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Health Policy - MSc

Course Description

City's MSc in Health Policy helps you understand, navigate and influence the 21st century health and health care environment.

Who is it for?

City’s MSc Health Policy is the ideal route for graduates looking to start, change or develop their career within the health policy field. It combines an international focus and academic rigour with the development of practical, transferable skills that can be applied in a wide range of real-world health policy, planning and management settings.

We welcome applications from graduates (UK or international) from any academic discipline. The course is also suitable for established professionals from a wide range of backgrounds, including:
-Medical, nursing and allied health professions
-Health management and administration
-Public health
-National and local government
-National NGOs
-International agencies
-Research institutions and consultancies
-Pharmaceutical, insurance and other health-related industries.


Health and health care policy are at the top of the political agenda around the world. People are living longer, consumers are expecting more from their health services and chronic illnesses are becoming prevalent. Medical technology is advancing rapidly, creating ever-increasing demand for the latest treatments.

Health policy affects and is affected by all of these factors. It aims to meet the growing challenges facing health systems by providing answers to such questions as:
-How can we best meet people’s changing health needs?
-How can we control spiralling health costs, while maintaining high quality and comprehensive health services?
-What is the most effective way of organising and paying for health care?
-How can we tackle inequalities in health and access to care?
-How can we measure and improve the performance of health systems?

City’s MSc in Health Policy gives you the knowledge and tools you need to understand, analyse and influence the health policy process, and to operate within an increasingly complex policy environment.

You will analyse the social, political and economic factors that affect policy at a local, national and international level. You will explore how and where policy is made, and who the key players are; and learn how to present your ideas clearly and persuasively to a range of influential stakeholders to bring about change.


You have the opportunity to do a placement, but it is not a formal requirement of the course. We encourage you to create your own. One recent student worked within the refugee camp in Calais alongside the NGO Doctors of the World as part of her dissertation research on refugee access to health care.

Academic facilities

As part of the University of London you can also become a member of Senate House Library for free with your student ID card.

Teaching and learning

You will learn through a mix of lectures, class discussions and seminars, student presentations, case study analysis, interactive computer-based exercises, a virtual learning environment (Moodle) and self-directed reading.

Lecturers are drawn from City's Schools of Health Sciences and Arts and Social Sciences. A number of distinguished external honorary and guest lecturers have also taught on the programme, including:
-Professor David Oliver (President of the British Geriatrics Society, former National Clinical Director for Older People at the Department of Health, and Visiting Fellow at the King's Fund)
-Professor Paul Burstow (Chair of the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, and Minister of State for Care Services in the Coalition Government, 2010-12)
-Brigadier Tim Hodgetts CBE (Medical Director, Defence Medical Services, and former Medical Director, NATO Allied Rapid Reaction Corps)
-Beccy Baird (Fellow in Health Policy, the King's Fund)

City has an international reputation for academic excellence in the areas of health and food policy, health services research, health management, health economics and executive leadership across a broad range of professional disciplines. You will learn from and alongside colleagues who aim to influence health policy and lead health-related initiatives.

Modules are assessed through a combination of written coursework, group work and examination. The assessments reflect the learning objectives of the modules.


You will take five core taught modules, which cover the main topics and issues within health policy, the health policy process, the principles of policy analysis, and research methods.

You will also choose two or three further elective modules covering a range of related areas, including public health, global health and health management and leadership.

Core modules
-HPM001 The health policy process, politics and power
-PHM004 Social determinants of health
-HPM004 International health systems
-HPM006 Health economics
-HRM020 Foundations in research methods and data analysis*

Elective modules
-HRM001 Introduction to research methods and applied data analysis*
-HPM003 Health policy in Britain
-PHM001 Public health**
-PHM003 Global health**
-HMM002 Strategic management in healthcare†
-HMM008 Health innovation and change†
-HMM026 Finance and enterprise performance†
-HMM022 Management and leadership in healthcare†
-HMM025 Economic evaluation and pharma†
-APM006 Contemporary issues in mental health
-APM017 Engaging technology
-FPM001 Food and public policy

*The core module HRM020 covers basic research skills and enables you to perform entry-level statistics. It forms the first part of the 30-credit module HRM001 Introduction to research methods and applied data analysis, which goes on to cover more advanced research skills. If you choose to take HRM001, this will replace the core module HRM020.

