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Philosophy, Politics and Economics of Health - MA/PGDip

Course Description

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.

Degree information

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
-Bioethics Governance
-Comparative Human Rights Law
-Law and Governance of Global Health
-Global Justice and Health
-Conflict, Humanitarianism and Health
-Ethics and Regulation of Research
-Contemporary Political Philosophy
-Normative Ethics
-Public 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
-Modules from other UCL Master's-level programmes, subject to approval from the Course Director and timetabling constraints.
-Or any other suitable module from other UCL Master's-level programmes, subject to approval from the course Director and timetabling constraints

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.


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.

Top career destinations for this degree:
-Journal development manager, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
-Doctorate of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
-Health Policy Adviser, Doctors of the World UK
-PhD Critical Theory, University of Brighton
-Policy Officer, WHO (World Health Organization) and studying Medicine, The University of Western Australia

The programme gives students the 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 course teaches also provide an ideal springboard to further academic study.

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!

(Student Profile)

Trinidad Covarrubias

"I am interested in public health, and this Master's provides the necessary tools to understand all the various aspects and issues surrounding public health."


Entry Requirements

Normally a minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard; however, relevant employment/volunteering will be taken into consideration.

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