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.
We are pleased to announce that after an intensive two year review of the MPH core subject curriculum that we have made some exciting new changes to the MPH core subjects. Within the review we consulted with employers and staff, reviewed graduate student feedback and benchmarked against MPH offerings around the world. As a result of the review we have developed an novel new core subject, ‘Planning and Priortising in Public Health’, that is focused on practical public health workplace skills. We have also made minor changes to other core subjects with the aim of having an increased focus on the drivers of public health problems, the skills required by all public health practitioners, and planning and managing public health projects and programs. These curriculum and structural changes will enable the ability of the School to continue to produce high quality graduates equipped with relevant knowledge and skills for a breadth of careers within the public health workforce.
Students commencing the Master of Public Health in 2017 and beyond will have the opportunity to complete ‘Planning and Prioritising in Public Health’. Existing students will also have the opportunity to take this subject as an elective from 2017 onwards. These changes will increase the breadth of skills and knowledge gained by students within their MPH experience.
The Master of Public Health has three components:
These courses are for high-performing, self-directed individuals who want to learn about complex problems of health and healthcare from a psychological perspective. Applicants will have the desire to conduct innovative research to understand these issues and develop and evaluate potential solutions. The programme is a Stage 1 Health Psychology qualification accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS). It has been designed for students who would like to go on to a PhD or DPsych in Health Psychology.
The MSc Health Psychology is for students with an undergraduate degree accredited by the British Psychological Society. If you do not have Graduate Basis for Registration with the BPS but would like to undertake a Masters degree in this subject, we offer the MSc Psychology and Health as an equivalent programme with identical modules (but no accreditation by the BPS).
Health psychology explores the psychological and behavioural processes that influence the maintenance and promotion of health, the development of illness, and the delivery of healthcare through rigorous research that feeds into evidence-based practice.
Teaching at City promotes the scientist-practitioner model in which research influences how we practice, while allowing our experiences in practice to shape the research questions we address.
We recognise that great research will not make a difference to people’s lives unless the lessons learned feed into interventions for the public, patients and healthcare professionals. You will learn how to make research evidence accessible to help maximise its impact.
Taught by a team of leading research-active academics, who are members of the Centre for Health Services Research (CHSR), the MSc Health Psychology/ Psychology & Health programme is designed to give you foundational knowledge to propel you to an exciting career in the discipline.
Here are some examples of the kinds of questions the course considers:
The MSc in Health Psychology has been accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) since 1999 and confers the Stage 1 requirements towards becoming a Health Psychologist.
The MSc in Psychology and Health, which is not accredited by the BPS, was set up in 1999 for applicants who do not have Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) with the BPS, but who have an interest in psychological issues related to health.
The course uses a range of teaching methods including classroom teaching, seminars and workshops. You will also be able to learn from our on-site TECS lab. This is a dedicated smart home equipped with tele-health and tele-care applications and an adjacent monitoring system.
The purpose of the TECS lab is to enable researchers to monitor long-term conditions, and use technology to track an individual’s health in real time. For example seat and bed occupancy sensors enable health psychologists to monitor physical movement and intervene when routine behaviours are disrupted.
You will be assessed through a varied combination of formats throughout the programme including coursework, examination, a diary component, online discussion forums and a significant piece of empirical research.
The programme consists of eight compulsory modules and all the teaching takes place in the first two terms. In term one you will be introduced to behavioural medicine, lifestyle, gender and culture, theoretical foundations of health psychology and research design and statistics. In the second term you study understanding and managing long term conditions, developing complex interventions, professional practice and contextual issues in health psychology and advanced research design and statistics. The third term is dedicated to the dissertation.
You may have the opportunity to interact directly with patients or healthcare professionals at the dissertation stage of this Masters degree. You will be conducting your own independent research and this may, for example, involve interviewing patients or professionals about a particular subject, or delivering behaviour change interventions.
To become a qualified researcher and practitioner, you will need to be able to understand and critique published research and to understand practitioner issues, so you can conduct your own research from scratch. At City we will encourage you to conduct research on the front line working on projects that require ethical approval, where you are engaging with real people so you can have a direct impact on their lives.
Health psychologists work in academia as researchers and within the NHS and the wider healthcare sector. The nature of the work means you will be trying to influence public health policy in terms of the way that health care is practised. You will also be evaluating how health care professionals do their work while adhering to the best clinical standards.
As a UK student, because the Health Psychology MSc is accredited, it is known as Stage 1 of the standard training in healthcare psychology. By successfully completing this course you will be able to move on to Stage 2 training (a doctoral level qualification in health psychology). This leads to becoming a fully recognised health psychologist whereby you can apply for Chartered Membership of the British Psychological Society (BPS) and apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).
Full membership of the Division of Health Psychology means you will also be eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a Chartered Health Psychologist. You can only use the protected title ‘Health Psychologist’ by registering with the HCPC, the statutory regulator.