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.
Looking for a career in the ever-growing field of European public administration and European organisations? The advanced MSc in European Politics and Policies (MEPP) programme is your foot in the door.
This programme combines academic excellence in the comparative study of public sector structures, policy-making and administration within Europe, with a concern for the practical challenges professionals in policy, administrative and consultative functions face at the sub-state, state and EU level. MEPP has an explicit European and comparative orientation, which includes the study of institutions, decision-making and policies of the European Union on the one hand, and the analysis of convergence and divergence of public sector problems and solutions in European Countries on the other hand.
This one-year, postgraduate programme has an explicit European and comparative orientation, which includes the study of institutions, decision-making and policies of the European Union on the one hand, and the analysis of convergence and divergence of public sector problems and solutions in European countries on the other. In promoting comparative approaches, MEPP not only seeks to strengthen cognitive capacities and analytical skills, but also to foster an open-minded attitude to diversity.
Interactive courses in small groups
Experience our excellent research-based education in a small and international student group, providing you all the opportunities for a rich learning experience. A specific focus is placed on the use of case studies; the emphasis is placed on how problems can be solved. Moreover, each class involves a considerable amount of self-study and assignments that are meant to help you assimilate the information presented quickly and effectively. Added value is created by giving attention to the practical challenges of professionals in policy, administrative and consultative functions.
An explicit European Policy and Public Administration programme
A strong core of compulsory courses acquaints you with the comparative study of public policies, administration and management in different member states and on the political dynamics of European integration itself. The rich variety of electives enables you to explore particular interests. You will gain necessary research skills, culminating in a dissertation.
The MEPP programme is part of the wider European Master of Public Administration Network (EMPA). The following institutions are full partners of the MEPP programme:
MEPP students are offered the opportunity to continue the second semester of their study programme at one of the EMPA institutions listed above. They receive a travel reimbursement and are exempted from paying any additional registration fees. Successful students will be awarded an EMPA certificate, signed by both the home university and the partner institution. More information on the procedure for participation in the EMPA exchange programme can be found on our website.
To embark on the MEPP programme, you should have a solid background in and knowledge of the institutional developments and political processes in your home country, as well as those at the international and/or European level. In addition, you should show a genuine interest in comparative analysis and in the European integration process. We expect you to be open to diversity in the European context and to have excellent communicative skills in view of group work and academic writing of publications and reports.
The programme aims at developing students with the following profile:
This intensive, one-year MEPP experience is an ideal beginning to a career in European policy. Our graduates go on to pursue any number of interesting careers. They work in a wide variety of public service fields, at all levels of government (federal, local or regional) and in European and international institutions or interest groups. Graduates also find careers in non-governmental organisations, pressure groups and the private sector. The MEPP programme can also be considered as a preparation for PhD research in political science and public administration.