**A maximum of one public health module (PHM001 or PHM003) may be chosen as an elective.

†A maximum of two health management (HMM) modules may be chosen as electives. Depending on module capacity, it may only be possible to take one HMM module.

Dissertation - you will also write a final health policy-related dissertation, on a topic of your choice, of between 12,000 and 15,000 words.

Career prospects

Because health and health care are such high priorities for both the public and policy makers, health policy specialists will continue to be in high demand. Therefore, if you are working or want to work within any health-related organisation in the public, private or third sectors, this course will help you develop the key transferable skills you need to succeed.

Graduates of the MSc Health Policy have gone on to a variety of policy, campaigning/advocacy and research roles within the public sector such as:
-The NHS and international ministries of health.
-NGOs and third-sector organisations including the Patients Association and a number of professional associations.
-The private sector such as consultancy, corporate communications and pharmaceutical companies.

Visit the Health Policy - MSc page on the City, University of London website for more details!

All Available Videos:

(Student Profile)

Emma Barnes

Since leaving City, Emma Barnes has been able to combine her passion for campaigning and political influencing with her love for speech and language therapy and desire to help others. Emma is campaigning to protect vital services for people with speech, language and communication needs.

She studied Health Policy at City University London and works at the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, where she is running the Giving Voice campaign, a UK-wide initiative to raise awareness of speech and language therapy and communication difficulties. The campaign aims to increase understanding of the vital importance of speech and language therapy, which is threatened by funding cuts. Specialist help can transform the lives of people with communication difficulties. It can also save the government money by helping people access education, go back to work and leave hospital safely.

She emphasises how important it was for her career to develop her campaigning skills through her work as a part-time officer on the Students' Union Executive Committee.

In her final year at City, she was awarded the Outstanding Contribution to the Students' Union award and a Silver Carrot award for contribution to student experience. Emma says: "The support that lecturers and staff at the Students' Union gave me to combine a challenging degree with a busy Union role was invaluable in helping me to gain the skills I needed to be a campaigner."

"Find out what you are passionate about and shout about it, use extra-curricular opportunities and get involved with everything happening at City" is Emma's advice to City students preparing for graduation and their professional lives.


SHS International Excellence Scholarship - No. of awards TBC

The School of Health Sciences (SHS), together with the University, has identified Postgraduate Programmes as a priority area for strategic expansion and part of this incentive is to increase the number of international (non-EU) students studying one of the Schools MSc programmes.We are therefore offering a number of SHS International Excellence Scholarships of up to £2,000 for students starting one of our MSc programmes in September 2016 and January 2017.Scholarship awards are confirmed on a rolling basis as applications are received, and you can expect to hear from us whether your scholarship application is successful when you are offered a place on the programme. Decisions will be final and made by a panel led by the Associate Dean of Postgraduate Studies. The award will be deducted from the September 2016 tuition fee instalment of a full-time student. For part-time students, half the amount will be deducted from the September 2016 tuition fee, and half from the September 2017 tuition fee.

Value of Scholarship(s)



This scholarship will be awarded to international postgraduate students showing academic and/or clinical/professional excellence, who are registered full or part-time, on one of the MSc programmes offered by the School of Health Sciences. It is only available to students applying for the full MSc programme (not the PG Cert or PG Diploma). Students cannot be in receipt of more than one scholarship/bursary.

Application Procedure

Applicants will automatically be considered for the scholarship on applying for their course.Awards are competitive and will be awarded for academic and clinical excellence as well as for exceptional innovation in enterprise as evidenced within your personal statement.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Applicants should hold a second-class honours degree or the equivalent from an international institution. We also consider applications from individuals who may not have prior experience of working within the health sector but who have plans for a career in health policy. Applicants who do not hold a degree but do have relevant employment experience in the health sector may be considered.

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