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Health Inequalities and Public Policy (MSc)


Course Description

Programme description

This programme examines the range of factors that shape health inequalities and the challenges of developing effective policy responses at local, national and international levels.

In this flexible programme, we invite you to consider health inequalities at a national, regional and global level, and the challenge of addressing these disparities.

You’ll look at the range of factors that shape these issues and the challenges of developing policy responses. Through the analysis of the distribution of power and wealth in society, you’ll evaluate public policies that address the social determinants of population health, examine the work of the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health and analyse its conceptual framework and policy agenda.

Our aim is to provide you with the tools to work across disciplinary boundaries to engage in public health advocacy and apply social science perspectives to public health questions.

This programme is affiliated with the University's Global Health Academy.

Programme structure

Teaching will be by lectures, seminars, group work and guided independent study.

You will complete one compulsory course and five option courses, before working towards your independently researched dissertation.

Learning outcomes

You will be able to understand, critically appraise and apply key concepts and theories within policy studies, international political economy and public health science.

Specifically, you will be able to:

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

Career opportunities

For many of our students this programme has helped secure jobs and research positions within the competitive fields of NGOs, health agencies, government departments and international organisations. Many also choose to use the MSc as a foundation for a doctoral research degree.

The transferable skills you gain in areas such as communication and research will give you an edge in the employment market, whatever your eventual career.

A number of our students, particularly from social science backgrounds, use this programme to prepare for applications to medical school.

Our programmes are also recognised for training purposes by the UK Faculty of Public Health, and a number of practising doctors undertake part-time study with us alongside their clinical work.

Visit the Health Inequalities and Public Policy (MSc) page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A UK 2:1 undergraduate degree or its international equivalent.

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