Certificate-level courses, which provide a solid foundation in the fundamentals of public health, whilst a suite of elective courses and a specialist strand in noncommunicable diseases offer students the opportunity to explore areas of interest in more depth and to tailor the programme to their own learning needs and career goals.
Year One (Certificate)
All students take the following compulsory courses:
Year Two (Diploma)
If you have satisfactorily completed the Certificate level, you can decide whether you want to follow a general Public Health programme or a more specialist programme in Public Health (Noncommunicable Diseases). Regardless of which path you decide to follow, if you would like to do a dissertation, the following courses are compulsory:
Year Two: Postgraduate Diploma Public Health
Students planning to do a dissertation in Year Three should choose elective courses totalling exactly 40 credits. At least 20 credits must be chosen from the elective courses list A (see below). Students not planning to do a dissertation should choose elective courses totalling exactly 60 credits. At least 40 credits must be chosen from the elective courses list A (see below).
Year Two: Postgraduate Diploma Public Health (Noncommunicable Diseases)
The following courses are compulsory for all students following the Public Health (Noncommunicable Diseases) programme:
Students following the Public Health (Noncommunicable Diseases) programme and not planning to do a dissertation should choose exactly 20 credits from either list A or B of elective courses below.
Year Three (Masters)
Students who have completed the Diploma level and are eligible to progress to Year Three can choose either to take a further 60 credits of elective courses (at least 40 of which must be chosen from the elective courses list A) or to do a dissertation project (if agreed by the programme directors), worth 60 credits. The dissertation option will only be available to students who have met the stipulated academic requirements.
Students who complete the Masters degree successfully will graduate with one of the following degree titles, depending on which strand they have selected:
The programme will prepare you for a career in research or academia, professional public health service, clinical epidemiology, health technology assessment, public-health protection and a wide range of national and international organisations concerned with preventing disease and improving the health of populations.