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Philosophy, Politics and Economics of Health (MA/PGDip)

Course content

The Philosophy, Politics and Economics of Health MA aims to equip students with the skills necessary to play an informed role in debates concerning distributive justice and health. It explores the central ethical, economic and political problems facing health policy in the UK and globally, especially in relation to social justice.

About this degree

The programme covers relevant areas of moral and political theory, comparative policy analysis, and health economics, to allow students to come to a wide understanding of background issues, history and constraints, in order to be able to make a positive contribution to current debates in this field.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of three core modules (45 credits), five optional modules (75 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma of 120 credits is available, consisting of three core modules (45 credits), and five optional modules (75 credits).

Core modules

  • Philosophy Politics and Economics of Health
  • Health Policy and Reform
  • Key Principles of Health Economics

Optional modules

Students may choose from the list of recommended modules below, or other relevant modules in UCL, with the approval of the convenors. Please note that some modules fill up very quickly, so places cannot be guaranteed.

  • Bioethics Governance
  • Comparative Human Rights Law
  • Law and Governance of Global Health
  • Global Justice and Health
  • Illness
  • Madness
  • Conflict, Humanitarianism and Health
  • Ethics and Regulation of Research
  • Contemporary Political Philosophy
  • Normative Ethics
  • Politics and Ethics
  • Health Inequalities over the Life-course
  • From Imperial Medicine to Global Health, 1860s to Present
  • Death, Dying and Consequences
  • Disability and Development
  • Introduction to Deafhood
  • Global Health and Development
  • Anthropology and Psychiatry
  • Medical Anthropology


All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of up to 12,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and tutorials. Student performance is assessed through examinations, presentations and coursework (depending on the options chosen), and the dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Philosophy, Politics and Economics of Health MA


Applicants for this programme may be eligible for a number of funding opportunities including UCL graduate scholarships. The Health Humanities Centre can nominate one candidate to apply for a Wellcome Trust Master's Award.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


Graduates have gone on to funded research in bioethics and in health policy, and to jobs in the health service, law, journalism, as well as medical education.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Public Health Doctor, NHS (National Health Service)
  • MBBS Medicine (Graduate Entry Programme), Newcastle University
  • Health Policy Adviser, Doctors of the World UK
  • PhD in Critical Theory, University of Brighton
  • Policy Officer, WHO (World Health Organization) and studying Medicine, The University of Western Australia


The programme equips students with an ability to think precisely and rigorously about complex problems in health systems and beyond; to work with others to explore solutions; and to write cogently and concisely. Public and private sector health employers and NGOs particularly prize these skills in graduates. The skills that the programme teaches also provide an ideal springboard to further academic study.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

This MA is the only Master's programme in the world of its type. The compulsory modules provide necessary core skills, while the wide range of options enables students to further their own particular interests.

UCL is at the forefront of research in interdisciplinary research and teaching in philosophy, health humanities and global health through units such as the Health Humanities Centre, the Institute for Global Health and the Institute of Health Equity. The programme draws on highly regarded researchers in a range of UCL departments, and students benefit by instruction from some of the leaders in their fields.

Students further benefit from UCL's location in London, which is one of the world centres of philosophical activity, home of a number of internationally renowned journals - Philosophy; Mind & Language; Mind - and which enjoys regular visiting speakers from across the world. London has over 60 active philosophers making it one of the largest and most varied philosophical communities in the world.

Visit the Philosophy, Politics and Economics of Health (MA/PGDip) page on the University College London website for more details!






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