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    School of Social and Political Science Logo
  • Study Type

    Distance learning & Part time available

  • Subject Areas

    Politics & Government

  • Start Date

    September

  • Course Duration

    PGCert 12-21 months; PGDip 2-4 years; MSc 3- 6 years

  • Course Type

    MSc, PgDip, PgCert

  • Course Fees

    Tuition fees vary between degree programmes. Find the specific fees for your chosen programme on our website.

  • Last Updated

    22 November 2018

Course content

Programme description

This programme provides students with the skills they need to play a leading role in the formulation of health policies at the national and transnational levels

The programme situates health, health inequalities and health policy in a global context, examining the extent to which health and its determinants are shaped by social, economic and political processes and the impacts on health policy of multiple factors.

With its multidisciplinary approach and online distance learning delivery,this programme will provide you with a flexible and focused examination of health, health inequalities and health policy in a global context.

Whether you’re from a health or social science background, you’ll develop a critical awareness of the role of the state, the commercial sector, civil society and international organisations in health policy and global governance, and an understanding of the challenges confronting policymakers in addressing health and reducing health inequalities.

Online learning

Courses are delivered through short lecture videos, core texts, podcasts and instructor-moderated discussion forums.

There are weekly readings and students engage with the material through on-line asynchronous discussion boards as well online activities that include writing blogs, producing policy briefs, creating mind maps and academic posters, and writing a group wiki.

Additional question-and-answer sessions also take place through live seminars, which are recorded for students not able to participate at the time.

Programme structure

The programme is available on a part-time basis, either over two or three years.

Students completing any three of the compulsory courses listed below will be eligible for a Postgraduate Certificate in Global Health Policy.

Students completing all four compulsory courses listed below, plus two optional courses, will be eligible for a Postgraduate Diploma in Global Health Policy.

Students on the MSc in Global Health Policy complete the four compulsory courses, two further optional courses and also undertake a dissertation in their final year as well as suite of research training to prepare them for the dissertation process.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this programme you will be able to understand, critically appraise and apply key concepts and theories within public health and policy studies with specific reference to social and economic determinants of population health status.

You will also develop the skills to:

  • apply social science perspectives to public health questions
  • assess the changing context of public health policy formulation
  • analyse diverse source materials and apply to public health questions
  • articulate your own conception of core challenges confronting public health
  • engage in public health advocacy
  • work across disciplinary boundaries

Career opportunities

The programme aims to equip students for senior roles in national, regional or global health organisations, research institutions, non-governmental organisations and private sector consultancies.

On graduating, you will have the skills you need to help these organisations respond to a range of key global issues, from the emergence of new pandemics and antibiotic resistance, to the role of private actors in strengthening healthcare systems, to the challenge of regulating multinational corporations as part of efforts to combat non-communicable diseases.


Visit the Global Health Policy (Online Learning) (MSc, PGDip, PGCert) page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

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